Sunday, January 22, 2006

Vox in the Box (3)


Event radio: You don't hear that term used often. But that's how I'd describe the Trivisonno/Modell interview. You couldn't hear it on Sirius, and the stakes were high-- Modell's first real interview since he left us, and Triv trying to re-establish himself despite rumors of his eminent firing. Give Triv credit for lining it up. Les Levine, Brinda, Roadman and probably even intern Allison all would have conducted more disciplined and responsible interviews, but they may not have offered the security Art felt in talking with our area no-talent fatass.

I did not expect Art to come clean; you didn't either. This interview was Art's last gasp to win sympathy and right enough wrongs to win himself enough HOF votes. Regardless of what he says, he's always a good time. I couldn't stop laughing. My favorite parts:
- Art asking Triv, about 5 minutes into the interview, "are we on the air?"
- Art constantly referring to his wife as "Pat Modell." Is there anyone on earth that calls their wife, without fail, by her first and last name every time he mentions her?
- The way Art kept saying, "I didn't want to move to Bawltimore." Like the city was some sort of STD he wanted no part of and then unwillingly endured.
- Art repeatedly saying "Don't push me, Mike" when prodded to reveal the identity of the evil politician that recommended Art move the team. Art wasn't going to give this guy's name up. No way. But, oh, by the way, it was the most powerful politician in the state and dude's wife name is "Janet"....but he definitely wasn't going to reveal the identity.
- Art using "Parahna" instead of "Pariah" to describe how the Cleveland fans view him.

Triv did not do a good job on this interview. He failed to develop the reasons behind Art's inability to turn a profit in the gold stream that is the NFL. And if Modell was telling the truth (and I think he was) about being sixty days from BKO (that's bank jargon for bankruptcy), then the real story behind the Browns leaving is Modell's selfish pride; his refusal to admit he's a shitty businessman or ask for help to keep the franchise here. Triv never really pursued that. Despite Modell's early attempts to butter up, Triv stayed relatively strong until Art baited Triv into hating on the Plain Dealer. Modell's PD tirade was pathetic, but his PR people were smart enough to know that Triv hates the PD more than Art does....and that was a perfect way to align the two men. (Yall know I think the PD is a rag, but Tony Grossi rules. Tony, if you're reading this, I love you. Ever since you covered the Force in the early 80s. Sure, I could barely read...but I knew a good looking, well-dressed guy when I saw one.)

That being said, Triv hardly laid an egg. Parts of the interview were decent; almost better than I expected for someone with Triv's very limited skill-set. And most radio experts in this town are backing Triv on this one. Check out the radio forum on cleveland.com, where I've been debating radio for a few years. Most of the people that post there either work or have worked in da biz (as the posters say) and they all despise Triv. Here's a direct quote from one of Triv's biggest critics: It pains me to say this...but... Triv had one of his best interviews ever with Art Modell. I couldn't get out of the car... I just drove around until the segment was over. It was great radio.

So, overall, I'd say it was an almost-competent, entertaining, yet disappointing interview. Fuck that analysis. I'll just say this: whatever Roger Brown says about the interview in his monday morning media column, I think the opposite. I don't know what he'll say, but I already disagree. Ok, that's about 1200 words on the topic. How's that for brevity, Puck Rogers?

SVAC Corner: It's funny. So many of my fellow Cav faithful figured that losing Larry Hughes would be no big deal. Sure....why would losing your best defender on a bad defensive team be a big deal? Do yall remember the first game of the West Coast trip when Kobe beat us single-handedly? LeBron couldn't guard him. But no way Kobe hits all those shots against Hughes. And the Denver game....quit blaming Bron for missing free throws. Did you expect him to make them? He's never been a great free throw shooter. We lost the game because of Amon Ones. We're up 2 points with less than a minute to play. And then Amon Ones forgets to guard their best three point shooter. But the media wants to talk about Bron not being able to finish games. That's hilarious. LeBron is good enough throughout the game that we shouldn't need him to hit a big shot. We should protect our lead by playing D. Kobe may have hit a few game winners in his career, but he won 3 titles because he played with Shaq. If LeBron played with Shaq, we'd be winning games by such margins that those last seconds shots wouldn't be necessary. During the Lakers 3-peat, I don't remember Kobe ever hitting a buzzer-beater in a payoff game.

Your Memorial Day on Wheels: January 20th was the anniversary of Ron Kovic's wounding in Vietnam. He was the marine portrayed by Tom Cruise in Born on the 4th of July. Kovic's book, and the subsequent movie, put me on an anti-war path as a confused 14-yard old republican.....and I've never looked back. I urge all of you to read Kovic's recent column and photo essay on the war in Iraq http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/014056. There is a very short but fantastic poem at the essay's end. Personally, I would add 2 more lines aimed at the President: one. two. three. four/we don't want your fucking war.

It's time for the Random Top 10. If you don't have time, don't make a Random Top 10.

Sam's Top 10 All-Time Favorite Cleveland Sports Professionals

1. Dwight "Doc" Gooden: 2 goddamn great summers in Cleveland. 249 innings. 11 wins. 171 Ks. And one homerun at Riverfront stadium on a glorious friday night in June, 1999. Good old Riverfront, home to two other memorable moments-- October 1994. BernieBowl. Don vs. Mike Shula. Bernie is God. OJ's innocent, free Mike Tyson (what predictions). And then February 1996, where Amy and I get high on the stadium pavement. But my life in Cincinnati is another column.

2. Louie Nanchoff: Most of the trademark moves on display when I'm on the indoor soccer field came from Stan Stamenkovich. But the rest came from Louie. George, if you're out there....remember Game 4 of the 1983 MISL eastern conference semi-finals? Force vs. Spirit....
3. John "Hot Rod" Williams: How's Johnfrancis?. Reeeal good. By the way, I'm still waiting for the Devil Rays to bring up Hot Rod's nephew....the next Babe Ruth, Toe Nash.
4. Julio Franco: He pointed a make-believe gun at an official scorer, with whom he had differences with in Cleveland, and said: Someday, I take my gun and shoot that SOB. Then he found God.
5. Terrell Brandon: Rel, to this day, I am still watching your back.
6. Mike Hargrove: My first favorite player in any sport. My first autograph. He was signing at the old Arcade, and my dad stood in line during his lunch our to get it.
7. Peter Ward: From the streets of Liverpool to Warrensville Heights. Peter strapped on a mullet and high-fived Andy Chapman in vintage mid-80s style.
8. Reggie Langhorne: 88. He was Darnay Scott to Web Slaughter's Carl Pickens. So underrated, and fearless over the middle.
9. Vitaly Potapenko: We're going to be good next year, Potaps. Too bad you won't be on the team.
10. Tony Jones: Who knew that Tony Jones would be sitting in front of me at Browns games years after he retired? And that he'd turn white, skinny, gay and accuse me of stealing beer.

Allright. I think I'm done here. C U in 4 days or so. Sorry to waste a column on Art Modell, but we are on the grounds of clevelandsportstorture.

just as every cop is a criminal

and all the sinners saints

as heads is tails, just call me lucifer

'coz I'm in need of some restraint

I am Mick Jagger in the box. And I remember when Mick recorded it.

ta ta for now; parting is inevitable