Within a matter of weeks, the Chicago Cubs broke my heart and stole my punch line.
It all began with me, knowing nothing about the Cubs Organization’s controversial renovation plans, saying to a friend that I thought a really funny date idea would be to get dressed up in Cubs gear and get fake-engaged on the Jumbotron at Wrigley Field (I mean months into the relationship, not the third date or anything). It would poke a little fun at the stereotypical Wrigleyville types, make a good YouTube video, and be a really great Chicago memory. However, I was informed that Wrigley Field is the only major league baseball stadium without a Jumbotron. It was a crushing blow.
I started reading about the issue with the intention of writing an article calling for a Jumbotron so that I could fulfill my fake-engagement dreams, but couldn’t help but be taken with the sincerity of Cubs fans’ love for Wrigley Field and the romantic notion of keeping its historical integrity intact. Everyone I asked about it spoke of remembering going to their first Cubs game with his or her grandpa, and how Wrigley Field was like a museum, and special in that way.
I started to feel bad about the Jumbotron joke, and decided that if I was to go forward with my article I would have to additionally propose the most audacious, ridiculous and offensive changes I could possibly think of in order for it to be clear that I was only kidding and really did support the city of Chicago in their commitment to preserving one of their most important historical landmarks.
Little did I know that while I was thinking of a Jumbotron, a club, and a fusion restaurant as quite incendiary topics, the Cubs were about to announce that very weekend that they were planning to make some of the same changes that I had proposed in my joke, and that the historical integrity argument had been thrown entirely out of the window. As someone who only experienced a week of loving the nostalgia of Wrigley Field, I found it sad and cannot imagine how this would feel to lifelong Cubs fans. It is certainly not your grandpa’s ballpark anymore.
The upside to this situation is that apparently I am a marketing genius, possibly psychic, and am evidently in the vanguard of some very important changes in the Cubs Organization’s attempts to increase the “real estate landscape” of Wrigley Field.
Therefore, I have come up with the following suggestions for the Cubs’ owners and management team that I think would be extremely helpful in their attempts to gut, rehab, and upgrade Wrigley Field to the standards of their surrounding neighborhood. Call it a gift.
As Americans we all know that newer is always better, and that nostalgia is for losers. Why stop at bringing Wrigley Field into last century? This is an opportunity to change not only the way the nation views the Cubs, but the entire sport of baseball. Who are these historical preservationists, anyway? Let’s shove those nerds back into the lockers where they belong!
I think that the Cubs’ announcement has made it clear that if there’s one thing that baseball is not about, it’s history.
If we are going to embrace the future we have to get rid of the past, so let’s deal with a few of those messy landmarks. I suggest a full-on fire sale. We can call it “The Great Chicago Fire Sale.” If we are talking profits boys, that ivy has got to go. Money is obviously more important than plants and it is only taking up valuable Budweiser advertising space. Sell that antiquated scoreboard to the Rock n’ Roll McDonalds in exchange for the rights to the McCub sandwich (which I assume would be a club sandwich with no lettuce). Replace the old-fashioned marquis with a new logo designed by Shepard Fairey. Look what he did for Obama. Selling the naming rights could also bring in some quick cash and spruce up Wrigley Field’s image. Willis Tower Field has a nice ring to it.
I assume that a Jumbotron plan is already underway, so I say let’s be the first at something for once and get a 3D Jumbotron. In addition, wouldn’t Cubs fans prefer if we replaced their old seating with new chairs with surround sound and a personal screen on the back of every chair, perhaps also in 3D? It’s a safe bet that every man, woman and child at every game already is carrying an iphone, so once the Jumbotron is up, we could launch an app where the fans and players could tweet about the game on the bottom of the screen in real time — in 3D! Another brilliant idea would be to bank on my engagement idea and offer a special proposal package with roses, a giant diamond ring shaped like a can of Old Style hidden inside of a box of Cracker Jacks, and a mid-game player serenade of “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” That would make a killing.
On the topic of music, I think that this sky deck for fans to mingle freely is a fabulous idea, but why not make it a dance club as well? We should have Lady Gaga open. It will appeal to a newer, younger generation of Cubs fans, and Lady Gaga loves baseball. I like this idea of using Wrigley Field for a Bruce Springsteen concert, based purely on the irony of his album being titled “Wrecking Ball,” but let’s face it, the Boss is getting a little… well, let’s just say that he still has “historical integrity.” Get with the times and think Beiber. Teenage girls are America’s largest consumer group and the Cubs are ignoring this market to our own detriment. Win the hearts of tweens across the nation with a movie, or even a movie series, with a heartthrob cast where all of the Cubs players are vampires. Call it “Night Games.”
Also, if we are going to give Wrigley Field a makeover, it would make sense to do the same for our fans. We need to improve the nation’s image of Cubs fans and encourage a more attractive audience, so I propose that we remove half of the bleachers and replace them with gym equipment so that, as opposed to a gym or home-gym, fans can yell at an actual ballgame while they work out. Memberships fees would exponentially increase ballpark profits, and we can always take a video of the historical integrity of the old bleachers and play it on the Jumbotron. An outdoor spa would also be classy. What Wrigleyville girl could possibly oppose the chance to get a mani/pedi, massage, and highlights while they drink Old Style and watch the game? Wouldn’t a yoga class be a nice, healthy addition to the seventh inning stretch?
Finally, reality television is America’s new pastime, so let’s cash in on that market while it’s hot. I propose a season-long weight loss competition. We can call it “The Biggest Loser: The Chicago Cubs.” Surely there are also many unusual and colorful personalities among both players and fans. Why not exploit their talents and have Wrigley Field host a televised amateur singing competition for a cash prize? It would eliminate the cost of paying high player salaries, and it would probably sell more tickets than a ballgame. We wouldn’t even need baseball anymore, and we can play it on the Jumbotron in 3D.
Words: R. Fass
Since the Dream Team launched international basketball into the moon, the heart and soul of American Olympic dominance has been on the hardwood. For 10 years, red, white and blue was spray painted over a 29.5 circumference and bounced around the court before it was able to dry. Football may be America’s bread and butter, but basketball was its Olympic meat and potatoes.
That was until it all spiraled into a pool of gasoline. In 2002 the US team competed and lost in the World Championship in Indianapolis, Indiana. The team placed sixth in international competition, and it was the first time that an international team was able to defeat a US team composed of NBA players. As embarrassing as the loss was, the defeat was labeled a fluke and supporters pointed to the many NBA stars that declined to play.
But in 2004 Olympics “The Nightmare Team” took the court in Athens, Greece. Nine starters from the qualifying team declined to play, and the team brought home a bronze medal and cold, grey shame. American Olympic dominance on the court was officially cracked, and the its aura of invincibility shattered.
American basketball became and international symbol of American arrogance, and the whole world enjoyed watching the ground coming to kiss the yanks in the jaw.
An overhaul was needed to amputate the invading infection, and the entire program was revamped. Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski were placed as the heads of US Basketball, and the program started to ask participants to agree to a three-year commitment. Since the patch up, two gold medals have followed, and America seems poised to once again reign supreme in international play.
Yesterday U.S. basketball announced its potential roster of 20 NBA stars for the 2012 London Olympics. The roster is deep. Really deep. 20 players are in consideration to play but that number will be whittled down to a 12-man roster with alternates.
Here’s the pool: Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Lamar Odom, Chauncey Billups, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Tyson Chandler, Eric Gordon, Rudy Gay, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love, and Andre Iguodala.
Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge have also been added to that list.
Buzz is already worming its way through the Internet and people have started to throw the term “dream team” out there again. It seems like America finally has its hoops swagger back.
Here’s our 12-man roster:
Kobe, LeBron, Wade, Howard, Paul, Durant, Rose, Love, D. Williams, Melo, Chandler and Aldridge
With our starters being: Rose, Kobe, LeBron, Love and Howard.
Griffin, Gordon, Westbrook.
Well the St. Louis massacre makes me a little less gloomy about losing one of my favorite White Sox players ever.
While Albert Pujols’ head has covered up much of the sun in St. Louis, he’s also eclipsed the White Sox losing Mark Buehrle to the Miami Marlins. And while fans and teammates knew this day was coming for some time, it’s still comes as a shock that everyone’s favorite southpaw is going to play for evil Ozzie (Wozzie) in Miami.
Although the loss of Buehrle isn’t on the same level as Jordan playing for the Wizards, it will be tough to see Buehrle in Miami’s disgusting new uniforms.
It also puts us in a difficult position. We still love Buehrle at OSF, but the last few years have soured us on Ozzie.
We would definitely love to see Mark in Cooperstown, and we’re hoping that he can somehow bedazzle a few great years out of his janky gun, but at the same time we’d love to see Ozzie fail.
So while we’ll root for Mark to do well in South Beach, we’re already hard at work trying to create a voodoo Ozzie doll out of printer cartridges, mustard packs, and rotting Halloween pumpkins. Cause Ozzie thinks he’s Lebron, when he’s more like the Kuntrashians.
Cheers to you Buehrle. You’ll be missed, and we can’t wait to get drunk and watch you unveil some future bronze statue of yourself on the South Side.
Huge news in baseball today. Albert Pujols decided that money was more important than winning and left the Cardinals to pursue C-list acting roles in Dwayne Johnson movies. Oh, and $254 million.
Much to the cheers and delight of Cubs fans, the Los Angeles Angels have given Pujols a 10-year $254 million contract. Long considered the best hitter in baseball, the three-time MVP is leaving the St. Louis Cardinals, the only team he’s ever known.
While many people speculated that Cardinals would be able to retain their much beloved bomber, the Angles swooped in with a much larger offer for Pujols.
So it’s a day of mourning in St. Louis. It’s sad that the Cardinals couldn’t keep their best player just after winning the World Series, and it’s sad that a team so steeped in baseball history and lore lost out to a team that plays in the suburbs of Los Angeles. But who turns down $254 million?
I know Cardinals’ Fans are hurting this morning, but at least they can be thankful that Jim Grey wasn’t involved.
Pujols who batted .299 with 37 homers and 99 RBIs last year is 31-years-old. It’s the first time in his career that his numbers have dipped below a .300 average and 100 RBIs. While we know this is trite, St. Louis might be thankful in five years that they don’t have to dish out $175 million to an aging star. Or he could still be amazing and go down as one of the best to ever play the game.
It seems like a smart move for Pujols. He’ll be able to move to the DH at some point and focus on hitting moon shots and money balls.
Either way, we’re certain that some dude is getting rocked at the Cubby Bear right now. Toasting Pujols and the Angles, and ordering Soco shots for the house.
And somewhere in St. Louis someone is trying to hold back tears, trying to get through these last four verses:
Ozzie Guillen has left the cold and grey of Chicago for the bikinis and sun of Miami. He left an organization that’s about to go through a potentially long rebuilding process (What’s the ratio of successful rebuilding processes to becoming the Pirates?) to one that’s already splurged on Jose Reyes and offered a 10-year deal to the best hitter in the game.
Do Sox fans feel spurred? Ozzie Lebroned us. He took his talents to south beach, and now he’s asking Albert Pujols to Lebron St. Louis too.
The Marlins have positioned themselves with the likes of the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies. While the White Sox have spent their way out of the cool table in the lunchroom, so they can sit with San Diego, Kansas City, and Baltimore.
Does anybody really miss Ozzie? No. But are we jealous of the Marlins? If you subtract their new uniforms from the picture, then yeah.
Well played Ozzie. We can’t wait for the media barbs and twitter bombs.
The White Sox cleared the air yesterday. “It’s the start of rebuilding,” Kenny Williams told reporters yesterday.
The White Sox traded away Sergio Santos, their young starting closer, for an up-and-coming pitching prospect. The move was meant to trim the Sox swelling payroll, send a clear and firm message that the team would be sellers and not buyers, and eye-gouge any postseason hopes for next year.
The trade was a bit of a shock considering that Santos had just signed a very reasonable three-year $8.25 million extension at the end of September. Apparently it wasn’t reasonable enough. Or maybe Williams was just in a giving mood. Tis the season.
“You guys know that I have not used that word in 12 years. But it is the start of a rebuilding, ” Williams mumbled before being asked to repeated that last phrase, again, with feeling though.
The Sox have been an overstuffed burrito for the past two seasons: sloppy, bulging, disgusting (like warm lettuce), dripping juice, and generally just being a mess. Basically Adam Dunn (Do you think the batting coach told the struggling Dunn to image the ball as a cheeseburger?), Alex Rios and Jake Peavey. Basically moves made by Williams that were supposed to make the Sox contenders. Moves that supposedly would push us deep into the postseason, moves that were worth their huge price tags.
But all those moves failed, and now the Sox are rebuilding instead of bidding for Albert Pujols, Tyler the Creator, and Prince Fielder.
And fans shouldn’t be surprised if half of the pitching staff doesn’t return next year, along with Carlos Quentin, and Gordon Beckham’s hair.
Hopefully the Sox can bolster a farm system that’s considered one of the worst in baseball. Hopefully they can show progress next year. Hopefully they give their new manager (who has never managed a game at any level) a chance not to dredge the bottom of the standings. When’s opening day?!?
Bo knows birthdays, or at least we do, so happy birthday to one of the coolest sports figures evah. Here’s to hoping that you mate with Serena Williams and produce some mutant athlete that becomes an all-star in every major sport. Here’s some Bo glory: