General

2015 WFNY Author Spotlight : Best of Greg Popelka

Jack and Larry

WFNY is proud of our assortment of writers and are especially grateful to be blessed with its daily readership/viewership. As part of our year-end festivities, WFNY has put together an Author Spotlight series to allow the readers to get to know the writers a bit better by pulling back the curtain on their thoughts and pulling in some of their favorite pieces from the year.

We hope you enjoy a quick look back at Greg’s 2015 year and maybe find something you like that you missed the first time around. Have the Hap, Hap, Happiest New Year you can and we hope you continue blessing us by reading the site. Thank you.

WFNY’s 2015
Author Spotlight Series

Scott Sargent
Craig Lyndall
Andrew Clayman
Jessica Forrester
Joe Gilbert
Richard Pietro
Michael Bode
Will Gibson
Kyle Welch
Jacob Rosen

Greg Popelka Quick Biography

Stories from the past that fellow Cleveland fans recall or are interested in can provide a common denominator that binds us. I typically combine such accounts with personal yarns that have helped to knit my life story. It helps me to avoid essentially duplicating Wikipedia posts. Plus, I kind of wish I were Dave Barry.

I tend to avoid truly depressing, well-covered stories, unless they are ancillary to the main narrative. So, I tend to be unlikely to focus on Ten Cent Beer Night, Little Lake Nellie, or Chief Wahoo.

Five works that best describe Greg Popelka from 2015

Here are five works from 2015 at WFNY that best describe who I believe I am as a writer. Each work has a word association captioned with it to describe the part of me I believe is described through it.

Inquisitive: On the Tribe’s “Jack and Larry,” with an Author Interview

jack and larry excerpt

Wistful: On Tribe Talk, Dennis Eckersley, and Mother’s Day

eckersley excerpt

Humorous: Reminiscing With Roger: The Tribe’s Keith Hernandez

keith hernandez excerpt

Reminiscing: “Glory Days in Tribe Town” – A Discussion With Author Terry Pluto

Terry Pluto interview excerpt

Historical: World B. Free, George Karl, Harry Weltman, and the 1984 Cleveland Cavaliers: Reliving Yesteryear

84 cavaliers excerpt

Explanation of works

I wish I could buy each of you a beer, for reading stuff I wrote. It is sincerely appreciated.
When I write, I constantly wonder if I am coming off as a know-it-all. I seldom embark upon a story as an expert. Curiosity is what fuels my interest. Sharing it and getting your takes at the bottom of the posted articles are truly a thrill. That includes disagreements, which I learn from.

The articles I’ve linked here are mostly about Tribe history. I do enjoy writing about the Browns and Cavaliers, but baseball has the longer history, and many more years of well-authored documentation (except for the Negro Leagues, unfortunately). During the middle of 20th Century America, baseball was king (boxing was second). Each Major League team, of course, had multiple traveling beat writers who basically kept a running diary of each season. A vast amount of that information is online, somewhere.

Two of the articles I included here were based upon interviews. I have probably only conducted four or five interviews in my life, total. Perhaps I should do this more often. One figure I interviewed a couple years ago told me he could tell I was “digging for gold, not for dirt.” Coming from NFL Hall of Famer, and one-time Browns coach Forrest Gregg, I could not have imagined a greater complement.

Back when Cheech and Chong were filming stoner movies, they once told an interviewer that every good film makes you laugh, makes you cry, gets you scared and gives you a ****-**. I will never attempt to accomplish the latter, but there is a nugget of wisdom in that statement. It’s great to try to mix humor, sentimentality, and curiosity in a Cleveland sports history context. That I am blessed to be allowed to post my thoughts on this great WFNY site – with basically full editorial freedom – which many fellow fans also favor is truly a thrill.
Thank you. Let’s catch up in 2016.

  • mgbode
  • MrCleaveland

    “When I write, I constantly wonder if I am coming off as a know-it-all.”

    No need to worry about that, Greg. You come across as a wry, likable guy with a passion for what he’s writing about and a desire to share it with like-minded people. (I know that sounds like trite cliche-filled b.s., but I sincerely mean it.)

    And it’s obvious from reading you that you don’t take yourself too seriously.

    Moreover, I expect the people I read to know things that I don’t know, or else I wouldn’t have any reason to read them.

    One complaint: You don’t seem to be doing as much as you used to, though. I always liked your Friday afternoon pieces on things that happened back in the day, from baseballs tossed off the Terminal Tower to Ed Modzewleski to the early Cavs.

    Long may you write.

  • Greg Popelka

    Thank you Mr. C

  • tigersbrowns2

    good post MrC …

  • tigersbrowns2

    *tips cap to GREG*