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Mismatched Sox: BBQ’ing The Team

by Ed Siebert

A note for those of you reading: Mismatched Sox is a weekly blog hastily thrown together by Sox in the Basement Co-Host Ed Siebert and is written to present you with White Sox and baseball thoughts in a manner that, frankly, thinks it is funny in the way that a 5-year-old on laughing gas is funny. While there will be facts here that will be factual, the opinions and other nonsense are neither reflective of anyone at Soxon35th.com nor believed or intended to cause any harm, but consult a blind periodontist and ask if this blog is right for you.

Festive! You can buy these plates here without the Sox logo (which is (C) MLB and The Chicago White Sox)

It draws near, the Fourth of July (4th of July, July 4th, Independence Day, July 4, and the day your left thumb died all as acceptable variants). The day heralded by the citizens and fans of the U.S. of A. as the day a shiny middle finger was uplifted towards tyranny and a monarch was gut-kicked and had his face jammed into the shoulder of a rapidly sitting bald eagle. That’s right, an eagle gave King George the Stone Cold Stunner. ‘MERICA!!!

That was slightly more intense than required, but nonetheless the 4th of July is marked by pretty explosions, engorging on grilled foods, probably more alcoholic beverages than most would ever admit, and Major League Baseball’s season reaching the halfway point in the schedule. Generally, if a team is good or bad, fans will have the general idea by July 4th as to whether their team is headed anywhere or whether to start thinking about fantasy football and who in their league is Joc Pederson levels of slap-worthy.

For the 2022 White Sox fan, there is some indecision as to whether the team is worth it or not. As most Chicago sports outlets will almost exclusively cover the Bears in the coming weeks and have their twitter handle dedicated to Willson Contreras’ trade status, for the Sox fan there will also be less opportunity for guidance. How a fan consumes their sports teams mirrors how the average stereotypical middle-American consumes their Independence Day. Not the movie Independence Day…that is to be consumed on basic cable. And Will Smith says “EarTH” not “EarFF”. And if Jeff Goldblum can save the planet, any time now good sir. Digression complete. Without further ado:

IF THE WHITE SOX ARE CONSUMED LIKE JULY 4 MEATS: This is where the fan will have the most opportunity to decide their own fate. Generally no one manning a grill has just one thing on the grill. At a minimum, burgers are surrounded by hot dogs with one veggie patty of something mixed in. Sometimes there’s a quesadilla involved. The masters run multiple grills or smokers to produce everything from ribs and chicken to multiple varieties of sausages with that one veggie whathaveyou. The quality and execution vary, but there’s options. Consumers can gorge until meat sweats are indistinguishable from heat sweats, or grab one thing and call it a day, or graze and go back from time to time until there are too many flies to feel comfortable.

For Sox fans, the biggest reward to consuming their favorite team this way is that they’ll end up with a stomach ache, heartburn or an outright heart attack, or still be hungry depending on their choices. But the choices are there. And they’ll either stay for longer than wanted or leave room for more later if things get interesting.

IF THE WHITE SOX ARE CONSUMED LIKE JULY 4 SIDES: Again with the options, but with less staying power and less filling, leaving room for other stuff. With this the Sox fan can leave room for spending time wondering just how ruined Justin Fields is compared to where he would be if the Patriots had drafted him. But the time to consume runs pretty quick and can’t be left unattended for long. The mayo will turn, the lettuce will wilt, the dips will become either soup or crusty, the fruit will effectively disintegrate. Act fast, grab all that’s wanted, move on. No shame. But be prepared to come back around later for sure.

IF THE WHITE SOX ARE CONSUMED LIKE JULY 4 DESSERTS: Sometimes there are other distractions. Sometimes there are other reasons to come late to the party. Sometimes fans need to step away and handle other things. Someone has to get ice, get the keg tapper, clean up after a parade, sleep off a July 3rd bender, play some horseshoes, whatever. There’s always desserts hanging around late in the afternoon. And who doesn’t like a good red, white, and blue cupcake or something frozen on a nice summer evening?

As the sun sets a Sox fan can grab something that’s hopefully sweet and satisfying. The biggest risk? Desserts are sometimes an afterthought and aren’t very good; just a $5 cheap package of something more decorative than substantive. The best is what came earlier. Things get sticky. But this is what the meat eaters and sides swipers will swing back around for to finish off the season. If a fan wants only dessert, they’ll either be there for a hint of what might have been or late to what has been, but either way this shouldn’t be all a fan takes in.

IF THE WHITE SOX ARE CONSUMED LIKE JULY 4 FIREWORKS: Forget the daytime, the action is when it is darkest. Fans in this form of consumption want things to burn. If the professionals aren’t available, the fan will celebrate the day their left thumb died over and over again. It will make that Carlos May hitman jersey pretty accurate, one one hand. But this isn’t as fun a way to be a fan or celebrate the USA as one might think. This is what makes it grand, the ability to look at the brightest flashes and flourishes, or just simply blowing it all to kingdom come. It is pure emotion, and a necessary part of fandom and celebrating the anniversary of needing to drink exclusively from handled cups. But without actual sustenance, without actually taking something internal, the fireworks end quickly and there’s nothing left. Well. Almost.

IF THE WHITE SOX ARE CONSUMED LIKE JULY 4 BEERS: You may have deep regrets when it is over, but beer is always there. And there are those who will stick to a Coke or just water, but those aren’t fans. There’s a level for every fan: the having one or two over the course of the day, a casual fan; the solid streamer (in and out), a solid fan if there ever was one; and then the guy who is passed out by the tree he was peeing on in the corner of the yard behind the shed…your diehards…because he’ll be there to yell at the fireworks later. This is a day when grandpa lets the kids take a sip, or the college kid finally gets to hoist one in the open, or the stoner aunt does a keg stand like outta nowhere. The ability to handle the beer, whether in extreme heat, a thunderstorm, around the kids, with an occasional seltzer (Cubs?) or something harder to take (Bearsss), there is admiration and appreciation across the board. Sox fans will always consume this way, mainly because it makes it easier to watch this team trip over itself like a toddler baton squad in a parade.

So pick your path, Sox fans. The rest of the season is laid out like a backyard BBQ on the most quintessential of summer days. Take it in the way you want, as much or as little. Crack one open. But regardless, remember, this is supposed to be fun. And when it’s over, we can curse the dehydration, random patches of sunburn, mosquito bites, and smoking remnants of the shed (oops), but know that in the dead of winter when the Bears, Bulls, and Hawks have left us tired of eggnog and soup, that we’ll look forward to next July. So enjoy it, however it ends, because there are guaranteed to be explosions along the way and that is always worth a look.


For the uninitiated, The Staff of Cork and Kerry refers not just to the people who work at the premiere place to pregame and post-game and otherwise celebrate Soxdom in the shadow of the ballpark and in Beverly, but it is also a mythical weapon that can smite thine enemies faster than they can say “turn on the fireworks”.

So which White Sox was worthy enough to wield the Staff of Cork and Kerry and hand out an Independence smiting? Gavin Sheets allegedly returned from AAA Charlotte and pumped out a .368 avg. with a 1.087 OPS, but as “Gavin” is rocking a goatee there is a chance he is really Gavin Sheets’ evil twin. So to be safe let’s give it to Josh Harrison, who was evidently just informed that the season is underway and responded with a week of .455 hitting with a 1.265 OPS.

Josh Harrison, nice to see you and you have successfully wielded this mighty weapon of lore.

Follow us @SoxOn35th and @SoxInTheBasemnt for more throughout the season!

Featured Image: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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