WANYE ON THE ROAD: CUBS GAME

Wanye
May 01 2013 01:18PM

 

We are legitimately distressed with the Oilers failing to make the playoffs this year. We really thought when they held the 8th place position for all of 37.2 seconds they had turned the corner and the good times that we have all been promised for so long had finally arrived.

So where does a heartbroken fan run to in times of need? How about somewhere where the home team hasn't won anything in over 100 years and yet people still regularly part with their hard earned money to watch them rebuild for the 1,506th time. A Cubs game in Chicago is the perfect play.

The poor old Cubs haven't won a World Series since 1908. Other than Jason Gregor - who we calculate was 12 when they won - few people can remember that far back. So Cubs fans have to content themselves with making their own fun, much like a certain rabid fan base of a certain Mighty Hockey Team in the best city in the world.

One of their hilarious traditions was seizing on a scene in Back to the Future II when the sports almanac that Biff steals predicts the Cubs will win the World Series in 2015. There are many references around Wrigleyville to "see you in 2015" and "wait till 2015."

We don't quite follow how a book that clearly only shows scores until the year 2000 can say what will occur in 2015 but that's one of those things you don't bring up when you are looking a crazed Cubs fan in the eye who is desperately grasping for any glimmer of hope at all.

We went to Harry Caray's restaurant at the Navy Pier for lunch yesterday and they even had the actual prop book used in the movie and the hoverboard too. We had to restrain ourselves from smashing the display case and looking up the future hockey results and screaming "WHEN DO OILERZ WIN DAMMIT?! TELL WANYE YOU STUPID MOVIE PROP."

Ahem. If the Cubs do win the World Series in 2015 that will be just hilariously awesome life imitating art. If Back to the Future II can be considered art. Which it can. Remember the self tying shoes? That's art.

Having never been to Chicago before we can now unequivocally state that it is awesome here. The City itself has a ton of things to do (and drink) they are all about their sports here (and drinking) and everything so far has been quite reasonably priced (including but not limited to beer.)

Cubbies tickets are reasonably cheap too we sat in the seats pictured above for about $40 beans a seat thinking we were very clever. And once our eyes adjusted to being outside in the "sun" we looked across the infield and saw stadium seating on the rooftops of buildings across the street.

Meaning: Outside of the ball park they have seats.

Meaning: The Cubs let people sit in stands and drink beers and watch their baseball team but they aren't sitting in their stadium nor drinking their beer.

It turns out that the Cubs and these building owners across the street have one of the odder relationships in pro sports. Bear in mind that Wrigley Field could simply build normal outfield bleachers and block these bootleg views with a single stroke of the pen. But instead the team has embraced these folks and over time a formalized relationship has grown between the two parties who have opted to work together instead of do battle.

Sometimes.

As with any sports team you gotta have drama with the City to keep things interesting. In Edmonton we have our never ending arena saga which is now entering its 22nd year of public feuding. In Chicago it's installing a video scoreboard in the outfield allowing Cubs fans to see live replays at the game and allowing the team to generate much needed revenue to facilitate a restoration to the building without dipping into public funds.

But it might screw with the views across the street and so the battle rages on.

The rooftop owners, who charge fans for access to watch Cubs games and other Wrigley events, worry such a board would block their views and have previously threatened legal action. Murphy said she was confident their contract would hold up and protect their businesses. In 2004, the team -- under previous ownership -- and the rooftop owners entered into a 20-year deal in which the Cubs allow access to views of Wrigley in exchange for 17 percent of rooftop revenues.

"The fact that we are limited on advertising in our own outfield has an annualized opportunity cost of $20 million," Ricketts said. "These limits on advertising are obvious because of our relationship with the rooftops across the street.

"The rooftops have grossed over $250 million in the last 10 years. And while I think many people view rooftops as incremental group events, over time they have shifted to selling individual tickets and have become direct competitors, selling both season tickets and aggressively discounting tickets on Groupon and other sites. 

You read that correctly gentle reader. The people across the street that have no more to do with the Chicago Cubs or Wrigley Field than you or I have made over $250 million in ticket revenue in the past 10 years. And as a result the team is one of the few in North American sports that doesn't have a video scoreboard capable of instant replays for the fans.

Bizarre and yet simultaneously awesome if you ask me.

Well the baseball game highlights include a bunch of pitches of varying speeds, a cool 7th inning stretch where we all got to sing take me out to the ball game, some hits and some running around the bases.

We ate 4 hot dogs which was pretty awesome and one of our plans with the boys prior to the trip was to bet on the home team in every game. We bet on the Cubs to win and for added difficulty correctly predicted the over under. So we were 1-0 going into the Hawks game last night - more on that later.

Cubs fans have a mega odd relationship with their team by the way. They publicly predict they will lose, want them to win but expect them to suck. After the win people were already laughing that the Padres would exact a terrible revenge the following night with the rematch.

But the victory was hard earned and for a brief moment high fives were being handed out, smiles were free and life was good. 

THEN THIS HAPPENED

Upon the conclusion of the game the ballpark DJ played this song aptly titled "Go Cubs Go!" Give it a listen - at first blush it is crap but after you download it and listen to it a couple hundred times - also paying $10 at a Piano Bar last night for a live show - it really grows on you.

Why don't the Oilers have a song like this? It would be so glorious. We can't get this thing out of our brain try as we might and the three amigos down here have been singing it at the top of our lungs at inappropriate intervals ever since.

Next up: Hawks game and getting into an argument in the mens room about Dave Manson with a Hawks fan.

STREAKCRED

 

The Ministry of Squee was a tad late to the party signing up after the games ended last night but we are here now. Here to win. Here to win in the Playoff Pool Game - StreakCred. For $20 you can support the MS Bike Tour and the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society and have a crack at wicked prizes including a trip for 2 to Oktoberfest in Germany. 

Some people have already gone 3 for 3 on the first night of games. But best believe they will collapse under the weight of their early glory and fall back to Earth. You can play this thing as often as you like and can sign up anytime.

In the words of douchebags everywhere "come at me bro."

Sign up for StreakCred here.

09049f03ecb006ab29372206f2a88f75
Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#1 So not a Pouzar
May 01 2013, 09:41PM
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Eating 4 hotdogs at the ballpark.

#NEKMINNIT

Not real processed beef by-products??

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#2 Death Metal Nightmare
May 02 2013, 12:20AM
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John Chambers wrote:

& Wanye

The whole 'digital advertising' is a huge financial booster for clubs. Think of increasing the revenue from rink board advertising 5x - 10x and what impact that has for small-market clubs.

I agree with not wanting to be bombarded by advertisement - wouldn't you just like to have a pleasant afternoon at the ballpark? But more and more Pro Sport is a business first and a passtime second, and not taking advantage of it puts a club at a huge disadvantage.

i'm not even talking 100% about the ads. i'm talking about lame visual monitors and digital stats all over.

Miller Park feels like youre sitting in a space station on Mars watching guys stand around. the appeal is nil for me to ever go to games there (its right around the corner from me).

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#3 Death Metal Nightmare
May 01 2013, 01:32PM
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amazing park to visit as any sports fan. i hate baseball now (its not the same fun as the 70s-80s. sorry) and going there a few years back for the first time still had some magic in it. its way better to see a game there in some history than in some modern hospital with digital diarrhea everywhere (aka Miller Park, etc).

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#4 John Chambers
May 01 2013, 01:37PM
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Love Wrigley. Saw a couple of games in the bleachers over a weekend, and the place is like a big outdoor bar. Everyone thought it was cool that we were down from Canada, and we hung out with a bachelorette party from St. Louis who were there to watch the Cards demolish the Cubs.

Midwesterners are the best - they're down for a good time.

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#5 John Chambers
May 01 2013, 01:52PM
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Death Metal Nightmare wrote:

amazing park to visit as any sports fan. i hate baseball now (its not the same fun as the 70s-80s. sorry) and going there a few years back for the first time still had some magic in it. its way better to see a game there in some history than in some modern hospital with digital diarrhea everywhere (aka Miller Park, etc).

& Wanye

The whole 'digital advertising' is a huge financial booster for clubs. Think of increasing the revenue from rink board advertising 5x - 10x and what impact that has for small-market clubs.

I agree with not wanting to be bombarded by advertisement - wouldn't you just like to have a pleasant afternoon at the ballpark? But more and more Pro Sport is a business first and a passtime second, and not taking advantage of it puts a club at a huge disadvantage.

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#7 A-Mc
May 01 2013, 02:25PM
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The bleachers on the buildings across the street is super cool. I would definitely vote against anything that would ruin that nice bit of cultural architecture!

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#8 John Chambers
May 01 2013, 06:58PM
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@A-Mc

For like $100 you get access to the condo bleachers along with a buffet of Bud Lights and endless BBQ. Usually they're rented out for great staff parties, but for weekend games they're a party and a half.

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#9 JAM
May 01 2013, 09:43PM
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The sports Almanac in Back to The Future doesn't say the cubbies would win the series in 2015. It happens earlier in the movie Marty sees a headline on a big screen in the town center saying my how the Cubs had just won the World Series. Boom.

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#10 BigE91
May 02 2013, 09:39AM
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Visiting Wrigley was almost as good as old Yankee Stadium. We made a day out of it, tour of the park in the morning, game from the bleachers in the afternoon. The fans out there are dedicated most had no problem sitting through a 3 hour rain delay and really make a party out of it.

It is quite fun to go to a place where they really avoid the digital advertising, though we had a good time at US Cellular the night before as well.

Great city to visit.

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#11 VK63
May 02 2013, 01:06PM
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If you need any fresh and unknown material on sir charles manson.. I'm your guy.

Sure to curl the hair of the uninitiated Chi towners whence tales of Prince Albert are revealed.

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#12 The Keystone Garter
May 03 2013, 08:54PM
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I now think Democritus is the greatest person to ever live. He embraced atomist theory, stars as distant objects, a whole bunch of good social stuff; maybe the founder of democracy. The ancient greeks founded modern sports AFAIK. For the history lesson, I suggest Thracians or Ionians as the new Ottawa franchise name. Latter rolls off the tongue.

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