Friday, February 13

Downtown decor

Since I'm the only member of FCF who actually lives in the Forest City, I thought it appropriate to keep readers abreast of developments in the appearance of the downtown area, specifically as it pertains to our favorite sporting clubs. In the past week or so, there have been two notable developments.

One is Medical Mutual finally pulling the plug on those tragically optimistic pro-Browns signs they posted mid-summer this year. Featuring plain brown text on an orange background, they featured slogals like "There's Always This Year" and "Every Dawg Has His Sunday." As the Browns' horrible 2008 season dragged on and the touchdownless streak grew longer and more pathetic, the signs became increasingly sobering reminders of what a sad season this was. The billboard went down in due time, but some of the kiosks on downtown streets remaind until just recently. Wow, take those things down! The big posters right by Cleveland Browns Stadium laying out their 2008 schedule still remain up as almost an act of self-flagellation. You'd think they would have burned those things by now.

The good news is that Medical Mutual has put up some new signs, these ones featuring a wine-colored background. Fortunately, this time there is reason for optimism in the form of the 39-10 Cavaliers who are legitimate title contenders, losses to the Lakers notwithstanding.

My favorite of the signs reads "A Parade Would Be Nice." Man, would it ever. This got me to thinking: would I take a vacation day from work to attend a championship parade? Absolutely yes I would, no question. Let's hope I get a chance to put my money where my mouth is come June.

The other major downtown development is Progressive Field coming out of hibernation with its own festive signs. There's a huge banner by E. 9th and Carnegie proclaiming "__ Days Until Opening Day!" It's actually 57 as of the publish date of this post - I'm not sure when they're planning to formally begin this countdown, but Tribe fans everywhere are ready for some Indians baseball.

The other thing the Tribe has unveiled are the player posters they hang from the streetlights around the park. Each post features two different Tribesmen, identifying each on a first-name (or nickname) basis. I like this - it makes the team and its players seem friendly and plays well into the Tribe's family-friendly approach to marketing the team. Anyway, I see these every day as I drive to work and like trying to find the connection between the two players featured. For fun, here are the ones on E. 9th St:

In case anyone was wondering whether we have the league's best catching tandem, here's a nice reminder.

An all-nickname team, though it's a shame Choo's doesn't say Big League Choo. Apparently Choo has made it known that he wishes to be known as such, and Tribe fans showed last season that they're more than happy to oblige.

The franchise cornerstones.

Ouch! My arm!

I see it as strength up the middle. Others might see it as fanning the flames of message boards and blogs lobbying for AsCab to take over Honny's spot at SS.

Viva los Venozolanos!

Dudes with vaguely oddly-spelled names? I give up, Indians management, you've stumped me. What's the connection?

OK, I admit it, I made this one up, but how come it's not there? What a missed opportunity! I bet the Mariners would have put up a Ken/Ken poster the year the Griffeys played together.

Our Cy Young winner and the catcher who will likely not catch any of the games he pitches.

Player Who Had a Shaky 2008 and "Are You in the Tribe?"
Some of them don't feature two players but instead just one player and the Indians' marketing slogan, which is once again "Are You In the Tribe?" Couldn't come up with something new for '09, boys? Anyway, one features Asdrubal Cabrera, another Rafael Betancourt, and one more, yes, Pronk. Cabrera had a terrible 1st half before lighting it up in the second half, Betancourt was largely ineffective all season, and Hafner is one big gigantic question mark. It almost reads as a challenge: hey, you guys in the Tribe this year, or what?

Needless to say, the combination of the pro-Tribe decorations and the countdown to what is sure to be an epic Opening Day for FCF (let's just say, it's on a Friday and I'm off work) have me excited for baseball's imminent return to the Cleve.


Figgs said...

Opening Day's on Good Friday! This is exciting for me, because last year I had to break my 4 year Opening Day streak because I was teaching. This year, Jesus was on the Tribe's side, as school's are off this day. Hell yeah!

Nick said...

Good thing I allow myself to eat meat on Good Friday. Not even Jesus is denying me my first Jacob's Field hot dog of the year!

(Figgs, Andy's an atheist, so feel free to pour on Jesus references whenever possible.)

Figgs said...

Yeah, that's what I was going for there.