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Drink Beer, Cure Cancer: While We’re Waiting

All I’m asking is for you to have a beer with me.

That’s my sales pitch. Beer. Me. And cancer research. Not by us, of course. That would be weird. Especially while we’re drinking beer. But by the Cleveland Clinic. I hear they’re pretty good at that type of stuff.

I want you to come have a beer with me, and together we’ll raise some money for cancer research at the Cleveland Clinic. That’s a heck of a deal! You and me sit around drinking beer talking about Kyrie Irving’s trade demands or Bernie Kizer’s potential or anything, really! Want to talk about Game of Thrones? Want to tell me stories about your kid? My kid loves Moana, what about your kid? Yes? Let’s talk about how our brains turn into fire every time “You’re Welcome” comes on.

But the important thing is that we’re having beer and the Cleveland Clinic is getting money for cancer research.

So what am I talking about? I’m hosting a beer tasting event featuring Dogfish Head Brewery on 8/25 at Rozi’s Wine House in Lakewood to benefit VeloSano.

Tickets can be purchased here. Here’s a link to the Facebook event page if you’d like more details.

It can be sort of daunting, meeting random people from the internet. I’m just some random guy asking you to come drink beer with me. I understand that’s weird. There used to be things called Tweetups all the time. Remember those? Big events where the Twittersphere would get together and wear name tags with their Twitter handle? Those were weird. But they were also quite fun. The social anxiety of meeting semi-strangers has sort of worn off for me at this point. Mostly because I attended events where everyone said the word “Tweetup” a bunch and there just isn’t anything more awkward than that.

Somehow over the course of writing for a few different blogs and yelling into the Twitter abyss, I’ve ended up with more friends I met through various online channels than through other places. I moved to Cleveland in 2006 knowing only one person. Now, the internet has given me enough of a social channel of friends I can call up for beers almost any night. Of course, with two kids, those calls don’t happen often, but it’s nice to know they could if needed. Some of the friends I’ve met online are some of the closest friends I have. I’ve attended their weddings. I know their kids. Hell, I watched the Cavaliers select Anthony Bennett with a group of people that had all met online. If you can share that moment with someone, you can share anything.

In fact, one of my favorite memories of the Cavs’ title is stumbling down Prospect Ave after Game 7 and having someone I had never met in real life run up and give me a massive high five. We followed each other on Twitter. We had shared 100 conversations about the Cavs over the years. Here we were, celebrating the culmination of all those hours spent obsessing over the team. It was nerdy and wonderful. My wife was not impressed.

The relationships I’ve gathered online have also presented incredible opportunities. I wouldn’t be writing for WFNY today if I hadn’t interacted with Craig and Scott and eventually run into them at various events over the years. Do good work, meet good people, good things happen. Just like in life. But with more gifs.

The downside of having met so many amazing people through various online sports channels is that it has ruined sports talk in any other setting. We sit online obsessing over a small jump in Kevin Love’s true shooting percentage or if the Browns’ assistant defensive backs coach is the right guy, and those conversations don’t translate to the water cooler at the office.

It’s nearly impossible to have top-level sports conversations once you’ve been sucked in by Twitter or blogs or Reddit, or all of them. People can have perfectly normal opinions that were formed by consuming a normal human’s level of sports coverage, and it will send me into a rage. “TRISTAN THOMPSON IS NOT OVERPAID” I scream as my skin turns green and all of my clothes except, conveniently, my pants tear away. And people know that I’m obsessed with sports, so they only ask about it more. I try to change the subject to nearly anything else. “Hey, have you guys seen Moana?”

I guess my point is that the more I meet internet people in real life, the more I realize they are real life people. And real life people are, for the most part, pretty great. So I’d love it if you could come share a beer with this internet person.

What is VeloSano?

VeloSano is a cycling event that gives 100% of proceeds to cancer research at the Cleveland Clinic. It’s an amazing event and one in which the Indians and owner Paul Dolan are heavily involved. It’s incredible to watch the entire city work together to raise funds for a worthy cause. Many of the largest companies in Cleveland have their own teams and fundraising efforts, but there are also countless individual fundraisers that work hard to generate their own contributions. My wife was one of those individuals, raising money to sponsor her for riding 25 miles at the event through personal donations and fundraisers with the help of local companies like Rozi’s and Ride and Workout in Lakewood.

Everyone has a story about how cancer has impacted their lives, and if you need a long, touching story about it, the internet is full of them. I touched on my story here, but I’m sure you have your own. It’s an unforgiving disease, and I don’t think anyone needs convinced to help fight. For those of us that can’t run a 5k, maybe we can lift 12 ounces and still do our part.

If you can’t make it but would still like to donate, her personal page can be found here.

And, of course, here’s the beer list:

Alternate Take #5 – Barrel-aged Raspberry & Blueberry Sour
120 Minute
Festina Peche
Immort Ale
60 Minute
90 Minute
Lupa Luau
Oak Aged Vanilla World Wide Stout

Hope to see you there! Or anywhere, really.