‘Second to None’ is Chicago’s new tourist slogan. Was ‘Home of Deep Dish Pizza & Blues Brothers’ not available?

‘Second to None’ is Chicago’s new tourist slogan. Was ‘Home of Deep Dish Pizza & Blues Brothers’ not available?

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I’m trying to love you, Chicago. Luckily, I love your curves. I love your vibe. I love your attitude and I love the way you look at night. But what I can’t get my heart around is your new ad campaign. Chicago: Second to None.

Please tell me that this was the results of a high-school design contest. Please tell me that you cut the ad budget and have dusted off an old one from 1987. Please tell me you did not spend money on this. Wait, the story has a typo. It says that the city is spending $1.8 million to combat slumping tourism.

In the bottom corner lives a very little 'tm' (Brandel/WBEZ)

Never mind that the Chicago logo makes us look like a Hyatt Regency, let’s focus on the “second to none” part. Which, if you look closely at the photo, is trademarked.

Listen, I could do a big DeRogatis-style investigative report on why our money is being spent on this. But I’m not going to. I just think it’s cheesy. And Chicago is a lot of things, but it is not cheesy.

The whole package that was announced is really just a blueprint for how we are going to try and snag tourists in the future. Inside the booklet, there are some great little slogans and tag lines that remind us of why Chicago’s great. Like this one:

“The best meal in America. And the best mile for walking it off.”


“Getting here is easy. Leaving is the hard part.”

Those are pretty good tag-lines. But the main logo and tag “Chicago: second to none” doesn’t work for me. So inevitably, I turn to you. It’s one thing for me to poke fun, but I would much rather share the glory. What would be a better slogan?

Chi-Town: Love that city, baby.
Chi-city: How you like me now?
Chicago: It’s not lame anymore.
Chicago: Daley’s gone.
Chicago: It’s got Emanuel DNA.
Chicago: Derrick Rose is from here.
Chicago: The League is set here.
Chicago: Whitney, Happy Endings and My Boys pretend to live here.
Chicago: Cause I’m a boss.

B story: YES! In your face suburbs! We got Sara Lee! We paid a ton of money in incentives to bring pound cake back to town!!!! Now who wants some frosting?!?!!! I know Rosie and Oprah do (more West Loop joke than fat joke).

C story: So within, what, 48 hours of the biggest political corruption story in Illinois history getting closer to the finish line, you’d think politicians might just take a quick breather to assess the situtaion. Alderman Joe Moore (49th) has been rumored to be on the short-list for IL EPA chief. So what does he do? He doesn’t want to lose the ward, so the committeeman (a Moore ally) will suggest a replacement. Who’s tops on the list? Moore’s wife Barbara. I hate to use such a played out phrase, but it applies here: Too soon?

D story: Guess who’s on the front cover of Hoy! That’s right, WBEZ is on the cover of Hoy!

Weather: First snowfall, first fatality. Yikes - tough way to start the winter. Anyway, we need to get this snow off the ground pronto. Call in Alderman Bus.

Sports: Today is the first official day of the NBA. Get me some shooting guards, Gar! The Bulls have been quiet as some blockbusters materialize. Chris Paul is allegedly going to the Lakers (or not). That deal would send Gasol to the Rockets. Shane Battier to the Heat. Caron Butler goes to the Clippers. Tyson Chandler to the Knicks. Dwight Howard is looking at the Nets. See, this is the thing. Last year, it made sense to raid the Jazz. And in other years, it made great sense to keep still. But now we have arguably the best player on the planet. And a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals under our belt. It’s our time. Let’s not waste it sitting back and letting other teams improve their chances of beating us. Give us a name, any name not Carter or Hill.

Kicker: Don’t forget about my kick-ass show on Sunday. I have a tremendous line-up of Chicago-based comedians and celebrities. Ready for this line-up? Schadenfreude, Cook County Social Club, Second City Mainstage (Katie Rich & Edgar Blackmon), Steve Gadlin (Impress These Apes, Don’t Spit the Water), Brian Babylon (Vocalo), Greg Hollimon (Strangers with Candy), Joe Bill & Mark Sutton (BassProv), Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd), Abby McEnany (Second City), Jim Bennett (Gay Co.), Marcus Gilmer (AV Club), Ernest Wilkins (RedEye), Tim Smithe (Walter E. Smithe Furniture), Christopher Piatt (The Paper Machete), Mark Bazer (The Interview Show), Chris Witaske & Tim Stoltenberg (Second City, Annoyance), former Alderman Burt Natarus and a special halftime performance by Rico Michael Jackson (the premiere MJ impersonator). See ya at Lincoln Hall at 3pm.