Every game since the death of Harry Caray in 1998, the Chicago Cubs organization has hauled every form of celebrity and athlete in front of the cameras and made them sing the 7th inning stretch. Here’s a look at some of the best and worst attempts that were made over the years.
- Mike Ditka admitted his “singing” was horrible. It sounded so not good. He was late getting into the booth, off key the entire time and screeched rather than sang. But we give him a pass because he is Da Coach. Super Bears, Super Bowl 1985.
- Champion of circle driving, Jeff Gordon, mistakenly called Wrigley Field, Wrigley Stadium. Ouch. That’s a cardinal sin on the north side of town.
- Heavy metal Hall of Famer Ozzy Osbourne. God Bless his soul for still being able to crap by himself but sing the 7th inning stretch? Not a mumbling chance.
- Longtime Cubs fan and Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder. Great voice, always on key and is a fan of the Cubs. Perfect.
- Lt. Dan, Gary Sinise is one of the rare actors who brought it loud and proud during his stretch singing. Somewhere his legs were a dancing.
- Will Ferrell pretty much has carte blanche to do whatever he’d like at Wrigley. He does the best Harry Caray known to man and his introduction of the Cubs lineup with Zack Galifianakis was money.
- Bill Murray. See above, Will Ferrell.
After mixed results it’s time to switch up the 7th inning stretch and make the crowd cheer louder than tweens at a Bieber concert. What can we do to make it better?
Switch it up from the 7th inning to the 5th inning. Nobody in their right mind at this point in the Cubs season is staying past the 5th inning and paying $8 per beer. So to increase fan interaction while they are still there, switch it up. Imagine the baseball purists rolling over in their graves claiming how sacred the 7th inning is. Long live the DH and multiple wild cards. This is a business, let the Cubs brass run it as such. See Jumbotron.
Invite some colorful people on board to sing the stretch. Let each conductor bring their own flare and personality into the stretch song. Did you watch Miley Cyrus do her thing at the VMAs? Imagine her singing the stretch with 2 Chainz. Holla! Bring on some Minka Kelly, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Hardy. Better looking people means better times. Its a proven fact. Don’t believe me? Just go to a Chicago Cubs game with Jim Belushi singing and you tell me how much fun you had.
I love the Chicago Cubs and I love all that Wrigley Field is and will continue to be, but the product on the field is a work in progress. We all know that 2015 is the year of the Cub and in the interim, lets be real with each other. We need talented attractions to keep us entertained until then. I recommend a voting system by the fans at each game to vote if they liked that day’s 5th inning stretch. A fan vote on the way out of the gates. If the guest conductor achieves a 50% or better approval rating, they will be allowed to come back and sing again. This will force guest conductors to be better prepared and scare away the wannabes. Plus it gives the fans a say which is as important as peanut butter is to jelly baby.
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