This past Labor Day weekend I traveled to Chicago, where I rode the el to the South Side and took in the White Sox-Indians game. I hadn’t been to New Comiskey Park in about a decade, but not much has changed: The stadium is still incredibly ugly and the vendors still charge way too much for Sox memorabilia. (I paid 25 bucks for my new Paul Konerko T-shirt). I fully anticipated these slight annoyances, and the excellent chocolate churros they sell on the third base side more than made up for them.

After purchasing my stick of fudge-filled fried dough and finding my seat, I sank down into the blue plastic chair and watched Sox starting pitcher Gary Glover warm up in the bullpen. That’s when the trouble started.

You see, the fans should have been crazy during this game. This series was after all, a chance for the Sox to get into a pennant race. But the loudest cheers from inside the stadium did not come when Glover struck out the side, nor when Carlos Lee made a leaping play to save a home run in left field. They came during the dot race. That’s right, a bunch of pixels moving on the Jumbotron. Wowee.

What’s more, South Siders apparently don’t yell encouragement to their team at more than a whisper unless the “noise-o-meter” is up on the big screen instructing them to shout their heads off. I guess having the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth just doesn’t do it for some people.

What takes the cake is the music. I really don’t see why adonna has to be blared between pitches, distracting the batter, the pitcher and those trying to enjoy the game. If you actually like hearing that stuff at a ballgame, please stay home and watch TV.

You may not believe what I’m going to say next, but the events of Monday night caused me to miss Kehoe Field. Yes, I know you’re thinking of the inadequate tin benches, the hideous Astroturf and the long trek up the hill and are now asking, “What is this guy smoking?” At Kehoe, however, I can get a hot dog for less than $4.50. At Kehoe, I don’t have to listen to ‘NSync come over the sound system between downs. And at Kehoe, I certainly don’t have to watch any dot races.

College football, perhaps more than any other major spectator sport, is about purity and tradition. For example, suggest to somebody from Lincoln, Neb. that the Huskers quit running the option offense. You will end up in a bloody pile on the floor. I like being able to go to a game and know that when one team scores a touchdown, their fight song, not the latest piece of pop trash, will tingle my eardrums. I like to hear a little non-noise-o-meter-induced school spirit. Did I mention that I absolutely love that there are no dot races?

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