Yesterday, after being named the city of the year by GQ Chicago was dealt several blows that might demand the national magazine rescind its proclamation. The editors chose the city because it had been the political home to the president elect and has experienced a comeback as the backdrop for major movies, but Monday a trifecta of blows quickly kicked out the pedestal and let the city wallow in the muddy waters at the bottom of the giant hole where the Chicago Spire, an architectural abomination that brought the city’s skyline back to the national conscious, was supposed to stand.
First the Chicago Tribune announced it would be going bankrupt. The move saved the newspaper from its massive debt, giving the media outlet a chance to operate without the pressure from creditors. However, despite the financial sense the declaration might make, it is a blow to the paper’s respectability. It is kind of like when Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt split or when Britney Spears chose to break up with Justin Timberlake. It is going to take a while for the newspaper to get through these dark times and have its reputation repaired.
Second, the Cubs diabetic, leg-less third baseman from the 1960s, was again denied a place in Cooperstown. Ron Santo played on the same field as Hall of Fame players Ernie Bank, Billy Williams, and Ferguson Jenkins has been trying to get in since the 1980, but has been the victim of rule changes and a lack of support.
While Santo did not reach the typical milestones, such as 3,000 hits or 500 home runs, at the time of his retirement few third basemen had even collected 2,500 hits or hit 400 homeruns. His 342 homeruns, nine all-star selection, and five Gold Gloves have proven not enough to convince members of his worthiness. His denial is the latest blow to the Chicago Cubs after a second consecutive first round loss in the playoffs. I think the Cubs fate and the Santo Hall of Fame escapade are somehow intertwined, and will continue to haunt the fans in Chicago until the sports gods stop thinking that a fan crying into an Oldstyle is hysterical.
Third, the first Chicagoan to become the Governor of Illinois since James Thompson was arrested on charges of corruption. Gov. Rod Blagojevich is accused of attempting to solicit financial benefit from the replacement of President-Elect Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat, numerous other financial schemes, and political maneuvering in the denial of state assistance to aid the sale of Wrigley Field to punish members of the Tribune editorial board that were critical of Obama. This may come as news nationally, but locally the entire state of Illinois has been angry with the man and still wonder how he won his re-election bid.
Basically, to put the story in John Hughes terms, Chicago decided to throw a party after winning the award, trashed their parents house, spent all the money on the credit card that was to be used for emergencies, and got turned down by the girl of their dreams all one night after being named valedictorian and being given a full scholarship to Harvard.
Well, at least the city still has the Bears…err…the Bulls…err…the Blackhawks…to look forward to? I give up.
This was a very bad Monday and only worsened the city’s image despite its successful attempts to make the city greener and bring back theater, with Wicked and Jersey Boys undeniable hits. Leave it to Chicago politics and the Cubs to ruin a good thing.