Not everyone is a comedian. You have to have balance in the comments section. Otherwise there is no real discussion, just a series one-liners. Frequent commenter Mark Skog brings solid opinions to the table. Now it’s his turn at the plate in our commenter interview line up. I am impressed that he decided to rock the Browns helmet at Target, ala MattyFos. Perhaps this can become a trademark of WFNY commenters? I want to see more pics of you guys in department stores rocking the Orange dome!
1. Favorite sport to watch in person.
I am going to throw you all for a loop a bit – University of Tennessee football. Go Vols! When I went to college all those many years ago, one of the first guys I met was Ed White, a huge Volunteer fan. He grew up going to all of their games. Given that our small school didn’t have a team, UT quickly became the team of choice amongst friends. Ed and his family have been kind enough to pass tickets my way and we’ve been going to games each year for almost 20 years now. The seats are on the 50, about 15 rows up. Big time college football is an amazing experience and they do it up right down south.
2. Favorite sport to watch on tv.
The Browns. As much as I love the Tribe and the Cavs, Browns games still are it. Even when we stink, and let’s face it, that’s quite often lately, I still get fired up in an almost unhealthy fashion. When we lost to the Steelers in the ’02 playoff, it was the first time my wife really saw me irrationally angry. I think she wanted me to get counseling. She probably wasn’t wrong.
3. Sports or hobbies you play.
Things have slowed down for me as the years and injuries have piled on. As a kid, it was baseball, soccer and pick up football. As high school rolled around I narrowed my focus to track and cross country. I was pretty good for a stretch too. Now that I am 39, I still keep up with running as much as my surgically repaired ACL will let me (thank you touch football!). Now when I run I don’t worry about my times. I am just trying not to die out there. Throw in the weekend football game, golf a few times a year and a good bike ride and I can still relive the glory of my youth.
Yes, happily married 13 years with a 6 year old daughter and 3 year old boy. I am fighting the good fight to keep the kids Cleveland fans. It’s hard as my wife is from Philly and we live in the DC area. I have naturally outfitted the kids in all the appropriate gear which drives my wife crazy. Sorry honey, you set your priorities in life and mine is the kids will be Cleveland fans.
About 2 years ago the missus was sick of seeing the kids in their Indians shirts so she got them Philly Phanatics shirts. She wanted to take a picture of them wearing it but my daughter refused. When I asked my daughter why she responded with, “I don’t like this team! This is not my favorite team and I don’t want my friends to think I like the Phillies! I like the Indians and will only wear their shirts!” I whispered to her, “I’ve never been as proud of you as I am right now.” Naturally, my wife was furious with me. Totally worth it!
(WFNY sidenote- what is it with all these Philly WFNYers?)
5. Favorite Cleveland sports memory.
It is very hard to narrow it down to one so I will hit you with a couple of quick ones. The Eric Metcalf game vs the Steelers in ’93, singing the Browns version of 12 Days of Christmas in our elementary school holiday choir in 1980, the Tony Fernandez homer vs the Orioles at Camden Yards to send the Tribe to the World Series in ’97 (I was there and had beer thrown at me by O’s fans!), and LeBron going nuts vs the Pistons in the ’07 playoffs.
You know, as Cleveland fans we all seem to focus on the heartbreak, but the truth is there has been a lot of joy as well. The crushing defeats will only make it sweeter when the championship finally comes.
6. Most heartbreaking loss.
And on cue…I am old enough to remember them all starting with Red Right 88, but I am going off the usual list of suspects. On Nov. 25, 1979 the Browns lost to the Steelers 33-30 in OT. (Matt Bahr was their kicker and when he later became a kicker for the Browns I never really got over my hatred for him) I was nine years old. I cried and cried. My dad tried to comfort me with the caring sentiment of, “We’re from Cleveland, get used to it.” I never did. I’ve always held out hope despite all evidence to the contrary. It was such a character forming moment for me. I did not want that negative, cynical attitude to run my life. My dad believed, and still does, that it will always go wrong. As my brother once said to me when the Tribe was in the playoffs, “if the Indians lose, dad wins.” So for me its not just hope for a championship but as a tool to stick it to my dad (who I love dearly).
Just as they say you never really get over your first love, I guess I never got over my first heartbreaking loss.
7. Which team do you most want a title for (Browns, Tribe, Cavs?
I guess the Browns but really, would any of us complain if it was the Tribe or the Cavs? I would come home for the parade.
8. Your dream piece of Cleveland sports memorabilia.
Given that I don’t own any memorabilia I would say getting a jersey from Bernie Kosar. Man was he one great, tough QB. For all the younger readers here who never really saw him, Bernie was amazing. You know, we all wring our hands about LeBron leaving but lets remember Kosar was from here and chose to be here when he came out of college. Bernie let it be know, “I would love nothing more than to play in Cleveland” and I love him for it.
9. Favorite place to watch a game.
I can watch in a bar or with friends but I really prefer to be alone. Especially if it is a big game. And now that I have young kids, its best to watch away from them lest their vocabulary increase in ways that will cause problems at school.
10. Any superstitions?
Not really but I do feel better if I have gear on.
11. What would be your entrance music?
Husker Du’s version of Eight Miles High.
Why Cleveland teams?
It’s in my blood. Isn’t it in all of ours? I lived and died with them so much as a kid and the feelings are still strong today.
Hope you’ve enjoyed these all week. We’ll step away from them next week (too much of a good thing) but they’ll be back soon.