Why Cubs fans piled on Clark

It’s a teddy bear, I get it. It’s for the kids. It’s going to visit kids in children’s hospitals. That’s nice.

clark-the-cubIn trying to figure out why the introduction of Clark, the Cubs’ new mascot blew up Twitter yesterday, I’m left with this: They did it in the same ham-handed way the Cubs do everything. To wit: We’re now in the second off-season of watching everyone else make off-season moves and hearing nothing about the status of renovating Wrigley. Which means we’re STILL in a holding pattern on both fronts, and people are starting to go stir crazy.

Add to this, the fact that the Cubs payroll has been the subject of much speculation and angst low these past few months, as whether or not the Cubs will have the garbage bags full of money to lure the likes of Masahiro Tanaka to Wrigley is on everyone’s minds. Then, there’s the fact that the Cubs strategically rolled the thing out right before Cubs Con, guaranteeing that we’re going to see thousands of stuffed Clark toys on sale for $29.95. And it’s all so transparent. That’s really what makes people upset. We’re self aware enough to know that the team lures us to the park with approximately 37 “Ron Santo Nights” every season, that they sell over-priced beer that we’re all obligated to buy, and that we pay the second-highest ticket price in baseball for one of the worst products on the field. We brave concrete falling on our heads and lines for the restrooms that last innings. We keep buying shirseys, even though our choices are limited to the likes of Luis Valbuena, Edwin Jackson, and Nate Schierholtz. We know we’re pathetic. We’re not proud of it.

After all that, for some reason, the smiling, Little-John-esque bear just felt like one insult too many. Isn’t it enough that I condemn my children to a life of misery as Cubs fans? Do I have to see Clark looking back at me from their toy shelves as well, reminding me daily of parental failing? It’s bad enough that they my kids were little during the go-go days of Derrick Lee and Lou Piniella, their early years littered with playoff races and hope. Now all I have to offer them is Clark? And what’s up with the hope in his eyes? No one at Wrigley has hope in their eyes. I call shenanigans for false advertising.

And why is he on Twitter? You have to be 13 to be on Twitter. There are no kids on Twitter. Don’t make the adults have to deal with that thing. We’ve got enough problems. Also, can we cut the baby talk? The last thing this team needs is to be sued by some helicopter parents from Andersonville because Clark taught their child to talk with a lisp.

If we had just started seeing Clark showing up at events, maybe with an explanation on cubs.com, I don’t think the reaction would have been nearly as caustic. But there was something so painful about the irony of waiting for the announcement of a big free agent signing and getting Clark instead. It was a microcosm of life as a Cubs fan. “Good news, kids! We didn’t get Tanaka . . . we got someone BETTER! Meet Clark!” It reminds me of the day I was all excited that my dad was bringing home a video tape player, only to discover he bought at Beta. This limited my video rental choices to movies like “The Moppet Movie” (Better than the Muppets!) and “Ice Pirates.” But I learned to live with it.

I’ll learn to live with Clark, too. I hope he visits lots of children’s hospitals and makes lots of little kids happy. No my kids, but kids.

Just keep him in the family section. It hurts to look at him.


21 thoughts on “Why Cubs fans piled on Clark

  1. It certainly doesn’t help that the Cubs will probably have spent as much on this marketing campaign as they have on the roster this offseason.

  2. juliedicaro says:

    They need to fire the marketing firm. I believe it’s the same one that came up with the “Committed” one.

  3. juliedicaro says:

    It’s really the fact that the Cubs never seem to be able to anticipate that the fan base is going ot react like this that is so maddening.

    1. Dusty Baylor says:

      Ugh… I get the wanting to be more fan friendly…but don’t they realize 50% of the crowd is people drinking and not paying attention?

      1. juliedicaro says:

        Oh, but they put it to a focus group. Didn’t you hear?

        I’d really like to see the pool for these focus groups.

        1. Dusty Baylor says:

          The focus group could apparently use some Adderall or Ritanlin.

          1. TOOTBLAN says:

            Didn’t the focus group say they wanted more family freindly? IE they wanted less people drinking and not paying attention not a cuddly bear?

  4. sloanpeterson2 says:

    The only silver lining for the new mascot is if they put him on t-shirts and sell the shirts at raves. I could totally see someone wearing that face at a rave…

  5. J says:

    The best explanation I have as of yet to hear as to why he is so hated went something like this-

    I hate Clark because he looks like a coked out furry doing the walk to class from a Big-10 frat house.

  6. dabirdguy says:

    “Clark” strikes me as the image an upper class yuppie would have as to what a toy would look like for a kid he doesn’t have.
    They could have quietly hired Billy-Cub who’s been doing the gig for 7 years now outside the park and made everyone happy.
    There’s a lot of “Screw tradition, we know what’s best for you” attitude in these new Ivy Leaguers running the Cubs I really don’t care for.
    Dumping WGN is another part of that attitude.

  7. Doc Blume says:

    I’m going to have to say that the cartoon drawing of “Clark” is considerably worse than the real mascot that they were showing off at that public event yesterday…

    But I still hate it.

  8. Agreed. It hurts. As if being a fan wasn’t challenging enough at times, right?

  9. sloanpeterson2 says:

    I’m surprised they don’t show him riding a skateboard,like the Chipmunks…

  10. Doc Blume says:

    “Just keep him in the family section.”

    But no one sits in the family section.

  11. juliedicaro says:

    The focus groups also say they love the 7th inning stretch . . .

  12. juliedicaro says:

    Oh jeez., The comments are all messed up. MARK!!!

  13. sloanpeterson2 says:

    I know- since the focus groups like Clark the Cub and the 7th inning stretch, combine them. Have Clark tne Cub come out during the stretch and pose with whoever sings the stretch. Then lock them both anyway in a basement somewhere…

  14. gravedigger says:

    I know. I have no idea why.

  15. lemontkids says:

    Wrigley has a family section??!!

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