You hit upon a point that I brought out in my "Sox and the Media" series here at WSI ... I was making some points regarding media coverage but there are also things that apply to the notion of fans showing up. You touched on some of it exactly in my opinion:
Let's my repost a part of it:
"The new century started with some of the same old problems dogging the Sox via the media, namely, attendance. A young White Sox team surprised everybody by winning 95 games on their way to a divisional title yet many were fixated on the fact the Sox werenít drawing the way a top team should. Mark Giangreco, the sports anchor at WLS-TV became the target of a lot of Sox fans who ripped him for showing practically every time he had home highlights, a shot of empty blue seats.
Itís strange that every five years or so the Chicago media needed to be reminded of certain truths about Sox fans. Namely they wonít support mediocrity, they donít think losing is cute and they reserve judgment on a team until it has proven themselves to them. How do these truths apply to the 2000 White Sox and attendance?
The Sox had four losing seasons out of the previous five years. The 2000 club was a shock and many fans were sure ultimately they wouldnít succeed (and they were right.) The infamous ĎWhite Flag Tradeí was three seasons removed and the labor impasse of which Jerry Reinsdorf played such a large part was only six years removed.
White Sox fans have long memories.
One other factor often overlooked by the media when they discuss attendance, that badly hurts the Sox is this. Of all the original 16 pre expansion major league clubs, the White Sox are the only one to have never made the postseason in consecutive seasons.
Many times they come literally out of nowhere to have a good season and when they are expected to win in the future, in order to build trust with the fan base and keep the momentum going, they fail.
Many times badly.
Think of 1968, 1973, 1984, 1995, 2001 and 2006. Of those six years for example, only twice did they even have a winning season. Many Sox fans to this day canít figure out (and neither can the media) how the White Sox with their market-size, payroll advantages, higher valued radio / TV / internet deals and advertising opportunities have never been able to dominate the division much like the Yankees and Red Sox do in the A.L. East. Cleveland did it in the 1990ís in the Central, Minnesota did it in the 2000ís in the Central but that goal has eluded managementís best efforts.
Sox fans are a skeptical bunch and only making the postseason every so often isnít helping matters to say nothing of only two World Series appearances since 1919."