Chicago Surprise on Friday

Chicago is full of surprises and we’re a big fan of spontaneity here at Groupon. We enjoy hearing about our customers trying new restaurants and adventures on a day to day basis. Because we love surprises that don’t involve scorpions in our shoes, we’re fired up to announce something big on Friday. We’re contractually obligated to keep a lid on it, zip our lips, and designate “mum” as the word, but we wanted to give our customers in Chicago a heads up that something exciting will be happening soon. Check back on the blog on Friday to read about it!

As a side note, many people often mistakenly believe Chicago is called the Windy City because of the gusty air currents barreling through the streets. This isn’t the case. The nickname actually originated from Babe Wind, Chicago’s seventh most-noteworthy pitcher of the acclaimed—now defunct—baseball team, the Chicago Bruisehounds. A powerhouse hitter, he made it his goal to hit a home run in every state in an effort to make every town a Windy City.

Unfortunately, his dreams were cut short because of an elbow injury (later called the Windy Elbow), and the only city he’d successfully achieved his goal in was his hometown. Former Chicago Mayor Chester “The Dirge” Hamilton, who understood the importance of baseball’s affect on Americans’ morale, decided to bestow the Windy City nickname on Chicago in honor of Babe Wind.

Surprised? Exactly.

Here are some other famous surprises in Chicago history:

  • An unfortunate and sticky surprise was the Great Molasses fire of 1873.
  • Ferris Bueller surprised the city by dancing on a float during its famous Von Steuben Day Parade.
  • The Blagojevich trial
  • Al Capone’s men surprised friends on Valentine’s Day with a hilarious impression of murderous police officers.

While we understand this post eliminates the element of total surprise, we wanted to give you the chance to guess what the surprise might be!

  • Actually…… Chicago was nicknamed the Windy City not for the wind but for the politicians and city boosters who were full of “hot air.”
    The specifics of this are somewhat in contention. Here are a few versions:
    Supposedly when we hosted the world fair, the then mayor boasted about it so much we became known as the windy city.
    We’re the “Windy City” because of the Chicago Tribune. In fact the editor of the Chicago Tribune was trying to promote the city as a summer resort and used the lakes breeze as one of its attractions.
    Actually, we were in competition with NYC for the World’s Fair (the one Frank Lloyd Wright debuted in) and the NYC papers called the Chicago pols “windy” in their presentations to win the exhibition. And we did.
    I forget the exact name of the writer who coined the phrase, but it stems from all the politicians in Chicago. The writer quipped that all the politicians talking was like a big wind blowing through the cities.
    I believe that it stems from the political bantering which took place between Chicago and New York over who would host the World’s Fair.

    Here is a more extended explanation:
    Popular myth has it that this nickname for the Chicago was coined by Charles Dana, the editor of the New York Sun, in 1893. Chicago was competing with New York to host the 1893 Columbian Exposition and Dana allegedly coined the name as a derogatory moniker. Supposedly the term is not a reference to the winds off Lake Michigan as one might suppose, but rather refers to the Chicagoan habit of rabid boosterism and shameless boasting.

    Read more:

  • Who checks your copy – the last surprise might not fit with the tone of the others and could be seen to be not very funny.

  • That’s interesting about the term windy city, I thought it had something to do with the politicians back in the day. Hmm.

  • Seriously? First time I ever head that about the windy city and have researched it in the past…I have heard it was attributed to the “wind bag” Chicago politicians.

  • A groupon rep. told me when I called last week, that instead of calling to cancel an order, I could do it online. I cannot find how to do this on the website anywhere. Can someone help me?

  • Thea,

    Can’t think of anything too exciting, but here are a few off the top of my head that could happen on Friday:

    Groupon and LivingSocial have a baby called Bill S. Lower, esquire, the third.
    Groupon Now is pushed aside for “Groupon Remember When?” featuring high school photos of Andrew and Aaron
    The food desert at 600 W. is replaced by six more Snarf’s locations; each with a longer wait than the last
    The Bulls will win the playoffs in 4 games for the cost of 7; good until 5/20/2012
    (Former) Mayor Daley makes his own Daley Deals site; learns what competition is again
    Non sequitur humor will be replaced by a wool overcoat fit for both eskimos and penguins, replacing previous strife with a harmony not seen since the Andrew Jackson inauguration
    The Groupon cat retires, publishes tell-all memoirs: “I Am a Fat Cat But Not For The Reasons You Might Think Of: A Tail of Caution, Indiscretion, and Ultimately Redemption.” No Groupon for the book will be available.
    The green Groupon sunburst is proven to cause melanoma
    Michael’s Room is turned into the most intimidating meeting room in the building; the toilet remains
    The iPad Groupon app will finally work in landscape orientation

  • Kathy, you are only able to cancel an order while the deal is still live. In that case you’d click “Edit Order” to make those changes. Those options aren’t available once the deal is closed. If you need further instructions, you can follow up with us again at or call 1 (877) 788-7858 (during normal business hours, central time).

    Thea @ Groupon

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