It was a beautiful afternoon for baseball on Saturday, so I headed out to the Wrigley Field bleachers to see how Chicago Cubs fans were coping with what can’t be called rebuilding.
Bleachers were packed for the game against the Atlanta Braves as fans stood behind the end lines in left and right field and gathered behind concessions to socialize without the obligation to watch the actual game.
In other words, business as usual at the corner of Waveland and Sheffield avenues.
Cubs owners have for years considered fans oblivious to the team’s failures on the field, knowing no matter how bad There will always be young fans looking for a party atmosphere at Wrigley.
The bleachers have always been a prime spot for tanning, drinking beer, and people watching, which is why tickets for seats so far away from the action are so expensive. Even former Cubs president Theo Epstein took a trip to the left-field section on Friday afternoon to soak in the sun and get some cool with friends.
Later am selling White Sox in 1981 Hall of Fame owner Bill Weeks spent his summer days sitting in the front row of Upper Center Field at Wrigley for a group led by Jerry Reinsdorf, which he called “the best seats in the house”. In a 1983 interview with his Perch, Weeks told me: “It’s one of those rare places where people of my generation can get together with younger people.”
Back in the days when bleacher tickets only went on sale on game day, regulars lined up with Sheffield to be sure of their favorite spots. But the former owner, the Tribune Company, changed that long-standing policy to a money-grab in 1985, which changed the bleacher vibe.
Weeks, who helped plant ivy on outfield walls in 1937, began his celebrated boycott of bleachers because of that policy change.
Every generation of bleacher bums condemns the younger generation for encroaching on their territory at least because I was sitting in the right field before working at the Chicago Tribune City desk in the 1980s. Years later, after becoming a Cubs beat writer, I spoke with a longtime Cubs fan and Rock Star Billy Corgan About Trendiness of celebrities participating in the games.
“The emphasis should be on the people who support the team — day in and day out — and I always avoid it,” Corgan said in a 2004 interview. “I’m a Mango Cubs fan. I was a Mango Cubs fan long before I became famous. I’ll never forgive yuppies for going back to ’84. I’m still crazy about it.
“When the Cubs stopped selling bleacher tickets on game day, that was the end of the old bleacher bums culture. Now it’s just fake bleacher bums.”
Yuppies may have caused the demise of bleacher culture four decades ago, but now it is the “Kuppies” who have taken center stage. You may have caught them in recent national TV broadcasts, including Fox Sports and ESPN telecasts of the Cubs-Cardinals series from two weeks ago.
The Cuppies are young fans who spend a significant portion of the game collecting empty beer cups so that they can be stacked large enough to cover several rows. These are commonly known as beer snakes or cup snakes. This has been going on for at least five years but recently it has become a problem for some people.
I spoke with a regular at left-field bleachers on Saturday: Cuppy bleachers ruining the experience. But they also agreed that nothing could be done to stop them.
The security guard I spoke to said there were orders from above to prevent Cuppies from collecting cups from one section to another and to move those tossing cups from section to section for the Beer Snakes. When I mentioned that the Bear Snakes received obsessive coverage on both Fox and ESPN, the guards said the Cubs couldn’t do anything about national broadcasts, but that the Marquee Sports Network wouldn’t allow shots of cup stacking during their broadcasts. .
The security guard asked not to be named to avoid rebuke by the cubs.
At least the cub safety owners’ priorities are in order. As someone fired from Wrigley Field for accidentally spraying a fan with a mist of water from a spray bottle on a sweltering afternoon in 1983, I can attest that Bleacher High Zinc lived a life of crime. could. Fortunately, I changed my life by moving from bleachers to press boxes, where I am no longer a threat to the organization.
I asked some Baby Boomer bleachrites if current Gen Z and Millennial residents are really any worse off than the Boomers who were during their heyday. In case anyone had forgotten, I reminded them that the Cubs put baskets on the bleacher wall in 1970 as fans were jumping onto the field after a win, worse than a pile of beer cups.
He assured me that the original Bleacher Bums were just for the Cubs to root for and have some fun with, while the Cuppy Bleachers are a blot on society and not even “real” Cubs fans. Someone reported that a fan caught Manny Machado in a home run during a Cubs-San Diego Padres game on Wednesday and refused to throw him back. Oh terrifying!
I have no quarrel with Kapi. They have a right to be oblivious to the plight of the cubs, just like the generations before them. If anyone wants to pay $100 or more to not see the cubs out of the bleachers, that’s their prerogative.
Back in the summer of 1987, For an article on the 50th anniversary of the creation of bleachers, I interviewed Marv Rich, a 57-year-old fan from 1943 on A Bleacher Bomb. Rich insists that the yuppies have taken over the bleachers and spoils the vibe for everyone else.
“They don’t care about watching the game,” he said. “All they care about is getting a good tan and being able to tell everyone afterwards that they got it in the bleachers.”
The Qupies have replaced the Yuppies, but the song remains the same. Bleachers are part of Wrigley Field, but game viewing is not mandatory.
It’s going to be a long, hot summer. Boomers and Cuppies have to coexist.
Can’t we all go together?