We don't need to re-state the common complaint about Cubs fans, but we'll do it anyway: They aren't serious. (Thanks, Barack Obama.) They attend games not for the love of their baseball team but for the love of the experience, and they care more about getting a good suntan and a cold beer than a win from the home team.
Like any generalization, it's true for some, false for others, and a mixture of it all therein. Cubs fans have made huge steps in "intensity" since 2003, and it's almost to the point now where the collective insanity -- standing up for a third out in the third inning of an April game, for example -- is a bit over-the-top.
Still, the Cubs themselves aren't doing their stereotype wary-fans any favors. The team's 2009 marketing campaign features the famous red Wrigley marquee, filled with sayings like "Wrigley Field: Home Of The Reason You Put Up With The Winters." Another says "Wrigley Field: Home Of Coming Back From Meetings With A Sunburn."
That's not exactly "Wrigley Field: Home Of A Baseball Team You Really Enjoy Watching Play Baseball."
That said, sports marketing is about the casual fan. The die-hards will always buy tickets. It's about getting those Wrigleyville yuppies and suburban families hooked on season ticket packages by selling them the idea of the Wrigley experience. There's no question that experience exists. It'd just be nice if it was a little more about baseball, and a little less about pigment.
Eamonn Brennan is a writer, editor and blogger hunkered down in Lincoln Park. You can also read him at Yahoo! Sports, FanHouse, MOUTHPIECE Sports Blog, and Inside The Hall, or at his personal site, eamonnbrennan.com.