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Cubs losing their grip on the city

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



What a weird site to see more seagulls than bleacher bums in the stands at Wrigley Field on Monday afternoon.

But it’s all relative. The announced figure of 26,292 still surpasses the 2010 averages of the Diamondbacks, Orioles, Indians, Reds, Marlins, Royals, A’s, Pirates, Mariners, Rays, Blue Jays and Nationals. It’s only about a thousand fans fewer than the White Sox averaged last year.

More than 26,000 for a cool-weather Monday afternoon game in April against the D-backs? Even with real head count considerably lower than the paid number, a lot of teams would take that. (Attendance for Tuesday’s Cubs game was 27,039.)

The Cubs have done an amazing job of marketing the Wrigley Field experience: the ballpark, the neighborhood bars, the rooftop parties, the celebrity singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” the “Go Cubs Go!” sing-along — and oh yeah, the team.

A Cubbie town forever?

An entire generation of fans believe Chicago has always been a Cubs town. The Sox never get the national media coverage, casual attendees will always choose Wrigley Field over the Cell, movie actors and rock stars invariably don Cubs hats when they’re in town, the poems and songs and documentaries are more likely to be about the Cubs than the Sox. All that jazz.

Wasn’t always that way. Throughout most of the 1950s and the 1960s, the Sox outdrew the Cubs. The Sox were also more popular than the Cubs for a time in the early 1980s and again in the early 1990s.

But for most of the last 20 years, there’s been no debate about which team is more popular. You’d see Wrigley Field bulging with happy fans for a Thursday game in July featuring a .500 Cubs team, whereas the contending Sox were telling you good seats were still available for a crucial series in September against the Twins.

Is it time for another spin in the cycle, with Cubs fans finally saying all the summer sunshine, cold beer, halter-clad women, jam-packed bars and pop culture-infused seventh-inning stretches in the world aren’t going to cut it if the team isn’t winning?

Not yet. But consider if you went on Stubhub late Tuesday and you were looking for tickets for today’s game, you could instantly download tickets for 98.

Not dollars. Cents.

Literally hundreds of tickets were available for less than 10 bucks apiece.

The days when Cubs tix were nearly impossible to get unless you wanted to pay above-face value prices are gone.

You broke my nose!

In the trailer for the romantic comedy “Something Borrowed,” there’s a scene in which John Krasinski from “The Office” is playing beach badminton with Ginnifer Goodwin from “Real Love,” Colin Egglesfield from “All My Children” and Kate Hudson from “A Half-Dozen Other Romantic Comedies Similar to Something Borrowed.”

Krasinski wants to spill the beans about Goodwin being in love with Egglesfield even though her best friend Kate is engaged to Egglesfield, so Goodwin stops him by whacking him right in the face with a badminton racket.

Down goes Krasinski. And what does he say? “You broke my nose!”

Where have we heard that one before? Oh yeah. In about 30 other movies.

It’s a movie law. If there’s a surprise-comedic blow to the face, the victim must react by saying, “You broke my nose!”

They never say, “You fractured my cheekbone!” or “You chipped my tooth!” or “You bruised my testicles!” or “You may have caused me to tear my ACL!” But they always say, “You broke my nose!”

From “My Bodyguard” to “Pretty Woman,” from “Crimson Tide” to “Grumpy Old Men,” from “Domino” to the Adam Sandler version of “The Longest Yard,” from “The Last Boy Scout” to “Death at a Funeral,” from “Black Sheep” to “Secret Admirer,” from “Roxanne” to “Made of Honor,” when your nose gets broken, you have to announce it to the world.

(This trend was undoubtedly inspired by generations of screenwriters who saw the Marcia/broken nose episode of “The Brady Bunch” in reruns.)

Sometimes it’s a simple, “You broke my nose!” (“Victor/Victoria”). Variations include “I think you broke my nose!” (“Pretty Woman”) and “You broke my [bleeping] (“Domino,” “Basic.”)

But almost always, whoever got his nose broken deserved to have it broken, and gets no sympathy when he cups his face, feels the blood and says, “You broke my nose!”



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