The Cubs unveiled their first official team mascot in team history when they introduced Clark the Cub. Sports editor Jon Styf and columnist Tom Musick discuss:
Musick: Fine, I’ll say it. I like Clark. I think he’s kind of cool. And I think he’d be really awesome if I were a 7-year-old watching a Cubs game this summer at Wrigley Field.
Styf: I’ve got kids. The oldest will be 5 this summer. We won’t be going to a Cubs game together. I’ve been there. I enjoyed it when I was in college and soon after. I just am not so sure that a Cubs game is the family atmosphere they are trying to push on us with this new mascot.
Musick: But he’s furry. And he wears his hat backward. And he probably would give you a fist bump if you asked for one. He seems like fun, and baseball is fun. If you’re a kid, what’s not to love?
Styf: Really setting me up here. It’s slow, it’s boring for kids and it’s pretty expensive. There also are a lot of inebriated people. That’s my childhood Chicago baseball memory (though it was at Comiskey, not Wrigley). We went as a family, I got a beer dumped all over me by the drunk person behind me. We never went back to a Chicago baseball game.
Musick: Hey now, my dad apologized for that and you know it. I get your point, though. On a lot of weekends during the summer, Wrigley is more of a bar than a baseball stadium. It’s great for bachelor parties and bachelorette parties and whatever other kind of parties someone wants to have. But that’s not every day. On a Monday evening against a ho-hum team such as the Miami Marlins, it’s just another baseball game, and I’ve always loved baseball games since I was in first grade or so.
Styf: You had to go there with the Marlins thing, didn’t you? Rubbing salt on those festering Cubs wounds. I hear you. I love baseball. I love baseball in person. I would rather wait until my kids are 8, 9 or 10 before taking them to a game. At that point, maybe they won’t be so into the smiley bear. Right now, I’d rather take them to Disney World or a Kane County Cougars game to see mascots. Minor league baseball is the best place for that. But I get it. The bear isn’t hurting me. I hope he never will. I just think people see it as the team trying to distract fans of all ages from the pitiful product on the field.
Musick: Well, yeah, that’s a good point. Better to take a picture with Clark the Cub instead of being forced to watch Chris Rusin the Cub. But the team is going to be great soon – after all, Theo Epstein said so – and it’s a good idea to get the young ones on the bandwagon as soon as possible. However, it’s tough to argue if you want to focus on the Cougars for this summer. As for the Cubs, maybe wait til next year?