In 1990 there was this “little” band from Seattle that got a new singer from San Diego. The band was Pearl Jam, the singer was Eddie Vedder. Unless you live under a rock, I am sure you have heard of him. Eddie was in the clubhouse in 2016 when the Cubs won the NLCS / World Series. Eddie is a good friend of Theo Epstein. All signs point to Ed being a Cubs fan, but guess what? When he was making his mark on this world, he didn’t wear a Cubs hat. He wore a black White Sox hat.
In the early 90’s, the Cubs weren’t cool. All of the attention was to the south on a team making some noise with young players. Robin Ventura. Frank Thomas. “Black” Jack McDowell. That last guy was a wild card. His attitude matched his pitching style and behind the scenes he played in “alternative” bands. Eddie and Jack were friends, brought together by their girlfriends, and became drinking buddies. Rumor is that the hat was a gift from Jack. Lotta angst in Eddie and much the same in Jack. Peas in a pod. Then in 1993, this happened –
In November 1993, Pearl Jam arrived in New Orleans for three sold-out concerts at the UNO Lakefront Arena. While in town, Vedder and company also recorded two songs for their third album at producer Daniel Lanois’ now-defunct Kingsway Studio on Esplanade Avenue.
In the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 18, Vedder and his buddy Jack McDowell, a Cy Young Award-winning pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, decided to blow off a little steam on lower Decatur Street.
Around 4:30 a.m., they got into an altercation with James Gorman, a Terrytown waiter, and Anthony Martinez, a bouncer at the Crystal nightclub. Shoving and spitting escalated to punches. McDowell was knocked unconscious, and went to the hospital for stitches. Vedder went to jail, booked with public drunkenness and disturbing the peace.
Hours later, he posted a $600 cash bail and was released. The incident was splashed across the front of The Times-Picayune, under the headline “Slam Jam,” on Nov. 19. That night, Pearl Jam played its final show at the Lakefront Arena, then left town.
I remember the news going crazy. Jack was forbidden from hanging out with Eddie. That’s what my dad said anyways and he doesn’t lie. This was crazy Eddie. Fun Eddie. White Sox Hat Wearing Eddie Vedder. You kids remember that Eddie Vedder? I do.
Is that not enough for you?
All this crazy Eddie stuff happened during the days when he rocked that Sox hat. Coincidence? Nah. Hell nah. Cause that hat gives ya balls! He was climbing up speaker towers. Trusses. Stage diving into the crowd. He was as the young kids say, LIT. But then, after 3 hit albums, numerous tours, millions of fans, Eddie starts talking about being a Cubs fan. And that’s when the change happened.
Yep, that’s Cub Fan Eddie. I don’t think I really need to post any more pictures but hey, I like to make a point and slam it home like Shaq (with a sweet assist from Penny!) in NBA Jam.
CHICAGO, IL – OCTOBER 22: John Lackey #41 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates with musician Eddie Vedder after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in game six of the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Remember the album after Vitalogy? Nope. NO ONE DOES. It was No Code, but you don’t know shit about it cause PJ went underground and Eddied started loving on the Cubs. Yep. The underground PJ years are directly related to the Cubs suck that gets stuck to anything they are associated with. Tribune went bankrupt, coincidence? Hell naw.
Now listen, I have no problem with Ed or Pearl Jam. I have been to several concerts, danced to a PJ song at my wedding, belong to the fan club, but I wouldn’t consider myself a die hard. Which sounds odd to most people but seriously they have some really serious die hards. But my PJ fandom is not the fandom at hand. It’s Eddie’s with the Cubs.
I don’t know about you, but as a Sox fan, I have never worn a Cubs hat. Not a single time from what I can recall. Side note – I remember as a young guy, as an aspiring white rapper, wanting to be the first one to wear Illinois gear. When Kris Kross did it in their video, I was crushed. Fuck you Kriss Kross. Ruined my dream.
Anyways, if I ever became a star in the public realm, no way in hell I am reppin’ another teams hat, jersey, shirt, whatevs. Eddie is what BeefLoaf would call a “false flagger”. I see him using that hat as a tool to garner that street cred that a young band needs. As they got famous, Eddie picked up the blue and red and started flying that W flag. What a douchey move.
Listen I expect a guy like John Cusack to flip flop like a limp noodle. He’s an actor, a good actor mind you (fucking loved Say Anything, don’t @ me), but still a flip flopping actor. But I don’t expect the guy who took on Ticketmaster to be so spineless when it comes to team fandom. Hell, this guy wears PACKERS jerseys but he’s a BEARS fan. Don’t believe me? Feast up doubters –
Kinda makes you sick huh? It’s ok, he’s still the same guy, just false flags when it will get him some props. Which as a die-hard just makes me lose respect. Do you know how many times when I lived out west when I told them I was from Chicago they responded with “So you’re a Cubs fan right?” The words “Fuck No” couldn’t get out of my mouth fast enough. It’s hard out there/here for a Sox fan. We had 2005 and (at least) a solid 3 years after that that we were given some props, but nowadays it just business as usual. Cubs finally won one, so ya know, they are the best. Blah, blah, fucking blah.
In conclusion, White Sox Hat Wearing Eddie Vedder is some much cooler than Cubs Fan Ed. So, enjoy your lame Eddie Vedder north siders! Much like Harry Caray, we had him first, when he was young and hungry. And shirtless.
There might be a part 3 of this on the “future” there might not be. It might come soon, it might come later, or it might never come. But do me a favor and wear that Sox hat loud and proud. Be like our man Chris M. and own a billion Sox hats, because you are gonna need some variety to wear when we are demolishing teams left and right in 2020. The future is bright, but we’ll still be rocking black.
PS- Go vote in our White Sox Twitter Tournament on the Twitter. Find out all the info here! Thanks to all who voted for me to beat Mrs. Chorizy in my 1st round matchup. She is a famous actor (Chicago PD anyone?) so I knew it would be tough.
ALSO – Congrats to Loyola, can’t wait to see them in the Final Four and then trowing out the first pitch on a shitty weather Opening Day. Maybe we’ll get Sister Jean too. But maybe she should stay home, don’t need her getting a cold in what promises to be a shitty weather day per usual. Colds are really bad to old people. Dr. Feelgood told me that.