Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sox cap logo? It’s sorta real – even though some Sox fans wish it weren’t

The new film “Straight Outta Compton,” which purports to tell the story of the rap group N.W.A., is the latest bit of national attention destined to infuriate certain of those people who call themselves Chicago White Sox fans.

Who would have believed this historically-accurate cap
For the film included scenes that showed characters wearing Chicago White Sox caps – as in the black with the Olde English style “Sox” lettering that has been in use by the ball club for the past 25 seasons.

THE PROBLEM? IT’S that the scenes where those characters are wearing the Sox caps were in the early part of the film set in 1986 – which was 29 years ago.

Back in ’86 (when a chant of “Harold, Harold” on the South Side could mean either Baines or Washington), the White Sox wore those red, white and blue caps with “Sox” spelled out in block lettering.

Trust me. No self-respecting rapper or anyone interested in showing “ghetto-like” style would ever have worn such a cap!

There are those people who are now trying to trash on the film because of this one gaffe – which was probably meant to be a moment of accuracy in the film.

BECAUSE THE TRUTH is that when the White Sox adopted their current uniform design (timed for the opening of their new stadium in 1991), it became a trendy piece of headwear for the rap scene. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen photographs of rappers wearing “Sox” caps.

I’m told it is the color scheme – the solid black with white lettering. A certain bold statement without being too garish. Which is much the same reason that New York Yankees caps also are popular (even though that team’s dark blue is easily mistaken for black).

Actor Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E
I doubt there really are many fans of the Chicago White Sox among rap music fans. I usually presume that most of the people who wear ball caps these days have little interest in the actual teams themselves, or even baseball!

But I’m sure whoever did the costuming for “Straight Outta Compton” thought they were paying extra attention to detail by having a White Sox cap in the mix.

IF ONLY THAT one particular scene had been set a little later in the film, there wouldn’t have been any reason to question it. It would have been totally appropriate.

Which I know bothers some White Sox fans – although I personally think there are more important things for people to get upset about.

The real Eazy-E
Some would just as soon have no association with rap music – which I don’t particularly listen to (I’d rather hear Billie Holliday or Miles Davis anytime). But I also wonder if those people are really saying more about their own racial hang-ups rather than the music.

It was interesting to read the statement the White Sox themselves released about the alleged controversy – admitting that no one had seen the film yet, but also acknowledging a touch of pride that their logo got included in a nationally-distributed film.

“THE POPULAR BLACK and white look immediately enjoyed cross-cultural appeal,” the team said, according to the Chicago Tribune, while also acknowledging N.W.A., Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eazy-E, Chance the Rapper and Kendrick Lamar who all incorporated the Olde English “Sox” in their look.

My own Olde English is from the '05 World Series
There’s really nothing that could have been done to avoid this controversy – unless you want the film to not have its characters wear anything with the White Sox logo. Perhaps clad them all in Oakland (or Los Angeles) Raiders gear; which shared the same color scheme.

Except then, we’d probably be hearing from Sox fans about how their favorite club’s gear was being snubbed by Hollywood.

Some people are probably going to complain no matter what is done!


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