Preamble To Greatness
Sometimes I even dazzle myself.
Readers with compromised cardiovascular systems, a propensity to swoon in the presence of intellectual prowess, or a history of apoplexy should prepare themselves accordingly. Young children should find another, more benign blog to read today. Those individuals not familiar with the term, perspicacity, should follow the link to the definition before proceeding to assure that once they have completed perusing this post, they can appropriately describe the experience.
Of course, the capacity for greatness is but a vapor of only trivial value without a suitable arena and challenge for its manifestation.
As it turns out, the cosmic flux vectors have aligned themselves, as they seem to do at a rate that defies random chance, in a metaphysical confluence squarely over McHenry County, Illinois,1 the geopolitical unit in which I reside, presenting the denizens of that fair land with not one but two seemingly insoluble conundrums.
Returning readers are already aware that McHenry County, facing a crisis of its governmental soul, has plunged headlong in a frenzied attempt to secure a new county seal before the other counties notice the generic if utilitarian quality of our current emblem (think of it as the minivan of county seals) and begin to poke fun, bully us, take our lunch money, and make us cry.
Remarkably, my attempts to hearken to the patriotic call and defend this Bunker Hill of graphic design by developing the desired unique and identifiable seal, as documented in several preceding posts,2 have been thus far unrequited, the powers that be opting instead to pursue a centrally controlled, computer-enhanced seal project (Code Name: The Woodstock Project) heavily shrouded in secrecy.
In the meantime, a second issue has emerged and quickly grown to catastrophic proportions while having been mentioned only once in a Heck of a Guy post and then primarily to illustrate the distinction between this blog and the one operated by the co-conspiring Cal Skinner of the McHenry County Blog. Consequently, Heck of a Guy viewers not intimately familiar with the goings-on in northern Illinois first read that McHenry County is at risk for a Minor League Baseball cataclysm in this passage from Sealed With A Dis:
Further, I will point out that I rarely infringe on Cal’s turf. For example, I think it sufficiently hilarious that McHenry Community College is campaigning to – pay attention now – build a baseball stadium for a minor league team. No, really – I’m flattered that you think I might have made that up as a joke, but I’m not that creative. Occasionally, if I am especially sad or in need of an unusually hearty belly laugh, I indulge myself with the extravagance of calling to mind that not only is our local community college pursuing this goal with every known political tactic (and this being Illinois, that is a sizable number of political tactics), but they are doing so under the declared, albeit unexplained premise that a minor league baseball team’s tenancy in the proposed stadium is a highly advantageous financial arrangement for the stadium landlord.3 Forget Wall Street, oil, manufacturing, Silicon Valley, and service industries as sources of wealth. The smart money (at least, the smart money not already being invested in llama and ferret farms, wagered on Keno at various casinos or Bingo in church basements, or set aside to aid rich Nigerians, in return for a generous fee, in moving their funds from an overseas bank to one in the US ) is in minor league baseball stadiums.
I assure you that I am, even as I write this, cracking myself up. I mean, this is funny stuff. But is Cal satisfied with the obvious joke? Nooooooooooooo.
On checking his blog’s search tag, Baseball Stadium, this morning, I find many, many long posts studded with statistics, diagrams, references, and material that looks suspiciously like research. There are references to zoning regulations, watershed ordinances, legal precedents, relevant newspaper stories, pertinent experiences of other communities, … . He tries to attend meetings about this matter when it’s quite clear that those holding those gatherings extend to him the kind of welcome usually offered to karaoke-performing parents by their fifteen year old children who had nurtured high hopes of holding their first beer batch and make-out party. Similarly, he completes multiple tedious-appearing legal procedures to gather information4 that is held by individuals who just don’t want to share that information with him.
Despite the joy these activities appear to bring Cal, not once have I tried to horn in on his action – because I respect the implicit understanding between our blogs: He does the heavy duty muckraking; I crack wise.
The key hurdle in the county’s quest to become officially minor league, which is admittedly less ominous than the sort of quest portrayed in, say, The Lord of the Rings but is equally mysterious (and almost as entertaining), appears to be finding a name for the team.
I reached that conclusion from this report in the McHenry County Blog:
The Northwest Herald has apparently been tapped to conduct a contest to name the minor league baseball team, which will be housed in the yet-unapproved baseball stadium at McHenry County College. That’s what the minutes of the May 18th MCC Board Finance Committee minutes report. Specifically, here’s what I found (with the help of a friend of McHenry County Blog): Dr. Patton stated that a detailed communications plan has been developed for the project. She noted that the college is working with the Herald on a Name the Team contest.
Although the County is so desperate that it is taking the extreme and unprecedented step of asking for thoughts and suggestions from those of us in the hoi polloi category, Cal inexplicably goes on in his post to worry about technicalities like a possible sweetheart deal, if any money exchange(d) hands, and the reasons behind the really sneaky and rushed process by which it is being shoved through city hall, yet does not recommend a single name for the team. Where’s the patriotism? Where’s the love?
On the other hand, less than one day after learning of the County’s double-crisis, I have prepared and now offer not only the name of the baseball team but have also thrown in, at no extra charge, a tightly integrated logo and a heap of instant nostalgia.
And, in a display of mental pyrotechnics, my particularly astute selection of an altogether stellar name for the team has simultaneously resolved the afore mentioned emblematic crisis.
Just another day at the Heck of a Guy blog.
I’m proud to introduce – and, by the way, you folks at the Herald may as well call off that contest now – for the first time, …
The Great Seals of McHenry County Baseball Club
While the brilliance of this dual-purpose symbol, equally perfect as the new McHenry County County Seal (the utility of which is obscure, the means by which it will improve the county as yet unexplained, and its necessity insisted upon by County officials although other counties seem to get along quite nicely without one) and the designation of the new McHenry baseball team (the utility of which is obscure, the means by which it will improve the county as yet unexplained, and its necessity insisted upon by County officials although other counties seem to get along quite nicely without one), will be obvious to all but the dullest and most slow-witted in the population, other nuances implicit in the design might go overlooked. And, while it would be a shame for a reader to miss any of wonderfulness of this feat, such explanations must be deferred for now in order to make time to respond to the tsunami of pleas for help from governments, advertisers, marketers, religious leaders, sports teams, and those pesky Nobel Prize officials that is inevitable once this post is published.
Consequently, at this time, I will limit my remarks to the origins of the primary elements of the graphic:
- The outer ring is, of course, the official Seal-signifying component.
- The red and gray quasi-diamond in the middle of the seal is taken from the pertinent portion of the diagram of the entire complex the McHenry Community College plans to build and rent to the now-named baseball team. The complete diagram5 follows:
- The eagle and other symbols in the middle are recycled from the current McHenry County Seal and, if I do say so myself, seem fitting and quite distinctive for a baseball team’s emblem.
- The banner in the eagle’s beak is red in the State of Illinois Seal on which the McHenry County Seal is modeled. Maybe that is a coincidence. In any case, the roll of red tape near third base, symbolizing the county government’s involvement in the baseball team and, to a lesser extent, the seal, is inspired, not accidental.
Coming Attractions: The glorious baseball antecedents and heritage of The Great Seals of McHenry County plus team uniform recommendations and the never before attempted blog-execution of the full reverse visual pun response.
- McHenry County, Illinois is to be distinguished from the town of McHenry, Illinois which was once but is no longer the County Seat of McHenry County and from McHenry, North Dakota, the county seat of which is Towner. McHenry, North Dakota is not the county seat of McHenry County, North Dakota (or McHenry County, Illinois for that matter), in large part because it is located in Foster County, North Dakota. And as one might guess, since Towner, North Dakota is the county seat of McHenry County, North Dakota, it is not the county seat of Towner County, North Dakota. Who else is gonna tell you this stuff? [↩]
- See the following:
- Even though I probably wouldn’t understand the bookkeeping if it were made available, I am confident that, one way or another, I am, via the proxy of my taxes, that landlord. And I am one worried landlord don’t-wannabe. [↩]
- Further, I suspect that this information would prove similarly tedious to read and analyze [↩]
- A careful reading of the legends on the diagram leads me to urge those Heck of a Guy readers who are looking for a home for their minor league or semi-pro tennis teams, softball teams, and especially HWAC teams to consider McHenry County, where our slogan is Have we got a deal for you! [↩]