In a deceptively tiny boutique hotel room at the end of the world, the Vox stares down his weekly column. Easy with the drama; I'm only in Chicago.
It's popular (and wistful) to say the Second City is Cleveland on steroids: the midwestern hospitality and Parma accents, the devotion to ball teams, the brisk November breeze blowing inconsistently and unapologetically in your face. But those would have to be some other-wordly PEDs. Because Chi-town boasts the bustle of New York, the instant taxi-cab culture of Las Vegas, and the spiritual resolve of New Orleans. On the other hand, Cleveland's downtown can feel depressingly unsafe and vacant. You may wait 20 minutes for a cab. And you may see the slogan Believe-land in some hopeful corners of our struggling city, but that belief is largely a myth.
See, in C-town, we are the downtrodden dreamers. Reality is always just outside, and urban boosterism is overshadowed by a 25% poverty rate, escalating foreclosures/unemployment and decades of crooked county officials. We earned the Comeback City title in the 90s when the Rock Hall and Gateway Plaza ignited a mini-revitalization. But too often, in Cleveland, inspiration is exclusively tied to the erection of concrete. We need more than hip buildings; we need an idea and an identity (a vision, says CSTer Kevin). We didn't need a new charter aimed to overhaul our government led by the same politicians who corrupted it in the first place. We need new, non-partisan blood-- business executives without ego. We don't need the Occupy Wall Street movement leaking onto our streets in a fruitess fight against corporatism. We need incentives to keep corporations in Cuyahoga County. And we certainly don't need a wishy-washy West Coast offense implemented in a strike-shortened off-season from a rookie coach and unqualified president. We need a bruising, eat-the-clock running game, built to punish teams that come to our cold lake front in December.
The only thing the Browns punish is their fan base.
Stillers (-3) over Ravens, 2 dimes
Chargers (+5.5) over Packers, 2 dimes
Chiefs (-4) over Dolphins, 1 dime
Falcons (-7) over Colts, 1 dime
Last Week: 1-2 (-1 dime)
Season: 15-9-1 (+7 dimes)
Who is the Vox?
SamVox is not a professional handicapper, but a premier one. He has been gambling his entire adult life and has experienced every sickening turn and nasty twist of fate that occurs during a football season. What distinguishes the Vox is his amazing intuition, astoundingly long memory, attention to detail and preparation, aversion to propaganda and access to the industry's sharpest bettors. He is a two time Pick'Em champion and went 85-71-8 against the spread with his Vox Lox over three seasons. His critically-dismissed Vox in the Box column also appears here at Cleveland Sports Torture.