It’s a little difficult to get complete information, but the Chicago Bears have an official beer, an official soft drink, an official bank, and maybe still an official car. I suspect this is the tip of the iceberg. The Cubs, I notice, have an official airline as well as an official chicken sausage, whereas the White Sox appear to have an official hot dog. (Technically, it is the official hot dog of U.S. Cellular Field, but I think that counts.) The NFL has an official truck and an official tablet. I could go on, but perhaps you get the point.
Which team or league would like to be the first with an Official Book Fair? It’s not like being named State Book Fair or something that needs a vote in the Legislature. You don’t suppose, do you, that the Cubs outfield sat down one day, tasted all the chicken sausages on the market, and then voted? No no: somebody offered the right kind of deal, and suddenly there was an official chicken sausage.
I realize this is kind of a stretch. With the possible exception of curling, few sports seem to fit in with books. (Because people are always curling up with a good…oh, you got it.) AND I might be hopping on the bandwagon a little late to get any kind of deal with the Cubs. Two years ago…but now there are probably applications to be the official razor of the Cubs, the official ballpoint pen of the Cubs, the official cranberry juice of the Cubs: winning will do that. (They already have an official iced tea, by the way.)
But what’s more symbolic of all-out effort than a Book Fair? Seventy boxes of books on political theory without warning–we took it on. People dropping off books just after one of the worst blizzards in Chicago history–we were there to take them in. We have so much in common: the lines on Opening Day, the people who try to sneak in without a ticket, the people who play hooky from work to come over and be part of the fun.
Think of the things we could do together. Book Fair Day at Soldier Field: anyone coming in with an official Newberry receipt would get fifty cents off on an official beer, plus a bobble head of Uncle Blogsy or the Bears quarterback: your choice. Signed Book Fair programs could be sold at the Fair itself: you wouldn’t have to come and sign in person because the lines in the lobby get long enough as it is. (I have this recurring fantasy: “This is signed by Babe Ruth: it’s a program from the Newberry Book Fair.” “Who?” “The Book Fair at the Newberry….” “I know about THAT. Who’s Babe Ruth?”)
We do sell some of your stuff already, y’know. I get all kinds of Media Guides for the Blackhawks and the Bears, with sometimes the Cubs and Sox. (Media Guides are those official summaries of the team given out to reporters so the media know exactly how we’re going to win everything this year. These are often dumped into a box about halfway through the season.) Actual programs are most common from Northwestern and, for some reason, the Rose Bowl. And you should see all the books and magazines we get about the Bulls. (What year was…no, don’t tell me.)
So it isn’t all THAT far-fetched. We need to work out things like what we do if the Book Fair falls during your team’s busy period (football and basketball players might have more free time in July) or what to do if it turns out we’re selling the Official Paperback Romance of some rival team.
But we can work this out. If nothing else, you could at least send over some chicken sausage.