Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Weekly World News Reports: "Giant Squid Squashes Indians Playoff Hopes as Sasquatch in a 'Mrs. Sizemore' T-Shirt Abducts Cliff Lee's 19th Win!!!"

The Id and I - "I went to Cleveland State University and all I got was this stupid blog spot!"

So, the Cleveland Indians are seemlingly blowing their chances of a well-deserved - and well-earned - spot in the playoff race by losing to the limp and seemingly toothless Tampa Bay Devil Rays in a (another) sorry excuse of a loss tonight at The Jake.

The first loss to the Devil Rays was a wash - and excusable. But when you have your best pitcher, Cliff Lee, on the mound - who only gives up one - count 'em ONE - run and you cannot muster enough bat strength to beat them - I'm sorry, there's just no excuses for an exercise in futility this feeble...

But you know, I supported this team for the entire season. They are an engaging and exciting team and will be a powerhouse for years to come if the current line-up stays intact. So I'm not going to stomp my feet like some spoiled sports brat (tonight) in order to make things right - ain't gonna happen.

A female friend I met up with to watch the game tonight informed me of the latest Tribe "marketing strategy" in which they were selling pink "Mrs. Sizemore" T-shirts to lady Indians' fans and horny Desperate Housewives' wannabes in order to - I suppose - drum up interest in a team which (up until the last few games) has not been selling out seats down at Jacob's Field.

Interesting marketing strategy... Here's another one: WIN A FREAKING WORLD SERIES!

I suppose desperation sets in when you put an exciting contender on the field - and, yet, no one shows up until the very end. But I'm not sure that you want to "whore out your players" in an anemic attempt to sell tickets and bolster interest is, um, the best approach.

What's next-? A "Pronk" pin-up calendar??? Casey Blake edible underwear sold exclusively at Ambiance (the store for lovers)...? But, hey, what do I know, huh-? After all, I'm a whore, you're a whore ...we're all whores in a certain sense, I suppose, when it comes to marketing our own self-interests (Okay, that's a tad harsh, maybe I'm just a whore - I AM trading laughs for love, after all, ladies and gentlemen...).

But that's neither here nor there. I'll continue to support this team and wish them the best - they've given me hours and days of unmeasurable enjoyment, so I'll just quit my fussin'. A sports title will not make this town whole again - but, if nothing else, it has brought this community together in a rather unholy alliance to cheer on our Tribe - and as Martha Stewart might say ..."that's a good thing." (Well, before her lame "Apprentice" spin-off show gets cancelled anyway ...get over it, Martha ...bake a cake with a file in it to take your mind off it or something!).

I meant what I said: Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta are going to be baseball stars very soon (as well as the rest of the Tribe line-up!). It's the rest of the national numbskulls that need to get up to speed ...not me.

And to all those critics who bemoan the fact that it takes a sorry sports team - and title - to get this town excited, let me say this on my own behalf: I would cheer just as loudly for any and all victories pulled off by the arts and culture community as well. It's all important pieces of the puzzle to make this town great again - but that's just my worthless opinion.

Anyway, before the hate mail rolls in because of my opening Id joke, let me say this: I love Cleveland State University and I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities it has provided me over the years. It is on the verge of being a GREAT center of education - and I was very fortunate to be able to seize all the opportunities it has provided me. But, just like Cleveland, it needs to work together as a cohesive unit to exlpore - and exploit - those opportunities to it's advantage. There's NO REASON why Cleveland State could not be the NYU of Ohio.

Okay, enough inept babbling here - I'm going to go sit on my patio with my beer and marvel at the storm that's scheduled to be rolling in today. Thunderstorms and rain are instrumental in my deep neanderthal thought process...

Also, thanks for all the kind words from the new readers. I am humbled - really - and shocked that anyone actually reads this garbage - but thankful nonetheless! I am even going to use the quote that my writing is like a "double shot of espresso" - or something to that effect - on my writing resume (if, of course, the fine person that wrote it does not object!). I could not wish for a more creative tagline! (Screw Larry King and Pat Collins - they love EVERYTHING!)

I'm sure with that will come some harsh criticism of my writing as well - but, hey, that's life take the good with the bad's all about balance in the universe. Roll with it, people!

Good night ...and good luck!

And to quote Dr. Jack from "Lost": "All roads lead to THIS...?"

Friday, September 23, 2005

Oscar The Grouch Blows The Lid Off of "Lost" and Melts His Own Icy Heart in the Process

The Id and I - "Blow the hatch off, crawl down the ladder into my private bunker and let's go all J.D. Salinger together, shall we-? (P.S. - Bring pizza and beer!!!)"

So, I was down at the Cleveland Cinematheque this week to be the first in line to preview a screening of Kieslowski's Three Color Trilogy: Blue/White/Red. No ...I'm kidding!!! What kind of crack pipe was your momma smoking, crack baby-? Obviously, I was home on Wednesday night watching the season premiere of Lost...

Come on, what else would I be doing-? Watching the series finale of Dancing With The Stars...??? Please - the only dancing I'm interested in is done by myself - with lots of smoke and mirrors - to the tune of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" down at The Velvet Dog - anything other than that and I'm not interested! Hey, at least I wasn't watching sports (never let it be said that I'm not "well-rounded").

Anyway, we here at The Id and I are gigantic fans of Lost. It's hard not to be with all the talk of "fate" and "destiny" and "invisible island monsters who double as security systems." I mean, the creators of this show must of had a picture of ME up on their Power Point presentations when they were pitching this show to the network and trying to figure out their target demographic.

ABC Executives: "So, it's a show about a bunch of beautiful, scantily-clad people who crash-land on a mysterious island with invisible monsters, and nobody knows what the hell is going on because it's a constant mystery wrapped in a riddle where each question is answered with another question on a weekly basis. It sounds completely implausible - who's going to watch this crap...???"

J.J. Abrams (Pointing to a picture of my face in the middle of a bullseye with his pointer): "McVetta ...McVetta WILL watch!"

And then the ABC Executives gasp with delight as they clap their greedy hands with glee...

"Lost" is the coolest - and best - show on television ...and Matthew Fox just keeps proving my point that the Emmy voters goofed when they did not nominate him for Best Actor - Dr. Jack is the glue that holds that shaky island together!

And let's not forget Kate - To quote "Max" from Hart to Hart: "She's gorgeous - she's one lady who really knows how to take care of herself!"

I was so entranced by that damn hatch and the hole it led down to - I didn't even realize that they were saving Sawyer and the gang on the raft for week. It just goes to show you why J.J. Abrams and company are the BEST storytellers on television right now!

And let's not forget about those fabulous flashback sequences, eh-? They bring to life the beautiful idiosyncracies of every character on a weekly basis, each one more impressive - and engaging - than the next.

It reminds me of one of my own futile flashbacks - to a simpler time, when I was working for Scene Magazine back in the late '90's. I had just gotten "the call" to the editor's bullpen where I was sat down to face my own delusional demons head-on.

"Chris," the editor at that time told me. "Chris ...we don't want you making fun of Dick Feagler anymore in your articles..."

"What-???" I gushed with disbelief. "Why not-? Dick Feagler is Cleveland comedy gold!"

"Well, be that as it may, Chris," the editor continued solemnly. "It can't continue-"

"Awww, geez," I gave my best Archie Bunker groan. "Well, can you at least tell me WHY-?"

"The thing is, Chris," the editor shifted dramatically in his seat. "We got a call from Feagler's people - and they just don't like it. You know, mocking him."

"Dick Feagler has people...?!?" I gasped in horror. "But - I - I don't understand. I thought journalists had a sense of humor about themselves!" I went on to babble like some journalistic Bambi on holiday.

"Well, you see, Chris, the thing is ...they don't," the editor enlightened me. "And we don't want you to do it anymore. Case closed."

And it was then and there that I had my moment of Zen - where I leaned forward as seriously and solemnly as someone wearing an "I'm With Stupid -->" T-Shirt could in that situation - and proclaimed to my editor, to Scene Magazine, and to the entire world of Cleveland journalism: "I'm going to fix you."

And, of course, I didn't. But I did go on to crash-land on my own little cyber-island of wonder and amazement where I was subsequently, just like the survivors on Lost, never heard from again...

"You gotta - Make your own kind of music. Sing your own special song. Make your own kind of music. Even if ...nobody else ...sings along!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Paula Cole asks: "Where Have All The Tribe Fans Gone...?" (Hint: Maybe Big Dawg Ate 'Em!)

The Id and I - "Time to take out the trash!" (No, literally, the garbage in my house is really starting to pile up in here... Geez.)

Nostradamus R' Us

Oh, stop the presses, True Believers - the national media has said that your Cleveland Indians are (gasp!) ..."the best team in baseball." Well, what a stunning revelation! I applaud them for "going out on this limb" before Bud Selig actually handed Eric Wedge the World Series trophy - what courage, vision and prophetic insight!

Not to go all Medium on you or anything, but we here at The Id and I have only been telling you that the Chicago White Sox would completely COLLAPSE in the second-half of the season ...AND that the Cleveland Indians would win the AL Central division! It hasn't happened yet - but I'll stand by what I predicted months and months ago - and live with it. Not flip-flop and change my opinions on national television on a, um, daily basis so as to "appear" to viewers that I actually might have a clue as to what I was talking about...

I believe we also predicted the Bengals winning the AFC North, the Baltimore Ravens going 6-10 and the Cleveland Brownies finishing a respectable 7-9 (for them). Sooooo, how are those Super Bowl-bound Baltimore Ravens doing, by the way...?

Ah, true genius's never truly appreciated in it's time, is it-? But enough crowing for now - Believe me, I'll say enough stupid things in the weeks and months to come to counteract all of these prognostications...

"Larry Dolan will do the laundry - if you pay all the bills. Where is my happy ending - Where is my prairie song - Where have all the Tribe fans gone...???"

Another big story brewing on the horizon is all the empty seats down at The Jake - but the feeling in town is that unless Jacob's Field starts cashing unemployment checks at the gate, those seats are sadly going to remain empty in Cleveland. As one Willoughby fireman told me after a Sept. 11th memorial parade last weekend, "Chris, if I've got to choose between sending my kids to a good school, or my Indians' season tickets, I'm going to choose my kids' future every time - it's just a matter of priorities."

Although I believe that Jacob's Field is one of the most scenic and serene architectural landmarks in Cleveland - it is also (sadly) one of the most expensive to attend (when you factor in parking, eats and drinks). No more "cheap seats" down at the empty Municipal Monolith Stadium of yesteryear, kids - nickel beer nights went the way of the Dodo.

It's obvious that this is - and always has been - a "Browns town." However, for my money, nothing is more enjoyable than a warm summer night down at the Jake. Nothing against the Browns, I love 'em - but going to Cleveland Browns stadium is like taking a trip to freaking "Thunderdome." I'd much rather watch all the action of a football game unfold in the comfort of my own home (or a neighborhood sports bar ...uh, tomato/tomatoe) - complete with fantasy football tickers and highlights flashing at well-timed intervals.

Regardless, when the Indians are fighting for the division title against the Chicago White Sox in the final series of the year, I'll sell all my TIVO stock to get tickets to see the Indians win it all - LIVE AND IN PERSON! I can't wait! Yippee yie, yippee yeah!

And, um, did I happen to mention that I think Grady Sizemore is going to be a major league superstar for the Cleveland Indians yet...???

NEXT ISSUE: In "Action Id Comics #64" - Why we think Mayor McCheese would clobber Jane Campbell in a steel cage match ...and a Cleveland mayoral election (No, seriously).

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Toobin' The Tube 2005: Gilmore Girls, Girls, Girls!

"Truth is ...I don't stand a chance. It's something you're born into ...and I just don't belong. No, I don't - I'm just a no class, beat down fool - And I will always be that way. I might as well enjoy my life, and watch the stars play..."

Gilmore Girls and Lauren Graham have to be THE BIGGEST SNUB in the entire Emmy universe! I'm a football, sports fanatic guy, whose biggest idea of watching "chick flicks" is watching Rudy on a rainy afternoon (which, um, is kind of like a Lifetime movie for men, I guess...).

But I got sucked into the last season of Gilmore Girls - it was brilliant! And now I'm addicted. Kelly Bishop is also fantastic and deserves a Best Supporting actress nod - How the "Emmy voters" missed this show is beyond me! I can only quote Al Pacino from Glengarry Glen Ross: "Where'd ya learn your trade-?!?"

Also, Scrubs deserved a Best Comedy nomination as well as Matthew Fox for Lost (he's the GLUE that holds the island together!). Arrested Development is funny, but too "nerd-centric" which is why all the critics love it - but it's too "out there" for consideration. Jason Bateman rocks, but that show is completely overrated!

And Will and Grace-? Who's left to guest-star on this show-? Charo-? Or Charles Nelson Reilly-??? Give it up, it was a good show in it's day, but it has jumped the shark...

And no one makes me laugh harder on Monday nights than Charlie Sheen in Two and a Half Men (other than the St. Louis Rams!) - if comedy is hard, than he makes it look easy! And there's more to it than "Charlie Sheen just playing himself," Emmy simpletons!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Annie Lennox to Terrell Owens: "No More I Love You's"

The Id and I - And all the journalist's say I'm pretty fly for a cyber-guy!

Well, Philadelphia Eagles' wide receiver and God's gift to himself, Terrell Owens, was out of the ESPN national spotlight for a mere 5.5 nanoseconds - and, folks, he didn't like it. Neither did ESPN much for that matter as T.O. quickly passed a note to Donovan McNabb (and "the world leader in sports") asking:

Donovan McNabb, I love you. Do you (and ESPN) still love me...???

Please check box:

( ) Yes! Let's go to a Day Spa together.
( ) No. You're too much man for me. Can Sharon Reed play wideout-?
( ) Maybe-? Can I turn over and sleep on it-?

Anyway, after a fantastic Monday Night Football kickoff game between Philly and the Falcons ...the freaking Eagles lost! Can we PLEASE bury the memory of Terrell Owens in the back garden with the rest of The Flowers in the Attic...??? McMemo to ESPN: Terrell Owens is not a story anymore - REPEAT ...NOT A STORY - even if he tells you that he is! X-File's Case #0388-7 solved and CLOSED.

An Evening with Joe Andruzzi: What a snoozy!

Last night, a local watering hole of mine was having a "promotional party" for MNF - featuring a guest appearance by Browns' offensive lineman, Joe Andruzzi. It always sounds intriguing - at first - until all the usual crowd changes and morphs into something new altogether, leaving me with frustrated sober soundbites like: "Hey, where have all the beautiful people gone...?" to a few beers later, lamenting: "Is the circus in town, tonight...?"

I'm sure Mr. Andruzzi is a fine fellow - he seemed nice enough peddling his Cleveland Browns' not-ready-for-QVC merchandise to the crowd - but I wasn't buying nor biting. I just wanted to get my baby bladder to it's required bathroom break during the commercial - but instead all I got was Joe Andruzzi (and his flunkies) blocking my way to the "Little Journalist's Room."

Andruzzi was signing T-shirts and other memorabilia - but I already had my autographed baseball from Ben Broussard this summer. And sorry, Joe Andruzzi, but I trade UP ...not down ...when it comes to rubbing elbows with local sports stars and the such. Hey, even cyber-shut-in's have their standards!

Never fear, I blew by all of them like a Cincinnati Bengals' pass rusher on holiday without buying a single piece of merchandise! Again, Mr. Andruzzi seemed like a nice enough fellow, but I was just in no stinking mood with a half-dozen Hoegaardens in me - and my beloved Cleveland Indians losing to the Oakland A's, 2-0, that evening. Hey, Terrell Owens isn't the only temperamental prima donna on this tragic reality tour!

"Reality is for people who lack imagination..." - Anonymous Bumper Sticker

So, yeah, I don't know - it's nights like these that I get into one of my "moods." There's only so many more "Ferris Bueller-like stunts" I can pull - like throwing out the first pitch at the Indians' game this summer - before I run out of steam.

"It's crazy, I'm thinking - Just knowing that the world is round. And here I'm dancing on the ground - Am I right side up - or upside down? Is this real - at all ...or am I dreaming?

And then I get in those crazy funks where everything seems to bother me - no matter how insignificant! Like I'll be sitting at home watching TV, and say bizarre statements like: "What's with that new Cold Pizza logo-??? It looks like something you'd see plastered on the side of a shaving cream can!"

"Hey, Cold Pizza," I'll blather to myself, "Gillette called ...they want their logo back! Um, did you at least save the receipt for that-?" But it's not THEIR fault they got snookered by some big city marketing firm - I mean, the host of the show, Jay Crawford, went to Bowling Green - Have you ever been to Bowling Green-??? I have - I was going to get a Master's Degree in Pop Culture from BGSU ...but I decided that $20,000 was just "a tad pricey" to write a thesis about Dawson's Creek... but that's neither here nor there, I guess.

There's certain points in time that keep sticking in my mind, for sure: About five years ago, we had a "reunion special" for The Cauldron, the Cleveland State newspaper I worked for years ago. We were high atop a Gold Coast apartment complex, which is like a high-rise refugee camp for Golden Girls' fanatics and the such, but our friend, Shelby, lived there and we were getting drunk, laughing, and reminiscing on the rooftop nonetheless.

It was there that my friend and colleague, Angie Stetzy and I, were soaking in the blinking Cleveland skyline. She told me matter-of-factly: "Why don't you move to California and write television shows-? You'd be a millionaire!"

I laughed, half in the bag at this point, but she went on: "And more importantly - you'd be doing something you are really good at - and, most importantly, something you have always wanted to do..."

At times I think it would just be easier if life was more like Lost - when I get bored, I wish there were times when I could just get sucked out of the back of the plane like that one guy with the rest of the Samsonite (tm) luggage about 3,500 feet over the Pacific Ocean - and just free-fall.

But that's just me ...Lost. Par for the course here on Mystery Freaking Island...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Fighting Irish, Bleeding Brown and Orange, and Grady Sizemore is Bouncing Off The Walls!

The Id and I - Jump aboard and take a ride on "The Penny Press Express of the 21st Century."

So how about those Cleveland Indians, huh-? Did they shine on the ESPN national spotlight ...or what? The stadium and team looked great shining bright here in Cleveland - sweeping The Minnesota Twins and crushing their playoff hopes into oblivion.

The highlight of the game-? Grady Sizemore slamming against the backfield wall - while going after a near home run ball - and bouncing back about 10 feet. ESPN kept showing the replay of this classic kid sacrificing himself for his team - even though the Tribe had already, for the most part, won the game. That was great - nice hustle, kid!

But take it easy, Grady, we here at The Id and I already know we are watching Greatness - We've been saying that here since the beginning of the season - it's just taking the other "media mongoloids" on the national scene to catch on, is all.

Speaking of, I didn't seem to hear much this morning from the fine folks over at ESPN concerning our white hot Tribe - how are the Yankees and Oakland A's doing, by the way? And those Chicago White Sox - how are those windy city Wahoo-wannabes doing up in Chi-town-? I believe someone around here ...oh, I don't know, who could it be...? Oh, wait: It's me! I believe The Id and I has been saying - since the early innings of this baseball season - that the Chicago White Sox would COLLAPSE and The Cleveland Indians would win the A.L. Central. Again, you heard it here first, folks...

Queer Eye for Brutus Buckeye: It must be that damn sweater vest!

Did you watch that Texas-Ohio State game Saturday night...? Somebody call those five guys from Bravo, because somebody's college football team needs a serious "sports makeover." Oh, Jim Tressel, what were you thinking! You had that game won, dude! I haven't seen anything so sad since Donovan McNabb handed the Super Bowl trophy to the New England Patriots on a silver platter in last year's Super Bowl. LISTEN TO ME: I absolutely hate the "two quarterback system" doesn't work ...stop using it immediately, Coach Tressel! You may have just cost this year's OSU Buckeye team a shot at the National Championship because of it...

Oh, Bless Me Lucky Charms! Is that Notre Dame 2-0 and Ranked # 10 in the Land???

Charlie Weis - who was my first pick as head coach of the Cleveland Browns - has brought his patented brand of Patriots' magic to my beloved Fighting Irish. I no longer have to watch Notre Dame games in shame - with a brown paper bag over my head like "The Unknown Comic" of sports fans. I no longer have to watch repeated viewings of Rudy (which is like a Lifetime movie for men). Love 'em or hate 'em, folks, Notre Dame football is fun again! And then there's Maude...

Cincinnati Bengals: Looks like these cats have claws!

Well, after a valiant 1st-half start, the Cleveland Browns folded faster than Superman on laundry day in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Romeo Crennel has his work cut out for him - and even though the Bengals did not look stellar on either side of the ball, they are balanced and young enough to win the AFC North (Again, you heard it hear first...).

The Baltimore Ravens, um, on the other hand - not so much. While everyone else in the sporting world were picking these pretty in purple and black roadrunners to win our division, I just scratched my head and looked at the quarterback situation. Kyle Boller...? Anthony Wright! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I don't care how good your defense is, you are not going to beat any Super Bowl contenders with an inept offense.

And although the Browns fell apart late in the game, they were just simply overpowered by a much better Bengals team. It is what it is, kids. Though there were some bright spots on the Browns' new offensive and defensive schemes, they are certainly not one of the worst teams in the league right now as Cold Pizza's Woody Paige suggested this morning - by saying Matt Leinart would wind up playing in Cleveland next year (because we'll have the #1 pick).

Of course, our illustrious Mr. Paige also picked the Denver Broncos to win the Super Bowl (cough) - and I would think that the New York Jets, um, might be a better fit for Matt Leinart, don't you, Cleveland...? I do - in a New York minute.

The Id and I - McMemo to Jurassic Journalists: If this web blog is rockin', don't come a knockin'!

Friday, September 09, 2005

Torching Frankensteinbrenner's Yankees with My Beautiful "Abby Normal" Mind

The Id and I - We eat danger for breakfast!

Are you believing yet, Tribe fans? Do you want to believe...? The Truth is Out There: The Cleveland Indians are in first place in the best wild card baseball race in years - ARE YOU EXCITED? You should be! This is going to be the most exciting September in years for baseball - and Indians' fans - and we owe it all to the creation of the wildcard spot by Major League Baseball.

Don't tell me a "wild card spot" doesn't mean anything either! Getting into the playoffs is just the foot in the door to wedge it wide open for a successful playoff post-season run - and to quote G.I. Joe: "Knowing is half the battle..."

Do you think ANYONE in the American League would want to face YOUR Cleveland Indians in a playoff series right now-? Guess again, Chester! We are currently the scariest damn team in baseball...

Look at this starting lineup: Lead off lightning bolt in a Chief Wahoo cap, Grady Sizemore! Cuckoo for Coco Crisp cracking the bat with his patented scowl on a consistent basis! Jhonny Peralta just gets this team JHAZZED!!! Travis Hafner brings power to the plate - He's The Incredible Hulk without the GNC juice! And Victor Martinez - he is just amazing on both sides of the plate!

And that's just our offensive lineup, gang! What about our fantastic pitching-? C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee are a potent one-two punch that even Ron Howard and Russell Crowe couldn't quite deliever to us on a silver platter... and let's not forget about the big guy cleaning up on the mound, Bob Wickman. The big man has done everything asked of him and more!

So let's go, Tribe fans - I mean, the REAL TRIBE FANS. Even if Oakland knocks us out of the playoff picture, you've got to admit this is one damn exciting Cleveland Indians' team - and if you don't think so, then you don't know shi... uh, Sizemore!

"New York City-?!? I don't want anything to do with that urban death maze!" - Homer Simpson

Get to know these, kids, Cleveland - because they're your team! And they are only going to get better with time - and I'm going to enjoy the ride. So grab your torches and head down to the Jake to show Mist'ah Steinbrenner that his $200 million monstrosity is about to get torched by the Cleveland villagers!

It's a great weekend to dot the "i" in Ohio sports! The Browns and Bengals, Ohio State and Texas - and ESPN will broadcast the Indians-Twins game on a special Sunday night game of the week with a special September 11th tribute. So get out there and enjoy!

Monday, September 05, 2005

The Mental Defective's Guide To The Galaxy

"Who let the C.H.U.D.'s out ...? Woof! Woof! Woof!"

Well, Labor Day weekend has come and gone once again in our fair city here on the North Coast (with "Labor Day" being kind of an oxymoron here in Cleveland as of late). But there were a lot of things to celebrate this weekend in Cleveland, and even this cyber-C.H.U.D. was out and about enjoying the sun and fun - flying down Interstate I-90 as the Cleveland National Air Show jets buzzed by overhead, and every one in the car screaming, "Pull up, Striker! You're too low! YOU'RE TOO LOW!!!" and other such absurdities.

Ingenuity Clev.05 - "The 1st annual Arts and Technology Festival" was a big hit this weekend and even managed to drag this Oscar the Grouch out of his garbage can (decorated in early curmudgeon) for a brief moment in time. It was very reminiscent of our old Cleveland State "block parties" back in the day - where we would close off entire segments of Euclid Avenue for an afternoon of local music and merry mirth - but just on a larger and much grander scale (and, um, minus the vomit-soaked couch).

And, shockingly, even though my "art exhibits" were not accepted into the festival this year (which included, The Homeless Hal 2000, my panhandling robot, "Excuse me ...sir ...but could you ...spare ...some change...for a 'bot ...down on ...his luck...?" - or my short 16mm film featuring myself - dressed as a bottle of Hoegaarden - sliding down a chute into a pool of raw liver (symbolizing my own "descent into madness" set to the Footloose soundtrack) - it was all good nonetheless!

But I'll leave the art and exhibitions to the professionals... it was just nice to see somebody trying something NEW in Cleveland - and succeeding. The Ingenuity Clev.o5 logo and web site were also very cool as well!

I probably should thank them - or at least send them a nice muffin basket or something. The Ingenuity Clev.05 Festival actually got my own creative juices flowing and got me thinking about building a few pyramids on a Pop Culture Planet of my own...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Kyle Orton Hears - A Who?

The Id and I - Where those other "jurassic journalists" come to learn their trade!

(About Grady Sizemore being a baseball god, Hoegaarden being THE beer of choice, and the Brownie Elf taking the Notre Dame Leprechaun in a mascot cage match, along with a great many other things...)

The Cleveland Browns have finished their pre-season with bonafide bang over the Chicago Bears with a 16-6 win at Soldier's Field and a sound, if somewhat meaningless, 3-1 exhibition record. But the real story is not the scores, or the records, but how this lastest crop of Cleveland Brownies handled themselves in Coach Crennel's new system. Very well, it would appear, as the Dawgs seem to - finally - be playing as a cohesive football unit; something they never could seem to do under the Butch Davis regime of doom.

General Manager, Phil Savage, is the real deal and the Cleveland football equivalent of Mark Shapiro in regards to evaluating talent. They obviously don't need any focus groups to tell them how to do their jobs, do they...? And I don't need any focus groups to tell me that Charlie Frye is looking like the steal of the draft, either!

I'll be honest, I've said this before, I was "jones'ing" big time for the Browns to pick Purdue quarterback, Kyle Orton, in the April NFL draft - but the more I see of Charlie Frye, the more I like him. He's not flashy, but he's got the talent, the intangibles - and the fabulous Mr. Frye has that "gritty MAC football mystique" you need to succeed out on the grid iron in the 21st century National football League. I still think Kyle Orton will be a Band-Aid blessing in disguise for the banged-up Chicago Bears ...but, for once, it's nice to see the Brownies end up with the better prize - rather than the "year's supply of Rice-A-Roni" after winning big on Plinko!

So what does this all boil down to for the Cleveland Browns this season...? Well, let's not print those Super Bowl tickets just yet, kids. Realistically, we're still far away from that lofty goal if not at least headed down the right road. But if everything "goes our way," we could be looking at a "coach of the year" award for Romeo Crennel and the rest of the Fat Albert gang. Here are my AFC North predictions:

Cincinnati Bengals: 11-5
Pittsburgh Steelers: 9-7
Cleveland Browns: 7-9
Baltimore Ravens: 6-10

Other than that, bring on the Bengals! Yes, I've got a feeling they'll win the division and, yes, I know that the Ravens have a ravenous defense, but I'm just not sold on them as much as other people - but we will see.

Fantasy football 101: "Smiles, everyone ...smiles!"

I've already had one draft and I've got my second one tonight. Depending on your league rules and scoring, it may vary a bit, but it's hard to argue with LaDainian Tomlison or Shaun Alexander being your # 1 pick. With the the 9th pick out of a ten-round league, I managed to snag Bills running back, Willis McGahee, and then Kevin Jones (RB, Lions) with my 2nd round pick. I might get "thrown to the Lions" if Joey Harrington and company cough up a big hairball, but that's what this game is all about, boys. Here are a few other players who are on my radar this fantasy footaball season:

Julius Jones - RB, Dallas - "Fast as lighting if Drew Bledsoe doesn't blow the offense."

Michael Jenkins - WR, Atlanta - "Former Ohio State standout and Michael Vick's main target."

Roy Williams - WR, Detroit - "Best young wide receiver in the league, and I ain't Lion!"

Larry Fitzgerald - WR, Arizona - "A touchdown-catching endzone magnet!"

Dallas Clark - TE, Indy Colts - "Minus Marcus Pollard equals double the touchdown fun."

Mike Nugent - K, NY Jets - "How can you go wrong with a guy that chugged a beer bong with Brutus the Buckeye at Ohio State!!!"

Well, that's all I've got for you, folks. Go out with this knowledge and do what you will... I am off to Ray's Place for some much-needed "rest and recreation" and a double atomic cheeseburger and an ice-cold Hoegaarden on draft.