From Cleveland with Love, Thanks LeBron

Beth Pepoy:

There is no place like home!

Originally posted on Stiletto Stomping Sports:

ClevelandCleveland, Ohio– 41° 29′ 57″ N / 81° 41′ 44″ W ,  Area code 216

On the shores of Lake Erie, County seat of Cuyahoga.

Being from Cleveland has been the greatest experience of my life.  Since the beginning of 2014 a strange event has been happening– the winds of change have finally hit the North Coast rolling up on to the shores of Lake Erie.  For nearly 50 years Cleveland has been starved for a return to greatness.  Anyone from here, no matter where they live now are the loyalist of a city that has seen more ups and downs from every aspect that life can throw faster then a Heater from Van Meter, a Bob Feller’s fastball.

People from outside of the area do not understand and sit in shock over the announcement from LeBron James. For those born after 1964 in the city will not remember the great days, nor do they care to…

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Dad’s Newpaper and His Portable Man Cave

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In the modern world a man has his special room called a man-cave.  Placed and held in high esteem, usually scattered everywhere are all the precious pieces of “junk” (as Mom calls it) that he endears and has stored. These new modern caves with the 60 inch flat screen LCD, HD, gaming systems and internet access televisions, that include enough sports paraphernalia to inundate the masculine senses with a euphoric high, grants the man of the house a lion’s den pride amongst all the modern reveals of interior design. Long before the modern standard in boys with toys comfort, there were a few simpler precursors that where once en vogue, well sort of.

Men, while they were still boys were a little more primitive in their needs and mud grimed clothes were the utmost in their fashion attire.  After all, “throw some dirt on it” is still a boys best medical lament.

Those early man-caves were called forts, tree houses and club houses. Incredible early marvels of construction made with used nails, scrap wood and a lot of “junk” (hmm Mom maybe onto something) they found from everywhere. Mother’s back in time believed that Tide, Whisk, All-Tempa-Cheer and Clorox  would relieve the stained fabrics of the newly bought starch white church shirt of  beastly grass, oil and dirt from their precious angel’s clothes.  Secretly, they counted on stains to catch little sweet Johnny in a lie of his where abouts.  Ah the days of innocence that forge a boy’s soul to manhood and the expectation for youthful males to demonstrate skills for the future.

I suspect boys, who grew up when my Dad did, never quite imagined what a discarded cardboard box, broken fence parts, mud splattered spackle and rusty nails of engineering could evolve to.  For once Dad was groomed to my mother he discovered all things male would be placed in the garage.  Yes the garage, tool bearing, oil smelling, trash can holding pre-modern versions of the Man-cave.  The other high-end domicile of masculinity was…wait for it…..wait for it……

“The John” why else would it be called with a male gender name? Oh yippee, (sigh) the pride of Charmin and the Sears’ catalogue. Do something wrong in our house and a stiff punishment could be having to clean up after a recent visit by the only male in our home.  If you saw Dad enter with the newspaper it could be awhile, better grab a clothes pin, Windex, scrub brush and gloves.  I looked more like a mad scientist preparing for a new experiment then someone who just hacked off Mom for not getting my book report done.

These two places varied in size and structure, both places did however, make Spanky and the gang’s He-man Women Haters Club look far more luxurious and, grand in splendor with the added bonus of being in a really cool tree.  I am also willing to bet to this day, Dad quietly wished over an hourglass for a Delorean that would transport him back to his first cave once my sister and I started driving.

What was truly ingenious of Dad was his portable man-cave.  Yes my dad, that wryly creative soul, discovered by carrying a newspaper everywhere, he could camouflage his secret desires to stealthily sneak off to see a man about a horse or tinker around in the garage with the other pioneers of pre-cave amenities for a quick beer and never being able to remember to take out the trash.  Simply said, this mild manner male figure of patriarchy, once seated at the dinner table in one smooth motion could miraculously disappear behind the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Never to be heard from unless a disagreement between the females ensued, the female gender canines begged too much or I said and did something that either invoked humor or evoked Mom, usually I could do both at the same time.

The black and white pages of boring stuff (as I referred to it) would shake up and down from his laughter.  If you need to get his attention just knock on the printed pages and you would hear a drawn out “yeeeesss?”  Sometimes if he was really deep into the man-cave of published fish wrap you might have to knock harder or comeback later, which usually meant he was going to stay out of it, or how much was it going to cost to replace.

The portable man-cave was Dad’s method of choice over the garage and the bathroom.  His deployment of the paper gave him the ability to listen to the on goings of his home, afforded him the title of king of the selective hearing and gave the appearance of being present.

Then he would always with out delay, fold the newspaper and comment on everything he heard.  He offered suggestions, asked questions and cautiously warned me to stop cutting up the paper for school until he had a chance to read it.  Many great moments with my Dad have and still are sitting around the kitchen table when I return home for the holidays.

Perhaps the greatest conversation was when I had pushed my luck too far with Mom.  His words have stayed with me like the coffee cans in the garage filled with rusty old nails.

“My darling child remember this; the choices you make now are the lessons you will learn later. Cherish each lesson the way that I cherish and love you.”

Just like a coffee can of old nails you don’t know why you have them but you never know when you are going to need them.  His words on that day didn’t make me feel better nor get me out of trouble, further I didn’t understand why he said what he said. All I knew was he loved me and wished me well in my choices.  Years later, those words can still bring me solace and have been a constant mantra while raising my own family. Like the old nails in the garage his words were waiting for me to use when I needed them.

Today the newspaper for Dad has been replaced by an IPad, he has his own study (still filled with junk according to Mom), he has more male support in the house with the dogs and grandsons who reside there.  Yet in his real cave, (his inner self) is the most precious gift that he gives to all of us regularly. The gift of his generous, loving and brilliant heart.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!  I love you with all my heart!

PS I am thinking of redoing the bathroom any suggestions?  Just kidding!

 

The Sun, Moon and the Stars..From My Slumber to Reality

Beth Pepoy:

Dreams and the encrypted messages tell the story of you.

Originally posted on Operation Discovering Me:

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The night was misty and sleep was not arriving with the usual exhaustion I had grown to expect.  It was another day when I was faced with not enough time, too much on my plate and a brain that just didn’t want to rest.

The pang in my heart was repeatedly asking why I didn’t have the right person in my life to share moments like this, to distracting my thoughts and redirecting my brain to, hunting for the missing sock that probably was enjoying coffee with my safe place that I put stuff I don’t want to lose.  You know that place that is so safe you forget where it is.

Dreams have often been described by experts as the place where the subconscious speaks through beautiful but odd imagery and horrifies to the point of  facing the denials the conscious self is willing to ignore.  I had spent the day…

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The Debate Wages On with PolitiJim! Join in if You Dare!

Beth Pepoy:

Yep that green bird and I are still at it!

Originally posted on Stiletto Stomping Sports:

Oh Yes PolitiJim and I have a debate going! Join in the discussion if you dare!

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Yes. The debate DOES continue.

Clearly some of the Fukushima radiation has made it to the Louisiana coast and become a glowing garnish for your gumbo. Now hang on, I don’t want you to fall off of your stiletto sneakers, but here is my rebuttal to your rebuttal to my rebuttal.

First, you didn’t address the core of my argument. Previous Triple Crown winners WON! Many against even worse situations. (like Seabiscuit) IT IS WHAT MADE THEM GREAT. Lowering standards so that more can win is a principle that is far beneath a woman of class and intelligence such as yourself.

Second, the “rules” interference, drug testing and blocking are not being put in place so that a “favored” horse can win. They are put in place so that all have a fair chance…

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Wagering on The Rules of The Triple Crown Will Change? Don’t Be a Dumb A**!

Beth Pepoy:

The debate continues

Originally posted on Stiletto Stomping Sports:

My good friend PolitiJim response to my blog Rust on the Chrome, All or Nothing!
Now I don’t normally post like this and I hope PolitiJim is cool with it. The point is that these debates or discussions will end in dead heat.

PolitiJim’s comments:

I’m of a differing opinion. As it turns out there are more horses that qualified for the Derby racing these past years than in era’s before. When Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978, he faced four horses in the Preakness that had not run in the Derby.

Affirmed faced two horses in the Belmont that skipped the Preakness, one of which didn’t run in the Derby either.

Since when did horse racing suddenly get kindergarten self-esteem syndrome? You know the one that says we have to give everyone a medal so they feel good. The corrosion of the value of merit.

Isn’t one of…

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Keep Calm and Carry a Fairy Godmother

Originally posted on Operation Discovering Me:

I never cared for Mary Poppins telling Mr. Bank’s children that when the wind changes she would know when to leave. I also much preferred a magical Fairy Godmother that could turn my rags to silk, place glass slippers on my feet, and tell me that I need to go and enjoy the ball.

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However, I better remember my curfew, or else everything around me will turn into the mess just like the day after Halloween–smashed pumpkins on the doorstep, toilet paper in the trees and that loving Fairy Godmother suddenly appears to be the disgruntled parent ready to pounce and hand down a sentencing.  After all, the vandalism (which is never confused with modern art) had to have been done by friends.

Over the last 10 years I have been in a hunt for my Fairy Godmother and I want to let her know this; Prince Charming wasn’t a prince, my kids…

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Heat Turned Up Again in San Antonio

Beth Pepoy:

I may never be able to go back to Cleveland after this blog post. LOL

Originally posted on Stiletto Stomping Sports:

The AC was up full blast but the Heat was on fire in the final 8 minutes of the 4th quarter. The #LeBroning may now die a twitter death.

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LeBron is not Michael Jordan, he’s LeBron James and tonight he showed why comparisons are silly. Each generation has a standout, the playmaker or the go to guy. Love him or hate him, his play in each quarter became stronger and hotter, yet smart . He’s this generation’s elite and continues to prove it.

35 points tonight vs the 25 points in game 1 is the tale of the court. LeBron turned it up when superstar elite players do, right when it matters and victory is achieved.

I am not a doctor and I will never pretend to be one.  But after spending years playing tennis in the southern Louisiana heat leg cramps are real and will cause even the most hydrated players…

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Rust on the Chrome! All or Nothing?

Beth Pepoy:

I am a Triple Crown Romantic

Originally posted on Stiletto Stomping Sports:

horse racing

Triple Crown romantics everywhere are screaming about June 7th, 2014 and the 146th running of the Belmont Stakes.  Personally I am probably the loudest in the group next to Steve Coburn.

”That’s the coward’s way out,” he said. ”It’s not fair to these horses that have been in the game since day one. If you don’t make enough points to get into the Kentucky Derby, you can’t run in the other two races. It’s all or nothing.”

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The last 12 attempts that had any chance of winning were defeated by horses that ran 1 or none of the first two legs.  What quality of a race is it if Tonalist wins the race without ever qualifying for the Derby?

Money.  Simply put there isn’t a horse owner or trainer that has a romantic notion of the Triple Crown but enjoy sticking their fresh horse in to capitalize on the inflated purse and bets…

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Nadal’s Dance Wins 9th French Open

Beth Pepoy:

Check out my new blog…Stiletto Stomping Sports

Originally posted on Stiletto Stomping Sports:

Tennis has a glamour to it. Stroke by stroke, serve by serve the movements when performed correctly showcase an athletes talents with as much grace as a prima ballerina at the Bolshoi.

Nadal owns the clay courts of Roland Garros as the Mona Lisa holds court in the Louvre. A masterpiece for the visual senses.

Nadal may have had a slower then expected start losing the first set 3-6 to Novack Djokovic. Djokovic was solid and appeared to use most of his energy in the first two sets leaving the #2 seed empty and struggling in sets 3 and 4 in heat of Paris.

Nadal playing on what could be called his home court became stronger and more sure footed in movement and strategy. His surge for tennis dominance became clear in taking the second set 7-5 and his grace and strength was starting to emerge while Djokovic was becoming…

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It’s All About Cleveland, Darlings!

Today there isn’t a Runinmystocking. Nope but my Stilettoes are sure stomping! Or is that the 12 year old scotch kicking in?  Hmmmmmmm.

 

It’s all true.

Yes, yes I must confess– I am from Cleveland, Ohio, a furious sports fan and yes a die hard #Browns fan.

I also die a little every time they play.

Cleveland has been the home of the biggest successes, failures and debacles since I was born. Challenge me here….Oh go on, ya know you want to….

How can a nearly 50 year woman be so sure? As sure as I can still sport 6 inch stilettos without needing hip replacement surgery (yet) or busting my ass darlings!

While I may no longer reside in the frigid cold of the whipping winds off the Lake and the emotionally polarizing city, my heart stays warm with all the great memories. Coming home as much as my family would like it if I would arrive in Akron (except my cousin Michele).  I insist on flying into Hopkins International Airport all so I can fly over the city I love! And well guys, it still can, after 25 years choke me up to see her overcast skies and humble existence. The wave of a past life washes over me as hard as the waters of Lake Erie hitting a breaking wall.

Cleveland has defined me– as all of us from there define her. Nothing is EVER impossible and truth be told WE invented outside of the box thinking.  It’s a way of life why else would we adopt the moniker of “Believeland” !

From the Rockefellers, to Bob Hope, Paul Brown, Jim Brown, Paul Newman, Sex therapist William H. Master (of Master and Johnson fame, yes darlings sex happens in Cleveland too), The Cleveland Clinic and of course the newly crowned game show host capital of the world with Drew Carey and Steve Harvey. Push it further east to cover all of Northeast Ohio and you have Harvey Firestone to (I have say it) LeBron (sorry). Phooey! Even the 49er’s will practice at the DeBartolo’s facility in Youngstown. Oh wait where is the Pro Football Hall of Fame? What? I’m sorry I didn’t hear you…oh that’s right Canton a part of Northeast Ohio.  Darlings, trust me I can go on and on. But I’ll spare you.

On May 8th ESPN and the NFL experienced  and received the highest ratings ever in the history of the televised draft.  Was it a movie shot in Cleveland featuring my beloved Browns or is that if any team, city or people can make it exciting it’s Cleveland.  As Boomer said “the real Browns have jumped around more than Sonny Weaver did in Draft Day.” No team could confuse the experts more than the Browns.  Is it the art of the deal? Or are they better with the deal then the actual execution of talent?

But hey but they contributed to those high ratings!

I will be honest, I was on the tennis court during the draft but I recorded it.  I stopped during a cross over and looked at my captain watching our match and said “well?”  She said Manziel went 22.  I look at her and said “please don’t say Cleveland”.  She pointed back to the court and the match I needed to finish.

I walked off the court after a well fought losing effort.  My Captain looked at me “How on earth did you know it was Cleveland when you told me they had the 26th pick?”

I stared at my feet, hoping I had a better and colorful answer. I realized I couldn’t even make up and interesting story for a group of Saints and SEC fans then stomped my right foot, and fessed up “2 big reasons;  one, Brady Quinn and two, Brandon Weedon,– the 22nd pick for a QB in Cleveland is a perfect gumbo for disaster.”  My teammates laughed. I think it’s because they believe that the SEC is the greatest football conference in America, which right now the SEC is. However, it only last a short time darlings enjoy it, and I mean it.  I have lived through the rise and fall of the Big Ten.  The days when no one in America moved from their television sets to see the greatest rivalry in college football–The Ohio St. vs. the University of Michigan.  Boy, how I miss Woody and Bo!

But Johnny Football’s half pedigree is SEC which means here they know he will be amazing…me?  Let me say it loudly;  IT’S ALL ABOUT CLEVELAND, DARLINGS!

Home of The Shot, The Drive and The Single.  I was part of the Half Time Show when Red Right 88 stop Brian Sipe’s MVP winning season in the playoffs thus creating the Oakland Raiders Cinderella season and Super Bowl win.  I was there when John Elway’s Hall of Fame drive was merely a play Bernie Kosar used on the Jets to win in overtime the week before to earn a spot in the AFC Championship game only to watch Elway use the same play to beat the Browns. It was OUR PLAY and we didn’t recognize it?  I watched helplessly when his greatness Michael Jordon shot over a stunned Craig Ehlo to knock the Cavaliers out of the playoffs and I watched the Marlins take Game 7 of the World Series in extra innings with a single that drove in the winning run thus robbing the Indians of the World Series.

In 1995 I sat in the old Municipal Stadium watching the Browns lose to Green Bay because the rug was yanked out from under them after Art Modell announced the move, before the announcement the Browns had the best record in the NFL that year at 7-0.  Two QBs went 22nd and Two QBs were basically chased out of Cleveland.  Browns fans have had it!  I know, which gets me back to my pedigree! I was born December 7, 1964, 20 days before the last Championship to fly a flag over the City of Cleveland, Ohio.  On December 27, 1964, nestled in my Dad’s arms facing the TV, I became a life long Browns Fan, move me from the TV that day and I screamed bloody murder.  Commercial? Hell NO! more screaming!  That is my pedigree! And I am proud of it!

Today after the artful dodging of the Browns jumping and trading in the draft, everything looked so positive and the Browns were the darlings of the draft even after confusing Boomer and the gang with the trade up with Philly!

How fast is a minute in Cleveland…..check the sports pages…http://bleacherreport.com/josh-gordon

Cleveland Browns’ Josh Gordon the NFL’s League leading Wide Receiver may be removed from the league for his 3 violation of substance abuse testing positive for marijuana a couple months ago.

HEY NEW YORK HOW FAST IS YOUR MINUTE?  YOU AIN’T GOT NOTHING ON CLEVELAND!

 

BUT…………………………………..Cleveland and her people are never denied……..BECAUSE in our hearts, prayers, thoughts and actions WE ARE BELIEVELAND!

Millions filled the streets to get the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, even when New York tried to do an annex with the hope of moving the Hall of Fame to a more glamorous city, Cleveland couldn’t be denied and the annex shut down.  No other city that lost a NFL franchise team was ever given a promise,  a 3 year time frame and ownership of a NFL Team Brand, and history but Cleveland.  We have survived a the Cuyahoga River catching on fire, then the mayor’s hair (Ralph Perk), the only city to default in the 70′s, Danny Green and the mob wars and yet this and the proud people on the shores of Lake Erie continue to reinvent themselves and find the humor along the way. The movies that have been made there recently from The Avengers, Alex Cross, Draft Day and famed Clevelanders the Russo Brothers’ Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  This all happened because we believe, we don’t live in a box and we never give up.  Nothing personal but isn’t this what God wants for all his Children?  It builds character and defines our hearts, minds and souls, and for those us who live else where rest assured Cleveland and all of Northeast Ohio hasn’t left our inner core. You can take us out of Cleveland but you cannot take the Cleveland out of us!

When I think of the City of Cleveland, her people and my family there I reflect on the movie Field of Dreams when Terrence Mann played superbly by James Earl Jones tells Ray (Kevin Costner):

America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again.

This is Cleveland, this is Believeland, the place of my birth, the city where on any given day the winds will change from cold to warm and where the people never give in, never give up and will give you one hell of a ride while you’re there.  No matter how the Browns are doing.

But just in case being in Baton Rouge, Louisiana I’m not far from Voodoo land so I may just have to purchase a bunch of dolls and dress them as opposing teams when Manziel is ready to take the field. Justin Gilbert was a solid pick.  Since the Cleveland Clinic won’t clone Joe Haden.  You Mr. Football I am not entirely sold.  Big hands aside, you are still barely 6 ft. but you do have a grace where Brady Quinn didn’t and needed to be removed from the cameras before being picked at 22.  Also there is something that I did admire.  You knew.  Yes folks Johnny Football believed he was going to Cleveland all along and he may very well have the “BE” in Believeland.

My Stilettoes are stomping out the beat to Aloe Blacc and my heart is pounding out the same cry that those of us from Cleveland and the Northeast Ohio area have been praying for.  A Championship.  The kind of Championship that erases Mistake on the Lake, The Shot, The Drive, The Move and anything else I might have left out.  A Championship that reminds people how great Cleveland has and always been.  Where the team, the players, the city and her people show their character, strength and why we are unique and loyal people.  I witnessed it here with the Saints.

On December 27, 2014 it will be 50 years since Cleveland has had a Championship.  Cleveland is not forsaken nor forgotten.  Not since the Bernie Kosar Days has Cleveland been this ignited and united!  Hope, Faith and Believeland Proud have been energized by a kid from Texas with a rocket arm and a want and desire in his eyes to bring his talents to Cleveland and her faithful from all over the country.

Not to mention Johnny Football doesn’t have a bad birthday December 6th, yo Mr. Football mine is December 7 and you play the Colts, just saying…..

My Facebook page and text message got hit pretty good by friends who are not Browns fan but stopped to think of me the lone Stiletto Stomping Sports fan who has always been Believeland Proud asking me what I thought about the draft.

Well…..After May 8th and all the talk about Cleveland and the Browns I am suddenly flying over the city and looking out the window of the plane with a lump in my throat, a tug at my heart and the feel of the winds moving from cold to warm as the sun dances on the waters of the shores of Lake Erie.

I am breathing in the idea that maybe this time I will have that look that Dad has when he talks of the Browns of ’64 for my granddaughter when she is playing in a box of old shoes wobbling from the height as she clip clumps across the floor and asks “what is so great about the Browns?”

My answer will start “Back in ’14 they believed in the impossible and the impossible happened. It was all about Cleveland, darling.”