I confess; I’m a Cleveland Sports fan.
Before you click off the page because you’re from Pittsburgh, or some far away land that has never heard of Cleveland, Ohio, or you couldn’t care less about sports in general – know this; being a Cleveland fan is like getting kicked in the groinal area repeatedly, for eternity.
I know, I know, it’s hard to commiserate when athletes get paid stupid amounts of money while society-contributing occupations like teachers, park rangers, and late-night Taco Bell drive-thru attendants get paid squat – basketball is rigged, and baseball players are all thick-legged roid-munchers. I get it.
But this fandom is engrained in my soul
In Cleveland, you come out of the womb, and they wrap you in a Browns jersey at the hospital. First born children get baptized in the holy waters of the Church of Our Saint in Awkward Delivery, Bernie Kosar. I’ve never, in all my travels, seen a community’s weekly mood based on the performance of their football team.
It’s passionate, endearing, and it sucks. Anytime someone starts a sentence with definitive article ‘THE’ I cringe.
“Where are you from?” Someone asks.
“Originally from Cleveland.” Me
“Oh yeah!? Drew Carey, Rock Hall, and The Drive!”
“Oh fuck you.” Me
Perhaps you’ve had a sorrowful moment in your life, a deep heartbreak that still conjures stinging imagery, and an empty feeling in your guts.
I’ve also dealt with heartbreak – nasty, physically/mentally debilitating heartbreak – but I was prepared for it.
Because no pain compares to that of trials of being a die-hard Cleveland sports fan. I’ve tried giving up with healthy doses of apathy to limit my sorrow, therapy/bar bills – Cleveland Sports – I can’t quit you.
Get to the point, Mike!
This is my Grandma.
Aside from being amazingly awesome, Grandma is a huge Cleveland sports fan, and has played a large part in my own fanaticism for sports.
She not only watches games (baseball, and football – not so much basketball), but also knows all the players, knows their stats, and most important, how handsome they are.
During a recent Roam About Family gathering, Grandma mentioned the fact she had never been to a Cleveland Indians game. None of us believed her – it just didn’t seem possible for a woman who watches every single Indians game not going to the stadium in all her years in Cleveland.
Roam About Mike, Sr. got on the horn, and graciously bought tickets for the family. I drove up a couple of weekends ago from Columbus to Cleveland, and met everyone at Jacob’s Field, or ‘The Jake’ as it’s known locally. Progressive insurance bought the field a few years ago, but Clevelanders refuse to call it ‘The Prog’, or anything other than ‘The Jake’.
The good folks within the organization greeted G-ma with a big swag-bag – filled with bobbleheads, t-shirts, and a Bob Feller statue, and they even sent over Indians mascot, Slider, to say hello.
Slider is a giant purple monster with a Hulk Hogan mullet-of-a-nose, and conceptually, makes little sense, but I understand the political correctness in Slider tip-toeing the sensitivity line of the true Indians logo – Chief Wahoo – a
racist fun caricature of a Native American.
It’s rumored the Indians’ Org. did a test run with Wes Studi as the mascot in the late 90’s, but he ended up scaring seven children to death.
Anyways, Grandma freaked out, in a good way, when she saw Slider.
It was a great night at the stadium, The Indians lost (of course) but Grandma finally got to see a game, and that’s all that matters.
The night ended with an impressive fireworks display, more explosive than any component of the Indian’s offense, warming the scarred, abused hearts of the Cleveland baseball fans, young and old.
I’ll be back at some point this week with updates from a trip to Chicago.
25 comments on “Taking Grandma To The Game”
Those fireworks were the best!
also, nice toni braxton reference.
a Hulk Hogan mullet of a nose. this sentence single-handedly makes up for the hyper-Clevelandiness of this post. 🙂
Man, I totally thought you’d go with the ‘groinal kick’ reference.
I luv grannies!
I heart Paige.
Mike, love this story! Your grandmother looks way cool. Love the Happy Birthday crown — is she Cleveland royalty of some kind? Are you a Cleveland prince? Seriously DO YOU know Drew Carey? I know about that team spirit, face-painting, screaming and getting all worked up thing. I lived in Knoxville for awhile and UTK was front page no matter what was going on.
This was great as always and the Toni Braxton caption underneath that picture is crazy genius. Look forward to your story of Chicago, Chicago.
She is Cleveland Royalty! I don’t know Drew Carey – heard he may be a Browns fan…..:)
Haven’t painted my face in a while, too old to dress up anymore, plus, I haven’t had anything to cheer about in 20 years. Oh well, if Cleveland does win a Super Bowl/world series – the world may implode.
Dear gawd, man you need something to cheer about. And you being old, seriously I’m laughing about that one too. Go have yourself a beer and cheer up. 😀
I know it! Give me a team to follow!
Well, i should rephrase; I’m too old to dress up like a ‘Dawg’, as in the Browns’ ‘Dawg Pound’.
There’s nothing worse than watching an adult man, dressed as a dog, sulking his way home after another Browns loss…*cracks open beer.
Wonderful as always, buddy! I know there is still a planet-sized, fiery swamp of vitriolic hatred for the Steelers in Cleveland, but at the very least, we can hate the Rav….eh hem…Ratbirds together. =)
The swamp is really just a stinky pit of jealousy. We’ve sucked for so long, beating Pittsburgh has become the bi-annual Cleveland Superbowl. Sad.
Yay for G-ma! The mullet nose thing, seriously funny.
This is adorbs, as the kids say. You’re a nice boy Mikey.
I try, I try. Grandma was happy, and it was adorbs 🙂
Question #1 grandson.. did you get Grandma the big Foam finger to wave duriing the game? 🙂
(seriously, you are very cool for arranging that for her)
Haha! No, I didn’t buy her a foam finger. The Indians have no disillusions of being #1. But she got some serious swag, which was awesome.
Chief Wahoo is a racist (not fun) character. I am trying to leave my own political stances out of this.. but being Indigenous means the personal is political and vice versa on such content. I don’t mean to put a damper on it but I couldn’t leave it unaddressed. Im glad gma had a good time!
No damper – I’m a notoriously sarcastic writer, and sometimes it doesn’t get picked up. I left racist crossed-out (not omitted) with the succeeding ‘fun’ as a tongue in cheek writing tool to show my true opinion. I also used what I perceive to be the more ridiculous old school logo, again, to show how offensive it is.
I’ve used the cross-out tool in a couple blog posts, but again, sometimes it’s hard to get across sardonic writing.
Thanks for writing, I appreciate it, and thanks so much for reading!
Not a sports fan at all (save for UNM Lobo basketball, woof woof), but that pic of your grandmother totally made the post for me! Plus, I’m forwarding this to my step-father who has committed his entire life to serving and/or idolizing The Underdog; naturally the Indians are an important part of the line-up.
Funny, I have a UNM hat around here somewhere. I bought it on one of my many visits to Santa Fe – took a liking for some reason.
Haha, well, tell him it’s a tale of perpetual sadness. Even in the movie Major League, they turned things around….
I wasn’t there at the time, but my mom said my step father was laughing out loud, doubled over the keyboard with hysteria when he read this! So, success! If you’re ever in the area again, let me know and I can point you in the direction of some cool stuff to see 😉
Yay! Great success!
Awesome Thanks! I have a New Mexico trip in my back pocket. Been to Santa Fe and Taos about 4 times, but it’s been a while. Miss it.