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Reasons not to be a Cleveland sports fan...

I've already talked about how Cleveland is the most tortured sports city in America. But in case you weren't convinced...

Cleveland sports a misery nonpareil
Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Warning: Becoming a Cleveland sports fan can cause feelings of anger, envy, self-pity and depression.

Anger is a serious side-effect and should NOT be treated by putting your foot through the TV set.

For envy, scrub the skin vigorously with hot, soapy water to rid it of the pea-green color that often develops after visiting cities with championship teams.

Cleveland fans suffering from infectious pity should be quarantined, particularly because many like to throw pity parties.

There is no known cure for Cleveland sports depression, however, except waiting 'til next year.

Cleveland sports fans should never be allowed around pointed objects, banana peels, open manholes or incoming meteorites.

If you become a Cleveland sports fan, do not operate heavy machinery after a Browns loss to the Steelers. This especially applies if you have been drinking Iron City beer in an unfaltering manner for prolonged periods of time.

Becoming a Browns fan leads to serious cross-species confusion, as well as to a compulsion to bark and chase bones. Browns fans have been petrified by boredom when the team has the ball more quickly than a control group watching haircuts. Other serious consequences include rabies, distemper, and the inability of the sun to shine on every Dawg's tail every day.

Becoming an Indians fan can mean comporting oneself like "PowWow the Indian Boy," fixating on 1948 and defending sociopaths who hit home runs.

Becoming a Cavaliers fan means you have to ignore Ted Stepien, the fact that a Cavs player deliberately shot at the wrong basket to pad his stats and Jim Paxson's overall record as a general manager.

Clinical tests have shown that Cleveland sports fans react in a disturbing manner to certain words. Avoid "drive," "fumble," "shot," and "Red Right 88." Names such as "Elway," "Jordan," and "Mesa" can also create abnormal reactions.

"Belichick" is acceptable in Cleveland sports circles today. A heavy dose of "Belichick," however, invariably produces expressions of exasperation, followed by the words: "Who knew?"

Do not, under any circumstances, use "Modell."

If you choose to become a Cleveland sports fan, start by getting your rest. Do not short-rest your starters.

Remember 1964. Do not watch "The Dirty Dozen," as this will only increase dysfunctional behavior.

An ounce of prevention might be worth a pound of cure, but do not play a prevent defense.

Cleveland sports fans can experience double vision. It is important to maintain cognitive distinction between Alex Ramirez and Manny Ramirez.

Cleveland sports fans always see the glass as half-full of ashes.

Physical examination of Cleveland sports fans indicates they suffer from sympathetic pain. They might not have sustained teeny-tiny cracks in their legs, but they have not been X-rayed yet, either. Their guts have feelings. Even their clothing is sympathetically tailored. Every Indians fan is believed to have shallow pockets in his pants.

Should your child want to become a Cleveland sports fan, consider a V-chip and parental controls. Scientists are currently working on making Indians, Browns and Cavaliers caps child-proof.

Your child will learn that every day is not a nice day during the first white-out. It does not have to be emphasized all over again on any given Sunday.

To reach this Plain Dealer columnist:, 216-999-5754


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