Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Big Willie

It's official, Sears Tower is now the Willis Tower.

Or to paraphrase Yogi Berra, "It ain't over 'till the mayor cuts the ribbon." That happened today as Hizzoner officially blessed the name change at the unveiling of the new nameplate in the building's lobby. The Tribune article can be found here.

Way too many money quotes to point out but here's my favorite, from Joseph Plumeri, CEO of Willis Group Holding, the company that bought the naming rights:

" have to make a decision between sentimentality and the reality of what puts food on your table...there's no food on the table called 'tradition steak.'"

Ok then.

Needless to say, scads of locals are upset by the name change. They bemoan the idea of local institutions selling their names to the highest bidder.

Which is interesting when you think of possibly Chicago's most beloved institution, Wrigley Field. It was originally known as Weeghman Park. It became Wrigley Field in 1926 after it and the team were bought by William Wrigley, who just so happened to own a little chewing gum company, you may have heard of it.

Of course Sears wasn't exactly a ma and pa operation when they built the building. They moved out of there for cheaper digs in the 'burbs years ago so I can't exactly see what all the fuss is about.

The fact is, people will always call the thing Sears Tower anyway. At least those of us old enough to remember back when...

On another note, the Sox are in town on Friday. Maybe after I do some shopping at Fields, I'll hop on a Lake/Dan Ryan L down to Comiskey Park and catch the game.

I hear they serve a great tradition steak sandwich down there.


CHICAGOandPointsNorth said...

LOL, Here, here.

Jim said...

Yes, I'm constantly amazed by the things people find time to get upset about!