By Tim Baffoe-
(CBS) Wrigley Field is a terrible place for children. It’s been mostly a terrible place for adults, too, but not so much due to the park’s amenities. The drunkenness and cursing, having to pee in a trough next to strangers, Ronnie Woo Woo—and that’s just in the women’s restrooms—do little to make a Cubs game a pleasant experience for a little kid.
It seems that the Ricketts family finally realized this because they’ve had the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University conduct surveys of how kids are taking in the games at Wrigley. The results?
“Among the kid-friendly topics fans were asked about were batting cages and radar gun zones, kids apps for smartphones and tablets, a kids section, a new Cubs song and ‘interaction with a mascot.’”
Hear that? A Cubs mascot. A Southpaw of the North Side. Personally I don’t care either way if this happens. Mascots go over really well with kids, and if it shuts them up while I’m trying to concentrate on Starlin Castro not concentrating, super. One could also go a ways toward neutralizing if not eliminating Woo Woo, a creature that some might already consider the Cubs mascot, but who in fact is only allowed to hang around because he’s the embodiment of what attracts people to reality television—he is a constant reminder of “Oh, wow, my life could be so much worse than it already is. Thank you for being a complete waste of organs and temporarily inflating my sense of self-worth, Ronnie!”
But what would a mascot, something that has never graced The Friendly Confines before, look like? Here are a few possibilities.
Frankencelebrity—it’s tough to pick which star of stage and screen most likes to leech off of the Cubs’… well, it isn’t success exactly. Anyway, there are a few familiar faces that like to act as liaisons between Hollywoodland and the horror film that is fanhood for the average Cub supporter. So I figure just create an amalgam. Frankencelebrity (or “Frankie” for kidz appeal) takes the likely-already stinky, sweaty body of Jeff Garlin, the annoying personality of Vince Vaughn, the penchant for bothering your girlfriend of John Cusack, and the pulsating bulbous head of Jim Belushi, and you’ve got a hideous camera-whoring freak just perfect for the North Side.
X—pronounced like the Greek letter but coincidentally phonetically spelled like the nickname that awful people use for Chicago, X is the embodiment of the frat boy element of the ballpark. Tan, gelled, tatted, shirtless, sunglassed, and sandaled—he’s like Duffman but missing a chromosome. The letter x is also pretty dank, bro. X will be a benefit to kids at the park because he stacks all his empty beer cups under each new full one so he can brag about how many he’s drank, thus teaching kids the importance of counting and knowing when to break the seal. He opens up the possibility of a mascot duo with his sorority girlfriend Delta, who is not only a fan of “Wait, who’s playing?” but also likes to work with melanoma charities and “kids who aren’t smart and stuff.”
Kerry Wood—because Kerry Wood.
Sir Ronald of Woo—he is the Bizarro version and arch-nemesis of the terrible Wrigley shrieking thing. Unlike Ronnie, Ronald is refined and very much the cosmopolite. He speaks in full sentences, doesn’t frighten children, and has above-truck-stop-level hygiene. He always knows the score and doesn’t fight seagulls for pizza crusts and pretzels crumbs. Speaking of…
Sammy the Seagull—he’s huge and adorably speaks broken English and is frighteningly pale. He playfully steals popcorn from kids but always makes it up to them by crapping a giant mound of cotton candy on their heads. Sammy is also way ahead of the game in the social media department and can do a weekly Cubz Kidz thing on his Pinterest page or something.
Hologram Ron Santo—kids love electronic recreations of famous dead people. Tupac, then of course Elvis because a black guy had done it first, Freddie Mercury, the lady who burned down Andre Rison’s house, Ronald Reagan. All those dead people your five-year-old loves. Stands to reason then that one of the most beloved Cubs ever would be wildly successful in hologram form. There could be little stations set up around the park where an electronic Santo pops up unexpectedly and screams “OHHHH NOOOOO!” or asks if you know how to get the mustard stain out of his toupee. What kid wouldn’t love that?
Think about it, Cubs marketing peeps. Something certainly needs to help distract game-goers from the action on the field for the next few years, right?
Tim Baffoe attended the University of Iowa and Governors State University and began blogging at The Score after winning the 2011 Pepsi Max Score Search. He enjoys writing things about stuff, but not so much stuff about things. When not writing for 670TheScore.com, Tim corrupts America’s youth as a high school English teacher and provides a great service to his South Side community delivering pizzas (please tip him and his colleagues well). You can follow Tim’s inappropriate brain droppings on Twitter @Ten_Foot_Midget , but please don’t follow him in real life. He grew up in Chicago’s Beverly To read more of Tim’s blogs click here.