Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #36 -- Celebrity Cub Fans


who Frequent

the Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field

As we enter the playoff chapter of this storybook Cub season, there's something that needs to be said: I’m pissed at former First Fan Hillary Clinton. In her autobiography and through her years in the White House, she maintained her Cub fandom. But during the recent debate in New Hampshire, she spewed something so entirely unacceptable that I don’t believe she can be regarded as a fan ever again. When asked by Tim Russert which team she’d root for in a Cubs-Yankees World Series, she replied, “I guess I would have to alternate.” Huh? What?

So poof! She’s gone from the list. Here are 13 perhaps lesser known celebs who also root, root, root for the Cubbies … but unlike Hillary, they don’t “alternate.”

1. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame has thrown out the first pitch at several Cub games and has sung “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the 7th Inning Stretch. A real Chicago sports fan, he also attends Bulls and Black Hawk games.

2. John Cusack, famous for holding that boombox over his head in the rain in Say Anything, is a Wrigley Field mainstay who has sung “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and hangs out in the WGN broadcast booth. There are ugly rumors that two years ago he “groveled” for Sox Series tickets and even denounced the Cubs to get them, but I choose to believe that story has been exaggerated.

3. John Dillinger. One of the Depression’s superstar bank robbers, Dillinger was a loyal Cub fan who risked arrest by openly attending a game at Wrigley Field less than a month before his demise at Chicago’s Biograph Theater.

4. Dennis Franz is best known as Detective Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue. Franz was a creative force behind the wise and witty Bleacher Bums play about Cub fans, and appeared in the documentary about the Cubs All-Star third baseman Ron Santo, This Old Cub.

5. Steve Goodman. Famous for writing “The City of New Orleans” (Good night, America, how are you? Don’t you know me? I’m your native son), Steve was an uber fan. His cheerful “Go, Cubs, Go” is sung by fans as they file out of Wrigley Field after a victory (Lou Pinella says this makes him cry). Steve lost his battle with leukemia just days before he was scheduled to sing The National Anthem at the Cubs post-season home game in 1984. Jimmy Buffet took his place and, rumor has it, spread some of Steve’s ashes around home plate.

6. Bernie Mac. He is so a fan! I know there are those out there who blame him for what happened in 2003 because he referred to the team as the “NL champs” on TV long before it was a done deal. But that’s just silly. We all know 2003 was Bartman’s fault. Plus, Bernie is much funnier than Jim Belushi, who I’m not including on this list because he annoys me.

7. Joe Mantegna. Born in Chicago, he’s been nominated for three Emmys and a Golden Globe award. He’s appeared in at least two different productions of The Bleacher Bums (and, like Franz, has received a writing credit) and shows up in the bio of Cub legend Ron Santo, This Old Cub.

8. Bugs Moran. It was Bugs’ gang that suffered famously in that unfortunate little incident in February, 1929. But Bugs never entered the garage that fateful Valentine’s Day. At the last moment, he saw what he thought was a police car (it was really Capone’s men) and kept going. Such luck is unusual for Cub fans. It was no different in the 1920s than it is today – while Moran was a Cub fan, Capone was a White Sox fan. Never the twain shall meet.

9. Bill Murray. Oscar-nominated and a veteran of Saturday Night Live, Murray recently lent the Cubs moral support by visiting the dugout during their final series with the Marlins. Fond of Cub announcer Harry Caray, he spent quite a lot of time in the booth … and once rather famously left Harry speechless on air. When Harry asked Bill about his mother (also a great Cub fan), Bill replied, “She’s dead. And don’t ask about my dad, because he’s dead, too.”

10. Bob Newhart. Born in my hometown of Oak Park, he’s best known for his self-titled sitcoms. When it comes to baseball, he wisely stated that “being a Cub fan prepares you for life.” Truer words were never spoken.

11. William Peterson of CSI. Well-known on the Chicago theater scene before going on to TV and movies, Petersen is a life-long Cub fan who has both sung during the 7th Inning Stretch and thrown out the first pitch.

12. Gary Sinise. Oscar-nominated as Lt. Dan in Forrest Gump, the star of CSI:NY grew up in the Chicagoland area and is no stranger to Wrigley Field. He’s tossed out the first pitch and also appears in This Old Cub.

13. Vince Vaughn grew up on the Cubs, shot scenes of The Break-Up at Wrigley Field and then brought co-star/girlfriend Jennifer Aniston to the ballpark. Having the year’s hot couple within The Friendly Confines was one of the highlights of the dismal 2006 season. What a difference a year makes!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. AF Wife has a very important TT about domestic violence

2. Ellen shares 13 facts about California

3. Impworks explains his Wordless Wednesday photo, and it's a great story.

4. Malcolm tells us which 13 shows he has on DVD

5. Secret Agent Mama has a very large TT

6. Janet's TT is both musical and scary

7. Follow Yen to 13 of her favorite sites

8. Jenny muses, and her musings are always interesting

9. Works for Mom shares 13 important facts about breast cancer

10. Susan Helene profiles Daniel the Drummer

11. No Nonsense Girl has a thankful TT

12. Lori has a sexy and romantic TT

13. Check out Harlekwin's gorgeous TT banners!

14. Ann has a wonderful, supportive TT all about her author-friend Carrie

15. Thomma Lyn offers up a very worthy reading list

16. Xakara indulges her love for Halloween and the supernatural

17. Bloggers has an exhaustive list of pay-per-post blogs

18. Mom not Mum shares 13 of her kids' cutest quotes

19. Joy shows us whimsical objets d'art

20. Sparky Duck sets the wayback machine for 1972

21. Carrie Lofty celebrates the exciting news about her book deal with anagrams

22. Even though she's a (GASP!) Cardinals fan, visit Erin's TT

23. Denise's TT is devoted to Pearl herself, Janis Joplin

24. Vixen has a very moving TT about Ladybug

25. Journeywoman offers up 13 ways to fix what ails US

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Nobody, no nobody is gonna rain on my parade!

I mean it, people! Like my idol Babs, I insist that life's candy and the sun's a ball of butter! The Cubs enter the post-season fray tonight and I am going to enjoy it, no matter how many Dark Forces conspire to ruin it for me.

Before the game begins (9:00 CST), I must attend a condo association meeting. I know what this means -- a special assessment which will separate me from my money. Fine. Whatever. I will not allow the association board to bring around a cloud to rain on my parade.

I'm growing my hair out and it's a mess. I went to the health club for the first time since introducing this new style, and the humidity in the shower area has caused Dennis the Menace cowlicks to spring up anywhere they damn well please. Fine. Whatever. I will not let these stubborn locks bring around a cloud to rain on my parade.

My best friend has been decidedly pissy about this round. He just moved to Boulder last year and has never been much of an MLB fan. Yet when the Rockies bandwagon slowed down, he climbed aboard. He seems to feel this makes us equals when it comes to the personal investment we have in these playoffs. Never mind that I think I've watched more Rockies games this year than he has. Never mind that I'm a third generation Cub fan. Never mind that I want this more than I want my next breath. Fine. Whatever. I am not getting drawn into stupid conversations about this. I will not let Eeyore bring around a cloud to rain on my parade.

Go, Cubs, Go.

Just like me, they long to be Close to Lou

The Chicago press loves Lou Pinella. He answers even awkward questions with amusingly mangled English (a sport mastered by Mayor Daley) and without picking fights with reporters or tossing homophobic slurs (a far uglier sport mastered by his South Side opposite number).

I love Lou Pinella because the Cubs are there, boys and girls! Tonight -- a night in OCTOBER! -- the playoffs begin and we're in it.

So here, with help from the Tribune, is my humble tribute to our manager, our hero, our court jester and fearless leader, Lou Pinella:

What Lou said vs What Lou meant

Ivory: Ivy

Michigan Mile Magnificent Mile

Karmac the Magician: Carnac the Magnificent

Stevie Eyre: Scott Eyre

Scott Ire: Scott Eyre

Stevie Ire: Scott Eyre

Vim and vinegar: Vim and vigor

"Go, Cubs, Win": "Go, Cubs, Go"

The Lou/Star Trek Connection

Dr. Bones shouted, "Damn it, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a mechanic!" This season an exasperated Lou has announced, "I'm a manager, not …

• "… a hygienist."
• "… the air conditioning man."
• "… a meteorologist."