Thursday, October 27, 2005


One of those six or seven special moments

My boss cries at the office sometimes. He's in his late 50s and looks like Don Rickles, wears suits that are frequently stained and occasionally has a pretty long nose hair.

But the man cries like a baby at those times when he and his girlfriend (who, alas, also works here) don't get along. When the relationship isn't going well, he sobs. Weeps even. It's one of those low, mournful cries that you see in movies.

And as new world male as I might be, as sensitive as I might be, the public crying is a little bit uncomfortable to be around.

That's because I'm still enough of a traditional guy to believe that there are only a few occasions on which you should ever, EVER witness a grown man crying. I'm not talking about tearing up and needing a moment. I'm talking about crying, weeping, blubbering. There's very little call for that.

Basically, there are the old standby reasons for men to blubber publicly:

1) Death of a loved one. This needs no real explanation. Of course, you're allowed this one.

2) Momentous occasion. If you're witnessing the birth of your child, the marriage of someone you care about deeply, or even are being reunited with someone you haven't seen for a gazillion years, you're allowed.

3) Prognosis negative. If you get some bad, bad news at the doctor, well, you get an out.

4) Old Yeller or Brian's Song. If you don't cry at these, you're a freaking robot.

Then there are a couple of new ones:

5) Worldwide calamity. If you cried watching the events unfold on 9/11, you're human. Of course you were affected. Move on.

6) Boston. If you're a Red Sox fan of a certain age, and you watched your boys put it all together last year, you deserve a good hearty cry.

Which brings me to #7, new as of today:

7) South Sider. Let's say you're a White Sox fan for your whole life. And your dad was. And your granddad was. Maybe even his dad.

You might not know what town in some other country your people came from, but you'll sit in the nosebleeds to watch the Sox play Kansas City. You've taken the red line south of the Loop. You've had a drink or two at Jimbo's.

You've listened to your old man complain about the football Cardinals who left the South Side in the 50s, and how he's never completely forgiven the Halas family for taking over the town - '85 Bears or no '85 Bears.

Then today, or last night, or whenever it hits you, cry like a little baby. This is yours. You deserve it.

For a lot of guys out there - myself included - sports connect you to your friends, to your family, to emotional connections you might not be socialized to have. A couple of years back, when Ohio State won the Fiesta Bowl and the BCS championship, for a moment there, I was reconnected to my father, even though he's been gone for 11 years.

The Buckeyes were his team, and on that day they felt like mine, too. And we were connected again through the religion of sports. Maybe it was just a game - maybe they're all just games - but when you're a fan, you're connected through a chain of true believers.

When your team wins, it doesn't just win on that day for those guys on that field, or in that stadium, or for the people watching on TV, listening on the radio. That team wins for all the guys (and women) who have always believed, who stick it out in lean years and good. Hell, even for the ones who toy with being fair-weather fans but at the last minute decide to hold on.

There's nothing wrong with temptation, after all. You can watch other teams play in the Super Bowl, for crying out loud. Just remember your boys (or girls).

Today, for the much-maligned South Siders of Chicagoland, it's easy to do. Your boys are champions. An 88-year curse - if there ever was one - is lifted.

Cry your eyes out. Go Sox.

Thanks, MiLA...

Nicely done.

De nada, Sox fan.


Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?