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Partly sunny, with a 75% chance of misery

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Or: How the Boston series felt like a lifetime of fandom

Gray skies are gonna...oh, no they’re not.

Smack-dab in the middle of Sunday’s third consecutive meltdown against the Boston Red Sox, I started yelling: “This is why White Sox fans get so angry when everybody forgets about 2005! Because that’s the only good moment we have! Every other minute of Sox fandom is like this game!! In fact, this entire series perfectly captures my life as a White Sox fan: one game that is entertaining and good, and three games that are utter fucking misery!!!”

Later, after I’d calmed down, I kept thinking about it: Was my rant accurate? Has only 25% of my lifetime as a Sox fan been enjoyable?

So I did some research.

For my purposes, I stipulated two things: (1) My lifetime of fandom begins in 1971. Sure, I was an infant and don’t remember anything, but fate had already dictated that I was going to be a Sox fan. (2) Any seasonal record of .500 or above counted as entertaining, enjoyable, good, or any other positive adjective you might prefer. While there are degrees of “good” and “misery,” and 1994 deserves a category all its own, I kept it simple here — winning a game was better than losing a game.

The results:

[Update: wissoxfan83 pointed out my error in 1982’s “verdict” column. It should, in fact, read “enjoyable.” I did not change the chart - all that reformatting and re-uploading, blah - but the stats in the paragraph below have been corrected accordingly.]

That’s 23 enjoyable seasons in my lifetime versus 26 seasons of misery, or 48%. Overall win-loss record from 1971-2018 was 3,798 wins against 3,835 losses, for a 0.498 winning percentage. Not the misery that I was expecting to see, but instead, the very definition of mediocrity — which, as any Sox fan can attest to, is its own form of misery.

Side note, since I’ve joined SSS, the Sox are 6-7 in games I’ve covered, a .461 winning percentage — again, the very definition of mediocrity.

This thought experiment showed me that, if nothing else, these past six or seven years have retroactively magnified the misery of years past, making the bad ones seem even worse than they actually were.