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The Cleveland Sports Sadness Survival Tour: While We’re Waiting

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Happy Thursday, WFNY. How we doing out there today, Clevelanders? [Polite clapping. One lone “Whoo!”] Wow, what a great audience, what a terrific audience. I’m so thrilled to be here. No championships for Cleveland this week. But while we’re waiting…

The Houston Astros won their first World Series Wednesday night over the Los Angeles Dodgers in what was a very entertaining series (if an anti-climactic Game 7). Although I would have sacrificed a non-vital organ for the Cleveland Indians to be in the World Series, I honestly don’t know if I could have taken losing another championship series. Last year’s extra-innings Game 7 loss took 25 years off my life, which means if my math is correct means that I’ll die … four years ago if I have to endure another postseason like that.

Before Game 7, one of my friends who is a Dodgers fans asked me for advice before the game, me having survived two of them (one positive, one negative) in 2016 alone. I told him the following: “Pray to whatever gods you worship, tell your family you love them, hope your team wins, and brace yourself for either agony or ecstasy.”

Turns out the dial landed on “agony” for Dodgers fans. His text also gave me an idea. I am a Cleveland sports survivor (it’s even in my bio!) — which gives me first-hand experience with nearly every type of sports-related horror and tragedy imaginable. I am a credentialed, bona fide expert on sports-related suffering. I’m a valuable resource on sadness for others to look to! I have an authority on sports trauma that a Yankees or Patriots fan can simply never acquire. I graduated summa cum laude in sports misery. I don’t even think the Cavs 2016 title nullifies my credibility on sports-related sadness — it was sandwiched between two other Cavs’ title losses to a legitimate super team, and the Indians ripped my heart out merely months later. Plus … the Browns! The San Francisco 49ers are 0-8, and my friend who is a 49ers fan still pities me. Even blues musicians feel bad for Browns fans — they just sang some heart-wrenching song about their woman leaving them or the devil taking all their money, but when you tell them you’re a Browns fan they’re like, “Wow, that’s messed up dude.”

My stories as a Cleveland sports fan could be turned into one of those inspirational-type speaking tours. I could go to high schools around Los Angeles and tell kids, “My team lost in Game 7 of the World Series, too. It’ll be OK.” I could visit grieving fans in San Diego and say, “My football team left my city, too. Here’s how you can cope.” I could speak to bars full of Falcons fans and say, “The Browns passing offense is so bad they can’t even complete a trade! I’ve survived and you can too.” I’ll stand in front of these people, clothed in a 1999 Tim Couch jersey, Block C cap, and pair of Wrangler jeans, regaling them with stories about drunkenly sobbing to my dad on the phone when the 2010 Cavs lost, about eating half a jar of queso on my hotel balcony while listening to Ryan Adams’ live at Carnegie Hall when the Indians lost in 2016, about watching the Browns lose in person to the Pittsburgh Steelers 41-0 on Christmas Eve, about drafting Barkevious Mingo.

“You see Johnny Manziel start for your football team, and you think, ‘It can’t get any worse than this. This must be what rock bottom feels like.’ Then they lose to the f’ing Colts despite being favored, and you eat a whole Domino’s pizza. Domino’s! It tastes like eating a chunk of a coffee table covered in ketchup. And then you hate yourself. But the next day you start going to the gym, finding a purpose in life, discovering all the other joys the world has to offer. And maybe, just maybe, your team finds a LeBron James and wins you a championship. And you’ll realize — you were happy all along. You don’t love the Browns. You love your father. And your sister. And your best friend. And your life.”

I can help give these people the catharsis they need! It’s inspiration! Oh, so you got addicted to drugs and found Jesus? Real original, buddy. I’m a Browns fan! I know suffering. Then after my speech, there will be lots of hugging, knowing pats on the back, and crying.

“But we were up 28-3!”

“Shh shh. I know. It’ll be OK. The Browns drafted Justin Gilbert. It’ll be OK.”

[incomprehensible wailing]

The Cleveland Sports Sadness Survival Tour: Come for the Brandon Weeden jokes, stay for the healing. Appearing soon at a support group or Lifetime movie near you.

The Calvin and Hobbes Strip of the Day. I think Calvin’s onto something there. The fast pace of life is really cutting into the healthy lifestyle I ought to be cultivating. I think I need like … 14 or 15 hours to ease into the day, eight hours of sleep, and then the rest of the day to be productive.

And now for the random 90s song of the day. Upon request from Will Gibson, the R90sSotD is Spacehog’s “In the Meantime.” The 90s were such a wonderful, simpler, some would even say pastoral time, when rock still had cultural relevance and we could make “serious” music with lyrics like “whoo OoOOoh OooOoh oooooooooo [waannn a whahhhh wannnnh wahnnnnnn].”

Like any truly representative 90s music video, there are lots of depressed teenagers. I would argue that Spacehog would have 10 percent more commercially successful had they been called Spacehogs. Is there something unique and singularly special about this one spacehog, or is there only one spacehog, and if so how did this cosmic cosmic swine come to exist? Anyway, @ me with any requests for the Random 90s Song of the Day. next time I host “While We’re Waiting…” it will be the 50th Edition of the Random 90s Song of the Day, a dare-I-say historic moment in WFNY history, so I’ll try to come up with something special for that.

And in the end we shall achieve in time
The thing they call divine
When all the stars will smile for me
When all is well and well is all for all
And forever after
Maybe in the meantime wait and see

  • RGB

    Justin Gilbert?
    Was that really nessesary?

  • RGB

    Although, I will have to say, sitting next to my wife while her team blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl was pretty tough.

  • Chris

    “When they lose to the f’ing Colts despite being favored, and you eat a whole Domino’s pizza. Domino’s!”

    See!!! Papa was right!!! If the NFL wasn’t so bad for business, that would have been a better pizza with better ingredients!!!

    #ThanksRoger

  • Chris

    No. Drafting Justin Gilbert was most definitely *NOT* necessary.

  • tigersbrowns2

    for those who thought Justin Verlander could no longer pitch … he now has his ring and he looked real good in getting it.

  • tigersbrowns2

    you young fellas post a lot of music I’ve never heard before … i definitely recall “in the meantime” … I really like this song.

  • CBiscuit

    Being in LA and the Dodgers being the only LA team I like (and have liked since the ’88 team)…that was something to see back to back game 7 WS losses.

    You’re right though Kyle…we are engineered like Jason Bourn to withstand this kind of pain now.

  • CBiscuit

    I think Papa should do better ingredients…and fewer whiny punchable John faces on the TV.

  • JNeids

    Mike Polk called, wants his stand-up schtick back.

  • Steve

    Yeah, Polk was definitely the originator of the disgrunted Browns fan.