Beer and Cubs Baseball Pt. 2: Breaking Bad

Beer and Cubs Baseball Pt. 2: Breaking Bad

Beer is big business and it’s not as if this new pact is the first time we’ve ever seen Bud associated with the Cubs. It was back in 2006 that Bud Light bought the naming rights to the bleachers at Wrigley. I couldn’t find the figures on that deal, but I’m sure one of my faithful readers can produce a number.

And who could forget Chicago’s patron saint of booze shilling for A-B at every opportunity? After all, Harry Caray was a Cubs fan and a Bud man, right? That was a huge ad campaign back in the day and you can still buy knock-off t-shirts at the pop-up booths outside the ballpark on gamedays.

Old Style was a nice part of Cubs baseball, but money talks, and you-know-what walks. Though, you’d think as much as the Cubs have resembled manure, they haven’t nearly enough free passes. And when it comes to finding ways to make money, Tom Ricketts is basically Walter White.

And that’s fitting since Cubs baseball has been as addictive and ruinous to its fans as Heisenberg’s blue meth was to the residents of Albuquerque and the greater southwest US. So if Ricketts is Heisenberg, does that mean Crane Kenney is Jesse?

Given the conflicting efforts of the business and baseball sides of the organization, I would have to say that would make Theo and Jed the Cubs’ version of Hank and Gomy. Ooh, and maybe Rick Renteria can be Mike Ehrmantraut. And Julian Green is a less-likable Saul Goodman.

I could go on all day, but I’m getting depressed thinking that (spoiler alert!) Green and Kenney would be the only ones left standing at the end. Okay one last thought: maybe in addition to Giordano’s being the official pizza, the Cubs could sign Los Pollos Hermanos to be the official fried chicken of Wrigley Field.

I’m not sure whether Levy Restaurants, the team’s concessions management partner, would feel about that, but it’s still possible that they’re willing to continue serving Old Style. And multiple Goose Island offerings will still be available at Wrigley as well.

But Goose Island is sort of a wolf in sheep’s clothing here, as the Chicago-based brewery is now owned by A-B. But still, they offer a variety of different beers to those who want them without making fans feel quite as icky about line Augie Busch’s pockets.

I actually felt a bit like I was thumbing my nose at the Evil Empire when I ordered a Goose Island IPA while attending a game at Yankee Stadium. Of course, they gladly took my money as I watched Alfonso Soriano blast couple home runs in a romp. Sad face.

Those of us who grew up watching the Cubs on WGN and remember when the rooftops were little more than building residents and their friends with folding chairs and coolers will always have those memories. A different beer isn’t going to alter the past, but it could help to change the future.

So, for that matter, could a jumbotron and some additional signage, as Tom Loxas pointed out in an earlier post. For all its nostalgic charm, Wrigley needs to change with the times. That might hit the tin ears of purists like a tack hammer, but it’s either adapt or move at this point.

I love Wrigley, but a trip to Fenway Park was enough to prove to me that the past and present can coexist quite peacefully. And if you want to see a title celebrated at Wrigley, you’re going to have to deal with more ads and “harsh” beer.

So rather than act like one of the Chicken Brothers, it’s about time for Ricketts to throw on the black pork pie hat and get to work. No more Mr. Nice Guy; he needs to head into the next rooftop negotiation and just say, “I am the one who knocks!”

Whew, I’m thirsty.

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  • Any news on what Goose Island beers will be offered? Have to think 312 and the IPA...saw rumors last fall about Green Line too.

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    In reply to North Side Irish:

    I've heard that they might also develop a special beer for Wrigley. That would be smart on multiple levels. Coors did a special beer for the Rockies' 20th ann'y, so I could see a centennial brew and a more general one too. 312 is a guarantee.

  • In reply to Evan Altman:

    Oh that would be so smart, and kinda cool.

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    Given that this is a business decision, I don't trust them to do it right immediately.

  • Augie Busch isn't making the money any more, some Belgian is. But I always wondered why the Cubs were in the clutches of a beer formerly owned by the owner of the Cardinals.

    But maybe Ricketts should do what the Blackhawks have done--put up a plexiglass outfield wall and put vinyl advertising wraps on it. We don't need to see no stinking ivy, so long as we know it is behind the barrier. Might also improve the Cubs HR output without Flintstone vitamins.

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    Does that mean Augie no longer needs to have a man who's paid to carry his wallet (true story)? InBev is the big boss, but it's no fun to name-drop some Belgian fella no one knows.

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