Hey, Cleveland Sports Fans!

by Renee on November 17, 2011

It’s not easy being a fan of Cleveland’s sports teams. From the Browns, to the Cavaliers, to the Tribe. Our horrible football record was the subject of a recent rant by a local comedian, coining the phrase “factory of sadness” about the Browns Stadium.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

“Cleveland has waited longer than any other city with at least three major sports franchises to win a title. The last time a Cleveland professional sports team won a championship was in 1964 when the Cleveland Browns won the NFL Championship (pre-Super Bowl era). The Cleveland Indians last won the World Series in 1948 (the second-longest drought in MLB, after the Cubs) and the Cleveland Cavaliers have also never won an NBA championship. The city even had a short-lived NHL hockey team called the Barons, which never won a championship either. In 2007, the Cavaliers advanced to the NBA Finals in the city’s first championship game since the 1997 World Series, but were swept by the San Antonio Spurs. In 2004, ESPN named Cleveland the most tortured sports city in America.”

1964! That’s the year I was born! But I didn’t get to Northeast Ohio until 1982, when I came to college at the University of Akron. I arrived in Cleveland in 1986 when I started working at WEWS TV5. That was when I began attending Browns games, and truly learned what the agony of defeat meant when I sat in the stands to witness The Drive for myself. (I still can’t stand the sight of that buck-toothed weasel licker, John Elway.)

Several years after my time at WEWS, I became a news producer at WJW TV8, and that’s where I met sports reporter Dan Coughlin.  Danny is a font of Cleveland sports knowledge–he started writing for the Cleveland Plain Dealer in the glory year of 1964. He’s an always-entertaining, good humored Irish-American with a love for Cleveland sports (and beer) that runs deep. Danny’s a great story teller.

You can read Danny’s best stories for yourself in his most recent publication, Pass the Nuts: More Stories About the Most Unusual, Eccentric & Outlandish People I’ve Known in Four Decades as a Sports Journalist. (Read an excerpt here.) This is a follow-up to his book, Crazy, with the Papers to Prove It.  I caught up with Danny himself at a book signing at the Lakewood Tavern last night, and he gave me a signed copy to give away here on my blog. If you’d like to win this entertaining read, just leave a comment here telling me your best Cleveland sports memory: something uplifting or heartbreaking. This contest is limited to Cleveland sports fans, because let’s face it, you deserve to win something.

I’ll select a random winner on The Friday after Thanksgiving. Cheers!

 

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Ann Domeck November 17, 2011 at 10:03 am

Kind of an odd memory that I”m stealing from my husband, but it shows that Browns fans ARE the best, even under the worst of circumstances: It was the last game of the old Browns..at the old Muni Stadium…my husband was bound and determined that our then 3.5 year old son go to a Browns game (who knew what would happen about getting the team back). So off they went…and like any newly potty trained child, the son had to use the restroom in the middle of the game. The line was LONG…and the son finally just looked at hubby and said, loudly…”I gotta go Daddy.” The men ahead of them in line heard and began letting the pair in front of them..all the way up to the restroom! So even though it was a dark day for Cleveland, it wasn’t a wet one for Dad and son!!

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Brad of Clevland Food and Brews November 17, 2011 at 10:10 am

I’d love to win this read!

My best Cleveland sports memory dates back to when I was a child. Living in Western PA, my family loved the Cleveland Browns. When Bernie was actually leading us to the playoffs we would hang dog bones in the tree in our front yard. The neighbors would really get annoyed…but boy was that fun. I just wish the Browns today would spend the money and get some talent. It doesn’t matter who the coach is if there is NO talent on the field.

GO BROWNS!

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Erica Brindley November 17, 2011 at 10:13 am

My grandfather is the biggest Cleveland fan I know. I’ve never seen him wear a shirt that didn’t have the Indians, the Browns, or the Cavs on it. He and my grandmother have 4 children, and 10 grandchildren, and now two great-grandchildren. Every year, we all get together and get a few rows of seats at an Indians game, and a few times, we’ve done it for Cavs games.

My favorite Cleveland memory (and I hope it goes on for many more years) is seeing the way his eyes light up when he watches Cleveland teams on television, and the way his whole face radiates when he’s with his entire family at the live games.

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Julie November 17, 2011 at 10:24 am

Yr 2007, my father was preparing to have a leg amputation during the Tribe play-offs. My mother Tribe sports nut aka Manager Marion) had never been to a play-off game and I had secured tickets to the now infamous Carmona Midge Match . The next night my mother, my sister, and some strangers were sitting in the surgery waiting area, watching the Tribe to take our minds off of what was happening with our loved ones (both families had fathers receiving leg amputations from diabetes complications). We received the news that we could go back and see my dad in recovery as he was coming our of sedation. We all walked in, he opened his eyes and his first words were “DID WE WIN?”. Along with the nurses and doctor we all were in disbelief and didn’t know if it was appropriate to laugh or simply cry. My response to my dad was “they had to win because we don’t know how you are going to kick their ass with only one leg if they didn’t”. I watched many games with my dad during healthy times and during times of illness, but that season and that night brings so much emotion to me and my family.

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jnbarx November 17, 2011 at 11:53 am

On Christmas Eve, 1964 as a Jr in HS, went down to Tower A of Cleveland Municipal Stadium to purchase 3 tickets for a NFL Championship game. Total cost, $21.00!! We took the Rapid Transit from Van Aken to Terminal Tower and walked to the game. Our seats were in the bleachers (AKA Dawg Pound-but not then) looking down the hashmarks. Saw Gary Collins run towards us three times!! Needless to say 27-0 game was awesome, but who knew THEN it would be the LAST time a Cleveland pro team won a Championship! I didn’t then and so have so many Cleveland fans!!

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Renee November 28, 2011 at 9:00 am

Congrats, John, you are my winner!

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Kyle November 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm

My favorite sports memory has to be the 95 world series. It was the first time my dad attended a championship series and I was fortunate enough to be able to go with him. He told me we had no tickets and surprised me with tickets after getting tired of me asking every scalper how much.

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Kristine November 18, 2011 at 8:40 am

I’ll always remember my wedding in 1993. I had met my husband at the Washington DC Browns Backers Club. My diehard Browns fan dad grabbed the microphone at my reception, of course, excited this was a “Browns wedding.” Expecting a traditional father-of-the bride toast, I should’ve known better. The guests were given Browns cups for the toast. “I have invited someone special to the wedding,” he said. I held my breath. My favorite, Bernie Kosar, was coming? Or was it my old 8th grade crush, Brian Sipe? “But unfortunately he couldn’t make it. He sent us a wonderful letter instead.” He proceeded to read the letter from the man congratulating us on the wedding. Then we heard him utter the words, “From our hero, Arthur B. Modell.” We all applauded and hugged my dad, because of course we loved Modell at that point. It was two years later, on our actual November wedding anniversary, when the Browns were hijacked by Modell.
My dad is no longer with us, but if he were alive, I know we’d be teasing him brutally about calling Modell a hero. The letter sits in a closet now, but the memories of my awesome dad, the Browns, and his wonderful Browns toast, with all of our friends and family around us, will never be forgotten.

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Renee November 20, 2011 at 7:43 am

Loving all these stories, thanks for posting!

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Iris Wheeler December 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm

Hi Renee, we have a beer tasting in January at Fountain. Are you interested? It is all German Beer! Best Iris

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Renee December 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Yes Iris, thanks. Please email details to Renee@brewersdaughter.com!

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