Saturday, August 3, 2019

St. Louis Cardinals are like the Fighting Irish in their local fans amongst us

The Illinois secretary of state’s office has come up with what is, in some ways, just another money-making scheme – license plates allowing baseball fans to show their love of the St. Louis Cardinals.
For the set surviving around Effingham
Meaning one can get an official plate for their automobile that includes the famed “birds on bat” logo that the Cardinals have used for nearly a century. I can envision many residents of Southern Illinois choosing to identify their automobiles with such a plate.

PARTIALLY, IT MAY be a further way of identifying one as not being a part of Chicago.

But considering that the secretary of state’s office has offered specialized license plates identifying with colleges and sports teams for decades, it’s kind of shocking that they didn’t sign up with the Cardinals a long time ago.

For the Gateway Arch that is the prominent symbol of downtown St. Louis is visible for miles around into Illinois. Heck, Illinois includes a piece of the St. Louis metropolitan area amongst its residents – even though I don’t doubt that many Missourians wish they could somehow distance themselves from East St. Louis.

And some do think it bizarre that Illinois government would be willing to recognize a Missouri-based sports team.

BUT IF THE Secretary of State’s office has acknowledged both the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs with official license plates and there is a significant chunk of Illinois where the locals don’t pay much attention to either team, then I suppose it’s only common-sensical to include the Cardinals in the sporting mix.
For sensible baseball fans

For what it’s worth, the state uses the money from the $69 fee charged of motorists who can’t just have a generic number identifying their automobile to support a state fund meant to benefit public schools.

Which almost sounds a bit like the rhetoric we’ve heard for so many years about Illinois Lottery money supporting education. We’ll see someday if there are merits to the rhetoric.

Or is this just an ego-boost to sports fans who want to say “shove it” to the fans of other teams.

NOW I KNOW the state is claiming this is the first sports team from out-of-state they’re acknowledging with their own license plate. Although I’d question the accuracy of such an over-statement.
For Fighting Irish faithful

Because the state also has a series of license plates acknowledging assorted public and private colleges. One of the schools included is none-other-than Hoosier-based University of Notre Dame. Where Fighting Irish football rules, regardless of which side of State Line Road one happens to live upon.

Is it really any more unusual for someone in Illinois to root, root, root for the Cardinals any more than the Irish football?

Besides, I personally will get a bit of a kick out of watching Chicago Cubs baseball fans be forced to acknowledge the fallacy of their biggest myth – that the entirety of the world roots for the Cubbies.

JUST THINK OF when Southern Illinois residents feel compelled to make the drive to Wrigley Field to catch a ballgame, and Cubs fans will see just now many people are present to root against them.

There is, however, one gripe I still have about such license plates – mainly that even though it has been a couple of decades since the collegiate plates were created, they still haven’t gotten around to offering up one in the green-and-white colors of my Illinois Wesleyan University alma mater.
For those who are just determined to be different
One can literally show their support for Milliken University in Decatur or the West Side’s Malcolm X College, And now even for the Cardinals.

Yet I’m still waiting for the day I can proclaim Fighting Titan loyalties while driving my car. Even though, to be truthful, I might well turn out to be too cheap to shell out the $69 fee (charged on top of the regular cost of registering a car) to actually buy the plate!


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