Are the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs still rivals?

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Every doctor in Illinois tells anyone who just had a baby if it is a boy or girl and then asks Sox or Cubs. That is how the story has always gone when it comes to loyalty to Chicago’s baseball teams.

There is no such thing as being fans of both, at least among the diehards.

You have two baseball teams defined by their location in the city. The Chicago Cubs represent the Northside and the mystique of Wrigley Field where the Old Style is always flowing. The Chicago White Sox represent the Southside of the city, the blue-collar, working-class area with a stadium that has the best food in baseball despite being unfairly stereotyped as located in an unsafe neighborhood.

The Chicago Bears may unite the city, but the Sox and Cubs divide it.

Well, it used to. The Cubs winning the World Series in 2016 along with the White Sox title window crashing shut, has cooled off the crosstown rivalry. It does not help that the Sox are historically bad, and the Cubs are struggling this season. These games might be more group therapy than hoping for bragging rights.

The rivalry may still exist culturally, but on the field, it is dead.

Cubbies Crib co-site expert Jake Meisner perfectly described how this rivalry died on the field from the Cubs fans' perspective...

With a historically bad White Sox team and a Cubs team that hasn't even been able to keep its head above water, it's hard to get as fired up about these games as back in the day. The good news, though, is these matchups always produce some sort of big moment that breathes life into the rivalry and keeps it going. Just ask Christopher Morel.

Honestly, given all the hype and fanfare that surrounded the White Sox as the Cubs' post-2016 window slammed shut, I'd say their inability to become a force during that stretch hurt this rivalry more than anything else in recent years. It's hard to call it a rivalry game when the biggest story surrounding the team is usually, in one way or another, Jerry Reinsdorf.

Yes, in short, it’s still a rivalry. But only because we share the same city. Not because of a high level of competition or anything.

Nick Murawski of FutureSox.net and the Good Guys Talk Back Podcast gave the Sox side of the rivalry's death, at least on the field.

The Cubs fan friends on my text chain have admitted this rivalry is dead. I took so much grief in 2003 from some of those guys that I grew to loathe the Cubs. I grew up with the tradition of watching the Cubs on WGN even if you were a Sox fan. Plus, my grandpa was a Cubs fan, so the rivalry bonded us.

It is amazing how winning a World Series after going 108 years without one will do to chill out a fanbase.

Now, the jokes and good-natured ribbing will always take place between the two fanbases. Cubs' fans are always going to point out that Sox fans never go to games and pay for tickets in Marlboro Miles while rocking mullets. Sox fans will always think of Cubs fans as partygoers who would know nothing about baseball. How else do you describe a loyal following that went 108 years without a World Series?

Sure, Sox fans were puffing out their chests briefly when the Sox had an early 5-0 lead during last night's 7-6 loss to the Cubs. Based on experience, I can bet Cubs fans were giving Sox fans a hard time leaving Wrigley.

This used to be a rivalry of good, old-fashioned hate.

In 2006, Cubs catcher Michael Barrett punched White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski right in the face. Ozzie Guillen loved to complain about Wrigley Field when he was managing the team. Cubs fans had to watch the Sox break their World Series curse first in 2005. Well, some of them did not out of pettiness, but hey that is how heated the rivalry got.

Then the Sox fans had to watch the Cubs snap their 108-year curse in 2016 and not be able to regain the most recent title in the city with a failed rebuild.

Since both teams are struggling right now, it might be more commiserating than rivalry Wednesday night. Dysfunction and incompetence have the White Sox being historically awful right now. Not making enough offseason moves has the Cubs in their current state. The Cubs still have hope to turn things around this season and that is because they are playing the White Sox right now.

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