Sports Briefs: Curse of the Cleveland Indians

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Chris: Having shaken hands with Bobby Bragan, I often wonder (as in for the first time right now as I’m typing) if, besides being a legendary baseball player, manager and executive, he was also a Voodoo priest or shaman. In addition to having a firm handshake, Bragan is also completely responsible for the Cleveland Indians never winning a World Series. Or it may be Rocky Colavito’s fault. Either way, Jason Voorhees himself won’t even step foot in Cleveland.

Joe: Bragan or Colavito, and throw in the recent departure of LeBron (albeit a different sport)--the City of Cleveland is cursed.

Brad: Maybe . . . I mean, there really aren't any teams from Ohio that stand out.

Ralphie: No, I don't because I don't think there is such a thing as curses for things like sports--even though sometimes it feels like there are.

Chris: The Indians have not won a World Series since 1948, and even that title is disputed, as rumors circulated of Albert Belle having eaten the trophy. As Robert Stack might say, “Did Belle play the 1995 World Series on a full stomach? Was that the reason the Indians lost to a team that may have been equally cursed? If you have any information on this case, write to us at Unsolved Mysteries. You need not give your name.”

Brad: Probably just coincidence. Every team can't be a winning team, right?

Joe: Cleveland in the '90s was a good baseball club, but the strike in '94 didn’t affect just them. Indians were clearly the better team in that World Series and got beat by a Braves team that didn't win another series in the '90s, although they played in five. Curse of coincidence might be the better analogy.

Ralphie: No, I don't think they should have won those Series, and I think they were clearly the poorer team each time. I think it's just coincidence because I don't believe in luck, either.

Brad: Any loss is a devastating loss, when winning is your moneymaker. But I think teams that lose regularly just lose. I don't think it's as devastating to them.

Joe: Bad, unpopular decisions by egomaniacal owners for the most part and sometimes upper management are the root of all these "curses."

Ralphie: They need new players and better ownership.

Chris: Cleveland’s biggest problem is not having a stable of professional muckrakers capable of romanticizing the Indians’ curse. Have any historians checked to see if the old Cleveland Stadium or Jacobs Field were built on sacred ground? I have learned the importance of verifying such aspects, having seen “Ernest Goes to Camp.”

Joe: It makes for great discussion, but are the Cubs cursed too? And, let’s not forget about the Boston Red Sox.

Chris: Aren’t Native Americans supposed to specialize in mythology, curses and making sure Charles Nagy is unable to catch line drives hit by Edgar Renteria? Chief Wahoo, while being a model for oral perfection, has been shunned by Washington’s Chief Zee, Florida State’s Chief Osceola and the Lone Ranger’s best friend. Though, thankfully, Wahoo seems to handle their ostracism well, seeing as how he always has a smile on his face.

Brad: I don't think that they can contribute their misfortune to their logo, though. Look at all the other names of winning teams that are just as strange, or for that matter any team name. You can't change the name of a team and automatically they will start winning. If no one has come out and said that they were offended by the team name or logo, then let it go.

Ralphie: I don't think they should have to change their name, either. But it is sort of cartoonish.

Joe: The American Indian is rooted in our history. What is all the politically correctness in denigrating their image as a sports logo? C'mon people, grow up.

Chris: The best hope for the Indians winning another World Series would be finding players who are all about winning and who could strengthen their bullpen. Fortunately, the Indians could simultaneously accomplish both by signing Charlie Sheen again.

Joe: If the City of Cleveland would just change its name, all would be solved.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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