Say hello to Clark, the first mascot in the modern history of the Chicago Cubs.
And then…run. Note the glassy eyes, the stiff upper lip in the face of relentless disaster, the sad smile — and say to yourself, “The Cubs needed a mascot?” After all, they haven’t had one since 1916, when they had an actual live bear. (What could possibly go wrong?)
You’re not alone in questioning the wisdom of the move. The debut of Clark (Griswold?) sparked a fair amount of derision on Twitter:
Cubs have a new mascot. I can't be the only one who sees the similarity, right? pic.twitter.com/pXJgvm7Pwp
— Eric Stangel (@EricStangel) January 14, 2014
To paraphrase Nancy Kerrigan, why, Cubs, whhhhhyyyyy???? The team’s explanation:
The new mascot was created as a response to survey feedback and fan interviews, the team said in a statement. People wanted more Cubs-related family-friendly entertainment at Wrigley Field, and Clark will interact in the community, engage with young fans, and be respectful of the game. Clark is named after Clark and Addison, the intersection where Wrigley Field is located.
Look, the name is adorable and having a mascot is, you know, for the kids. If their fitness improves from running in terror from him, all the better. Given that this is the Midwest, where there’s a greater tolerance for cuddly, furry things that cheer for teams (See: Fredbird), Clark might be around for years. If this were New York, though, well, let’s just observe a moment of silence for Dandy.