CHICAGO – As October continues and the Cubs remain alive in the playoff race, fans are finding new and creative ways to show pride in the team.
Many have been”Flying the W” as Joe Maddon’s team continues play in the National League Championship Series. Others have been writing creative songs or even coming up with a unique wardrobe to show their pride as the series with the Dodgers continues.
But John Fitzgerald has come up with a unique way to root for his team over the past two years: Through old Nintendo video games.
The native of the Western Suburbs, who runs the Coach Marketing firm, takes an old game from the 8-bit system and transforms it to tell a story about the upcoming Cubs’ series. His latest offering for the NLCS is “Donkey Kong Cubbie” based off the famous “Donkey Kong” game from Nintendo in the 1980s in honor of the Cubs facing the Dodgers for the National League pennant.
Fitzgerald starting making these video during the playoffs last year, gaining some notoriety for the “Card Hunt” game which he made for the Cubs’ NLDS against the Cardinals.
“Being a huge cubs fan, I had wanted to use what I’d learned to make something special for other Cubs fans,” said Fitzgerald, whose marketing company specializes in video – and he didn’t stop once the Cubs beat St. Louis.
He followed that up with a “Super Punch Out” version for the Mets’ NLCS series although that video didn’t bring the Cubs a lot of luck as they were swept out of the playoffs.
As the playoffs started this year, Fitzgerald continued his Nintendo offerings for Cubs fans, choosing the “Super Mario Brothers” game to use for the Giants series. After that win came the Donkey Kong version – and these showings of fandom are truly a labor of baseball love.
“These videos are made by creating every pixel of every object in photoshop, then taking them all into adobe after effects and animating/switching them using keyframes,” said Fitzgerald. “For example, this video has about 7 unique versions of Donkey Kong, one for each of his poses. I usually begin work a few days before the series starts, but it can be a little difficult when you don’t know who the cubs will face in a given round.
“This last one was started Thursday at around 5:00pm (I do these after hours) and I finished up around 2:00am in the morning.”
Maybe he’ll have one more video to create before October comes to an end for the Cubs.