1) The tedium of Lovie Smith’s press conferences
There is a cramped room in the lower bowels of hell. In that dank room, the sinner sits before of a screen, eyes forced open like Alex Delarge’s in “A Clockwork Orange,” as he endures an endless loop of Lovie’s somnambulant, dead-eyed, soul-crushing press conferences.
In one scene, Lovie endlessly drones that “Rex is our quarterback.”
And in another, Lovie is adamant that route-forgetting Devin Hester is a number-one wide receiver.
There is no escape. It is the most awful room in hell.
2) The stereotype of fratty Cubs fans
Let’s see if we have this right: Male Cubs fans are bro-fisting, cargo-short-wearing, backwards-baseball-hat-festooned frat boys who are at the game for the booze and the females before the baseball.
Female fans are Tri Delts who snake their ponytails through the back of their pink Cubs hats, loved Mark Grace (literally in some cases), and spend the game talking about ABC’s “The Bachelor” and where to get the best bikini wax.
Do we have that right? OK, just making sure.
3) The truth about fratty Cubs fans
See No. 2.
4) The smugness of Kenny Williams
Kenny Williams has a beautiful voice. Deep. Sonorous. Morgan Freeman-esque.
But good God, the way he talks about baseball makes Phil Jackson sound humble. Between his ego and Steve Stone’s, we now get why there’s no room for fans at U.S. Cellular Field.
5) Trying to get an Old Style from a vendor at Wrigley Field
Here is a list of things you are equally likely to see at Wrigley Field:
— A well-heeled Sox fan
— A sober Jim Belushi
— A strike-throwing Carlos Marmol
— An Old Style beer vendor
Seriously, we thought Old Style was the official beer of Wrigley. It’s easier to get smallpox than it is to get an Old Style in your seat.
6) The embarrassment that is Soldier Field
For years, everyone knew Soldier Field needed to be redone. In a city not ruled by money-grubbing, doughy-faced sausage-eaters, we would now have a gorgeous, multipurpose stadium on the lakefront that could house the Super Bowl, the NCAA Final Four, and more.
Instead, we get the league’s smallest stadium and a clumsy attempt to blend the old and new. The final product is as elegant as Snooki after a dozen Jell-O shots, and it resulted in the stadium losing its National Landmark status in 2006.
This is to say nothing of the field itself, which begins the season somewhat green but is soon as brown and lifeless as Mike Ditka’s mustache shavings. Thankfully, the infinitely wise Bears’ front office has said they don’t want to replace the “grass” with far superior Field Turf—even if Brian Urlacher does.
Well, at least the tailgating is open and free of burdensome restrictions that might make a great party feel like another exercise in bureaucracy gone awry. Oh, wait…
7) White Sox fans who hate the Cubs more than they love the Sox
You’ve heard it a million times: bitter Sox fans* calling sports-talk shows to revel in another Cubs loss and deride Wrigley as one big beer garden. They’re so busy insulting Cubs fans and blasting “the shrine of Wrigley Field” that they ignore their own team.
Well, at least the U.S. Cellular attendance sometimes breaks 20,000.
*Take note, Department of Redundancy Department.
8) The jaw-dropping awfulness of Bears draft choices
Watching the Bears draft is like watching a cross-eyed seven-year-old with broken thumbs trying to play a Rachmaninoff concerto. You know it’s going to be bad, but you’re not quite sure how bad.
Well, maybe this bad: Guess how many Bears draft picks at offensive skill positions have been Pro Bowlers over the past 28 years.
No, seriously. Guess.
The answer: Five. (Walter Payton, Jim McMahon, Neal Anderson, Marty Booker, and Matt Forte.) For comparison’s sake, the Carolina Panthers—a franchise since 1995—have had eight.
9) The desperation with which Bears fans cling to memories of ’85
We know. The Monsters. Sweetness. The Punky QB. Danimal. The Shuffle. Woof woof woof. And so on. The 1985 season was awesome.
It was also 27 years ago. Let it go
Let. It. Go.
10) The eternal adolescence of Patrick Kane
Look, we were 23 once. We remember what it was like to drink beer (So awesome, brah!) and desire the constant attention of the fairer sex. (Babes! So hot!)
Dude, you totes crush it on the ice. You scored the goal that brought Chicago its first Stanley Cup in almost 50 years. Grow the hell up.
11) Tom Thibodeau’s unhappiness
We want to love Tom Thibodeau. The last two years, he’s turned a team with one superstar and a bunch of meh into real contenders.
So for the love of God, man, try to have an iota of fun. We don’t care that you look like you should be signing insurance documents in Teaneck, N.J. Just don’t be so dour. The Bulls could win by 87 points and you’d still harp on a second-quarter turnover that led to a three-pointer.
We have visions of Thibs sitting in the bowels of the United Center at 2 a.m., watching videos of a narrow victory against the Charlotte Bobcats. There’s a crinkled Dixie cup of warm Diet RC in his hands, and he’s feverishly rewinding the tape of a Bulls’ 24-second violation, trying to figure out how to beat the strong-side defensive rotation through the post.
Lighten up a little, Tom. We’re worried about you.
12) Chicago “celebs” discovering Chicago teams
Every blue moon, when one of our teams actually does well, we’re inundated with semi-local celebs festooning themselves in all things Chicago. (We’re looking your way, Vince Vaughn—”Fred Claus” alone disqualifies you from Chicago fandom.)
And does anyone really think Tom Dreesen is funny? Oh my God, a Harry Caray imitation!
Stop it! You’re killing us!
No, seriously. Stop.
Speaking of which…
13) Chris Chelios
Every so often, we see Chris Chelios inserting himself into everything Chicago. Dude, you vowed you’d never play for the Red Wings. Then you played for the Red Wings.
14) The Cubs’ World Series Drought
It’s been one hundred and fuck-all years since the Cubs won the Series, and that’s obviously not going to change this year.
Since the Cubs won the World Series, the evil Yankees have won it 27 times. The St. Louis Cardinals and their white-shoe–wearing fans have won it 11 times. Hell, the Florida Marlins—who didn’t exist before 1993—have won it twice.
Thousands of species of plant and animal life have come and gone. Mountains have crumbled into the sea.
But hey, at least we’ve got Alfonso Soriano for another 17 years.
BONUS: Any picture of Michael Jordan with a cigar in his mouth.
Except maybe this one.
Correction: Per No. 8, Jim McMahon was All-Pro in 1985.
STORY ART: Lovie Smith photo screenshot/YouTube; Cubs fans photo lightly remixed from photo courtesy Brent D. Payne/cc; Wrigley Field beer courtesy permanently scatterbrained/cc; Soldier Field from above courtesy Michael Baird/cc; Bears fans photo courtesy discosour/cc; main image
made in-house with AP Photo/Jason DeCrow.