Let me get this out of the way now: Christmas is great. In fact, any holiday I can spend time with family, especially now that I’m older, I do very much enjoy. However, for me, there’s nothing quite like White Sox opening day– not just for the baseball, though that is a big part, but for what this time of year represents.
Despite living in Chicago going on 32 years now, I loathe the cold. Snow disgusts me. While I contend that, in another life, I was born into a family deeply rooted in a beautiful Los Angeles suburb, in my current incarnation, I am a child of the Midwest. Don’t get me wrong– I have a great love for this city, and despite career opportunities elsewhere, I have decided to remain here, with all the positives & negatives that this entails. But, it’s hard to blame a person so enthusiastic about warm weather to find a particular fondness in the changing of the seasons, especially after the absolutely brutal Winter this city is emerging from.
My birthday also happens to typically fall right in line with this time. In fact, there have been many baseball seasons where White Sox opening day, the home opener at least, has fallen on the anniversary of my birth. In getting older, birthdays have far less significance then they had as a child; but, again, changing of the seasons, warm weather to come, etc etc. In addition, both of my little brothers were born in March (we were all born roughly within one month of each other, though obviously years apart), so this time of year typically brings with it a good deal of family fun.
Funny thing is, baseball isn’t even my most favorite sport to watch. That award goes to football, particularly the NFL, and exclusively the Bears. However, I would be hard-pressed to call football my favorite sport, simply because, when football starts, the seasons begin to become bleak. It’s an unfortunate mental association, but it’s very real for me. And it puts a black cloud (or gray, to be more precise) over what otherwise would be a very enjoyable sport to become involved with.
Baseball, in itself, may not be the most enthralling three hour-long escape, for some, but I actually do find it quite entertaining to watch. Keep in mind, though, I also found writing this 500+ word entry on my love of the White Sox amusing, so you & I may have very different definitions of the word “entertainment”. Still, even on nights when I have work to get done, putting a game on my big screen, fading in-and-out of the always-quirky (if not sometimes down-right unintelligible) commentary of Hawk, rewinding my DVR when a home run is hit, well, that often really makes my evening.
It would seem, then, that White Sox opening day isn’t necessarily my favorite day of the year just because of the sport. In fact, it probably has little to do with that. In my mind, twisted as it may be at times, I correlate this day with the incoming warmth of late Spring & Summer; the limitless opportunities to BBQ & take my dog on long walks; and the time spent with family & friends, outside of the confines of 4 layers of winter clothes, chapped lips, and snow boots.
And when you think about it, isn’t that what holidays should be about, after all?