I have an idea! A Brilliant Idea.
Truly great ideas build slowly in the mind. Separate idea fragments are gathered over time and sit in isolation. They lay, seemingly dormant, for years. Imperceptibly reaching out, building neuron pathways to construct a web of connections until that last fragment floats into the web and the distant fragments coalesce into one gorgeous concept, and a brilliant idea is born!
A Brilliant idea in three fragments:
Not Roberto's most lasting impression on our author
1. Remember Roberto Alomar? Sure you do, everyone remembers the umpire spitting incident, and some might also remember the slick fielding, his deft handling of the bat or his A-rod-esque persona. But what I remember is being a baseball obsessed teenager hearing that when Alomar was trade to Toronto in the early 90’s he never bothered to rent an apartment, opting to stay in a hotel for the 2-3 months until the end of the season. Unremarkable, except this hotel was situated inside the Blue Jay’s stadium (The Sky dome at the time, now renamed the Rogers Center or something) and he had a room that looked out on the field. I was awestruck. You mean you can live in a baseball stadium?!
2. A few years later the Cub’s were deeply entrenched in the Steve Buechele era and wins were hard to come by. The ‘W’ flag was something of a rumor. I was couch potato-ing and came across the movie ‘Rookie of the Year.’ The mere promise of a few Hollywood Cubs victories was enough for me to put down the remote and perk up a bit.
You know the movie, an eleven year old little leaguer tears a ligament in his arm, the doctor sews him up a little tight and he comes out of it with a 103mph fastball. A scout for the Cub’s happens to witness him throw a bullet from right field during a little league game and signs him on the spot, he joins the team and after a few pitfalls they come together as a team and win the pennant. It’s basically the Mark Prior saga in rewind.
But that isn’t the idea fragment, after he is signed by the Cub’s he shows up at Wrigley for his first day on the job. When he arrives at the player’s entrance there is a big metal door that is locked up tight and they have a little Wizard of Oz moment when he knocks on the door. A Munchkin-like geezer appears out of this small window asking him what he wants. There were plenty of oddities in this movie but I was struck, did that Munchkin geezer live at Wrigley?
3. About a week ago on an overwhelmingly pleasant Friday, the sun was shining and everyone had a smile on their face. It was the type of day that demanded a Cub’s game but the Lords of baseball are unyielding in their adherence to the schedule. Barring a decree from chairman Selig it dawned on me that this wasn’t going to happen. Upon reconsideration I concluded that I didn’t even need a game and 40,000 sun drenched friends to hang out with, I just wanted to sit at Wrigley, sip a beer and talk baseball.
And the apple drops. Whiz! Bang! Flash! Eureka! If only I lived at Wrigley, then all my problems would be solved!
Now it’s only a matter of convincing Mr. Ricketts to let me slap a few 2×4’s together to build a little tree house into the grandstand somewhere. Perhaps if I told him I was his bastard son, drunkenly conceived after one of those College days in the bleachers, the ones before he met his future wife. Would that be enough to extort a tiny corner of Wrigley for myself? Would that work?
After some peer review this scheme revealed itself to be ill-considered, but what about a contest?
If you haven’t puzzled it together by now, this is the brilliant idea:
The Cubs need to find a couple hundred square feet of Wrigley and build a semi-livable space out of it. Then hold a contest to decide who gets the right to live there for a season. The winners (there will be two) will live together as roommates, do odd jobs around the Ball Park and blog about it several times a week. It’s a promotional bonanza, Bill Veeckian in its genius, sure to stir the blue blood in us all.
An Artist's Rendering
The contest would be open to all Cubs fans; the selection process is as follows:
1. A 600 word essay on what to Cubs mean to you. This is the weed out portion where the best one-hundred continue.
2. A Cubs trivia challenge, only the top thirty continue.
3. Rain delay team challenge! Everyone gets split into 2 teams, and then the teams compete to see who can cover the infield with a tarp in the least amount of time.
4. Peanut Bag toss! The remaining fifteen contestants have to long toss peanut bags into targets all around Wrigley, winners are judged on accuracy and style points. Top five continue.
5. Final challenge- The finalists get flown down to spring training and have to write a blog about the same game. America (excluding White Sox Fans) votes- the top two get to live in Wrigley field as roommates for a season and live the dream. Unless Ronny Woo-woo ends up being the other winner.
Dear Mr Simmons:
At this point, there is nothing worse than listening to advice from a Red Sox fan: “look at how it is done Cubs fans: you just play some moneyball, reverse the curse, be loose, say some prayers, keep on plugging, believe in miracles, and most of all never give up”.
You might as well be tell us to think “outside-the-box” and to try “putting some synergy on that baseball”.
What gets me the most is that Red Sox fans were the most bitter and non-believing of any tortured fan base. Now that the worm has turned, these people are constantly trying to explain that their faith and fortitude was the key to winning. We appreciated you as brethren but you have moved on now.
You talk a little bit about how your Boston friends hate you in the winter since you have moved to LA.
That is sort of what this is about except the Chicago Cubs baseball hemisphere does not tilt predictably towards the sun on an annual basis. As Cubs fans, we are currently stationed at the North Pole and we know there is no Santa Claus.
I hope to join you in feeling peoples pain one day, in the meantime I hope LA is swallowed in a tsunami.
This article refers to Bill Simmons recent article: Consider these teams officially tortured