Chicago Celebrities We’d Rather See At Games

From afar, I’ve admired what the Chicago Cubs are doing. Not just at the plate and from the mound, but also from a promotional standpoint. Rather than trot out any famous person who can afford a ticket with what they find between their couch cushions, the Cubs had players who appreciate where the team is now and put in blood, sweat and tears wearing the blue pinstripes to throw out first pitches in Games 3 and 4.

After Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg and 2-time All-Star Kerry Wood kicked off each game, the Cubs utilized their new video boards at Wrigley Field with videos of the late Ernie Banks and Harry Caray singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” That’s classy. That’s also what they should do from now on, but that’s a discussion for another day. (Never let Ryan Dempster do his impression of Will Ferrell’s impression of Harry Caray again)

Amidst the bat-flipping, opposing pitcher name chanting, and hardcore partying, we’ve seen the celebrity faces that we expected (some dreaded) to see at the ballpark. Billy Corgan and his new get-off-my-lawn attitude. Northside/Southside flipping John Cusack. And the worst front-runner on the planet, Jim Belushi (I cringe typing his name like he’s Voldemort). New assistant to Cubs President Theo Epstein (probably) Eddie Vedder has been fun. As an avid Pearl Jam fan, I get a kick out of him partying as hard as the players after each game.

It’s also hard to imagine that Bill Murray isn’t too far away, despite his media tour next week for the upcoming release of Rock the Kasbah. If anything, he could make it an epic cross promotion for his film and the MLB playoffs.

Bill Murray Harry

Vedder and Murray are awesome but it’s time to bring out the big hitters to the seats in Chicago, and not just at Wrigley Field. Last summer, I countered recently-outed heavyweight racist Hulk Hogan’s baiting for angry Blackhawks fans during the Stanley Cup with my own list of better celebrity hockey fans. Those mentioned in that list (CM Punk, Mr. T, Vince Vaughn, etc) get a hat-tip, but the following names will represent star power that we’d rather see regularly, similar to the likes at New York and Los Angeles events.

1. Harrison Ford

Harrison Ford Chicago

We’re talking about Han Solo AND Indiana Jones here. How can you deny the idea of either baseball stadium in Chicago playing the “Imperial Death March” music announcing the Yankees lineup, then following it with a shot of Harrison Ford behind home plate with the Rebel Victory score over it? Maybe it’s a the geek in me, but any opportunity to implement Star Wars, especially with the new film coming out, is super sexy to me.

Note: I also refer to White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu as #Baseball Jedi, so there’s that. 

Ford has Chicago in his blood, being born here and spending his college summers working on a boat in Burnham Park Harbor or managing the first Crate and Barrel on Wells. In an Michigan Ave Magazine interview, Ford said:

I’ve been out in Los Angeles for 35 years, and I think there are some things about my upbringing that reflect the values and the attitudes of the Midwest…. a kind of work ethic that I find particular to the Midwest. I can say that those were important, formative years for me, living in Chicago.”

Cool, Indy. I’ll buy you a beer next time you’re in town, if it gets you to a ballgame.

2. Nick Offerman

Nick Offerman Cubs

Currently featured in the new season of Fargo, Nick Offerman isn’t slowing down since the end of Ron Swanson and Parks and Recreation. Offerman isn’t shy about his baseball allegiance either.

There are many grown men and women who would scream like a 90’s tween at a Backstreet Boys concert if they saw the Joliet native, University of Illinois grad, and professional canoe craftsman down the foul line at a ballgame.

If he’s willing, during a the Crosstown Cup series, there’s plenty of bacon-on-a-stick awaiting his consumption at US Cellular Field.

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Double-thick maple bacon. You know you want it, Nick…

3. Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson Chicago

Yep, X-Files fans, Scully is from Chicago. With The X-Files revival series coming soon to FOX, they’d be making a huge mistake not having Gillian Anderson at Wrigley Field fending off the paranormal and extraterrestrial that I’m sure some Cubs fans still believe will prevent the Cubs from going to the World Series…At least come out to a Men and/or Women’s basketball game at DePaul, where Anderson finished college…something she and I have in common.

4. President Barack Obama

President Obama Chicago

Partisan opinions aside, he’s the MF’n President of the United States. He’s also a hardcore sports fan, which I thoroughly laid out on his birthday, and loves his Chicago teams…

When his term is up, I would welcome the president taking in as much Bulls basketball, White Sox baseball, Bears football, and whatever as he wants.

5. John C. Reilly

John C. Reilly Chicago

Would you really argue with me on this? Who doesn’t want south side native John C. Reilly in their corner?

That’s exactly who you want in games against New York when Billy Crystal, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Jay-Z and Beyonce are behind the opponent’s bench.

6. Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert Chicago

For someone who has spent a lot of his career recently in New York City, Stephen Colbert has not been bashful at all about his time in Chicago. Leading up to the new Late Show’s premiere, Colbert dedicated multiple podcasts to his years at Northwestern and doing improv in Chicago. While interviewing Jane The Virgin star Gina Rodriguez this week, the two bonded over their love for the city and living there. Most notably, as tongue-in-cheek as it sounded, Colbert predicted a Cubs World Series win…a proclamation he believes “in no way will come back to haunt” him.

If the NLCS goes to New York, I would be shocked if Colbert wasn’t in attendance. Heck, he should catch a weekend game in Chicago if the opportunity is there.

More Chicago Celebrities You’d Rather See:

John Landis, Director – Animal House, Blues Brothers

Robert Zemeckis, Director – Back to the Future Trilogy

Patricia Arquette, Actress – Boyhood, True Romance

Common, Hip-Hop Artist & Actor – Selma

Fred Savage, Actor & Director – The Wonder Years

Ben Savage, Actor – Boy Meets World

Chloe Bennet, Actress – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

Mandy Patinkin, Actor – The Princess Bride, Homeland

Gina Rodriguez, Actress – Jane The Virgin

Michael Pena, Actor – Ant-Man, The Martian

Frances McDormand, Actress – Fargo, Almost Famous

Shonda Rhimes, Writer – Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy

Michael Madsen, Actor – Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill

Jennifer Morrison, Actress – House M.D.

Michael Mann, Director – Heat

Tom Berenger, Actor – Major League

Dan Castellanata, Actor – The Simpsons

Bruce Dern, Actor – Nebraska, The Cowboys

Andre Braugher, Actor – Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Wood Harris, Actor – The Wire, Remember the Titans

Bob Balaban, Actor – Moonrise Kingdom

Jennifer Hudson, Singer & Actress – Dreamgirls

Chi McBride, Actor – Boston Public, The Terminal

Craig Robinson, Actor – The Office, Knocked Up

Jay Chandrasekhar, Actor & Director – Super Troopers

Jim O’Heir, Actor – Parks and Recreation

Did I miss anyone? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter

Blackhawks Celebrity Fans vs. Hulk Hogan

After both teams shook hands and the lights went dim at the Honda Center following the Western Conference Finals Game 7, Anaheim Ducks Super Fan/Crazy Person Emilio Estevez went eerily quiet on Twitter. All week, Estevez took to social media to channel a drunk version of his 1992 character, Coach Gordon Bombay, from ‘The Mighty Ducks’ to troll Chicago Blackhawks and act super sensitive when the tables were turned on him (he blocked me). The day after, Estevez did what all celebrities do after acting a fool on Twitter…claimed he was hacked (sarcastically).

And now Emilio’s watch (and relevance) has ended.

Picking up the flag for Blackhawks antagonists, and ripping his tank top off in the process, is 12-time Champion of the World and apparent Tampa Bay Lightning die hard, Hulk Hogan.

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“Chicago’s in a whole bunch of trouble,” said Hogan at an ESPN Special Olympics event yesterday. He also noted that the Lightning are undefeated when his daughter, Brooke, sings the National Anthem…

As I type that last bit, I start to wonder if this is really just plea to the Lightning to have his daughter sing in the Stanley Cup Final, but Hulkamania is “Running Wild” in Tampa regardless. While I would be more than okay with Hogan planting a running leg drop on Chicago’s worst celebrity ever, Jim Belushi, I have a few high profile fans in mind that I’d love to throw in the ring with him…rocking the Indian Head sweater.

1. CM Punk

CM Punk Blackhawks

The “Straight Edge Superstar”, former World Heavyweight/WWE Champion, and UFC Fighter is a longtime committed Blackhawks fan and favorite among “shoot the puck” contestants. In the wake of Tampa’s “No Blackhawks jerseys in certain sections” announcement, Punk took to Twitter to let the Lightning know he’s coming.

Since Hogan will be there, can we get an Intermission “Hardcore Rules” Match please?

2. Mr. T.

(Love the little shot at Belushi from Susannah Collins)

Coincidentally, both Mr. T and Hogan starred in Rocky III together as Clubber Lang and Thunderlips. They also tag teamed on Saturday Night Live and WrestleMania II

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but don’t be surprised to see the Lake Forest, IL resident lace’em up when the series makes it’s way back to the United Center. Anytime you’re asked to make a prediction on this series (or anything ever) the answer should be “PAIN!”

3. Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan Bhawks

Is there a bigger name synonymous with Chicago? That question was rhetorical…His uniform and the Bulls championship banners he earned hang in the same arena that the Blackhawks skate in, but even Michael Jordan is a fan of a team on the verge of “dynasty” status. A photo of Jordan wearing his Blackhawks jersey was making the rounds before Game 7 against the Ducks the other night, and articles sillier than this one did as well. You can bet #23 will be doing it again during the Stanley Cup Final.

You may remember Hollywood Hogan tag-teaming with Dennis Rodman for a WCW pay per view against Karl Malone and Diamond Dallas Page, but how about that MTV Celebrity Deathmatch when MJ took on Rodman (where Claymation Jordan said he was thinking about joining the NHL)?…You’re next, Claymation Hogan.

4. Vince Vaughn

Vince Vaughn bhawks

I was a little reluctant to post this, given Vince Vaughn’s recent comments that turned him into a polarizing political figure…but the guy has been at the games and was doing so when nobody was. Way more than Jim Belushi. And you get the feeling that his role in the upcoming season ofTrue Detective will make him appear to be someone you want on your side. He seemed to still be in character while lurking from his suite earlier in the Ducks series.

“Rule #76: No excuses. Play like a champion”, Vince.

5. Chicago Baseball

Cubs Blackhawks

One of my favorite things to see are teams in the same city supporting each other. Despite manager Joe Maddon claiming he’s Switzerland in this series (since he managed in Tampa Bay for so long), the Chicago Cubs are in full Blackhawks mode…I couldn’t let the White Sox go unrecognized though as players like Adam Eaton have been showing their love all season long.

If their schedules permit it, I’d love to see players from both clubs (as well as the Bears and Bulls) along the glass when the Blackhawks play at home. If Paul Pierce can do it, anybody can.

Honorable mention…

Charles Barkley Hawks

…Because he’s Charles Barkley.

Who are some other Chicago celebrities that you’d like to see wearing Blackhawks jerseys during the Stanley Cup Final? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.