Friday, January 17, 2014

I understand, Clark, and I'm on your side

"Yes, the revulsion toward Clark cuts across cultural boundaries." - Jon Greenburg,

People who know me in real life as well as people who have been reading this blog for a while know that whining about my name is something that I do now and then. In reality, it's something I've gotten over for the most part. I mean, honestly, what am I gonna do? Change my name? Of course not. That doesn't change the fact that there is still a dearth of people and things out there representing the name "Clark".
Imagine my excitement waking up the other day and finding an email from my sister in my inbox:
"I’m sure you have heard already, but it was on the news this morning that the Cubs have a new mascot. Clark the Cub. What took the so long to recognize your greatness??"

Well, I hadn't heard already but my first thought wasn't about overdue accolades. It was something along the lines of, 'Of course it's the Cubs. Of course it's the team that hasn't won a championship in 105+ years (the + symbolizes the season that doesn't begin until April during which the Cubs won't come close to making the playoffs again). Of course it's the franchise that has come to symbolize losing like no other in all of professional sports. Of course.'
Other people sent similar notes and I started warming up to the concept. I grew up a Cubs fan because they were on TV where I lived and while I'm not 100% devoted to them, I do root for them when doing so doesn't conflict with supporting my true love, the Tampa Bay Rays. I love visiting Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs, as it was the first stadium I ever visited. And now, it will have plenty of souvenirs with my name on them, so that's nice. I not only accepted the development but began to embrace it as something not half bad. Then the media and the internet started weighing in:

  • "Widely reviled" - USA Today
  • "As if being a #Cubs fan wasn't laughable enough on it's own. Now we get the rejected cast member of "Talespin" as the mascot." - @PAshleyWalden (Twitter)
  • "The Cubs' New Mascot Is A Nightmarish, Perverted Furry" - Deadspin
  • "Clark the Cub looks awfully happy to be representing more than a century of sadness." - @EliseMichelle (Twitter)
  • "Cubs lose! Cubs lose! with new mascot Clark" - Chicago SunTimes
  • "Clark the Cub: a mascot that is somehow worse than Wally the Green Monster." - @AlanGreenback
  • "The Chicago Cubs Make Clark the Latest Bad Baseball Mascot" - The New Yorker
  • "Finally, a reason for Pierre the Pelican: KILL CLARK THE CUB." @RKallland (Twitter)
  • "Cubs’ fans don’t get a contender, they get Clark" - Chicago SunTimes
  • "Isn't wearing pants" - Everybody

Wow. The last one isn't even a valid complaint. Who would ever wear pants if they didn't have to? Aside from that, even at my absolutely most self-conscious and paranoid, I never faced that kind of persecution and vitriol. Like right now, I'm pretty sure there is only one person who hates my guts but I haven't seen anything in writing. Well, now that I knowg that sportswriters and Twitter users hate Clark, I officially love him. Most of you know that Twitter is the home of some of the most miserable people on earth. The rest of the most miserable people on earth, who may also have Twitter accounts, are sportswriters. I know this from experience. Sportswriters hate everything. If you as a fan think your local team and the players hate you, well, you may be right. I don't really know. But I promise you that your local sportswriters definitely hate you. Mostly, they think you're stupid but they hate you because of your perceived stupidity. They hate writing stories for you, they hate asking players questions on your behalf and they really, really hate you for having your stupid opinions. I don't know why. I love all of that stuff. Maybe it's because I've only been doing it for a few years and they're older and jaded and bitter. All I know is that they're so goddamned negative about everything that I almost feel obligated to push back. I certainly feel justified in doing so.
And it doesn't look like the people whose opinions actually matter on the subject have a problem with him.


1 comment:

Michael Noble said...

Michael <------- rarely wears pants