Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What's worse?

A.) The pathetic roster: "The Browns, embarrassed 34-7 by the Pittsburgh Steelers in their home opener, will go into Week 2 with three quarterbacks; only one of them, third-stringer Ken Dorsey, has won an NFL game."

B.) This mismanagement and evaluation of talent: "Cleveland's trade of Frye is unprecedented. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he's the first quarterback since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970 to start his team's season opener and be traded before Week 2."

C.) That Ken Dorsey is signed and mentoring anyone: "The club signed Dorsey to a one-year contract on Tuesday, 10 days after the Browns cut him. Dorsey will serve as a mentor to Quinn"

D.) The Cleveland Browns franchise in general.

Quotes from ESPN.com

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Labor Day baseball

Look, it's three days later. Deal with it. I'm a busy man adjusting to hitting the space bar just once after the period. I'm doing better, and I'm time crunched. As such, my Labor Day adventure appears here on this site on Thursday. And after I go to the bathroom. (Awkward pause.) Alright, let's rock.

The story truly begins back last Friday night. I was sitting at my computer developing benchmarking research for the fictional Global Communications when Becky realizes that we both have Labor Day off. Now this is a revolutionary revelation because I haven't had a mutual day off with my wife since, I believe, the first weekend in August. Realizing we may never again have this opportunity again, especially with the holiday season closing in on us and my working a double 18 hour shift starting tonight at 4pm, Becky decided to see what was happening in the Twin Cities that might be worthy of our entertainment dollar.

A look at the movie listings quickly ruled that option out. Neither of us have any desire to see Halloween, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I would have nightmares for months if I went to see any horror flick. Much to Becky's dismay some Jane Austen movie was out of theaters just three weeks after entering them, and I breathed easier. The rest of the listings consisted of retread summer leftovers that left us uninspired.

A few moments later, Becky asked if the Twins were in town. I paused from my paper writing and figured they would be as they were just wrapping up a weekend series at home against the mighty Kansas City Royals. But more importantly, my wonderful wife was suggesting spending our mutual day off watching professional baseball. This doesn't happen. I must be dreaming.

She clicked around some more and confirmed that Minnesota was indeed playing an afternoon game. Wow, things are going really well as our chances of attending increased with this more desirable first pitch time. Then the deal maker.

Their opponent? The best team in baseball. The Cleveland Indians.

Fantastic news! Not only had my not particularly baseball inclined wife suggested Labor Day at the Metrodome, but my team, who I have not seen play in person since the 1988 season when Greg Swindell, Tom Candiotti, and Bud Black anchored The Tribe's rotation, were playing. A tremendous stroke of luck. I seem to only see Cleveland teams on the road these days, and I proudly wear Cleveland attire into visitor stadiums. I did this when the Browns played the Vikings a couple of years ago and wore as much brown and orange as I could. Naturally, we wound up in a sea of drunk purple and yellow. The fans, in good spirit, heckled me as the Browns put up a feeble fight. However, when I began being touched and they asked my name (I answered Sam, and that I drove all the way from Cleveland for this game), it was time to go. This Indians-Twins match-up allowed me to get decked out in Tribe gear. The stars were aligned and I and my 1997 World Series appearance (forgettable) hat were off to the Metrodome.

Now in April, I hosted a dude fest that included much Twins baseball, and I developed a favorite route and parking lot. Now with the I-35W bridge crumpled into the Mississippi River, I took alternate routes without incident. Most notably, no bridge fell.

The bridge collapse was an integral part of the pre-game festivities as the promotions department made up something called "First Responders Day" where EMTs, fire fighters, and police personnel were offered tickets to this game for just a dollar and then were paraded around the infield prior to the game, complete with emotional video footage. I suggested grabbing our Dome Dogs during this ten minute feelings-fest, but was quickly slapped on the arm and encouraged to instead clap for the fifty or so people who were on the field and waving with their kids. The Dome Dogs waited.

Oh yes, there was a baseball game, too. Both teams' best pitchers were on the mound with the very clean teethed Johan Santana representing the Twins and the very large bellied CC Sabathia taking the hill for Cleveland. I quickly realized the Eric Wedge was setting me up for disaster. Instead of placing our best players against the Twins' best pitcher, he decided on a starting line-up that consisted of Ben Franscico and Chris Gomez. No Grady Sizemore. No Jhonny Peralta. Ugh.

Also deserving of an "ugh," was the woman sitting directly next to Becky, who I should mention counterbalanced my Cleveland attire with a lovely pink Twins jersey selection. This woman decided to take advantage of the empty row ahead of us by stretching out her legs. Sure, no big deal. Then she took her shoes off and rested them on the seat. Not cool. That the drink holder on the back of the seat was mere inches from her disgusting, bare foot was really not cool. It never fails that Becky will sit next to an etiquette challenged individual. It's a miracle she ever goes out in public.

Somehow the Chris Gomez led charge put Cleveland ahead early, and CC was marvelous. 5-0 Cleveland. Yay Labor Day.

Photo from ABC 7 News, WJLA