James Duda Interview

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White SOCKS!

If you are a White Sox fan, and you are on Facebook, you should already know about Chicago White Sox Pride & Passion.  If you don’t, check it out.  But don’t check it out if you can’t take weekly mood swings by our fan base.  If we win, it’s all good, but the recent struggles that the Sox have faced are putting alot of fans on the edge just daring them to jump.  With close to 14k members, it is by far the biggest White Sox group on Facebook.  It was started by a mortal man named James Duda. James is a big fan.  Crazy big.  He shoots from the hip and unlike a certain message board admins, he allows everyone to speak their mind.  To my knowledge the only things he doesn’t let you run your mouth about is the Cubs, which everyone as Sox fans shouldn’t talk about anyways, and he only wants one game thread.  He is a true blue American and Sox fan.

I have been involved on several White Sox message boards for many years.  I don’t wanna advertise them, but many computer loving Sox fans will know the two I was on.  One was very tight, very censored and you’d get banned at the drop of a hat.  One was pretty free form, allowed about anything.  I posted on both these boards during my 50 for under 500 days, got alot of reads, made a bunch of friends.  I am not sure how I was added into the Pride and Passion, but I know I was there within the first few thousand.  James added me as a friend and I just watched it grow.  Pretty sure my first post was about bobbleheads and it was met with a mixed response.

When we started this blog, I knew I wanted to do some interviews and I am honored to have my first be James Duda.  He’s just like us all.  Irrational, loves his Sox and is tired of the apathy that we see from our organization. So enjoy! Interview was done on 5/3 before the Sox epic collapse.

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Favorites

Favorite Game You’ve Saw Live – Game 2 of the 2005 World Series. Paulie slam,Pods walk off.

Favorite All-Time Player Without a Statue on the Concourse – Ozzie Guillen

Favorite Drink and Dinner at Ballpark – I don’t drink, so water. I usually bring it in.  I’ll occasionally have a brat..never buy anything inside the stadium.

Brat with kraut only. .pretty much all I’ll buy there.

Favorite Place to Sit- Back of the premium lower boxes 135 and 128 in the shade and 526 and 527 first 6 rows in the upper deck. Also love the same in the Club Level and Home Plate Club, but can’t afford it.

Favorite Uniform – I don’t have one and don’t care what they wear. Just win.

Favorite Giveaway – Anything I can sell for a lot of money (I never keep the giveaways, always sell and put the money towards the following years tickets). I did keep a White Sox luggage tag which I always use, LOL. I like the magnet schedules too.

Favorite Theme Night – Mullet Night, cause I like 80’s music.

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Not Favorites

What Irks Me Most About Sox Fans- Their never ending excuses about not attending games.

What is the Worst Part of Being a Sox Fan – Knowing that the owner reinsdorf couldn’t give two shits about the fans that loyally give his business money.

In park food and drink (dislikes) – Don’t really eat there much, but once got a corned beef sandwich that i told them no mustard and they scraped it off (was ready made and i never got one again). That was the worst I’ve probably ever had from the park.

Worst Part of Game Day Experience (and how it can be changed)– The opening montage which they completely have botched since last year. They can change it back to The Pirates of the Caribbean theme. …but honestly I don’t pay attention to any GameDay shit. I’m on my phone or talking in between innings and setting up my check in and Facebook status before the game.

What Really Grinds Your Gears – Cheapness from the organization, when I spend tons of time and money to be there. Example- implementing ticket-less entry cause they wanted to eliminate having to send out tickets. CHEAP.

Most Memorable Experience as a Sox Fan– Being at games 1 and 2 of the World Series with my father and being at the blackout game with Amber.

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Things the White Sox Front Office Does Well- They are loyal to their employees but too businesslike and corporate to ever relate to fans. This goes straight to the top.

Ballpark Experience How Could it be Better- just get people in and out smoothly ,open more gates for entry, hire more people with these new metal detectors so ifmt can go smoother

Deep Thoughts With James

Intro – I don’t like the new one at all and now I ignore it altogether. It’s irrelevant to me.

What Brings Me Back for Every Game- I just love watching live White Sox baseball. And now with all the friends I’ve made, it makes each game an event in itself.

Feelings On The Wave– Ridiculous, hate it! I hold Ambers arms down just so she doesn’t participate in it.

13151413_10153776806389107_4774405941117294161_n Feelings On MGD– Don’t drink beer, don’t care what they sell.

Feelings on not being able to get pizza slices delivered to your seat– I don’t really care about that. I’m a do-it-yourself type of guy,  I don’t want the service. I’ll go up and get it myself.

Why did I start the group– So I’d have a place to sound off about the team and my pet peaves daily. I needed full control as I have been kicked out of many groups and others just were too lame for me . I knew I could do much better, and I have.

How did the group grow so large so fast– I added 150 friends to start and they started adding their friends so it was multiplying. Then I went in all of the other groups I was in and advertised the group (this grew it by hundreds if not thousands instantly). Then I went back when we are at around 4,000 and asked everyone to add their friends which they continue to do to this day and we’re still growing. Some people added their entire friends lists!

Feelings on some of the regular posters – I’m friends with most of these people and some I get annoyed with. Most I participate in and some I ignore. The group is all about freedom of speech (within reason) so I’m fine with whatever generally.

WSI (White Sox Interactive) or SoxTalk –  WSI…used to love the website but its old and stale now (Facebook groups are much easier to participate in). As to the WSI group, I never really liked it, just too controlled for me you can’t really speak your mind. I was booted from there by the only admin George Bova for no apparent reason . He completely ruined the WSI name with his handling of the group, kicking people out at random etc. It’s basically fanboy central. If your a happy fan you can stay, if you criticize management in any way your gone eventually. That’s how he runs it. Bova is a carpet bagger anyway (he lives in Connecticut).  I’m not gonna have a guy in Red Sox country tell me what’s what. SoxTalk….never really went there much but from what I have seen, similar to WSI with maybe a few more stat geeks involved. The owner Michael Gresham is another self important fanboy just like George Bova. Gresham kicked me out for advertising my group.

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What famous people are in the group? – I prefer not to give away peoples identities, but let’s just say we have a bunch of ex players/coaches. Also a few front office people. Jack McDowell regularly participates in the group (I’ll name him cause people know already).

Who has contacted me through the group– Pretty much everyone. I got a few messages from Scott Merkin (Sox beat writer) who seems to be a nice guy.

The Donny Cooper Story – Ok, I added him about a month into creating the group, don’t remember if someone added him or if he came in his own. He never participated in the group but was randomly private messaging members trying to set them straight. I got messages telling me to be a fan of another team (and he still accepted my friend request lol). My wife got one calling her a jagoff and many other friends got similar messages from him. My guess was he was getting wasted at home and was online and just started spouting off. Anyway, after I broadcast his remarks towards my wife and me he left the group. It’s still a joke we tell today. What a tool. He blocked me before I could respond to him. I had the private messages in my spam box, Amber was able to respond and had a conversation with him which he was mostly backtracking and apologizing trying to make peace.

What’s my greatest fear about this team – Chris Sale gets hurt with his violent arm action.

What excites me most about the team- The pitching. We are loaded from top to bottom.

Downside of 2016 White Sox – Robin Ventura.

Upside of 2016 White Sox – Again, pitching. Frazier hitting behind Abreu as well.

Thoughts on Front Office – Want them all gone. Hahn could stay cause he’s been working off a shoestring budget (Jerry’s famous budget). Ken Williams has got to go. Ventura is not MLB manager material and never was.

Personal

Do You Ever Eat at Home- Yes,a lot during the off-season mostly.

Are You Wealthy – No, I’m a doorman that works full time 7am-3pm Monday-Friday by the lake front. Not wealthy at all. Earn everything I have.

How Much Do You Spend Per Game – Only pay for tickets. Never anything else.

Is Your Wife a Saint – Yes,she is. No other woman would put up with this lifestyle. Luckily for me she loves Sox baseball just as much as I do.

Kids- No. Never.

Lucky Hat – I wear a white ’83 hat for day games and a black Sox hat for night games. Both have season ticket pins on them.

What’s in Your Bag That I Take To Games- Usually a hoody just in case, 4 bottles of water and a phone charger.

Are You Gonna Run for President – No, I hate politics and don’t want fame or fortune.

What is my Favorite Baseball Word – Don’t have one.

What Gets Me Excited about White Sox baseball- The potential of another playoff run and potential World Series. Once you’ve been to the top of the mountain, it’s a high you will always chase as a fan.

What sound at the ballpark do you love- The crack of the bat with a good homer.

What is your favorite Hawkism –  HE GONE.

What position would you attempt for the White Sox – Probably the marketing guy (Brooks Boyers job).

What position wouldn’t you want – GM….no way.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear Minnie Minoso say when you arrive at the pearly gates?  I’m not religious and don’t believe in after life so question is irrelevant.

Thank you very much James Duda.  You sir are an inspiration to all of us that wish we could just go to every Sox game and eat out 2 times a day.  You are the Lord of the Beef Sandwich, killer of bottled water. Keep doing you.

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