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.”

 

 

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One thought on “It’s All About Cleveland, Darlings!

  1. Glad to see you writing again…loved it…like you, not sure how Johnny Football will pan out, but he will sell tickets!

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