Sunday, March 31, 2013

Cupcakes Destroyed By Reality TV


 How is that for a headline?

This past week, a baker that was featured on TLC's Next Great Baker closed her shop in Vermont, claiming that her business to a nose dive after she appeared on the show. She went on to complain that the network portrayed her in a negative light and her reputation was shot to all heck.

As Heather B. from The Real World New York pointed out years ago, all the editing in the world can't create create a character out of nothing. The editors can only work with what you give them.

The cranky cup cake creator was caught during the season cranking up the ovens of competitors and stealing sheet pans and the fans of the show took their displeasure out of her shop. Turns out people don't like cheaters. The shady baker made her situation worse when she gleefully told the home audience what she did, claiming all is fair in competition.

When the sugar hit the fan, customers walked right by her shop and into her competitors. 

The Real Real World cast from New York.
More than 20 years ago, a ground breaking show called The Real World pushed videos out of MTV's line up. The premise was 7 strangers moved in together and had their lives taped. It was a peek into 7 very different lives, and seemed very real. Now, well, now because of programs like the Real World, everyone on a reality program has a motive. There is no question if you have any desire for fame, reality tv is the way to go.

But my friends, reality tv is not for the faint of heart. If you are going to open your world to all of tv land in the hopes of fame and fortune, you have to take the good with the bad. There are days that each of us are doom and gloom instead of rainbows and kittens. Personally, I prefer to keep my crabby days to myself.

So while it is sad that someone lost their business and people lost their jobs in part because of a tv show, my faith in humanity is restored.

Nice to see a little karma in action.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

An Open Good Bye To Phil Dawson

The last we will see of Captain Phil in the Brown and Orange.
Dear Phil (after the Pro Bowl, I feel like I can call you Phil),

My worst sports nightmare has come true and you are leaving my beloved Cleveland Browns. I'm not going to lie, it makes me sad. To put it in the vernacular of your new San Francisco fans, dude, the move really bums me out.

I don't have to tell you that the Browns have been fighting losing battle since returning in 1999. Each season, hopes for success were obliterated with more coaching/quarterback/wide receiver/running back changes than squirrels running through the Metroparks. As challenging as that has been for you as a player, it has been pretty darn tough as a fan.

Several years ago, I crankily packed up my three Charlie Frye jerseys (home, away and alternate) and my Braylon Edwards jersey after one too many bad plays. That was when I bought my #4 brown jersey. You see Phil, I wanted to wear a jersey of a current player that I could believe in. You were, still are, that guy. While other players were getting their drug fueled groove on in Vegas, you were practicing, preparing for the game. No matter how bad the game was, you always shined. Sure you had a crummy game here and there, but your attitude didn't show that. Even on days that you scored every point on the board, when you were asked to make the impossible kicks, you did it. On the field and off, you have showed nothing but integrity and class to the Browns and the city of Cleveland. And in a world of sports megalomaniacs, you were a refreshing change to cheer for.

Many people have asked me why I pushed Cleveland fans to vote you to the Pro Bowl (let's be honest, it was more like a nudge) and I never had a very good answer. It usually would boil down to me saying I was a big fan, or a similar comment.

The real reason was that I felt it was the least I could do. There is no question you deserved to go to the Pro Bowl,  an honor long over looked. If I could play a little part in bringing a little sports justice, why not.

At the end of the day, I just want to say thank you.

Thank you for giving me something to cheer for, a bright spot in the other wise hum drum, dim Browns seasons. 

Oh, and thank you for not making the announcement on ESPN with your own half hour special. I don't think my fragile Cleveland heart could have taken it.

Best of luck to you sir.

Sadly yours,

Cleveland Chick

Happier days. Now if you will excuse me, I must go weep in the corner.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Swisher Card Winner!


Thanks for everyone being so patient in my Swisher card giveaway.


The winner was randomly generated and it is... Denise G!

 Thanks for playing and go Tribe!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Jason Kipnis

Jason Kipnis playing catch.

When you meet your favorite star, whether from sports or entertainment, you don't know how the encounter will go. You hope for the best, but sometimes the worst happens, like when I had to dodge Jack Daniels bottles being tossed by Blink-182. Ahem, that is another story.

Yesterday, I finally got my Jason Kipnis autograph...and he was awesome.

Whew.

I completely understand that at Spring Training, these guys are working. They have a job to do, a team to make, so I get that they may not always be inclined to sign autographs for a line of fans. But, for 4 days I had been trying to get Jason Kipnis to sign and it was no dice.


The morning was cold and windy, with tumbleweeds rolling past the training facility. A few of the more hardcore fans were at the practice, waiting for their favorite player to walk by, but that was it. When Kipnis walked by, I was hanging on the fence like a little kid, clutching a sharpie and my bat. I politely asked if he would please sign my bat.

Jason Kipnis walking toward me. Eeek.

He said he would come back after practice.

I have found out that when players say they will come back, they don't always mean it. They don't want to be the bad guys, and by saying, "I'll be back later" it is an easy let down. Let's face it kids, some fans are jerks, so being screamed at would be something I would avoid as well.

Kipnis is a man of his word, and after practice, he did come back. He walked straight to me, still hanging on the fence with my bat. 

As Kipnis signed my bat, I thanked him for signing and coming back. His response was a simple, "I said I would."

Nice.

It was great to see that Kipnis understands that the fans are just as important as any other fundamental of the sport.  If you don't have the fans, you don't have the game. He signed and smiled for everyone there yesterday. He kept smiling even for the woman that made him pose twice because she took the first picture with the lens cap on.

After everyone got an autograph, Kipnis walked away and left good will and happy fans behind.

It may have been cold and rainy yesterday, but it was bright for me.

Opening day is right around the corner.



My autographed bat. Woot.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Take My Swisher Card

My Swisher card. Take it.
Greetings from sun-drenched Indians Spring Training!

I am blogging my experience on TribeVibe for the Indians, so please check it out there. But my experience in a peanut shell has been awesome

When I arrived, I had planned on doing some sort of giveaway, because I'm happy to be here and I'm darn excited that the Indians are letting me blog for them. I thought it would be a fun way to say thank you and share the experience with everyone snowbound in Cleveland.

Today, I chased down Nick Swisher after his awesome game for an autograph. I wanted to get my bat signed and a card for my friend I left standing at the fence. Turns out my friend would rather I gave the card away to another fan. And, in the interest of good karma and Nick not thinking I am an autograph piggy - here is a giveaway.

There are a couple of ways to enter, so make sure you leave a separate comment for each method of entry. I let a computer do the winner picking so if you don't comment, you lose an entry.

1. Leave a comment telling me why Nick Swisher is awesome.
2. Tweet the following: "I want to win the signed Nick Swisher card from @ClevelandChick! http://bit.ly/16cNss5"
3. Leave a comment about what you are looking forward to most this Tribe season.
4. Follow @clevelandchick on the Twitter.
You have until Saturday, March 9th at noon to enter. You can tweet once per day. Let's face it, if you tweet more than that, people will want to hurt both of us.  
Good Luck!

Disclosure: I really don't want to be an autograph piggy and I just want to show my gratitude to all of my fellow Cleveland fans. Go Tribe!


Sunday, March 3, 2013

What It Means To Be An Indians Fan

 As a Cleveland fan, you get asked the question, 'Why?" a lot. And by a lot, I mean by every person you meet not from Cleveland will ask. Everyone will have a different answer for the question depending on how old they are and what sport they love the most. A common theme however, isn't winning. Very few fans remember when Cleveland had a winning franchise. The common thread is what surrounds the actual games.

A great tailgate with friends sometimes becomes more important than the game, especially when the team is losing. As much as I love all the teams, the Indians always have had a special place for me. I didn't go to my first Browns game until college. I remember going to a few Cavs games at Richfield Coliseum, mainly to cheer for my favorite player, Bingo Smith. The Indians though, they were a different story.
My Johnny Grubb bat from 1977ish.
I have wonderful memories of holding my dad's hand walking down the street to the old stadium, chattering away happily about whatever I was into at the time. If you think Progressive Field looks empty at times, you have never seen the cavern known as Municipal Stadium. One of my favorite things to do was to run up and down the giant stairs, barreling down each row and section to find the perfect seat. I was convinced we had to sit in "our"seats, and my dad told me to look at the seat number only. I would spend half an hour looking for the perfect seat 5.

This isn't MY Huffy, but it looks like it. Powder blue, rainbows and denim. Stylish.
I won my first ten-speed bike at an Indians game. It was powder blue, rainbows and the ever fashionable denim seat. Sadly, I was 5, so my uncle took it. Completely random comment I know, but I had to share. I don't think kids even ride bikes anymore, let alone a ten-speed.

Ahem...

Every game my dad took me to was treasured quality time. He would show me how to keep score in the program with a stubby little pencil. We would chat about my love of Joe Charboneau and how I wanted to be the first tom-tom girl. Keep in mind kids, this was before everyone was on the web. There were no cell phones, instagram, facebook, twitter or text messages. That in mind, I thought John Adams worked for the Indians and he had the best job on the planet. I had no idea he was a super fan. Usually after the first hot dog I would deluge my dad with questions on how the drummer guy got such an awesome gig. I would then ask if my dad thought I could do it...being the first girl at it and all.

He always told me yes. I could do anything I wanted he would tell me. Then, I would run off and take a nap on top of the dugout. Yes, I actually did that. It was against the Blue Jays.

As an adult, even though I lived states away, I would always make it home to go to a few games with my dad. Some things have changed. Now, I pay. We only eat one hot dog now instead of having a contest. There is no more finding the perfect seat (ok, I still do that, but now I wait until the 3rd inning. You snooze, you lose). But the most important thing that hasn't changed is the quality time I spend with my pop.

Cleveland sports are more than a schedule of games. The teams are intertwined with our lives as Clevelanders. Let's embrace them for everything they give outside of the win/loss column. I know I do.

Two days until I leave for Indians Spring Training...not that I am counting...

Bob Feller playing catch with his son.