Recently we watched “Sharknado” – a TV movie with the very plausible plot involving zillions of SHARKS that get swept up from the ocean into a TORNADO (get it – Sharknado) and then the sharks get spewed out all over causing terror and mayhem in the streets of Los Angeles. It could happen, right? Well, apparently Chicago, specifically Wrigleyville, is soon to be the real life setting for a similar horrific scenario – BEERNADO, according to Alderman Tom the Terrible Tunney.
As you know, the Ricketts family (owners of the Chicago Cubs) have proposed a $300 million renovation for Wrigley Field and surrounding venues with private funds. Key word: private. It looks like they are finally winning this long uphill battle, but not without a tooth and nail fight with the Whining Residents of Wrigleyville and their fearless leader Alderman Tunney.
Now, one of their proposals includes a pedestrian bridge that would link a hotel and six story retail building over Clark Street. Sounds like a good idea, right? Nooooooo – says Terrible Tom. Bad, Bad, Bad Idea. Why? Because the innocent bystanders and cars stand to be bombarded with BEER from the zillions of inebriated Cub’s fans that will be scrambling to perch themselves on the proposed cross-walk for this very purpose. Now, will that mean cans of beer, bottles of beer, kegs of beer, a waterfall of spilled beer, or maybe just beer spit…not sure – but beer in some form. OMG – BEERNADO.
What were the Ricketts thinking?
So, we need to sit down with Tom,” The Sky is Falling” Tunney and hold his shaking hand, look in his petrified eyeballs and calm his worst fears.
“The nightmare you are predicting, Tom, is not going to happen. It’s all in your mind, or maybe you’re just scraping the bottom of the beer barrel, as you run out of monkey wrenches to throw into the Rickett’s esteemed plans for the Friendly Confines.
Baseball. Our National Past time. Fun for the whole family. The Norman Rockwell depiction really does hold true. Peanuts and cracker jacks – you won’t care if you ever get back.
Now, do they sell beer at Wrigley? You betcha. Nothing like an ice cold Old Style on a hot day as you root, root, root for the Cubbies.
Are there throngs of totally wasted fans sloshing beer from…let’s see…the Rooftops? No, Tom. Have enjoyed a game from many a Rooftop. It doesn’t happen.
Are there masses of drunken fans tossing beer from the upper deck? No, Tom.
How about from the Red Line platform overlooking Addison Avenue. Are there staggering rowdies spitting beer on the pedestrians and cars below? No, Tom. Check it out. No Beernado.
Now, there are a couple of logical reasons why this just doesn’t happen:
It’s Illegal. Drinking alcohol on the streets of Chicago is prohibited. (Maybe you were confusing our town with New Orleans.) AND…to make sure that this doesn’t happen…have you noticed how many of our city’s Officers in Blue are positioned around the stadium? They’re everywhere. On foot, on bikes, even on horseback. Then, there are the friendly folk employed by the Ricketts family that politely, but firmly remind you that one cannot walk out of the stadium with even a teeny, tiny drop of beer in your plastic cup? They watch as you either chug a lug or dump it into the trash can. No “To-Go Cups”, Tom. This is not New Orleans.
And, Tom, let’s just take this thought process a step further. Let’s say, very hypothetically, that it was legal to imbibe on the streets (or in this case the overhead walk way). I’m kinda thinking that at $7.50 a beer, Cubs fans would want to drink their beer – right down to the last drop. Not too likely that they would be wasting it by pouring it on targeted victims and cars below. That would be crazy, Tom.
Come to think of it, there have been many a time when we have spent hours - before the game, at the game, and after the game and not spotted even one inebriated fan…so there. Suburban families, come on down, bring the kids, don’t be afraid.
And thank you to Cubs spokesman, Julian Green who backs me up on this with his defensive quote: “Cubs fans are no different than any other fans in the city of Chicago, they’re mothers, they’re fathers, they’re brothers, they’re sisters, and they’re responsible.” (Again, no Beernado.}
Now, I look up to see that My Sports Guy, a die-hard exuberant fan has walked into the room. So, just to confirm, I ask, “Honey, are you going to dump your beer over the balcony if the Cubs win today?”
He gives me the usual Look meaning, “What the hell are you talking about?” But mumbles a definite “No.”
“Would you dump it if they lose?” I am covering all bases.
Again, “No, I'm going to drink it either way” is his reply.
See, Tom, I rest my case.
So, memo to the Ricketts: Don’t cave in on this one. Forget about enclosing the bridge walk way. I read that you might do this as a compromise. Don’t do it. A lot more money for sure – you’re spending enough. And, if you need me to, I’ll gladly volunteer to have a face-to-face with Looney Tunney. He’s just freaking out and we all know Beernado isn’t real. I think I can talk him down. Your welcome. Go Cubs.