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Why the Songwriter Behind 'Go, Cubs, Go' Has an Eternal Tie to Wrigley Field 

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Singer-songwriter Steve Goodman died in 1984, but he is still present at every Chicago Cubs home game. That’s because he’s one of a select few people who have been able to achieve the ultimate fan honor: scoring Wrigley Field as a final resting place.

Goodman was diagnosed with leukemia when he was in college, and though it went into remission, he seemed to know that he needed to make the most out of life while he could. After the diagnosis, Goodman pursued a career in music with a fervor. And he was successful—though you may not know him by name, you probably know some of his songs, such as "City of New Orleans," which was made famous by Arlo Guthrie and also recorded by Johnny Cash, John Denver, and Willie Nelson. He also penned the David Allan Coe bar favorite "You Never Even Call Me By My Name."

In 1984, months before he died at the age of 36, WGN radio asked Goodman to write a little radio jingle that would kick off their broadcast. He wrote a catchy tune, they played it, and that could have been the end of “Go, Cubs, Go.” But in 2007, someone in the Cubs organization decided that it would be a great celebratory song to play every time the Cubs chalked up a W.

Whether it was the nostalgia for the old tune that started off the WGN broadcasts, or Chicago’s undying love for Goodman, the local boy gone too soon, the love for “Go, Cubs, Go” was instantly re-ignited. If you’ve never seen or heard more than 40,000 people singing in pure glee, it’s a sight to behold:

But little do most fans know that when they're singing along with Goodman, they're actually singing along with Goodman. In 1988, some of the songwriter's friends and family talked a friend of a friend into letting them into the stadium to honor Goodman’s wishes of having his ashes scattered at Wrigley Field. Though they had intended to leave at least part of him at home plate, they ended up going up to the bleachers and releasing his ashes there.

“One problem, the wind was blowing in that day and instead of coming to rest on Waveland Avenue, Stevie landed jus’ a little short, (on the) warning track under the 368 sign,” Steve’s brother, David, later wrote.

But how did Goodman's loved ones know where he wanted to reside for all eternity? Because he wrote a song about it, of course. Check out “A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request”:

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Pop Culture
The Simpsons's Classic Baseball Episode Gets the Mockumentary Treatment
Fox Sports, YouTube
Fox Sports, YouTube

Opinions vary widely about the continued existence of The Simpsons, which just began its 29th season. Some believe the show ran out of steam decades ago, while others see no reason why the satirical animated comedy can’t run forever.

Both sides will no doubt have something to say about the episode airing Sunday, October 22, which reframes the premise of the show’s classic “Homer at the Bat” installment from 1992 as a Ken Burns-style mockumentary titled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson.

As Mashable reports, “Homer at the Bat” saw Montgomery Burns launch his own baseball team and populate it with real major league players like Wade Boggs, Steve Sax, and Jose Canseco to dominate the competition. In the one-hour special, the players will discuss their (fictional) participation, along with interviews featuring Homer and other members of the animated cast.

It’s not clear how much of the special will break the fourth wall and go into the actual making of the episode, a backstory that involves guest star Ken Griffey Jr. getting increasingly frustrated recording his lines and Canseco’s wife objecting to a scene in which her husband's animated counterpart wakes up in bed with lecherous schoolteacher Edna Krabappel.

Morgan Spurlock (Super-Size Me) directed the special, which is slated to air on Fox at either 3 p.m. EST or 4:30 p.m. EST depending on NFL schedules in local markets. There will also be a new episode of The Simpsons—an annual Halloween-themed "Treehouse of Horror" installment—airing in its regular 8 p.m. time slot.

[h/t Mashable]

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Seattle Mariners Fans Are Going Crazy for These Crunchy Grasshopper Snacks
Great Big Story, Youtube
Great Big Story, Youtube

Seattle Mariners fans have more than warmed up to the newest, offbeat addition to the Safeco Field concessions menu: toasted grasshoppers covered in chili-lime salt.

The crunchy snack, which sells for $4 and comes packed in a small container, has only been available for less than a season but has already sold 300,000-plus orders to date. That's about 1000 pounds of grasshoppers. 

Frequenters of Seattle's popular Mexican restaurant Poquitos will know that this delicacy—which first started as a novelty item on its menu—has actually been available to the public for six years. But it wasn't until local chef Ethan Stowell was hired to give the Safeco Field menu a hip retooling that the salty bugs found new, fervent popularity at the ballpark. (Also on the Safeco menu: fried oysters drizzled in hot sauce.)

Great Big Story met up with Manny Arce, the executive chef of Poquitos and visionary behind this culinary home run, to discuss the popularity of these crunchy critters. You can watch the video interview below:

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