Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Cleveland”

Michael Stanley transports audience back in time

michael stanleyOn Friday night we and the missus joined some friends for a concert at the Rocksino in Northfield featuring Michael Stanley and the Resonators along with Donnie Iris and the Cruisers.

This was our first visit to the venue since they added gaming to the old Northfield Park harness track and it was … interesting. When you first walk in the door it sounds and smells exactly like a casino. (Anyone who has ever been to Las Vegas knows what we mean.)

Things get a bit disorienting, however, as you weave your way through a sea of seemingly endless slot machines, complete with people slumped over and staring vacantly at the colorful video screens, because you never come across a sports book or any gaming tables.

Once we entered the concert area things took a turn for the better. The venue is big enough that you feel like you are at an event, but small enough that you have the experience of being at an intimate event.

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Q&A with Chris Morris from American Outlaws Cleveland

AO ClevelandThe American Outlaws are a group of dedicated supporters of the U.S. Men’s National Team. The group’s mission is to “unite and strengthen” a group of fans who are described as “loud, passionate, organized and dedicated.”

The organization was established in 2007 in Nebraska to bring fans together to watch matches and travel to games. They adopted the name American Outlaws because they saw themselves as outliers in a sports landscape in America that focused more on American football, baseball and other sports.

Since then, the organization has grown to include 135 chapters across the country.

Chris Morris is president of the Cleveland chapter and he was gracious enough to sit down for a virtual Q&A about the chapter and the prospects of the U.S. team this summer at the World Cup in Brazil.

Head on over to World Soccer Talk for the rest of the story.

(Photo courtesy of American Outlaws Cleveland chapter)

Blondes vs. Brunettes unite to help battle Alzheimer’s

teamimg_blondesThe second annual Blondes vs. Brunettes flag football game will take place on June 15 at 2 p.m. at Cleveland State University’s Krenzler Field.

The event helps raise money to benefit the care, support and research by the Alzheimer’s Association, with last year’s inaugural Cleveland game raising $41,253. Nationally, the organization has raised more than $1.5 million since it started in 2005 with events held in the spring, summer and fall with the support of local chapters of the Alzheimer’s Association.

The flag football game works to draw a younger generation into the fight against the disease, which affects an estimated 56,000 people in Northeast Ohio.

Candice Vlcek of Cleveland will be appearing in her second Cleveland Blondes vs. Brunettes game in June and she was kind enough to sit down for a virtual Q&A about the event.

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He’s one Tough Mudder

steve tough mudderThe Tough Mudder is a 12-13 mile obstacle course designed by British Special Forces to test a participant’s all-around strength, stamina, mental grit and camaraderie.

The worldwide event was founded by Will Dean, a former counter-terrorism agent for the British government. While working on his master’s degree at Harvard, Dean created Tough Mudder because he was looking for a challenge that marathons, triathlons and other adventure runs did not offer.

Started in 2010 with just three races, there were 35 Tough Mudders held in 2012. The event has seen more than 700,000 people participate in a course that features anywhere from 25 to 30 obstacles, ranging from the Artic Enema, to the Ball Shrinker, Dirty Ballerina, Electric Eel and the Turd’s Nest, just to name a few. According to the group’s website, it is “the premier adventure challenge series in the world.”

The group has also raised more than $5 million for the Wounded Warrior Project by offering a discount off the registration fee for any participant who pledges to raise $150.

Steve Roush, a 47-year-old from North Canton, will run in his second Tough Mudder when the event comes to the Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport on April 27-28.

To see what Steve has to say about the experience of being a Tough Mudder, head over to The Cleveland Fan.

It’s not how you start life, but what you do with it, that counts

candace klein wraTaking a rare break from the sports world to share a story that everyone should read.

In our day job we recently had the opportunity to cover a talk by Candace Klein, founder of Bad Girl Ventures and current CEO of SoMoLend. The two companies alone are impressive as they are dedicated to helping female business owners find funding and training for their start-up companies.

Since 2010 Bad Girl Ventures, with offices in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and soon to have one in Akron, has received more than 400 applicants, educated more than 250 businesses, financed 26 female entrepreneurs with $700,000 and helped create more than 150 jobs statewide.

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Innovation reshaping the landscape of Northeast Ohio

We generally don’t delve into non-sports related topics here, but since we love Cleveland this is one time that it is warrented.

Sunday’s Plain Dealer had an article about how private companies in the area have attracted nearly $1 billion in investment capital over the last five years, in large part because of the growth of cutting-edge science and technology start-ups in the region. According to the article, Cleveland-area businesses attracted $961 million from venture capitalists between 2007 and 2011 – a 26 percent increase over the previous five-year period. In addition the region had a 133 percent increase in the number of investments in area companies.

We’ve known about the growth in the region for a couple of years, thanks to our day job where we’ve had the opportunity to talk with Baiju Shah, CEO and founder of BioEnterprise, a group that works to form, recruit and accelerate the growth of bioscience companies in the region; John Dearborn, president of JumpStart, a Cleveland-based nonprofit organization that works to increase the economic impact and sustainability of Northeast Ohio’s entrepreneurial ecosystem; and Dr. Lorry Wagner, president of the Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation, which is working on a wind turbine farm in Lake Erie.

(Now if we could just get some of the innovation going at Progressive Field, Cleveland Browns Stadium and Quicken Loans Arena, we may be on to something).

These stories are important because too often all we hear is doom and gloom about the economic outlook of Northeast Ohio. Yes, manufacturing jobs are not what they once were, which is unfortunate, but there are still a lot of good things going on in the region – don’t let anyone tell you differently.

If you are a Cleveland fan and want to let other people know there is more going on here than the downtown casino, share the stories and let people know.

It’s Cleveland, after all, what’s not to like?

On Twitter and the Media

We really weren’t surprised when news broke that The Plain Dealer had taken Tony Grossi off the Browns beat.

When Grossi tweeted last week that Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner is “a pathetic figure, the most irrelevant billionaire in the world” it was only a matter of time, really, before some kind of punishment had to be handed down.

Grossi crossed a line when he went from professional to personal; rather than attributing the Browns continuing struggles to Lerner being a bad or disinterested owner, he attacked Lerner directly, and you just can’t do that.

Read more…

Brain scrambler

Took the family to Cedar Point today – it was our daughter’s first visit.

Ten roller coasters – including the 120-mph Top Thrill Dragster – later and our brain is completely scrambled.

We got nothing today.

Better to be lucky than good

Sometimes in sports it’s better to be lucky than good. Too often, the Browns have been neither, both on the field and on draft day.

We were reminded of that when we read an article by Bob Labriola at about how Pittsburgh – thanks to the Browns, of course – landed Hall of Fame cornerback Rod Woodson in the 1987 draft.

The Steelers owned the 10th overall pick in the draft because of their 6-10 record in 1986. The Browns had finished 12-4 and ended the season, of course, with the overtime loss to Denver in the the AFC Championship game.

On draft day, the Browns traded Chip Banks to the San Diego Chargers for the fifth pick of the first round. Since Banks was an outside linebacker, the Browns could have selected Penn State’s Shane Conlan, the highest-rated linebacker in the draft. But coach Marty Schottenheimer out-thought himself, and Cleveland used the fifth overall pick on Duke linebacker Mike Junkin.

Of course they did.

As the rest of the picks fell into place – the Cardinals whiffed by selecting quarterback Kelly Stouffer at No. 6 – Woodson fell to the Steelers.

So remember this story the next time you read that the Steelers win because the Rooneys do things “the right way.” Sometimes it just comes down to dumb luck. (h/t James Walker at ESPN)


We were understandably excited when we read that Liverpool plans to invest in some “top players” over the summer as the Reds continue on improving the club.

“There will be movement, that’s for sure,” Damien Comolli, the club’s director of football, told The Guardian. “We are very attractive for a lot of players because of what we did in January and a game like that [the 3-1 defeat of Manchester United] is fantastic publicity for us around the world. Since the day after I was getting phone calls from agents telling me that their player would love to come and that we are going to compete next year if we get it right. We are attractive to a lot of top players and we want to bring top players to this club.”

Despite the prospect of another season apart from the European elite, Comolli believes the club’s profile and the ambition of Fenway Sports Group will produce substantial investment this summer.

And then we saw this in The Wall Street Journal:

Basketball star LeBron James is joining forces with renowned hedge-fund manager John Henry and veteran Hollywood producer Tom Werner in a deal that brings together one of the biggest stars in sports and two of the world’s most renowned teams.

The deal between Mr. James and Fenway Sports Group will give Mr. James a minority interest in the soccer club Liverpool, which FSG owns. FSG, which also owns the Boston Red Sox, is partnering with Mr. James’s sports-marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing to become the exclusive world-wide representative for Mr. James.

The deal marks the first time that a professional athlete at the top of his game has taken an ownership interest in a team with the size and reach of Liverpool, which is one of the most popular and powerful sports teams in the world.

Mr. James said he was “humbled” by the deal and looked forward to donning a red Liverpool jersey and visiting Anfield, the team’s legendary stadium.

According to Deloitte’s 2010 Football Money League report, Liverpool is the world’s eighth-biggest soccer team by revenue, with $320 million in revenue during the 2009-10 season. Liverpool and Manchester United have won 18 top division championships, the most among English teams, and both are wildly popular in Asia, where Liverpool will tour this summer.

“Eighteen championships,” Mr. James said. “I see myself trying to do the same things they have.”

Well that’s just great. We finally get over James leaving the Cavs and now he’s back in our sporting lives.

And forget about 18 championships – would it have killed James to give just one to Cleveland?


Just say no to Hate the Heat parties.


Dejan Stanković scored a sick goal for Inter Milan in its Champions League game against Schalke.


We obviously think Cleveland’s a great place, but sometimes we’re disappointed.

In Cervesio Felicitas*

Let’s drink the liquid of amber so bright;
Let’s drink the liquid with foam snowy white;

Let’s drink the liquid that brings all good cheer;

Oh, where is the drink like old-fashioned beer?
– A toast to beer

We’ve always known and appreciated that Cleveland is a shot-and-a-beer kind of town.

But what we didn’t realize until recently is that the beer portion is apparently increasingly becoming a craft beer.

We haven’t seen a bottle of Great Lakes’ Christmas Ale in the stores since before Thanksgiving. Goose Island Christmas Ale? Nope. When we were in the grocery store over the weekend just about every type of holiday-themed beer was sold out.

It’s good to know the hometown is branching out from the days of Miller, Budweiser and Rolling Rock.

Of course, this new found thirst for beer that actually tastes like beer – and not sour water – sometimes makes it harder to fill our tankard, but that’s the price you pay for progress, we suppose.

We’ll leave you with an Irish toast in case you are lucky enough to be enjoying your favorite beverage right now:

Here’s to a long life and a merry one.
A quick death and an easy one.

A pretty girl and an honest one.

A cold beer and another one!

*In beer there is joy.

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