Wednesday, January 23, 2008

LeBron's New Shoe: The Darth Vader of Sneakers?

Okay, so what's the deal now with LeBron James and his lack of fashion sense in Cleveland?

Well, it seems that King James has teamed up with that evil galactic empire, Nike, to create (ta-da!) ...a spanking brand-new, Yankees-inspired, sneaker. Oh, the horror (Is that the correct pronunciation? Quick, use it in a sweat-shop sentence!).

What's next? A shoe created specifically for the Cleveland Indians and their fans - seductively "inspired" by Isiah Thomas and Keds? Wahoo. Maybe they could call it "The Snuggle Bitch," huh? Catchy.

Sure, the supernova star of the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James, made news earlier this year when he showed up to an Indians-Yankees playoff game wearing ...(gasp) a pinstripe baseball cap in a certain, shall we say, "New York state of mind."

Needless to say, chaos ensued in C-Town.

So what's next for the Rock 'n' Roll city: We find out that Dennis Kucinich is truly not "a man of the people." Shocking. (Maybe the Congressman will inspire a pair of his own "out of this world" signature sneakers - and subsequently find a way to soak his loyal constituents out of a $100 bucks for these ..."loafers.")

Sure, LeBron can cheer (or shill) for whatever team (or company) he wants, I suppose. Free country and all that good stuff, you know. It doesn't mean Cleveland needs to be shackled to it, however, like some zombie-bride of Scientology, does it?

Whatever the endgame: I'm over it, LeBron. Go to New York. Stay in Cleveland. Exit, stage right, even. I have no more "Burning River inferiority complex," you see. Game, set and "blah, blah, blah" match just don't mean much to me.

March Madness, the NFL draft and Opening Day for Tribe baseball, after all, is like my apathy and your inevitable sell-out of C-Town: Right around the corner.

"Hey, I put some new shoes on, and suddenly everything is right. I said, hey, I put some new shoes on and everybody's smiling, it's so inviting. Oh, short on money, but long on time, slowly strolling in the sweet sunshine. And I'm running late, and I dont need an excuse, 'cause i'm wearing my brand new shoes..."

Friday, January 11, 2008

Buyer Beware: Jacobs Field to become "Progressive Field" (Or the end of the world as we know it?)

I feel like someone just bulldozed Aunt Ida's house. Or worse, that house from A Christmas Story. Or, even worse, the outdoor tiki patio at (insert naming rights of your favorite sports bar here).

Where does it end, people?

From the "We Knew It Was Coming But I Was A Lot Happier With My Head Buried In The Sand" Department: It was announced today that the Cleveland Indians have sold the naming rights of Jacobs Field (a.k.a. "The Jake") to the locally-based insurance company, Progressive, for around $3.6 million dollars.

Well, sure, that makes sense. Layoff hundreds of employees and plunk down millions of dollars on "naming rights" in "the poorest city in the nation." All that's missing now is an objective reporter screaming at the top of their lungs "Why aren't you people supporting the Indians? Why aren't you people selling out The Jake???" ...from The Plain Dealer Pavilion (Hint: See above-mentioned item about that "poorest city in the nation" thingy ...or, as painful as it may be, read your own newspaper once in a while).

It may be a sign of the times ...but these times make me sigh.

So this is how it goes down in Cleveland, huh? Some billionaire "philanthropist" living in his hollowed-out volcano/secret underground lair takes time out of his busy day on developing some "doomsday weather machine" (or something) to plaster the name of his mega-corporation all over THE JAKE for millions of dollars ...yet cannot afford to retain 300 of his own henchmen (and, um, henchwomen).

That's the major public relations blunder calling the kettle black! So with all due respect to the "Progressive" CEO, allow me to get my cyber-panties in a bunch ...because I have an axe to grind.

What's next? I sell out this tired little chunk of cyber-space to the highest bidder? (I wish!) Maybe next week you'll be reading the "How Ya Like Me Now Bitch!" blog ...presented by Topps trading cards. Sure, I could probably go off and sip Blue Moon Belgian Ale somewhere on some secluded tropical island ...but what would I tell my employees? WHAT WOULD I TELL MY EMPLOYEES!?!

Well, maybe we can "smooth things over" with some popular promotions like "Dollar Dog Night" down at (cough) ..."Progressive Field." But, to me, that's about as tasty as "E-Coli Dog Night" down at the Greyhound bus station, don't you think? (An 8-pack of Sugardale hot dogs retails around .99 cents at the local grocery store ...I'm not freaking Suze Orman here ...WAKE UP, PEOPLE!!!)

Now where is the excuse that the Indians cannot afford to sign our ace pitcher, C.C. Sabathia, to a long-term contract, huh? Lost in the current economic shuffle, most likely.

I suppose "Progressive Field" does have a nice ring to it ...even if it doesn't quite live up to it's mega-billing. I guess it beats A-B-C Check Cashing Coliseum. But, hey, I'll take my chances with "collision."

Greed is good ...but nutty nostalgia and hysterical hyperbole is a lot more fun! Because like a cranky, old newspaper columnist thrown back into the Lake Erie pea soup: It will always be "The Jake" to me!