Skip to comments.Governor denies flip-flopping on baseball loyalties, (Rod Blagojevich, D-IL)
Posted on 05/27/2004 6:34:23 PM PDT by Land_of_Lincoln_John
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) Politicians may flip-flop on some issues, but Gov. Rod Blagojevich insisted Thursday that he has never wavered in his loyalty to the Chicago Cubs.
Risking a backlash from die-hard fans of other teams, Blagojevich rejected suggestions that he has sometimes flirted with the Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.
``Let me be clear: I am unabashedly a Cubs fan,'' Blagojevich said. ``I love the Cubs. When they play the Cardinals, I'm for the Cubs. When the Cubs play the White Sox, I'm for the Cubs.''
Blagojevich said he was simply being polite when he wore a White Sox jacket while throwing out the first pitch on opening day at a Sox game last year. And he said that telling a southern Illinois crowd ``I'm a Cardinals fan'' was a joking response to the region's strong support for him in the 2002 Democratic primary.
The governor's impassioned defense of his baseball loyalty came in response to questions about a story in Thursday's (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald, which cited a column published under his name in The Sporting News this month. The ``My Turn'' column says he ``bleeds Cubby blue and wouldn't wear a White Sox cap even if they made the World Series.''
Even as he defended his Cubs credentials, Blagojevich took issue with parts of the Sporting News piece.
``I didn't write that column,'' Blagojevich said Thursday. ``The guy who interviewed me wrote that. He interviewed me and then he put the substance of what I said in the column.''
Blagojevich said he did not vow never to wear a Sox cap. He said he told the reporter that he wouldn't suddenly switch to wearing a Sox cap if the team was successful and reached the World Series.
``I read that thing, and it kind of irritated me because I don't speak like that,'' he said at the end of a long news conference focused on the state budget.
Blagojevich said he did not realize his interview would be turned into a first-person column.
But the magazine's staff said Blagojevich's office approached them about doing the piece. ``My Turn'' is a regular feature.
``Though it's true Gov. Blagojevich's column was ghostwritten, as is routine in our industry, the version that appeared in The Sporting News was approved by the governor's staff,'' Executive Editor Bob Hille said in a statement. ``We stand by the column as written.''
Normally calm in his public appearances, Blagojevich was clearly irritated that his Cubs devotion was being questioned. He even took a jab at politicians who avoid taking a clear stand on sports.
``If you hear Sen. (Dick) Durbin, he's Cubs, he's Sox and the Cardinals,'' Blagojevich said. ``I'm a Cubs fan.''
Blagojevich grew up on Chicago's North Side, home of Wrigley Field, where the Cubs play in the National League. The city's fans are bitterly divided between the Cubs and American League White Sox, who play on the South Side. Downstate, the rivalry is just as intense between the Cubs and Cardinals.
Sounds like Governor Blago, D-IL, has been consulting Kerry's playbook.
Okay he looks all kinds of goofy in that photo. Blo-Jo is going down like a bad habit. His preference in teams is the least of his worries.
"The 'Cubs' are a nice, simple name for this team," he said, "so having a guy with a name like Rod Blagojevichiczodbrovmusiowidzikczarnotychiewicz doesn't do us a damn bit of good for public relations. Sh!t, I'm tired just from pronouncing that damned name."
Oh no ...
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