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MORRISSEY: Let’s turn Cubs’ contest into the best of their worst

The blue 'L' flag flies above scoreboard after Cubs lost game one Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants doubleheader 13-7

The blue "L" flag flies above the scoreboard after the Cubs lost game one of the Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants doubleheader 13-7 Tuesday June 28, 2011 at Wrigley Field. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: March 10, 2013 6:35AM



Like everybody else in the Chicago area, I woke up Thursday morning to black, gray and white. Trees looked like charred skeletal remains. Ice covered the streets and sidewalks. Dirty snow from the last storm hid the grass. Lovely.

But then I picked up my Sun-Times, and there it was, tucked away on Page 56 like a hidden, gold-bearing vein:

‘‘Wrigley Field will turn 100 years old during the 2014 season, and the Cubs are asking fans to design a logo commemorating the milestone,’’ the story stated.

Oh, sweet sunshine! After waking up to ugliness and contemplating the futility of it all, now I was having a near-life experience!

To repeat: The Cubs want fans to design a logo that salutes 100 years of Wrigley Field, which is to say 100 years of wretchedness. Really, what else could be saluted? One hundred years of winning? No. One hundred years of being oh-so-close to winning? No. One hundred years of no World Series celebrations? A hundred times yes!

The Cubs’ capacity for abuse knows no bounds. It’s a waste of time to wonder why they would put themselves through this, but bless them for doing it. It allows us, even for a few moments, to take our minds off performance-enhancing drugs, the Bears’ obnoxious ticket-price increase, the Cubs’ sad prospects for 2013 and February weather in Chicago.

So let’s get right to designing our logos. This probably doesn’t need to be spelled out, but White Sox fans are more than welcome to put their creativity to work.

The first question is whether you can build a logo around a billy goat without caving in to the clichéd obvious. The answer is not only that you can but that you must. No other team has had a Greek tavern owner put a curse on it for refusing to allow his goat inside its ballpark. That is worth celebrating. For many of you, there will be a temptation to have the goat doing unspeakable things in your logo. Who am I, the morality police?

But the design somehow has to capture late broadcaster Ron Santo’s anguished ‘‘Oh, nooooo!’’ after left fielder Brant Brown dropped a routine fly ball in 1998. I’m aware it happened in Milwaukee while the North Siders were fighting for a wild-card berth. I don’t care. That moan is the essence of the Cubs’ experience.

A simple blue flag with a white ‘‘L,’’ like the one that flies at Wrigley after a Cubs loss, would make for a elegant statement. Incorporating it in ‘‘WrigLey’’ would be even better.

What about an image of shortstop Alex Gonzalez booting a potential double-play grounder in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS at Wrigley, the beginning of the end for the Cubs that year? Doesn’t that say it all?

Steve Bartman? No. He didn’t do anything wrong. Many of you will want to include him, headphones clamped to his ears and reaching for that foul ball. Resist the urge.

If you want to show off your literary muscles, you could give a nod to novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Appealing, yes, but misleading, too, because the story of Wrigley Field is in the way droves of masochistic fans keep coming back for more. I’m thinking a dominatrix with a whip should be in the logo somewhere.

A trough urinal? A goat at a trough urinal? Hmmmm.

An Old Style logo? Or something a bit more raw and realistic, like an artist’s rendition of a pool of vomit on Clark Street?

Does a 1970s halter top belong? Late WGN producer-director Arne Harris helped build a huge following for the Cubs by televising ‘‘hat shots’’ of pretty young women enjoying games at Wrigley.

A slogan playing off the Cubs’ ‘‘victory’’ song might work: ‘‘Go, Cubs, Go — No, Really, Just Go.’’

The image of someone talking on a cell phone and ignoring the game? Sorry, Sox fans, that’s not just a Wrigley phenomenon. South Siders think Cubs fans are chardonnay drinkers; a wine glass in the design might be in order.

There are so many ways to go here. Is it possible to capture the whining of the rooftop owners? You tell me at rmorrissey@suntimes.com. I’d like to hear your suggestions for a logo.

The Cubs say they might use the winning entry throughout the 2014 season. They want fans to upload their original designs at cubs.com/logocontest by the end of this month.

I have the feeling their winner and mine won’t be in the same ballpark.



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