Why I Won't be Watching the Cubs Tonight

Why I Won't be Watching the Cubs Tonight
John Baker scores the winning run after pitching the top of the 16th on Tuesday night.

The Cubs will be facing the Colorado Rockies tonight at 8:05 EDT, smack in my ideal prime-time viewing window, but I won't be watching. That in and of itself probably isn't very unique though; I'm sure many of the rest of you stayed up well past your bedtimes to take in last night's 16-inning marathon as well. And it wasn't just the game that was tiring.

With each new commercial break in the Cubs eventual win, the outcry against the Bud Light Lime-A-Rita commercial grew, finally devolving into delirious absurdity. I myself went from thinking "you know, I kind of like this cheeky little ad" to picturing the All Night Long-warbling pitchman being brained by a Mang-O-Rita tallboy. Fiesta Forever. More like: Siesta? Never.

I mean, if you're going to use Lionel Richie's greatness to hawk booze, you could at least use the lantern-jawed crooner himself.

And let's be honest here: the Rockies, nearly as hapless as the Cubs even when superstar shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup, aren't exactly destination viewing. Of course, that didn't stop them from doing their level best to convince us otherwise, thanks in part to plays like this from Charlie Blackmon...

And you have to admit that the final play was a pretty sweet reward to the dozen people still watching (that's an estimated combined total from Wrigley and television).

But back to the star power of the game: you know I don't take a Tulo lightly, punk just jealous can't he can't out-write me, but the Rox will be without their rock for a little while. Not only is he on the DL with a thigh injury, but Tulowitzki might even be in another ballpark; he did, after all,  just make a short stop in New York to take in a Yankees/Blue Jays game after heading east to meet with noted sports surgeon Dr. William Meyers.

Needless to say, the impromptu visit to Yankee Stadium was enough to drive sportswriters and fans insane in the membrane. And to make matters worse, Tulowizky [sic] was sitting in the stands in the Big Apple rocking a pretty sweet Bluth's Original Frozen Banana Stand T the day after his fans back in the Mile High city were treated a free giveaway of his shirsey...without a T.

But it's not the absence of an All Star or a letter in his name that is drawing attention from the game. July 30th happens to be the 9th anniversary of my wedding to a woman who has tolerated more than her fair share of my shenanigans, Cubs-related and otherwise. In fact, I proposed to her on Christmas morning in 2004 with a personalized Cubs jersey.

I thought it was a pretty cool idea, really. I actually had to call in to Wrigleyville Sports to order it because, at least at the time, they didn't customize the pink women's jerseys. They did a great job helping me out and getting everything set; and, unlike the Rockies, they even included the T in ALTMAN, along with 10, my wife's favorite number.

We entered the reception hall to Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," cut our wedding cake to and my groom's cheesecake to John Fogerty's "Centerfield", and I removed and tossed a Cubs garter from my wife's leg at the appropriate time. Heck, our placemats were even scorecards from a fictional game that included all the members of the wedding party.

As you can see, the Cubs infiltrated my entire nuptial celebration. Well, they had nothing to do with the fact that the Knights of St. John clubhouse/bar, which was adjacent to the hall we had rented for the reception, honored neither their "Members Only" sign nor the legal drinking limit. To wit, see my conversation with my best man:

"Dude, they've got free drinks over there!"

"What are you talking about, I've got 3 kegs in here."

"Yeah, but they're handing out shots next door."

"They can't be free though."

"All I know is I'm not paying for them."

Sure enough, ol' boy behind the bar was too enamored of the young women who had graced the stale confines of his humble fiefdom to care that two teenagers were bankrolling all the boozing. But I should rein this in before I get any more tangential; my colleague Justin Jabs may enjoy my anecdotal propensity, but I'd guess not all of you feel the same.

So despite the fact that my wedding and life (children: Addison, 7, and Ryne, 5) are steeped in Cubbishness, there is perhaps something to be said for keeping one's anniversary at least somewhat sacred. That said, it's not the celebration of nearly a decade of wedded bliss that will be keeping me from watching my team tonight.

The Cubs may have effectively mailed in the season when they dumped the Shark, but that doesn't mean I can't watch something with teeth. Yes, that's right: I'll be taking in Sharknado 2 on SyFy. Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw are probably rolling over in their graves thinking the makers of this schlock wouldn't know a good shark movie if it swam up and bit them on the ass.

If you're looking for sea shanties and moving soliloquies you're going to find Sharknado 2 woefully lacking. But if bad acting, clunky SFX and a plot that makes Winter's Tale look plausible make for your kind of movie, you've come to the right place. Oh, also, if you like the idea of a dude firing up a chainsaw and jumping headlong into the open mouth of a Great White that just swallowed a girl, you'll like the Sharknado movies.

But when you think about it, that's not much more implausible than a storyline in which a backup catcher comes into a ballgame to pitch a scoreless frame in the 16th, after which he scores the winning run in the bottom of the inning. And that Tebowing, fist-pumping slide is just screaming to be used in a movie. Still, I'm going with the Carcharodon phenomenon tonight.

I only wished they'd have gone with a better subtitle than "The Second One." Really? What about "They're Going to Need a Bigger Boat." And it really is too bad Jeff Samardzija's not around; I can only imagine the marketing tie-ins Crane Kenney and Co. could have dreamed up in light of this epic movie release. Maybe they can run a campaign anyway: "Shark-nada."

But even though Shark is busy spinning for Oakland, he might also get the chance to watch his namesake, since the A's take on Houston in the afternoon. Truth be told, I may catch Travis Wood and the Cubs for a couple innings. But then it's on to watching other has-beens trying to stay afloat, as my attention turns to Ian Ziering and Tara Reid.

And who could dismiss such Hollywood heavyweights as Vivica A. Fox, Mark McGrath, and Kari Wuhrer? Oh, and Kurt Angle, Andy Dick, Billy Ray Cyrus, Downtown Julie Brown, and Chazz Palminteri's kid. You know, now that I think about it, this movie is a lot like the Cubs: a bunch of no-names coming together for an outfit slapping together cheap thrills and hype in order to turn a buck with as little effort as possible. #narrative, amiright?

If sarcasm font really existed, you'd have seen it there...sort of. The Cubs really are kind of a B-movie group right now and they have a cult following that clings to them regardless of the quality of the product they're putting out. And just like fans turn out for games at Wrigley, they'll tune in to a flick about shark-filled waterspouts ravaging NYC (I hope Tulo's out of town by then).

But in spite of the inevitable frustration and, at times, outright incredulity, when it comes to the Cubs and SyFy Original Movies, I say "turn down for what?!" It might be my anniversary, but I'm going to watch Sharknado 2, galldurnit. Well, as long as my wife says it's okay.


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  • By about 11:45, it didn't seem like there was much of anyone in the park, besides the painted chest guys, a blond and a brunette, and someone waving in the home plate seats.

    On the Bud Light front, it has appeared for the last week that whatever switches the commercials at WGN has been fouled up,* but the blond in the office looked kind of hot in a cute way.

    I didn't figure out why the Bud Light Clamato ad was in Spanish, unless Univision had just taken over WGN. Maybe you can report in your beer column whether that is palatable. I would think most would prefer vodka or tequila.
    *Black screens, 5 seconds of car ad, 3 seconds of scores superimposed over field view, then Bood Lite.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:

    I can’t even imagine a Clamato being something I could stomach, but I know that Deadspin did a Straw-ber-Rita taste test and that there are many other such tests out there. I’ve basically heard that the various flavors taste like very fruity, sugary light beer.

  • In reply to Evan Altman:

    From that review, it is hard to tell what it is. They mention low alcohol for teens, but then that it is 8% alcohol, which means it isn't light beer, which usually is 4% (Bud Light is 4.2%, regular Bud 5%). They also say it isn't beer, but malt liquor, but I thought Colt 45 went out a long time ago.

    The "its not beer" might also explain why the fruit ones may be palatable. Lime might go with the bitterness of hops, but I don't see strawberry or mango in that "flavor profile" (as Chris Koetke would say).

    I see that the comments in that article ripped Chelada, but apparently that is Bud Light Beer However, one would have thought that Corona or Dos Equis would have thought of it first if Mexicans really drank that.

    Only takeway seemed to be not to make a slushy with it.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to jack:

    The macros are all trying to do different stuff these days to capitalize on flavors and such. Many moons ago, Ice Cube came under fire for promoting St. Ides Special Brew, which was also a fruit flavored malt liquor. The problem? You guessed it: marketing to kids. I am not afraid to admit that I really liked that stuff, though that was in my volume-drinking days.

    I guess it's a beer-like product for people who don't like beer but want the convenience of a canned pseudo-cocktail.

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