One of my favorite quotes in history comes from Chicago's old mayor/dictator Richard J. Daley. It was made in the wake of the Grant Park protests that turned into a clubbing spree during the '68 Democratic Convention and there's a good chance you're familiar with it.
Boss: "The police are not here to create disorder; they're here to preserve disorder."
What's strange is that you could say the same for Chicago's Crosstown Classic. In a town where Lou Piniella and Ozzie Guillen play ringmaster for their own separate circuses, everything only tends to get nuttier when they meet for six games a year. While the past week has been blissful for those of us who live here — temperatures have been in the San Diego-like low '80s — we know that everything is about to heat up. For the first time since they started meeting regularly in 1997, both teams are in first place.
Though the first pitch of Game 1 in still a few hours away, the craziness has already started.
Take, for example, this quote from today's South Side starter, John Danks.
''We'll all be bringing our nose plugs, try not to smell all the urine over there (at Wrigley Field) ... 'Nah, we're looking to have fun over there, but that place is a [bleep] hole.''
Or from White Sox general manager, Kenny Williams (also from the S-T):
"We might as well be in two different cities. The unfortunate thing for me is it's a shame that a certain segment of Chicago refused to enjoy a baseball championship being brought to their city. The only thing I can say is, 'Happy anniversary.'"
Or this anecdote, from a friend of mine who hails from a "split" family. As I post this, her father, a Cubs fan, is undergoing heart surgery. My friend, a Sox fan, is sitting in the waiting room and just got this text from her sister (who's obviously also a Sox fan):
"As dad comes out of the anesthesia, try to make him believe that he's a White Sox fan."
There are countless other examples of such fever if you do a search for Cubs-Sox rivalry or if you take a lap around the baseball blogosphere today. There are undoubtedly more to come after this weekend's series, which the White Sox enter after completing a sweep over the Pirates and the Cubs crawl into after being victimized the opposite way down in Tampa.
Here on the Stew, we'll have plenty of coverage of the possible World Series preview (hey, I can label it whatever I wish) and, during Sunday night's nationally televised game, both David Brown and I will produce our first Big League Stew live blog. One of us plans to be on the Wrigley Field grounds, though we haven't flipped the coin yet to see who has to put himself in harm's way.
Should be a fun one, though. That sound? I think it's the city already starting to quake.