Every year, Chicago fans ask very similar question when MLB’s Opening Day comes along, especially when both teams have expectations as low as they do this season. Most fans completely forget about baseball through the long winter months, begin to care when Spring Training starts and then begin to move away from caring about the sport. So as today is the first of 162 games for both the Cubs and White Sox, let’s go through the five questions you might hear today from other fans.
1. “Who is that?”
Fans that didn’t pay attention to off-season moves will often ask this upon seeing a new acquisition for the first time. The most notable addition on either side this off-season was Jose Abreu for the White Sox, but people may also ask who Mike Olt and Emilio Bonifacio are on the other side of town. Expect a lot of puzzled looks when these players get their first at-bats today.
2. “Baseball started today?”
Yes, even though you post hundreds of Facebook posts and Tweets telling people how excited you are for today, Opening Day, people will read that and forget about it when they see a cute cat two posts later. Baseball just isn’t as popular anymore, meaning that more than a few fans will get the wrong date on Opening Day, leading to this question.
3. “Why does (Insert Manager/GM/Player here) still have a job?”
Yes, every strikeout and every home run given up will lead one fan to ask why that player has a job. If the manager calls in the wrong pitcher, he will ask the same. Even when the teams go to 0-1, that fan will ask why the team hasn’t fired the GM yet. It’s annoying, but someone always believes that there are hundreds of more suitable people to hold those positions. Are the wrong? Yes. Annoying? Yes. Intelligent? Probably not so much.
4. “Is it next year yet?”
This is especially true for Cubs fans. You will get more than one fan ask if it’s next year every time a bad play happens. The first base hit Jeff Samardzija or Chris Sale give up will be followed by some cranky fan asking this question. It’s not funny, and especially in a season that is lost. You can ask this when the team is eliminated from playoff contention, but until then just watch the game.
5. “When does football start?”
Chicago is a football town, no doubt about that. But asking when the Bears start their season in March is annoying and ignorant to those who want to watch their team play that day. When the draft rolls around, get excited for the Bears, but until then just watch some baseball.
Follow me on Twitter and let me know what annoying things you hear on Opening Day. Also stay tuned for the first of a very fun series I will be doing, that involves an interview with a former Chicago athlete that you will remember, but only if you’re a true fan of Chicago sports teams.