The Chicagoist Guide to the World Series
Sure, this city's sports scene is all Bears, all the time right now, but Chicagoist can find a way to make you care about the World Series. As Tommy Lasorda has been telling that poor Cubs fan up in the tree "since his team was eliminated from the postseason" in those playoff promos (they should have done some fact-checking on that one though--what, he's been up there since May?), it doesn't matter who's in the postseason, you're a bigger fan of baseball.
Even though the Cubs started the Dusty Deathwatch in May, and the Sox couldn't quite recapture last year's magic, this year's 2006 World Series matchup features a compelling matchup for Chicago baseball fans. You have the Tigers facing the Cardinals, not just some random pairing of teams; no, this happens to be two of our hometown teams' biggest rivals. So who do you root for? Chicagoist would like to provide this handy, North and South Side guide.
This one is a no-brainer. You root for the Tigers, because seriously strange things would happen if you pulled for the Cardinals, your archrivals. North Korea would join NATO; Mayor Daley would apologize for the Meigs Field thing; and Rod Blagojevich and Judy Baar Topinka would be caught sleeping together at a Motel 6. Your rooting interest in this Series is purely sadistic. You want to see the Tigers win and win big, just to make Cardinals fans suffer. It will be as satisfying as anything since, well, since they were swept by the Red Sox in 2004. Plus, by cheering for the Detroit, you get to stick it to those smug White Sox fans and their fancy championship t-shirts who watched the Tigers stay just out of reach all year.
White Sox Fans
This choice is nearly as simple as the other, but for less primal reasons. You root for the Cardinals, because sheer competitiveness won't let you cheer for the Tigers. Detroit is a rival, but not in the sense that Cleveland or Minnesota is a rival. Sure, you were chasing them all year, but you don't hate them the way you might hate the Twins. But you can't shake the feeling that you really should have beaten them this year, and that makes you jealous. Plus you just can't forgive them for what they've let Magglio Ordonez do to his hair.
But there's also a reciprocal interest in cheering for the Cardinals this year. Most Cardinal fans living in Chicago--and there are a lot more of them than one might think--root for the White Sox as their adopted hometown team. This is partly because they are accustomed to watching winning baseball, but also because they are the anti-Cubs. So when the White Sox fans couldn't stop believin' last year, Cardinals fans in Chicago were right there with them, especially after their team lost in the NLCS. You owe it to them this year, just as a thank you.
It may not be the most compelling matchup on paper, with the two teams with the worst records in baseball over the last 50 games of the regular season, but it's interesting for Chicago fans nonetheless. You may still be upset about your team not making the postseason, but you can even take some solace in the fact that the Cubs and the Sox both won their season series against these two. So watch the World Series. As Tommy says, "It's your duty, Judy."