Monday, September 24, 2012

Where Did You Go Joe Charboneau?

Super Joe Charboneau
It pains me to think that the Cleveland Indians are once again irrelevant in the city of Cleveland. The Browns' season has begun and with the Tribe firmly in last place, the 10 bucks for a ticket and 10 bucks to park is now going into the MuniLot parking fund for Sunday mornings. 

 How did this happen? How did the Indians go from first place to last place - a roller coaster ride zooming us from the penthouse to the outhouse?  The reasons for the collapse are endless, but thinking about it left me longing for the days of Super Joe Charboneau.

Back in the days of Super Joe, our superstar that had a penchant for opening beer bottles with his eye socket, the stadium was cavernous.  John Adams drum beat bounced from one end of the field to the other uninterrupted. There was no expectation of winning. If you went to the game, you went to enjoy the experience of the stadium and maybe a family night out. Winning was an added bonus. Winning was the unexpected slice of homemade pie at the end of dinner. A welcome, but unnecessary part of the day.

Then came the Indians of the 90s. With Thome, Lofton, Visquel, Belle and more, the city of Cleveland got a small taste of winning. We were contenders and the competition could put the mistake by the lake in their pipe and smoke it. 

Ever since then, Cleveland has been grasping at the notion that we could win again. We saw it and we liked it. In the 90s, the Indians were winners. Cleveland held the record with 455 consecutive sold out games. Now? The game I went to last week was so quiet and there were so few fans in the stands you could hear the Sports Time Ohio feed from the concourse.

I love my team and I will still make it to another game or two before the ballpark gets tucked away for the season, but admittedly, I look back fondly of the the Indians as loveable losers. Back then it was more about going to the game with no expectations and just enjoying the evening. I'm not a fan of losing, but it is much easier to take when it is the norm.

The short lived Tribe mascot - The Baseball Bug.

1 comment:

  1. I remember Joe Charboneau and how excited the whole city was about his playing and off-field antics. You're right that at least for a short period of time, it gave local fans something to cheer about and it was sad when it ended.