Extra Point

By Mike Fitzgerald

Friday, October 18, 1996

George ’n’ Darryl or
Ted ’n’ Jane?

THERE are several advantages of being born and raised in Chicago.

Good pizza. Two or three nice days of weather each year. Michael Jordan and the Bulls.

And the fine, time-honored tradition of hating New York City.

But now I am faced with a dilemma of major proportions. I hate Atlanta just as much.

So how can I hate both teams that are in this year's World Series?

You have to be able to root for one team or the other - or at least bet on one team against the other.

Didn't you ever hear of mom, apple pie and gambling your paycheck on the World Series?

Here are a few examples of my quandary:

Atlanta has Ted Turner, Jane Fonda and Bobby Cox.

New York has George Steinbrenner, Reggie Jackson and Darryl Strawberry.

How can you pick which group to hate more than the other? Even if you mixed and matched them differently it would be difficult.

Here's another one:

The Braves have the racist and ridiculous Tomahawk Chop.

The Yankees have the most obnoxious and dangerous fans.

I'm not sure which is a more horrible fate, being forced to watch a stadium full of morons acting like Hollywood Indians or having a battery bounced off your skull by a fan in the Yankee Stadium bleachers.

I think I would prefer the battery in the head to watching the Chop, unless it was a Mack truck battery - then it would be a tossup.

MY hatred of the Yankees goes back as far as I can remember, especially since they always beat the stuffing out of my beloved White Sox game after game, year after year.

They had Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. We had Jim Landis and Don Buford.

They had Whitey Ford and Mel Stottlemyre. We had Eddie Fisher and Juan Pizarro.

In fact, I remember as a young lad going to bed crying after the Yanks completed another sweep at the old Comiskey Park.

My mom tried to cheer me up: "Just say a few prayers tonight that those lousy, rotten New York SOBs will have their team bus taken hostage by a gang of muggers. Now get some sleep, son. Sweet dreams."

But Atlanta has the recent edge for my hatred.

Its civic leaders screwed up the Summer Olympics and ruined the chances of any other United States city getting the Games for 500 years or so.

And the Braves couldn't even sell out all of their playoff games.

Plus, Atlanta's crummy football team still has Jeff George.

OK, since I always root for the American League team in the All-Star Game or World Series, I guess I'll try to stop hating the Yankees, at least on a short-term basis.

Hmm. Maybe I could stand in front of a bus speeding down Kapiolani Boulevard, get knocked unconscious and wake up from the coma just in time for Game One, still groggy enough to cheer for New York.

Nah. Too risky. The bus would probably be late and I would get arrested for jaywalking.

HERE'S an idea. I'll call up an old hypnotist friend, Sam "You Are Getting Sleepy" Adams.

Hello, Sam. It's Fitz. Remember me?

"Oh, yeah. You're the nut who wanted to get hypnotized so that you would start smoking cigarettes. Something about looking cool for the girls in the bars."

OK, you don't need to rub it in, Sam. Be careful or your favorite pocket watch will end up in the pawn shop. Here's the deal. I want to be temporarily hypnotized so that I can root for the Yankees - just for two weeks or so - even though I have hated them all my life.

"A White Sox fan loving the Yankees? A Chicagoan rooting for New Yorkers? Forget it, Fitz. I'm a hypnotist, not a miracle worker.

"It would be easier to make you think you're Tom Selleck."

Mike Fitzgerald's commentary appears every
Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

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