Note: The following is a guest post from Crawly, a familiar sight to most of you that go to the Cubs Convention. You can follow Crawly at his Twitter, crawly’s cub kingdom, and probably meet him since he camps out to get the best seats for the Opening Ceremony. The Cubs Convention will be this coming weekend, January 15-17, and World Series Dreaming will be in attendance! As for who’s attending:
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) January 8, 2016
Some people love Christmas. Some people love to celebrate their birthdays. Me, I am in love with the Cubs Convention. Cubs Con is always in the middle of January, usually during the coldest week of the year, and it is glorious. Cubs fans come from around the country to spend a weekend meeting up with friends, drinking a few cold ones, and spending the whole weekend immersed in everything Cub. I’ve made tons of friends in the fifteen years I have been going to the Cubs Convention and so many wonderful memories. WGN Radio was the exclusive Cubs radio broadcaster for fifty-five years, with famous voices like Lou Boudreau, Vince Lloyd, Milo Hamilton, Harry Caray, Pat Hughes, and Ron Santo calling Cubs games for generations of fans. As the official radio station of the Cubs, WGN would broadcast live from Cubs Con, with radio personalities like David Kaplan, John Williams, Spike O’Dell, Garry Meier, and Kathy and Judy all moderating session during the weekend.
All of that changed in 2014 when WGN Radio exercised an opt-out clause with the Cubs after a few years of financial losses due to people tuning out as the team was consistently finishing in last place. CBS radio quickly jumped at the opportunity to pick up the Cubs and offered a huge financial offer and other business opportunities that WGN could not match. In 2015, Cubs games were broadcast on WBBM 780. Needless to say, the experience was awful. There was barely a pregame show, constant reminders about traffic and weather on the 8’s, and the post game show was so short that it was usually over by the time I got back to my car after the game. Many Cubs fans like myself were ecstatic when another CBS station, 670 The Score, decided to not renew their contract with the White Sox and became the flagship station of the Cubs. I am so excited at the opportunities for extended pre and post game shows, weekend programs dedicated to the Cubs, and other opportunities that were not available on WGN or WBBM radio. There is just one little problem.
Although 670 the Score has many different shows and radio personalities, there is one show that has gone out of its way to insult and demean the Cubs Convention and its attendees. The Boers and Bernstein Show is on the air midday and is hosted by Dan Bernstein and Terry Boers. I confess that I do find them to be funny, juvenile, and interesting at times. Other times, I take their advice and turn them off when they are getting obnoxious. The problem I have is that Boers and Bernstein will be broadcasting their show live from the Sheraton when the convention begins on Friday, January 15th. For as long as I can remember, Boers and Bernstein have done nothing but insult the Cubs Convention and the people that attend it. Not only that, Boers and Bernstein had a long running issue with insulting Ron Santo. Santo, the Hall of Fame third baseman, radio color analyst, and Cubs Con fixture until his death in 2010, held a special spot in the heart of all Cubs fans, but especially those of us who attended the convention while he was alive. Ronnie was the funniest person on any panel that he was on, would sign thousands of autographs without complaint, and was always the Cub alumni that most fans could relate to. He was a Cub legend, but he was also one of us, a Cubs fan above anything else. Boers and Bernstein were always negative towards Santo. They made comments about the film Jeff Santo made about his father, This Old Cub, and insinuated that it was done to get Ron sympathy votes since he wasn’t a true Hall of Famer. They made fun of his amputations, which were a result of a lifelong battle with diabetes, which offended many people, not just Cubs fans. Boers and Bernstein have been nothing but rude, disrespectful, and downright distasteful towards the Cubs Convention and attendees and to Santo, and now they are going to broadcast their show at the Convention?
There were a few of us that sat through the Cubs Conventions during the dark years, 2010 to 2014. The Cubs finished in dead last for five straight seasons and the most exciting player to be signed during that time period was Edwin Jackson (who is now a Marlin). The Cubs Con, which sold out for 25 straight years, stopped selling out as interest in the Cubs hit a new low. Although things looked bleak, Cubs fans knew that our fortunes had changed when Theo Epstein signed with the Cubs on October 12, 2011. Theo was the biggest draw at the Convention during those lean years, and even he said that he was looking forward to a time when the players would be the focus. That happened at Cubs Con 2015, when Joe Maddon and Jon Lester signed contracts with the Cubs. Last year’s Cubs Con was the most exciting since the Cubs were coming off of back to back Central Division titles in 2009. We knew this team was ready to compete, but none of us could have predicted the successes of the 2015 season. The Cubs finished with 97 wins, 13 walk off wins, and numerous exciting plays. There was a no hitter thrown by Jake Arrieta, the tarp catch by Anthony Rizzo, and the season debuts of Kris Bryant, Addison Russell, and Kyle Schwarber. Who will ever forget the wild card win in Pittsbugh, defeating the Cardinals in their first post season matchup, and being within four games of the World Series? The Cubs swept the post season awards they were nominated for, with Bryant winning Rookie of the Year, Arrieta winning the Cy Young, and Maddon being named the manager of the year. Not content to sit on their heels, the Cubs went out and signed two of the Cardinals best players last season, Jason Heyward and John Lackey, in addition to Ben Zobrist. This will be the most glorious Cubs Convention that most of us will have ever attended, which leads me back to Boers and Bernstein.
This is a time for the Cubs faithful to celebrate our good fortunes. The disappointment of the previous four years are gone and Vegas has the Cubs as the odds on favorites to win the World Series. As Cubs fans, we are going to soak up every minute of this upcoming weekend. Boers and Bernstein don’t like the convention or the attendees, but they are going to be there, broadcasting live, joining in our celebration, interviewing players and front office staff, and sharing in the joy of what was one of the most fun seasons of Cubs baseball in recent history. If Boers and Bernstein really hate the Cubs Convention and its attendees, they should do the right thing and take the day off. They should not show up to the Cubs Convention that they detest so much. Don’t be around the “losers” that attend the convention that you look down upon. Don’t be hypocrites Dan and Terry. Stand up for what you believe in, back up your words, and take a personal day. If you do show up, realize that you are not welcomed.