Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Monday, May 02, 2011

Drink it up Tribe Fans

National and local media have piled on Indians fans about attendance (or the lack thereof), which is ridiculous. I saw one headline that said the Indians were in first place but no one was noticing.
Let’s not equate attendance with being oblivious. In fact, I can’t remember people talking this much about baseball, and the Indians in particular, for a long, long time.
Tribe gear is now a common sight in public, which hasn’t been the case the last few years.
Being an Indians fans is a lot like Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. A long time ago it won an award, then over time it was forgotten and just thought of something only old-timers drank.
It had brief spell when it became chic, and it seemed like everyone who was cool was drinking it before there was a backlash — when PBR returned to just those who liked a cheap, simple beer.
For those of us who love baseball, we are going to watch the games no matter who is watching. Just like how the taste of PBR hasn’t changed 1893. But at the same time, watching winning baseball is always better, just like drinking with friends is better than drinking alone.
The Indians were world champs in 1948, but after 1954 there wasn’t much to cheer about. But from 1994 to 2001, the Indians spoiled the city. The expectation became the Indians would win every home game and it seemed like a World Series title would be just a matter of time.
As the economics of baseball changed, fans now with a taste for winning baseball didn’t want to hear that money was the reason the Indians couldn’t compete every year.
The early 2000s were spent in preparation for a run, and the Indians dropped the ball in 2007 when they had their opportunity. The last two years have been the worst the Indians have ever been record-wise.
Fans had their hearts broken and after watching back-to-back Cy Young winners traded.
It’s understandable that people aren’t going to spend money in sit in the cold and rain. Regardless people are excited about the surprising Indians.
If you became an Indians fans during the Jacobs Field era, the one thing you missed is just how much fun 1994 and 1995 were on a day-to-day basis. Those of us who grew up in the 60s, 70s, 80s couldn’t stop smiling.
I am aware my PBR analogy has a lot of flaws and is rather stupid. It is just rather than dissect whether the Indians are for real, Maybe it will be short, sweet fling or it could be the start of a beautiful summer-long love affair. Regardless I want to savor every day of first place baseball. It is fun again to be a Tribe fan.
Drink it up.
Over-analyzing the draft
For me the NFL draft is a lot like the band Rush. It’s not that I don’t like it but it just doesn’t excite me as much as it does some other people.
If you then added in the overly enthusiastic non-stop talking about it by its hard-core fans that thumb their nose if you don’t agree it is the greatest thing EVER, it really gets annoying.
Sure I would like to hear some information about potential draft picks of the Browns but the overload of analysis by people whose information is mostly watered down versions of someone’s less than in-depth work gets old quick.
So yes, I listened to Moving Pictures in high school and I enjoyed the VH1 documentary on the band but I have no interest in you telling me again why the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame is a joke because they haven’t enshrined Neal Peart and the boys.
The aftermath of the draft is even worse. You can’t even win (or even worse, you are unbeatable) at Madden but you know the Browns messed up drafting Phil Taylor.
The Browns spend millions on scouting for the draft but you read Taylor gets fat and has inoperable bones that grow together. Hey, you never saw Taylor play or met the kid, but that doesn’t stop you from railing about how the Browns are stupid.
How many people this weekend moaned about the Browns trading down and passing on Julio Jones yet couldn’t tell you what number he wore at Alabama?
The reason Mike Holmgren was brought in by Randy Lerner is so that there would be a football man in charge of making football decisions. Holmgren cast his lot with Tom Heckert who bought himself some good will after last year’s draft.
Did Heckert do a good job? I don’t know, and frankly neither do you. More importantly I don’t care what you would have done. I will just take my chances that Heckert knows more than you do.
Flashy wide receivers are nice but often cause more headaches than they score touchdowns. I will gladly take some mean defensive players — thank you very much.