This photo was taken by yours truly during the Cubs playoff run against the NY Mets in October, 2015, a year before the Cubs won the World Series:
The Chicago Cubs have coveted the gleaming, much anticipated accolade since then. Then I wonder: now that they’ve reached the paramount of ultimate glory, is the “Bleacher Preacher” still a thing? Or will he go off into the far horizon of atonement without relinquishing the details of sobbery and struggle to younger generations? Much about attending a Cubs game in Chicago is not just about rooting for the Cubs, but also harness the history and all the novelty that goes with being a Cubs fan.
I want the younger generations to absorb the majestic, the farcical, and amusing anecdotes associated with the franchise. I adore Clark the Cub, but his history is unparalleled to the mascot we all love to hate: Ronnie Woo Woo. Ronnie Woo Woo is highly celebrated in our household, and he is a fixture to Cubs home games and the Cubs convention. He is loved, but also unfavorable to many. I am partial to favoring him over Clark the Cub because Woo Woo represents a grass-roots, genuine fandom, put in place by no other than his desire to share such fandom with the locals and tourists. It was a bonus if he got free admittance to the game, but he didn’t hold any grudges if he didn’t. Clark the Cub was put in the place by a marketing team, a representation of Corporate America whose motives are uncertain.
The same can be said about the obnoxious infestation of renaming sport venues. For example: though not a fan of the White Sox, I believe it’s despicably unfair to its fans to be treated as frivolous commodity with the renaming of Cellular Field: Guaranteed Rate Field. I understand that contracts have to end at some point. But Guaranteed Rate? You might as well put a prodigious-size middle finger as your sign for all the fans and commuters to see, because that is the message the corporate ruffians are sending. Minute-Maid Park, Smoothie King Center, the list goes on…..all represent the need for greed and the relevance of ascending profit margins.
Memorials such as the “Disco Demotion” and the most famous boxing match between Joe Louis and James Braddock is now forever adrift among the ruins of dirt and tears. Fans that go to Comiskey today (I refuse to call it anything else) won’t be reminded to teach the younger generations about the venue’s heyday, because the ambiance simply isn’t there. Sure, there are flashy billboards and fireworks, but it’s not genuine. The era of Comiskey represented a different time, a simpler time. A time where fans were just as delighted to witness their favorite team win. Seizure-causing billboards weren’t relevant.
I haven’t been to a Cubs game since 2015. I don’t even know if the Bleacher Preacher is still a part of the venue’s milieu. I am elated my Cubbies finally won the World Series, but I hope older generations won’t get distracted by focusing on the achievement alone, but also share what makes the Cubs and Wrigley Field so special with younger generations.