Opening day at Impact Stadium proved a few things about Chicago: we really like having Wiener’s Circle as a vendor; we drink our weight in beer at baseball games; and we can be a three-team city.
Impact Field is very different from Chicago’s other two baseball venues. It’s an open plan, with all the vendors occupying most of the upper deck without much cover like Wrigley and whatever they’re currently calling Comiskey Park. The regular seats are entirely unroofed. There are sky boxes available over many of the vendors and none of this matters because on opening day, Impact Field lied to me about catsup.
What makes Impact different is its attitude. Where Wrigley is kind of Northshore and Comiskey is kind of Southside, Impact is very much a near-suburban stadium. It’s got a rock and roll stance with funny visuals and dumb games between innings (really dumb games). But they’re fun. They play great music. They know their audience and they know they’re the new guy and they’re not trying to sell anyone something. And they have a mascot and here’s where they lied to me.
Not long after Wayne Messmer sang the National Anthem – a brilliant choice that connected the new stadium immediately to Chicago sports history – the on-field announcer told us to get ready for the unveiling of their new mascot, Ketchup. A six-foot catsup bottle waddled out onto the field and danced around then out of nowhere a bright yellow mustard bottle dashed onto the turf and beat the condiments out of the ketchup bottle as is proper. The announcer then introduced us to their real mascot, Squeeze, and proclaimed loudly and clearly, THERE IS NO KETCHUP AT IMPACT FIELD. Everyone roared their approval because we’re grown-ups and we’re from Chicago and we all watched that one Clint Eastwood movie and we know, we truly believe, we will willingly recite as if it’s a city-wide catechism: nobody puts catsup on hot dogs.
Except for everyone at Impact field because on the condiment tables in front of every vendor were enormous self-serve vats of it.
The Chicago Dogs is a fine ball club and after a few polite minutes where everyone golf clapped and tried to figure out if Independent . . .
Look, I don’t know what you do at home and I don’t care. That’s your business. But in the name of all things holy, why in the world would you ruin a marginally adequate hot steaming tube of meat by slathering it with a sauce (it is not a condiment) made mostly out of red dye and sugar?
The Chicago Dogs is a fine ball club and after a few polite minutes where everyone golf clapped and tried to figure out if Independent Professional baseball . . .
It’s not even a sauce. Ketchup is a comforting masque for getting kids to eat something. You put it on burgers to get a kid to eat the burger. You put it on hot dogs to get a kid to eat the hot dog. You put it on pizza because you are a Godless Canadian and deserve all the sanctions we can throw–
The Chicago Dogs is a fine ball club and after a few polite minutes where everyone golf clapped and tried to figure out if Independent Professional baseball was any different from Major League baseball (hardly) some guy in the fifth row. . .
Look at the ingredients: tomato concentrate, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup–it’s got corn syrup and then more corn syrup . . . sigh.
The Chicago Dogs is a fine ball club and after a few polite minutes where everyone golf clapped and tried to figure out if Independent Professional baseball was any different from Major League baseball (hardly) some guy in the fifth row stood up and laid into the home plate umpire and we all relaxed and enjoyed the game.
We don’t need a third team in Chicago. Heck, we don’t need two teams in Chicago. But if the opening day at Impact Field was any indication, we will provide overwhelming, loud, enthusiastic, umpire-dissing support for a third ball team and fill every one of the 6,300 seats at every game.
And put ketchup on their hot dogs, like savages.