Sports

CM Punk can paint. Who knew?

When the Cubs set out to have 50 custom-made chairs painted in honor of Wrigley Field's 100th anniversary, they didn't mess around.

Actors Vince Vaughn and Gary Sinise, Martellus Bennett of the Bears—they're all featured artists on the project.

And CM Punk. Yes, the wrestler, aka Phil Brooks.

The ballpark seats depict a special moment at Wrigley; they will debut along Michigan Avenue on Friday. If you'd like to get your hands on one, Cubs Charities will host an online auction. Proceeds will be split between Cubs Charities and the respective partnering organization.

RedEye caught up with with former WWE star CM Punk about his participation.

You've chosen to commemorate Kerry Wood's 20-strikeout game in 1998. What's more impressive: 20 strikeouts in a baseball game or holding the WWE title for 434 days?

[Laughs] You'd have to have Kerry field that one. I think other people have had that many in a game but man, that's the most impressively pitched game in major league history to me.

How does it feel to be retired at 35? Are you going to be doing more charity work now?

It feels good. It's a lot easier when you hook up with organizations like the Cubs and being friends with some of the team members. It isn't hard to support their charities. Plus I get to do fun stuff like bowl and paint chairs and play whiffle ball with Bill Murray.

It was super fun and for a great cause. You've got athletes and actresses and musicians and all kinds of people painting chairs. I'm super happy to be a part of it.

You're a lifelong Cubs fan. Who were your favorite players growing up?

Ryne Sandberg for sure. Just to piss off my Canadian friends, I have to mention Andre Dawson. Heh, that always rubs people the wrong way up there. Greg Maddux, I always remember that Rick Sutcliffe had a sweet beard.

You recently did the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley again. Do you want to become a regular?

I'm on call for them. They need me, they pick up the Batphone and I'm there. It's something I've done three times. The second time was great because they invited me back and the third was better. Everyone is so cool, from the scoreboard guy to the organist. I love it.

Are you nervous about the Blackhawks? I have a few friends who are on suicide watch.

I'm not nervous at all. I talked to Duncan Keith [on Tuesday] and he wasn't nervous either. The Hawks are a great team and the Kings are too. That's the best thing about the Stanley Cup playoffs. It doesn't matter how good or bad you were coming in to the playoffs, any team can beat any time. Look at the Canadiens and Rangers. I think after [Wednesday], they'll be on a flight to Los Angeles.

(Update: Looks like Punk was right. The Blackhawks did win 5-4 in double OT.)

Do you have any thoughts on the Wrigley Field renovations?

I'm more nervous about that than I am about the Blackhawks. For sure.

 

erwilkins@tribune.com | @ernestwilkins

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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