Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Cell by any other name will smell as sour



    Whenever the corporate naming of ballparks comes up, I try to remind people that "Wrigley Field" is also product placement, named for a brand of chewing gum. It doesn't seem that way because we've had it for so long Wrigley feels like it was named by Abner Doubleday, and many no doubt suspect the gum took its name from the field. It didn't. 
     So I am not broken up by the change, announced Wednesday, of U.S. Cellular field to "Guaranteed Rate Field." Yes, such names evoke David Foster Wallace's classic "Year of the Depend Adult Undergarment." Yes, I imagine "Guaranteed Rate" is a new, utterly meaningless company to most people—that might be why they're putting money into naming baseball fields. (Founded in 2000, it is a mortgage company, at least based in Chicago, so there's comfort there). 
     But the honest truth is I don't have a dog in this race. As a North Sider, I've always said that I'd rather pay to go to Wrigley Field than go to U.S. Cellular for free, and that holds true whatever they call it. The Cell is an ugly, unpleasant place to see a ballgame, and changing the name won't change that. South Siders will disagree, but then, they always do. 


13 comments:

  1. I love watching baseball at the Cell. It's comfortable, the sightlines are great, you can see the field from everywhere on the concourse, and whatever ugliness was built into the ballpark was corrected, using the money from the naming rights sold to US Cellular. And this is from a die-hard Cubs fan who thinks Wrigley Field is heaven on Earth.

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  2. Last time I went to Wrigley I couldn't sit in my $120 box seat because the fat woman next to me was spilling over into a large portion of my seat on a 90-degree day. I'll bet you wouldn't be happy paying for that.

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    1. @Brule -- So you're blaming Wrigley Field for...what? The seats are plenty roomy for an average-sized person. You were just unlucky that particular day.

      SandyK

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    2. Sandy makes a good point. That's like saying, "Last time I went to Wrigley Field, I got in a car accident on the way." O....K....

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  3. For me the most absurd ballpark name fiasco will always be Enron Field having to change its name to Minute Maid Park.

    Bitter Scribe

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  4. I think "Depends Adult Undergarment Field" would be hysterically funny name & appropriate name for a team that's been run into the toilet by Reinsdorf.

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  5. The goofiest idea for a ballpark this year was the installation of mettle detectors for Cub fans at Wrigley Field. A more ridiculous waste of time and money is hard to imagine.

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    1. Every park has metal detectors
      Wrigley was allowed to go without last year because of construction. Most arenas have them as well. But you are right stupid idea

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    2. Every park has metal detectors
      Wrigley was allowed to go without last year because of construction. Most arenas have them as well. But you are right stupid idea

      Delete
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  8. My husband suggested "Papa John's Field of Dreams." :-D

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  9. I think they should rename Wrigley Field "Juicy Fruit Field". j/k :)

    SandyK

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