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The Curse of Publicity

By® Staff

Originally Posted

Harry Caray's Restaurant and the Chicago Cubs have figured out how to stage a publicity event.

The cursed Cubbies have believed they were hexed since 1945, when Chicago tavern-keeper Sam Sianis, ticked about being tossed out of a World Series game, said, in fractured English, "Never again will World Series be played in Wrigley Field." In game six of the 2003 National League Championship Series, Chicagoans got conclusive proof of the power of voodoo.

Fan Steve Bartman had the instinctive reaction to reach out for a baseball headed his way in Wrigley Field -- a ball that otherwise probably would have been caught by Cubs left fielder Moises Alou -- and Cubs fans everywhere, after bad-mouthing and threatening poor Bartman, decided this was final proof of their team's sentence to an eternity of bad luck.

Enter Harry Caray's Restaurant, which, in an auction, bought the hexed ball from Bartman for $113,824.16 with the avowed intent of blowing it up and, they hoped, the curse along with it. Probably wouldn't hurt business, either.

Well, we don't know about the curse, but the publicity stunt was a blast. Media coverage abounded, with analysts, demolition experts, a large crowd, and a pretty nice explosion. And did we say media coverage?

Yeah, the event was carried live around the world!

MSNBC's Keith Oberman, a former sports guy with nothing better to do, gave the event more than a half hour of live coverage. Try getting that, even on cable, you publicity-conscious PR hounds!

According to the Harry Caray's Restaurant Web site, "Before the ball was destroyed, it received a massage, a surf and turf dinner, and a stay in a suite at the luxurious Amalfi Hotel."

We suspect that Harry Caray's will have a good quarter.

(They also raised more than a million dollars for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.)

And we thought that you blew up basketballs ... and footballs ... and soccer balls ...

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