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My Suggestions For Ways To Further Desecrate Wrigley Field

I don't really like the Cubs - 1984 turned me into a White Sox fan and an eternal baseball pessimist.

I'll admit it outright: I am not a Cubs fan because I like winning once in awhile. I don't buy into the lovable losers bullshit; being a baseball fan is too expensive and time-consuming to embrace constant mediocrity.

The Cubs are just too goddamned disappointing every year for me to invest any interest in them. One devastating childhood heartbreak is all a team gets out of me.

But there is one thing that I like about the Cubs: Wrigley Field. The only thing about the Cubs worth a damn to me is their ballpark. I love all great ballparks: Camden, Wrigley, the old Milwaukee County Stadium. The experience of going to a baseball game in a real park - the sun, the beer, the hot dogs, the history - is as American and traditional as it gets.

Wrigley is a baseball - and a Chicago - treasure and it therefore breaks my heart that it's going to be defiled and desecrated in such a crass, commercial way. I am talking, of course, about the proposed Toyota sign. If this act of commercial graffiti happens, it will be an unforgivable defacing of one of the only true baseball temples left.

I fear exploiting and weakening the tactile experience of going to a game more than I fear physical, cosmetic changes. Common places - ballparks, museums, plazas - collectively mean something, and when we change those places, we change our identity. Our experiences and memories become different; we lose something about ourselves every time we sell out our sacred places.

If our temples are simply marketing opportunities then what do we keep sacred? (Right, before we go on about baseball as a business, I am asking that we keep one or two places culturally pristine to preserve what is great about America.)

But fuck it, if the floodgates to commercial desecration are open why not go all the way? I mean, if you paint over Mona Lisa's smile, you might as well turn the rest of the portrait into a CoverGirl ad, right? If we can't enjoy simple pleasures without commercial intrusion then why bother anymore?

Here, then, are my suggestions for ways to further desecrate Wrigley by leaving no marketing stone unturned:

1. Forever Underfoot.

Spreading ashes is for sissies. If you really want to honor grandpa's lifelong dedication to the Cubs, spring for a grave plot in the "Ivy Way Dead Center Cemetery." Your loved ones will bask in the sunshine with all of the spit-out sunflowers seed memorials you could want. Only $450,000 per plot. Maintenance fees apply.

2. Drunk Tank.

The "Harry Caray Detox Clubhouse" lets fans talk out their problems with alcohol in a safe and understanding environment. Recovering alcoholics are given support, fellowship and diet soda to strengthen their commitment to sobriety. $7,500 for the first fifteen minutes, $3,000 every ten minutes after that.

3. Life's More Colorful.

A 25-foot glass and steel Alize bottle marks the spot where Babe Ruth "called his shot . . . of Alize" in the 1932 World Series. For every centerfield home run, fans are given a bottle of Alize Fufuberrytini and a DUI.

4. Trivial Pursuit.

If you can name a starting pitcher from the 1986 team, you have to pay the "Hasbro Games Get a Real Life" Surcharge*. Ushers are standing by to check your baseball bona fides and if you test positive for actual fandom, you will owe $1,200 in ticket overages. *This is to prevent the marketing audience's attention from being distracted by the game.

5. Post A Comment.

Each seat will now come with a video monitor and keyboard with a live, real-time YouTube stream of the game. Have all of your social networks at your fingertips, so you can blog, comment on or mash-up any of the live video feeds of the game, in progress, right in front of you. Facebook will suggest friends and ads for you based on your reaction to the game.

6. Press A & B to Continue.

The venerable scoreboard will now be "remotely" hand operated by an intern in the marketing department with a Wii controller. The intern will update scores, stats and his relationship status with the flick of his wrist on the Nintendo Games Highlights and Replay Screen.

7. Ice Capades.

In order to make the team more family friendly, the Cubs are now known as the "Ticketmaster Chicago Cubs on Ice." Carlos Zambrano is replaced as starting pitcher by Carlos the Zamboni. Ticketmaster adds a first-born child service charge to each ticket.

8. Night Games.

Ruin 74 years of baseball tradition by installing lights to the field and playing at night. Oh, wait.

9. Ball Games.

Naming rights to all baseballs used in games at Wrigley sold to Horseshoe Casino, which will have logo along with "Hit Me!" stamped on them.

10. Every Day is Pirate Day.

A gaudy Captain Morgan Club will be attached like a barnacle to the ballpark's facade along Addison. Oh, wait.


Comments welcome.


Other Lists By Drew Adamek:
* Today's Syllabus
* Shit My Dad Says
* Work Weirdos
* Things I Miss About Chicago
* 20 Albums I Wish I Had Never Bought
* Their Chicago
* Cities I've Slept In
* My Favorite 1980s Chicago Radio Memories
* Why Milwaukee Rules
* Why I'm Glad I Don't Live In D.C. Anymore
* The Beer Goggle Recordings
* A List Of Reader Comments To Drew's Lists
* Life's Little Victories
* The Worst Jobs I've Ever Had
* Jobs For The Zombie Apocalypse
* Lemme Get A Bite Of That
* Lists I'll Never Write
* Things I Miss About My Imprisoned Best Friend
* Things I Miss About Being Single
* Things I Love About Being Married
* Why Chuck D Should Have Been Our First Black President
* Picture This

* Fan Note: Me & Metallica

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