Early this week, the Chicago Cubs debuted its new mascot bear, “Clark The Cub,” to great fanfare. The new pantsless team mascot, however, has received much ribbing from fans. In fact, on the blog community sponsored by the Chicago Tribune, the bear was downright slammed.
Several years ago a blog community called ChicagoNow.com was launched with support from the Chicago Tribune whose WGN radio is the broadcaster for the Cubs. The purpose of the blog platform is to focus on Chicago and many of the bloggers there are sports bloggers. Naturally, when Clark The Cub was unveiled the bloggers at ChicagoNow chimed in. Most were not very positive about the move by the venerable northside ball team.
The bloggers at ChicagoNow aren’t the only ones to attack the new Cubs mascot, of course. Deadspin called Clark The Cub a “nightmarish, perverted furry.” And if you go to Twitter and check out the hashtag #clarkthecub you’ll find one slam after another on the new mascot.
However, the bloggers at ChicagoNow are local Chicagoans and their opinion is of particular interest.
Skit Sketch Jeff wrote a satirical treatment of the new mascot saying that the debut was such a disaster that Cubs GM Jed Hoyer had to resign over it all.
Ed Nickow, whose ChicagoNow blog is named Chicago Sports in Haiku, wondered “what were they thinking?”
“They’re calling Clark ‘unbearably cute.’ That’s half right. Really, he’s just going to be unbearable,” Nickow said dryly.
Peter Bella of the ChiNow blog Interesting Chicago noted that some of his fellow bloggers are really ripping the new mascot apart.
“ChicagoNow’s Julie DiCaro said it best on Facebook,” Bella wrote “‘Do you think us parents want that thing in our houses? Like I want to walk in my kids’ room at 3 am and see that thing looking at me? No thanks.'”
Floyd Sullivan was also a detractor, saying on his blog Waiting4Cubs that the mascot was the “most controversial off-season acquisition to date.”
The hundreds of bloggers for ChicagoNow also have a Facebook page. When the Cubs mascot came up on that page the thing was savaged once again. Clark was called “lame” by one blogger and made another one “angry.”
Not all the ChicagoNow bloggers were against the furry, pantsless bear, of course. TJ Falletti said on her blog Chi-Town Mommy Mayhem that the mascot was for the kids and was a good idea, while Cubs Den blogger John Arguello dismissed the controversy saying that it is “just a mascot to entertain younger fans” and is no big deal.
Finally, two ChicagoNow bloggers attacked those doing the attacking.
Anno Catuli said on his World Series Dreaming blog that too many are “wasting their time” complaining. “The fact that fans are wasting time complaining about Clark’s lack of pants is quite laughable,” he wrote.
For his part, another blogger on Cubs Den was so disgusted by the complainers that the whole thing made him want to quit being a Cubs fan.
“Yesterday was one of those days that made you question if indeed you were ever a fan of the Chicago Cubs and if you will ever be again going forward. Not by the actions of the Cubs mind you. But by Cub fans,” blogger Felzz wrote.
So there you have it, Chicago in microcosm. The reaction to the Cubs’ new mascot was mostly negative on the Internet ranging in sentiment from annoyance, to mockery, to outright anger. But some supported the mascot while a few others attacked the fans that were upset with the addition of Clark The Cub to the Cubs lineup.