Column: Views from an outsider

By Joshua George

“How’s it going? Goddamn they’re beating their ass!”

“Yes, yes indeed,” I tell the security guard who has just come down to check the score of the Bulls game. My head is buried in my hands as I sit in my apartment’s lower level watching the Bulls treat the Wizards like a bunch of chumps on the big screen in Game Two of the opening round.

The NBA playoffs are back again, this time without a re-worded Black Eyed Peas song about getting intoxicated out of your gourd, and I would just like to say that I am very excited the Bulls are back in the playoffs. Although I must say, I want them to lose. What can I say? I’m a transplant from the D.C. suburbs and have been pulling for my Wizards/Bullets to make it back to the promise land ever since Michael Jordan beat up on the Chris Webber experimented Bullets.

But I am still excited for the Bulls. In my short stay here in the Midwest, I have learned to greatly appreciate the amazing fans that Chicagoland produces. It is such a great sports city and has waited too many years for the Bulls to make it back to the playoffs.

My first real taste of Chicagoland fans came, of course, in the fall of 2003 when the Cubs made a triumphant return to the postseason beating the Braves in the NLDS and ultimately falling apart against the Marlins in the NLCS.

I just remember every time there was a game, the halls of my residence hall would empty out as people packed into their rooms to watch. Groans and cheers could be heard from anywhere in the building for the next two hours and then, based on the outcome of the game, for the rest of the evening. Shoot, I came from a city that struggled to sell out a hockey arena during its team’s trip to the Stanley Cup.

I remember first coming here and finding it amazing that everyone from Chicagoland, male or female, owned a Cubs hat or, in the case of the Southsiders, a White Sox hat. I remember thinking that maybe it was sacrilege to not own a blue cap with a red “C” on it. I almost went out to buy one. It was amazing to me, coming from the sleepy sports town that is D.C., how much people cared about their Cubs (or Sox). It didn’t even matter if you liked baseball or not. If you were from Chicago or the surrounding suburbs you knew how your ball club was doing.

I’m a little disappointed I didn’t take advantage of all the first hand Chicago fan experience I could have gained during my freshman year when the Bears played at wonderful Memorial Stadium. Unfortunately, I had yet to grow acclimated to the intense sports culture and was too busy crying into my pillow over the demise of my beloved Washington Redskins. Bears fans you can sympathize with me. It’s hard to root for a team that does nothing but disappoint. Looking ahead, it appears the Bears will be taking on the Redskins to start off the season in what promises to be the same offensive slugfest we saw last season. Quarterback woes, quarterback woes.

So I am happy that the Bulls are back in the playoffs. Passionate, intelligent fans deserve playoff teams. But I have to say the first two games of the series killed me. Jameson, please restrict your offense to the inside and let Arenas take care of the three ball. And Nocioni, where the hell did you come from? I broke out my Wizards hat for Games Three and Four, though, and it seemed to work. Two more, baby.