Sunday, January 29, 2006

Cuckoo For Coco Crisp? Cleveland Indians are Buy-One-Get-One Free EVERYDAY at Save-A-Lot!

"Kramer goes to a baseball fantasy camp? His whole life is a fantasy camp! People should plunk down $2000 to live like him for a week. Sleep, do nothing, fall ass-backwards into money, mooch food off your neighbors and have sex without dating ...THAT'S a fantasy camp." -- George Costanza

So I guess Coco Crisp is off on his merry way to become a member of the Boston Red Sox.

According to The Cleveland Plain Dealer: "The Cleveland Indians sent Crisp, David Riske and Josh Bard to Boston on Friday for Guillermo Mota, Andy Marte, Kelly Shoppach, a player to be named ...and cash (more than $1 million). The Indians traded an estimated $8.5 million in salaries, while acquiring an estimated $5.2 million."

"Payroll was not a factor," said Shapiro. "It went down, but it gives us more flexibility now and through July to do something else."

Yeah, right. I guess that's what happens when "Thrifty Smurf" owns The Cleveland Indians...

Coco was an above-average player at best, and I am intrigued by the acquistion of Andy Marte, to be perfectly honest. I have total confidence in Mark Shapiro's skills as a General Manager for The Indians (under the penny-pinching circumstances) - that is a moot point.

But I am sick of this "corporate spin" that is constantly being portrayed by the Indians that NOTHING with this organization is "about money." It's ALWAYS about money (or more importantly, lack thereof) when it comes to our "Daddy Warbucks on Welfare" - Larry Dolan.

I'm sick of The Indians having to pause and turn to Larry Dolan to flip through his portable plastic coupon pouch everytime they are looking at possible free agents to see if Dolan says: "Wait! Let me see if I have a coupon for THAT...?"

Mark Shapiro and company have no trouble asking US - the hard-working folks of Cleveland - to fork over mega-bucks for $6.00 beers and $4.00 hot dogs along with expensive tickets for a team that no longer is shown on "Free TV" in favor of lucrative cable deals without flinching - yet we as loyal Indians' fans are supposed to be "patient" everytime Larry Dolan runs to the local Coinstar with his jar of pennies to purchase another mediocre, middle-of-the-road, over-the-hill, free agent.

Maybe Larry Dolan and Mark Shapiro have blinders on - and believe that the "common man" can eat Tender Vittles for lunch every day in order to purchase a golden ticket to an Indians' game at Jacob's Field - and, hey, that notion probably gets a guffaw and an "oh-what-a-knee-slapper!" response at their local country club - but it's that blind pompous ambition that's going to bite them in the ass - in the end - if the Indians fail to produce - and win a World Series - in the long run ...and not too distant future.

On a lighter note, I guess, now, I will be waiting patiently by my mailbox for my 2006 press credentials from the Cleveland Indians, huh-?

Postage to be paid by recipient, of course!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Snap, Crackle ...Pop Hall (Or why a Superman Tribute NEEDS to be built on the shores of Cleveland, Ohio!)

"I can't stand to fly. I'm not that naive. Men weren't meant to ride, with clouds between their knees. I'm only a man - in a silly red sheet - digging for kryptonite on this one way street. Only a man, in a funny red sheet, looking for special things inside of me..."

So, in case you missed it, last night was the 100th episode of "Smallville" - which showcased the fateful, untimely death of Jonathan Kent - the adoptive father of the son of Jor-el, also known as Clark Kent.

The death of Jonathan Kent is an important part of "The Superman mythology" because it signals the metamorphosis of young Clark Kent into his adult alter-ego, Superman.

Huh. Interesting timing, to say the least.

If anybody out there has been paying attention to this blog for the past several months, then you know that on NUMEROUS occasions I have been asking these questions:

  • Why isn't there a tribute, memorial, museum or SOMETHING dedicated to the creators of "Superman" - Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel - who both grew up and created The Man of Steel right here in Cleveland during The Depression Era-???

  • Why couldn't a Joe Shuster-Jerry Siegel-Superman tribute be the main part of a much grander focus - like a Pop Culture Museum ("The Pop Hall") right here on the shores of scenic Lake Erie-?

  • If we could get a "The Pop Hall" built here in Cleveland - why couldn't it be a shoreline bookend to it's kissing cousin - The Rock Hall-? And why couldn't it feature exhibits and tributes to Clevelanders who have gone on to create lasting mainstream contributions to Pop Culture (Paul Newman, Drew Carey, Halle Barry, Bob Hope, etc.) in our national fabric-?

  • Why couldn't it also involve a special section to Clevelanders - who stayed in Cleveland - and have a made a tremendous impact right here on the shores of the Cuyahoga-? I'm thinking Harvey Pekar from "American Splendor" fame and legendary Cleveland rock 'n' roll journalist, Jane Scott.

Well, after a meeting I had this morning, it looks like these questions are starting to be answered. And after gathering numerous support from many members of The Cleveland community, it looks like the ball may just start to get rock and rolling on "The Pop Hall." There have been offers of creative support. There have been some possible offers of financial support. There have been offers from some local businesses in the area. But it's just The Beginning...

Why not Cleveland - and why not NOW-? With the movie "Superman Returns" opening this summer in 2006, what better way for Cleveland to jump on the hype-bandwagon and get some great - and free - publicity to showcase our fine town here on The North Coast!

Did I mention I was rejected from the graduate program in Popular Culture at Bowling Green State University-??? (Ironic, huh-? No hard feelings, Bowling Green folks!)

Up, up and away! For more information contact me at:

** Special thanks to George Nemeth of "Brewed Fresh Daily" for getting the word out there! **

Friday, January 20, 2006

A Flock of Seahawks on The North Coast of Lake Erie

"And I ran. I ran so far away. I just ran - I ran all night and day. I couldn't get away..."

You know, idolizing local "sports heroes" here in Cleveland can be a tricky business, to say the least. The Buckeye State pumps out football players faster than journalism schools grind out college graduates - all dressed up with no place to go. The same kind of "job prospects" are about as bleak for the AVERAGE college football player as well...

When I was the sports editor for my college newspaper at Concrete State University here in Cleveland, every Tom, Dick and Harry that walked through the newspaper's front door down in our Middle-Earth basement office thought they were the "second coming" of Cameron Crowe, Dave Barry or Hunter S. Thompson ...including the foolish boy sitting here, writing this now.

I didn't even want to be the sports editor - but it was a steady college paycheck and a means-to-an-end to write my pop culture comedy-in-a-can musings in a weekly column called, "The id and I." So I put my head down - tucked the ball under my arms - took the job - and ran with it.

But not everyone turns out to be Dan Marino or Mitch Albom - some us turn out to be Elvis Grbac or writing pet obituaries for Sun Newspapers. It is what it is, folks!

That is why I am cheering for The Seattle Seahawks, now, especially for wide receiver (and local hometown boy) Joe Jurevicius. After being drafted by the New York Giants - and then bouncing over to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Joe has finally found a home (and his nitch) out west in "The Starbucks State" with The Seahawks.

Jurevicius went to school here at Lake Catholic and always hangs out at local sports bars when he is back in town. At first glance, he stands in a corner with his drink and is always wearing an expensive suit, like he’s waiting to be noticed.

But I actually approached him one time, talked with him at length about sports, and he is a very gracious and friendly guy. Joe is very down to earth and I hope his team wins it all in The Super Bowl!

So ...Go Seahawks! (And if they do win, after the spectacular season Jurevicius had this year, Joe will be a big part of it.)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Cleveland, Why Can't I Quit You...???

Well, it's the new year and ...and ...well, I'm not quite sure what that means.

It means that college football is over. It means that Matt Leinart - as returning quarterback of The USC (University of Spoiled Children) Trojans - SHOULD HAVE dropped out of school because a college degree does NOT pay. Not as much, this time around, anyway...

It means that we won't get to see Laura Quinn (Medicine woman???) every 15 seconds or so on national TV now that her brother, Brady Quinn, isn't getting sacked releantlessly by her boyfriend, A.J. Hawk - hey, maybe they can all laugh about it over appetizers at Applebee's or something (Well, maybe not Applebee's - they serve better food in prison - but you get the idea!).

It means that Butch Davis and John Collins of The Cleveland Browns have both now been banished to "Brokeback Mountain" - or wherever failed NFL egomaniacs (and the executives who love them) go to reinvent themselves (Perhaps with The Black Hole and The Oakland Raiders - quit that snickering, people!).

I'm not sure what I want out of Cleveland - or myself - for this new year. I would still like Cleveland to build a Pop Culture museum on the shores of Lake Erie with a giant Superman statue guarding the entrance. If nothing else, to honor Superman creators, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, who both grew up in Cleveland - and created The Man of Steel HERE in high school - during The Great Depression.

Shouldn't we immortalize native Clevelanders who actually went on to create something that has stuck in the collective mindset throughout the years - instead of some lame "knuckleheads in the news" over and over again-? (Or are we too busy fawning over Mrs. Dennis Kucinich like the lame inbred hillbillies the outside world perceives us to be...? Quit coming up with sappy greeting card slogans for Cleveland - that would make Daffy Dan cringe in horror - and let's do something with this town!)

I mean, unless The Ten-Thousand Volt Ghost from "Scooby-Doo" is chasing people away from the semi-abandoned Aviation Airport or something, it's about TIME to do something with the lakefront. What better way to pay tribute to two native Clevelanders - while bringing added attention, excitement and interest to Cleveland - then to build a Pop Culture museum here on the shores of Lake Erie - with Superman as the main attraction...

Hey, you can even throw in Halle Berry's Bond bikini and Drew Carey's glasses, too, for good measure!

Other than that, I've decided in this new year that if local news woman Sharon Reed is going to continually "over expose" herself during every single sporting event in town, then I might just RETURN THE FAVOR and do they same thing to HER - I'll be an equal opportunity annoyance!

I'm hoping to approach the aspiring Ms. Reed on the sidelines of every Browns, Cavs and Indians game imaginable with a handful of flowers glibly stating: "Golly, Ms. Reed shore are purdy! Aw shucks, I hopes you don't mind too much, but I picked ya these here dandelions just for you..."

To which she'll most likely snap: "What-? Are you some sort of DORK or something-???"

"No, ma'am," I'll respond, staring at my feet. "Just bashful!"

Other than that - Happy 2006, Cleveland!

Now, (sigh), if I could only lose a few of those holiday pounds! Time to hit the gym - um, in case The Ultimate Fighting Championship comes a calling! Oh, Hoegaarden Belgian Ale and Double Atomic cheeseburgers - why can't I quit you...?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

O' Ye of Little Cleveland Browns Faith!

I think the Cleveland Browns are going to win today - I honestly believe that they can beat the Baltimore Ravens. They may not score a lot of points, and it may be an ugly game, but I think our Brownies will bounce back and win today.

The Steelers are just a powerhouse right now - and they bulldozed the Browns with their depth at Iron City talent. But the Browns are good enough - right now - to beat the bumbling Baltimore Ravens. I can sense it. There is a great disturbance in The Force...

Browns win: 13-12!

And fire Phil Savage-??? Uh, I don't think so, Ricky Retardo. (You want to fire our very own Ron Howard of The North Coast-? Just because the guy wears a baseball cap with a leisure suit...? You WANT to fire "Opie"?!? Ladies and gentlemen - and North Coast villagers alike - I implore you: Put down your torches! If anything, FIRE that ladder-climbing corporate circus seal they call "John Collins." Or fire me! Fire a TRUE ass-hat! But please - PLEASE - don't fire North Coast Opie...)

So, in conclusion: Why do I feel our Brownies will win today...? I just feel you NEVER bet against the scrappy underdog - especially when they have their backs up against the wall. You heard it here first, True Believers! (And, um, if The Cleveland Browns DO happen to lose today to the The Ravens ...then quote The McVetta: "Nevermore!")

Go Browns!!!

NEXT UP: Ohio State vs. Notre Dame (Torn between two lovers - feeling like a fool!)