The visit by President Obama this week raised new concerns about security and disruptions that will coincide with the upcoming G-8 summit and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) scheduled for May 19 – 21 right here in Chicago.
Security is a concern because of the number of world leaders converging here and the possibility that groups hostile toward various leaders and other causes may cause havoc on the conference and the city.
What organizers have probably not planned for was the pending confrontation between two groups that have a long history or hatred.
A long history of fighting over territorial rights.
A long history of flamboyant leaders.
A long history of striving to control the city’s media.
A long history of questionable tactics.
These groups are so divided that they seldom feel safe approaching each other’s borders.
We’re talking Cubs fans and Sox fans.
Check the calendar, check the Cubs schedule and check the Sox schedule.
Guess who plays who that weekend.
Yep. It’s the first inter-league series between the North Siders and the South Siders. The three-game series is at Wrigley Field May 18-19-20.
We should have known this was coming, because it puts a lot of things into perspective.
The scheduling of the G-8 Summit and NATO conference the same time as the Cubs-Sox series could have been at the root of sending Ozzie Guillen as far south as possible without forcing him out of the country.
The same, ironically enough, holds true for Carlos Zambrano. Can you imagine both of them at the same stadium competing against each other with world leaders 20 minutes away?
As they’d say in the old country – oy.
So with Zambrano and Guillen sent packing, the city can focus on security and preparing the visiting leaders to cope, well maybe understand the turmoil that is uniquely to Chicago.
To ease help G-8 and NATO participants understand the nature of the situation, the city of Chicago will need to make a few things clear.
For example, participants will need to understand Cubs fans aversion to goat. While the most consumed red meat in all part of the world outside the United States, delegates should be told that Cubs fans still blame the mischievous mutton for the lack of World Series appearances since 1945 and titles since 1908.
Understanding the differences between Sox and Cubs fans will be a challenge as well. How can you explain why Wrigley Field often doubles as the world’s largest singles bar and day care center, while Comiskey, err, U.S. Cellular Field is a place where, as the late Mike Royko once wrote “...men can be men and so can the women…”
It’s not going to be easy, especially if they choose to ask Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and/or President Obama about the pending confrontation. This will be especially troublesome considering Emanuel’s allegiance is to the North Side while Obama’s lies to the South.
And just imagine what happens as delegates get set to adjourn and schedule the next meeting and location.
“When should we meet again,” someone will ask.
“How about next year?”
Someone will need to explain one more thing to them.
Next year never comes in Chicago.