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Land of Lincoln, Pepsi?

By Margaret Lyons in News on Sep 13, 2004 4:42PM

2004_09_13.soda.jpgGovernor Blagojevich and his staff are currently studying a proposal under which the state of Illinois would sell the rights to its name for an official state beverage. We already have many official state other things, and it wouldn't be the official beverage the way, say, tomato juice is the state beverage of Ohio. Nope, this would a corporate sponsorship deal through and through.

Under the proposal, the company would pay the state for the privilege of calling itself the "official" state beverage and selling its products in about 1,300 vending machine at roughly 100 Illinois state parks, rest stops, offices and other government facilities.

The concept could bring in millions of dollars to Illinois' cash-strapped state budget, supporters say.

Supporters cite current relationships between cities and major soft drinks as back-up, but critics claim that official state endorsement is inappropriate, especially in the super competitive world of beverages. Please, state government: do not pick Sprite Remix! That stuff tastes like throw-up and Starbursts. Further, please do not pick Cricket, the green tea/cola mix, because that is actually as disgusting as it sounds, worse still in its diet format. Yeech. Might we suggest Clearly Canadian? Or Arizona iced tea? Or uh, other drinks with names of other places in them? Har har.

The Tribune is asking for reader feedback, and here are a few of our favorite responses thus far:
++ "I suggest that the Ding-Dong be named the official state snack cake, in honor of Gov. Blagojevich." Zing!
++ I'm surprised Daley doesn't want a piece of this. "Diet Chicago - Richard M. Daley, Mayor". Maybe a family friend or relative can get the exclusive rights to make it then!!" Zing again.
++ "Water." "Apple Cider" (x2) "Iced Tea."
Iced tea? Iced tea is some bullshit. Weigh in with us, weigh in with the Tribune, where apparently the coolest thing to do is complain about how this proposal is a waste of tax dollars, but whatever your do: do not forget to vote for official State Reptile and Amphibian. Reptile-wise, here's looking at you, Eastern massasauga, you secretive and venomous endangered species. For amphibian, we're pulling for the Gray Tree Frog because his picture is terribly cute. Also, we hear American Toad is a warty flip-flopper.