Monday, January 29, 2007

Totally irrelevent

By now you know who the 25 Most Important people in the Cleveland sports world are. You know that LeBron is No. 1 (and probably No. 1-10 in reality), that our team owners are in the Top 5, that our GMs are all in the Top 10, Ted Ginn Sr. is more important than Eric Wedge, and LeBron James' buddies are more important than any athlete in Cleveland save LeBron.

And you know why our teams just aren't all that good, since Cavs radio announcer Joe Tait made the list before Grady Sizemore, before Travis Hafner, before C.C. Sabathia, before Kellen Winslow Jr., before Charlie Frye, before Braylon Edwards, heck, before any athlete other than LeBron. When play-by-play guys and talk-show hosts (like No. 18 Mike Trivisonno) are making your city's most-important-people-in-sports lists before all but one of your athletes, well, you need a few more athletes. Heck, Jim Brown, who retired 40 years ago, is more important than any current Brown or Indian!

But what about the other side of the equation? What about the people who DON'T matter? What about the LEAST important people on the Cleveland sports scene?

Look no further. Well, no further than the end of this entry. Because here's the Top 10 Plus One LEAST Important People in Cleveland sports:

11. Lake Erie Monsters owner Dan Gilbert
-- OK, OK, Dan Gilbert was third on the PD's list of most important people in Cleveland sports. But that was Dan Gilbert, Cavs owner! If Dan Gilbert, Lake Erie Monsters AHL franchise founder, were ranked, he'd probably come in at #474, right after Beachwood High School basketball scorekeeper and P.A. announcer. How many times has hockey failed in this town? There were the Cleveland Barons, who lasted two years in the mid-1970s. Then there were the Lumberjacks, who shared Richfield Coliseum with the Cavs before moving to The Q and playing in front of miserable crowds until dying in 2001. Then there were the ill-fated AHL Cleveland Barons, who picked up where the Lumberjacks left off, right down to the sucky crowds. Now, two seasons after the Barons II folded, we've got the Monsters to look forward. The team history even includes the brand-new legend of the Lake Erie Monster, which has been sighted in Lake Erie several times over the past 75 years. Don't be surprised if that's about as many people as see the Lake Erie Monsters hockey team in action.

10. Usher
-- What happened to you, Usher? You joined forces with Dan Gilbert (presumably) when it came time to buy the Cavs. You supposedly had input into the in-game entertainment that's now all over The Q. You even introduced us to a new symbol (The Double C) almost two years ago by crossing your arms over your head and circling your hands into big "C"s. Then you vanished. Rumors flew that you never paid your bills, that you were out, that you and Dan Gilbert had a falling out. Maybe your Double C was actually your way of saying C U Later, cuz no one has! Every once in awhile we'll hear one of your songs at The Q, but that's about it. Actually, we hear your songs now more when high school basketball teams warm up, so at least you've still got some juice on that level.

9. King Headspin
-- Believe it or not, that guy on the Cavs' Scream Team who can spin on his head actually has a name. He's King Headspin. Boy, just like King James. You know, your trick was impressive once. For a week. Back in 1983, when breakdancing first broke. But spinning around on your head at center court of the Cavs game while we wait for LeBron to come back on the court really doesn't do much for us. Chicks in skimpy clothes dancing around before they head over to Christie's or Diamond's Men's Club before they go to work for the rest of the evening -- that we can get into. But, dude, YOU SPIN AROUND ON YOUR HEAD! You're a human top. Your overall unimportance keeps you from the top ranks of this list because you have a name (unlike some of the others on this list), and by writing this it allows a picture of your hot teammate to be posted. Congrats.

8. The cotton candy vendor at Cleveland Browns Stadium
-- Look, no one buys cotton candy at football games in the first place. IT'S A FREAKING FOOTBALL GAME! You should be buying beer or hot dogs or beer dogs or something along those lines. Cotton candy? Cotton candy should be sold in three places and three places only -- a county fair, a beach, and a church festival (and only if there are clowns there). Cotton candy has no place anywhere else, especially at a football game. Have you ever seen anyone buy cotton candy from the cotton candy guy at a football game? No, you haven't. This guy is totally irrelevent.

7. Jennie Finch
-- Jennie Finch has nothing to do with Cleveland sports. She led the U.S. Olympic Softball Team to the gold medal in 2004 and enjoyed a stellar pitching career at Arizona State University. She married Caisey Daigle, who was once a pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks. None of these things have anything to do with Cleveland sports. Yet Jennie Finch is only sixth on the list, because she is much more important to Cleveland sports than the next five people on this list. Plus it's a chance to post a cute picture of her.

6. Jeff Uhlenhake, Browns assistant offensive line coach
-- This requires a double-take. The Browns actually have an ASSISTANT offensive line coach? The team with one of the most maligned offensive lines of the 21st century actually uses more than one coach to get the worst out of the line? And not only is Jeff Uhlenhake an assistant offensive line coach, he's entering his THIRD YEAR in that position with the Browns. Apparently he has no voice in draft decisions, since the Browns have drafted just one offensive lineman during Uhlenhake's tenure. Jeff Uhlenhake has so little power, he would be made to wait for a table at Denny's.

5. That guy at the beer concession stand on the concourse behind Section 511 at Jacobs Field
-- One Bud after another, with the occasional Bud Light mixed in. At least they are poured smoothly. But, dude -- there's beer all over the concession stand! You're always overpouring! You have to wipe up the counter in between each pour! Watch out, or Larry Dolan's gonna get rid of you. You're costing him one beer for every five you pour.

4. The guy who calls WKNR every day to demand that the Browns fire Romeo Crennell and hire Bill Parcells, the Cavs trade Eric Snow and Ira Newble and a second-round draft pick for Kevin Garnett
-- Dude, IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! None of it. Stop calling. No one wants to hear you. You haven't said anything important since 1993.

3. The copy editor of the "For the Record" at The Plain Dealer
-- Beer-league softball scores! Division III basketball standings -- for men AND women! Ski-race results! THE TRANSACTIONS!! Well, at least they put point spreads on this page, making this guy not totally unimportant, but very close.

2.) Slider
-- The Indians official mascot (apparently no one would go for a guy dressed in red face with a feather in his slicked-back dark hair smiling a big, toothy grin) turns 17 this year. And nobody cares. Not when he's best known for falling off the outfield wall during the 1995 playoffs, tearing knee ligaments. THAT'S what he's best known for -- not his 12 appearances at the All-Star Game, not for his cameo on The Drew Carey Show, not for covering bald men's heads with his enormous beak, and for being nominated to the 2006 Mascot Hall of Fame. His description as a "big, purple-colored, hairy giant with yellow spots and eyebrows" does not help things. Let's face it, Slider has no power at all, not even over Cavs mascot Moondawg.

1.) Scott Pollard
-- The Cavs forward, signed in the offseason, has had more hairdos than points this season. The three points he scored Tuesday night give him a total of four for the season. He averaged 17½ minutes per game in his career before this year; his 27 minutes played so far this season have already knocked that down to close to an even 17. Even Alan Henderson, three years older and the guy who Pollard replaced, averaged 10 minutes per game for the Cavs and is getting almost 12 minutes a game with the 76ers. Not since Keith Hernandez has a free agent made less noise on the Cleveland sports scene. Scott Pollard has no power, not even at the McDonald's drive-thru.


Circe said...

I cannot stop laughing! I sure do miss my hometown... :)

Drew said...

In all fairness to hockey in Cleveland, the Lumberjacks actually got decent crowds before losing their TV contract and getting a new owner in 2000-01 (also their last season), and the newest Barons incarnation was pretty much set up to fail because they would lose less money coming to Cleveland than they would by either folding or staying in their former location in Kentucky. The team moved to Massachusetts and is failing there too. That's not Cleveland's fault-- that's the fault of crappy ownership who did nothing to promote the games.

Please, give this new team a shot before dissing them. If Gilbert fails, then by all means, rip into them.

Spungalo said...

I hated Slider until he fell off that fence, now I just picture him holding that big head in pain every time I see him, my stance has softened slightly. Still, without the Dick Van Dyke off the wall I'd be yelling, "What the hell does that have to do with the Indians?" everytime I saw him.

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