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Ballpark Frank

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"There are many reasons given for the fan apathy surrounding the Sox this season," sports columnist Ted Cox writes (September 6). Among the reasons he considered, an amalgam of the fans' contempt for the club's current regime of owners, the numbing sense that whatever this is, it ain't baseball that the joint causes in all but the shallowest of "fans," and the fans' memory of how the Sox threatened franchise removal to get the new stadium built at the taxpayers' expense came nearest the truth.

The new Comiskey Park represents the last of that generation of really lousy stadium design that began with the new California franchises back in the early 60s (don't anybody try to tell me that Dodgers Stadium is a good ballpark), and that we find best exemplified (or worst exemplified, if you think about it) in those multi-use bowls that are already decaying in places such as Pittsburgh and in Houston's Astrodome. The new Comiskey was delivered into this world DOA. Cox was right: Everything that's wrong with U.S. society (from my perspective anyway) is "manifested in the new Comiskey Park."

There's one other intriguing angle to the fan apathy surrounding the Sox. Cox dealt with this one too. Despite the years of labor by an overwhelming majority of the men and women who work in the local sports media to keep Sox fans in the dark about the man who calls the shots at 35th and Bill Veeck Drive, most fans know deep down in their gut that Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf is a bum. Indeed, in an industry noticeably lacking in the humanitarian impulse, Reinsdorf is King of the Bums.

Every time we see an empty seat at the new Comiskey Park, we shouldn't despair. Instead, we should rejoice. We should count that empty seat as an ethical victory on the part of some fan who decided to stay away from the joint, rather than lend his or her person to a process of legitimating the catastrophe that is the contemporary sports world.

Personally, I dream of a day when none of the sports world's stadiums could be filled, even if they gave the tickets away.

After all, it is only through the death of the existing order that people will once again learn how to play.

David Peterson

Evergreen Park

PS: To that fan from Arlington Heights who called in to WLS talk radio on the afternoon of September 5 and said that the reason fans won't go to the new Comiskey Park is because they fear their cars will be stolen or that they'll take a wrong turn and wind up in the middle of one of the Chicago Housing Authority's projects, I say fuck you.

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