These posts celebrate the movie trailers, movie posters, commercials, print ads, and other promotional material that stand as their own works of art.
“1984 was just the start/ We’re gonna bring a pennant to this park.”
When I was trudging through my teen-aged years, I spent my summers watching WGN. In the days before cities had devoted sports superstations, practically every game played by the Chicago Cubs aired on one of the first local television stations that had the foresight to get themselves a place on the highly limited cable channel lineups coast to coast, especially in nearby Wisconsin. Folks within range of the broadcast tower clicked the dial over to Channel 9, but I blessedly had access to the games, too. And when the Cubs were in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, those games were played without fail under the shining sun.
As I would come to learn, becoming a Cubs fans was the surest track to perpetual misery to found in all of sports. I was aware of the history when the team made the playoffs in 1984, doing so for the first time in very nearly forty years, but I didn’t feel it. I was still caught up in the optimism of youth, and the resounding satisfaction of seemingly rewarded fandom. This was my favorite team, and they were bound for the post-season.
As I type, it’s been another thirty-plus years, and they still haven’t quite brought a pennant to that park. They’ve made the post-season a few more times. They’ve gotten close, always managing to somehow let it slip away. As Major League Baseball briefly catches its breath between the regular season and the playoffs, it feels plausible to think, hope against hope, ‘Maybe this year.’
Caray never suited up, of course, but through the nineteen-eighties and -nineties, when the Cubs often struggled, as the Cubs are wont to do, Caray was more than the voice of the Chicago National League ball club. He was the enduring spirit, the cheery, boozy id of Cubs fandom, fervently believing, sometimes against all evidence, that the team could be great. Even if they weren’t, it was baseball. The sun was shining, the beer was flowing, the ivy on the wall was as green as could be. How could this be viewed as anything other than plain joy delivered in a nine-inning package?
So maybe Caray is watching from somewhere. It’s a nice thought. And he dances through the Wrigley bleachers and waves his fishing net, hoping a home run lands in the mesh. And there’s a icy cold Bud waiting for him, just in time for the first pitch.
All right, Cubs, let’s get some runs.
Other entries in this series can be found by clicking on the “Art of the Sell” tag.