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Sports Authority

Ivey: White Sox are worst team in Chigao

| Thursday, October 27, 2016

There was a scene in the 1996 movie “Happy Gilmore” where the title character, a hockey player turned professional golfer, was struggling with his putting game. So his trainer, Chubbs Peterson, takes him to a miniature golf course to work on his putting technique.

After a number of unsuccessful putting attempts, the late, great Peterson gave Gilmore a word of advice.

“Think of a place that’s perfect. Your own happy place.”

The idea was to get Gilmore thinking about things that make him happy. This would put him in the right frame of mind to calmly putt a golf ball into the hole.

The idea worked, and he went on to win the Tour Championship.

Right now, Chicago White Sox fans must be feeling like Happy Gilmore did when he couldn’t sink a golf ball to save his life. Angry, frustrated, wanting to throw and break things. Their ball club is in complete disarray. They haven’t made the MLB playoffs since 2008 and it looks like that streak isn’t going to end anytime soon.

They just fired their manager and replaced him with a guy who only has only one year of previous managing experience after not looking at anyone else. They just renamed their stadium after a mortgage company whose logo is literally an arrow pointing downward. This past season, they were involved in two outrageous controversies involving a former player’s son not being allowed in the locker and a star player angrily slicing up team uniforms. They have no major, franchise-altering prospects in the pipeline, and the future doesn’t look too bright.

Meanwhile, their direct competitors, maybe not on the field but definitely in the own market, the Cubs just clinched their first National League pennant since the year 1945. The Cubs will play the Cleveland Indians in the World Series for the next week or two with a chance to win their first championship since 1908. They’re the most popular sports story in the world right now. The entire city of Chicago has painted itself in Cubbie blue. Theo Epstein and company have created one of the strongest organizations not just in baseball, but in all of sports. The Cubs field a lovable, fun and, most of all, good, young team that looks like they will be the next great sports dynasty for the next decade or longer.

White Sox fans (I know there are some out there, even if they don’t want to reveal themselves during this trying time) are looking to find their happy place.

Throughout the years, our happy place has always been 2005, when the Sox won the World Series after an 88-year title drought. But that happy place is finally starting to fade after 11 years of mediocre baseball. It’s almost as if that championship never even happened. In a recent SportsCenter graphic that showed a list of Chicago sports championships since the year 1965, the White Sox’s championship wasn’t even listed. Some sports headlines make it look like this will be the first time Chicago has seen a World Series since 1945. Us White Sox fans are pulling hairs out of our heads feeling like our beloved franchise is being whipped away from existence to make room for the beloved North Side baseball club.

Let’s just take a deep breath. Let’s clear our mind. Let’s find our own happy place. Something we can latch onto during the next two weeks and possibly beyond.

The Blackhawks have always been a good happy place. In a city divided by baseball loyalty, the Blackhawks always find a way to bring the city together. Three Stanley Cup championships in seven years has created a strong following for a franchise that always sees itself near the top of the NHL.

The Bulls are another good option. After missing the playoffs last year, the Bulls underwent an extreme roster makeover. Injury-plagued Derrick Rose was traded away and hometown kid Dwayne Wade left sunny Miami to play for the team he grew up cheering for. The Bulls also brought in Rajon Rondo, and the Bulls’ young players won the NBA Summer League championship this past summer. The new additions, plus a couple of hungry young players like Denzel Valentine and Jerian Grant, will make the Bulls an interesting team to watch this season.

Let’s just not think about the Bears.

White Sox fans, if you haven’t already abandoned ship and jumped on the Cubs’ bandwagon, join me in finding a happy place where we can all ease our minds and think about all of the other things we have in our lives; the other Chicago sports teams (except the Bears).

Please don’t let us down.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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