White Sox need some better PR
The two baseball teams that -- until last season -- were the easy default "loveable losers" were the Red Sox and the Cubs. Before the 2004 games, the Red Sox had gone since 1918 - a date easy to remember because Yankee fans chanted it relentlessly. The Cubs haven't won since 1908, which is fast approaching a full 100 years. That's pretty insane.
But...it's kind of odd to me that it turns out that the White Sox haven't won since 1917 -- a year longer (now two) than Boston's Curse. You never hear about that. (Excluding, almost assuredly, the current playoffs.) Hell, I've heard a lot more about Cleveland's losing streak, which is 31 years shorter than the White Sox. Two years after the White Sox last won the series, the Black Sox scandal happened -- and the team has been on a losing streak ever since. That's actually an insanely powerful story and yet you don't hear about the Curse of the Black Sox. Do you? Why is that?
Now, I suppose it's not really a good tactic to try and get publicity for spectacular failure, and one based on cheating, but the Cubs and Red Sox have enjoyed, at the least, some admiration from casual fans who like their failure. (Unlike the diehards who, it is safe to say, don't.)
I know that the main reason Boston got more press for its streak is that they'd had quality teams numerous years, and lost in spectacular fashion, while the White Sox have almost never been even much of a threat. They had the bad luck to get a brand-new stadium just before the new cool stadium look came around with Camden Yards. Instead, they have an oval monstrosity in one of the worst neighborhoods in Chicago. Lots of things stand in the way of people knowing much about the White Sox...but the fact that they've cursed themselves into losing streak by cheating on the World Series is the kind of thing you think some people would bring up now and again.
Update: two days after I write this, Bill Simmons echoes my sentiments almost exactly, but funnier:
I was thinking about the whole White Sox/1917 thing. For the past 15 years, Red Sox fans had to deal with this ridiculous theory that Babe Ruth somehow cursed our franchise because we sold him, which makes no sense if you think about it because going to New York was the best possible thing that could have happened to him on every level (I cover this in my book -- did you know I had a book out?).
Meanwhile, the Black Sox throw the 1919 World Series, violate/destroy/obliterate the sanctity of the game and nearly kill professional baseball as we know it, and since then, 86 years (and counting) have passed without them winning a championship ... and nobody ever brings up a potential curse with them? Who could have possibly angered the Baseball Gods more than the 1919 White Sox? If any baseball franchise is "cursed," wouldn't it be them? When we watch these White Sox playoff games, as Williamstown reader Rob points out, "Where are all the montages of the 88 years of futility? Where are the floating heads of Chick Gandill, Eddie Ciccote, and Joe Jackson?" He's right, how do the White Sox fans get a free ride this October? Imagine if the 1919 Red Sox threw the World Series? How many times would McCarver and Buck have brought it up during last year's playoffs? 700? 800? I'm confused.