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Chicago Cubs: In Defense of the New Mascot -- Clark the Bear

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | I had the same reaction you did when the Chicago Cubs announced the creation of the team's first official mascot:


"What?" "Seriously?" "Why?" "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard."

Even in my defense of this decision (coming below), I can't say that my initial reaction has totally been thrown out the window -- this coming from someone who pretty much thinks all mascots are worthless. Just when I thought the Cubs couldn't be taken any less serious, Clark the Bear shows up with his backwards hat, basically oozing "lovable loser."

All he's missing is Poochie's sunglasses.

But as I read a bit about the Cubs' intentions and how they plan to utilize their newest member, I came to realize that his arrival isn't all bad. My angry anti-mascot agenda aside, here's why:

Clark won't be on the field during games
Because Wrigley Field has the legendary aura that it does, the balance concerning what to allow into the experience is a pretty delicate one. It was a nice sigh of relief when the announcement said, "The mascot will not be on top of the dugout between innings, tossing T-shirts or hot dogs into the stands, and it won't disrupt the game."

"Good" is pretty much all I can say about that.

It's for the kids
Further in the report, the Cubs say that Clark "will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field, and also stop by the ballpark's 'First Timers Booth' to welcome new guests. On family Sundays, the mascot will help kids run the bases after the game."

I don't know the exact psychology behind it, but kids do sincerely love people gallivanting around in animal costumes. And the day Wrigley Field becomes a place that isn't for kids is the day we ought to rip it down.

His creation was democratic (well, sort of)
Clark the Bear exists partially because of responses from a fan survey and fan interviews that showed some wanted more family-friendly entertainment at Wrigley.

And while us baseball purists might gawk at such a hokey piece of ballpark decoration, when this bear's job is basically going to be welcoming kids to the ballpark, running the bases with them, hanging out with them, and being "a champion of Cubs Charities' mission," it gets increasingly difficult to complain on account of purist culture.

Puns, puns, puns
I usually hate puns, but if this bear can actually go by "Clark Grizzwold," you will never hear another complaint from me on the matter.

It's just not a big deal
Clark is a baseball mascot. Let's worry about the impending 100 losses that appear headed the Cubs' way in 2014.

Brian is a lifelong Chicago Cubs follower. Living in Illinois his entire life has given him a chance to closely follow and report Chicago sports as a freelance writer through Yahoo Contributor Network and Yahoo Sports. He is also a senior majoring in Creative Writing.

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