As delirious Cubs fans gather this weekend at CubsCon to start the 2015 World Series victory parade, the Chicago Tribune’s Mark Caro took aim at the corny anthem “Go Cubs Go” calling it “vaguely ridiculous.” While I completely agree with him, I think it’s a symptom of a larger problem: the Cubs believe their fans are all elderly women.
What more evidence does one need beyond Ye Olde Ragtime Banjo Band wandering the concourse and that disco abomination ‘YMCA’ pumping through the ancient sound system that Cubs marketing/fan entertainment departments are convinced we’re all post-menopausal?
Don’t get me wrong—nostalgia has it’s place. I mean, who doesn’t love the occasional image of grandma sitting in Section 213 diligently filling out her scorecard? But constantly pandering to an era long past does little to curb baseball’s massive decline in popularity amongst the younger demographic while doing a lot to annoy those of us in the stands without AARP cards and vaginas.
Granted, this ranks very low on the Cubs’ list of issues, but now that they appear to be addressing the level of talent on the field and in the manager’s chair, it can’t hurt to take another step toward becoming a respectable franchise.
If the Cubs want to model themselves so badly after the Boston Red Sox, why not take another page out of their winners’ handbook that employs local, harder-edged bands like the Dropkick Murphys and the Pixies as part of their in-game entertainment package? Why not honor Chicago’s rich music history and throw in some Smashing Pumpkins, Kanye, Wilco or even Pearl Jam who’s Chicagoan frontman Eddie Vedder is a famously long-suffering Cubs fan and Theo’s BFF? Who wouldn’t get fired up to join 40,000 shouting out Cheap Trick’s ‘Surrender’ to taunt the opposing ball club?
At the very least, it might just make it slightly less embarrassing to be a Cubs fan. We’re all alright.