Saturday, January 14, 2017

Vox Lox: 8 Simple Rules for Arguing Politics on Facebook

The World Wide Web was always destined to become the Wild, Wild West. Doesn't matter how far we evolve, humans will always have an appetite for sex, gambling and deplorable shit. The Internet can be your own little Al Swearengen; there's even the anonymous "Dark Web," immune to search engines, which is an encrypted haven for drugs, porn and money laundering. Still, the scariest part of our online existence continues to be the validation of any absurd thought or uneducated opinion. Think Justin Bieber is a reptile? There's video proof somewhere, man. Believe the earth is flat? There's a website for that. You can even find out how three year old Barack Obama played a role in JFK's assassination. They're only half-serious.

But forget fake news. Ever since Facebook infested the mainstream, the real danger comes from the massive echo chamber that social media naturally constructs for its loyal users. Polarization has become so prominent, there's almost no entry point for polite, political debate. That's why I created this (arguably) non-partisan list of things we must agree on before talking politics: 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Vox Lox: Counting Down My Top 40 Plays as a Cleveland Sports Fanatic, 1984-2016

40. Steve Colter tips in the game winner at 0:00:2 of double OT. If you think a Cavs regular season victory from the mid '90s is too insignificant for this list, then why does Joe Tait consider it one the top 5 moments of his storied career?

39CSU over Syracuse, at the buzzer

38. Louie Nanchoff; left, right, left for the hat trick at the 22:00 mark. Nev Chandler and Jack Corrigan on the call.

37. Doc Gooden belts a two-tun homer at Riverfront Stadium and the Indians edge the Reds, 8-6. Shut up, this is my list. Make your own.

36. Greg Oden's block caps off a twenty point Buckeye comeback in the 2007 Sweet 16.

35. May 1, 1984. Unlikely Hungarian hero Alex Tarnoczi heads home the series clincher in OT, at approximately the 33:00 minute mark, and your Cleveland Force eliminate the Spirit.

34. 2015 Sugar Bowl. Steve Abracadabra Miller's pick six vs. Alabama.

33Pronk ends the midge game, beating the Yanks in eleven innings.

32KennyG saves our perfect season.

31. Eric Metcalf punks Pittspuke with two punt returns for touchdowns at Pandemonium Palace.

30Jason Giambi puts the entire city on his 42-year-old-back for one AB.

29The Catch.

28Aaron Basketball.

27. Joe Germaine's TD toss to David Boston completes a Rose Bowl-winning scoring drive.

26Phil Dawson, in then out.

25Landon Donovan's goal vs. Algeria. Give me a break...coming up with forty positive plays for Cleveland was no easy task. Anyway, I believe it was John McCain who said "country first."

22. Bernie Kosar finds Webster Slaughter on the first play of overtime, and the Browns end the Three Rivers jinx.

214th & 1.

20. Cavs vs. Bulls; Unheralded SF Mike Sanders drains an ill-advised trey to help even the 1992 Eastern Conference Finals at four games. I screamed NOOOO and YESSS in the same breath. Even with the internet, I can't offer any proof that this play actually happened.

19. Before Brazilian wild thing Andy Varejao, there was Rick Vaughn of the California Penal and the biggest K in franchise history.

18. "Ehlo will inbound. He gets it into Nance. Gets the ball back, drives to the hoop. Lays it in with three seconds to go!." Aaaaaaand we'll stop there. Nothing here to see afterwards, nope.

17Ron Lewis. Gus Johnson. And we're going to overtime in Lexington!

16. You'll have to scroll to the 1:58:00 mark of this video, and listen to the deafening noise when Zoran Karic casually chips it over the sixth attacker to ice the Crunch's 2nd title.


12Clay Matthews intercepts Jim Kelly at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, giving the Browns their third trip to the AFC Championship Game in four seasons.

11Marquis Grissom steals home when Omar Vizquel misses a bunt attempt; Tribe wins Game 3 of the 1997 ALCS in extras.

10. Albert Belle rescues Game 1 of the 1995 ALDS with a monster blast, then credits right bicep.

9Kenny Lofton scores from 2nd base. Enough said.

8. Dennis Mempham's Coliseum-erupting, empty-net goal, with the Force two men down on a power play, essentially eliminates the Blast from the 1986 MISL playoffs.

7Sandy Alomar's eighth inning HR ties Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS. First playoff earned run surrendered by Mariano Rivera. The second wouldn't come for another four years.

6Damon Jones, cold off the bench, nails a corner three and the Cavs win their first playoff series in thirteen years.

5Tony Pena's walk-off jack wins Game 1 of the ALDS. A fitting, first taste of playoff baseball for almost three generations of Clevelanders.

4Maurice Clarett wrestles the football away from Sean Taylor, post-interception.

3. The Shot.

2. The Block.

1. After the Cavs triumphantly took the Torture out of CST and changed all of our legacies last June, it seemed unimaginable that we'd have another transcendent moment just 14 weeks later. But Rajai's Game 7 blast was a memory and a call to action. When it cleared the wall, Cleveland was reminded of her new identity. The Curse was over; this was part of the poem that LeBron had started, and the Tribe's contributing verse was even more gripping and emotionally volatile-- while we celebrated our sudden 6-6 affair, I watched in section 551 as the carnival of CubFan faces went from flush to ghostly white. Someday I'll tell my grandkids that, right before the rain came, the earth shook during Rajai's trot around the bases and I'm sure I left my body for an instant- except that I can still recall the feeling of elation-vomit burgeoning up my chest. I would fight to hold it down during a stranger's embrace and then endure a choking sensation that could only be born from nerves, joy and disbelief. I soon caught my breath, and so would Chicago during the unfortunate delay. But the bottom of the eighth on November 2, 2016 will never be in vain. Because we're Cleveland, and this is our story.


Raiders (+4) over Texans, 2 dimes
Seahawks (-8)  over Lions, 1 dime
Dolphins (+12) over Pittspuke, 2 dimes
Giants (+5.5) over Packers, 1 dime

Last Play: 3-Dime Winner on Super Bowl L
Career: 153-125-14, +45 Dimes

Saturday, December 31, 2016

What CST thinks about Ohio State-Clemson today

                                               Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Clemson Tigers

December 31, 2016

Actual result: Vox nails it. Well, the Clemson number at least. Ohio State scores nilch. Uggh.

Ohio State 42, Clemson 20

I am obviously a homer but can't see the Buckeyes scoring less than 40 or giving up more than 20.
Ohio State 42, Clemson 34

This game has a little bit of everything. All eyes in Cleveland will be focused not on the Buckeyes, but on potential Browns QB Deshaun Watson.
Ohio State 38, Clemson 28

A slow start by JT Barrett and the Buckeyes offense could mean trouble for Ohio State's championship hopes. But with a month of preparation, I trust Urban Meyer to concoct a game plan that will send his squad to its second title game in three years.
Ohio State 34, Clemson 24

Last time the Buckeyes and JT Barrett were insulted, they destroyed Oklahoma. I'm hoping for a similar result here. Plus Urban Meyer is nearly unbeatable when he has this much time to prepare for a team.

Clemson 31, Ohio State 30

I would set the over/under on the amount of times Chris Fowler, Herbie and the sideline reporter emphatically say "Dabo Swinney" at 950. Then bet the over.
Ohio State 42, Clemson 30

I re-watched the Alabama and Oregon games from 2015 this week, so I am running on blind faith. Counting on JT to channel his inner car deal and pull it out for us.

Ohio State 30, Clemson 28

Urb finds a way.

Ohio State 42, Clemson 5

Buckeyes triumph in matchup as lopsided as the 2016 election, as long as you ignore the popular vote! Ohio State will be covered in glory in 2017, much as our new Master will when he delivers on every single one of his campaign promises, which will definitely happen!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tower City redface murals (updated)

Update on the murals.

By 12/7/16 the redface Indian fan photos have been removed from Tower City.

Whether it was this blog's small voice, or someone else in a more influential position that forced the change, we'll probably never know. Hopefully in the future they will replace them with more decent memorable fan photos, like this one.

Selby is God sign Opening Day 2016
See my original post below from 11/22/2016

While taking walking through Tower City at lunch time today, I noticed they have recently adorned the empty storefronts with new photo murals highlighting some of the history and sites of Cleveland. Very large prints of the West Side Market, Old Arcade circa 1905 and 1966, The Q during the playoffs, aerial shots of downtown etc. are displayed for everyone who walks by. I actually found myself stopping to look more closely at the details to see what’s changed, and what's still the same over the years. For what amounts to an easy change it’s really impressive, and great idea vs the plain painted black windows.

I continued on my walk then I came across this gem of Progressive Field on Opening Day 2012, flanked with of life size photos of Indians fans….in redface.

No matter where you fall on the debate of Chief Wahoo (for the record I’m all for keeping him with an appropriate redesign) it’s a little surprising and shocking that Tower City would okay the use of these pictures, when there are thousands of non-controversial Indians fan pictures to choose from. Given all the bad publicity surrounding Chief Wahoo, and fans dressed as indians during the Playoffs and World Series it was shocking to say the least when I came across the window*. 

*The redface window coincidentally replaced the seasonal calendar/toy store I frequented this time of year to grab last minute/hard to find items which were sold out in similar stores in the suburbs. So not only was I shocked at the photo, but also shocked that my favorite last minute Christmas shopping/oh shit I need a gift store closed. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What CST Thinks about Browns-Giants today

New York Giants at Cleveland Browns
November 27, 2016

Giants 27, Browns 13

This is the one game Sports Illustrated picked the Browns to win. I'm gonna guess they were wrong. As you can see from the number of predictions here and the blue jerseys in the stands, interest in the Browns is at a lowwwww point.

Giants 34, Browns 6

It's a sunny, warm day for November here in Cleveland. Go enjoy the weather - this disaster doesn't deserve our attention.

Giants 27, Browns 10

The Browns are no longer even competitive these days, a sad fact made  more depressing by the lack of standout rookies on this roster. What do fans have to look forward to when this franchise seems so broken? Jimmy Haslam doesn't make me miss the Lerners, but future prospects under the current owner's regime look very bleak indeed.