Saturday, April 5 was not the greatest day for Chicago Cubs fans, as they lost to the Phillies 2-0. However, baseball was not the only source of soreness for the neighborhood of Wrigleyville (an area surrounding baseball park Wrigley Field). As Clark, the official cub-like mascot for the Cubs was trying to keep a positive spirit alive in the stands, another “bear” in town was simply trying to stand his ground. At John Barleycorn, a local pub, patrons were witness to melee that might have traumatized a young kid, had it not occurred in a bar. Although, it does not seem anyone was severely injured, Chicago Cubs unofficial and non-affiliated mascot Billy Cub was seen throwing punches at a patron who had allegedly been provoking the furry fan-lover.
It most likely started out as a normal game day for Patrick Weier, 36. Outfitted in a professional looking bear costume, complete with baseball cap and Billy Cub jersey, he headed out to greet fans at numerous locales in Wrigleyville, including John Barleycorn. Traditionally, this unofficial mascot, armed with a cooler for tips, will pose for pictures with tourists, baseball fans, and party-goers. Developed over seven years ago by John Paul Weier, 32, Patrick’s brother, the costume is worn by themselves and one other employee on a rotating basis. This Saturday was Patrick’s turn.
As seen in the video that has been making its rounds on the Internet, a mischievous and possibly drunk bar goer approaches the fur-coated Weier from behind as he puts his arm around a female patron – presumably to pose for a picture. Then, the man removes Weier’s bear head and that’s when things seem to take a turn for the worse. An exposed and clearly angry Billy Cub, A.K.A. Patrick Weier turns around and punches the provoking patron with the fury of a Chicago Cubs bat swing. A scuffle ensues, which seems to conclude with the unnamed patron being escorted.
According to Patrick, the video does not show the all of the antagonizing he endured leading up the infamous punch. Apparently, he had been subject to pushing and teasing by the man, even getting knocked to the floor at one point. Although at first Patrick did not retaliate, he seems to have reached the boiling point after the Billy Cub costume was de-headed: “He assaulted me first,” claims Weier. Moreover, Weier claims the unnamed patron also stole his tips, which led to a chase outside the bar. Weier added that he’s been doing this work for years and, although experiencing provocation is not highly uncommon, this event’s escalation was unprecedented. Patrick Weier has since apologized for losing his “head.”
John Paul Weier, who began the Billy Cub program, did so in hopes that he would ultimately be recognized as the official mascot for the Chicago Cubs. Unfortunately for Weier, not only has the team recently chosen a mascot, Clark, the Weier brothers have been asked to cease their unsanctioned campaign. Yet, Billy Cub, undeterred by Saturday’s event, was back in action to greet fans on Sunday for another Phillies vs Cubs game. Perhaps the patron who provoked Chicago’s unofficial mascot, Billy Cub did not realize that bears not only hug, they throw punches.
Opinion by Josh Taub