Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Ninnies

Sports generally confound me.

Look at the shape of a football: it's dumb. Shaq and Lebron only need one more guy and they could open a law office: Put your faith in the Law Offices of Plevinson, O'Neal and James. Those hockey guys look like aliens; and why do people stretch during the seventh inning of a baseball game? What if I want to stretch in the sixth?

Sport is one letter away from spork, which, incidentally, has the same dumb shape as a football.

Despite this weird attitude, I am a Clevelander and I have to care about Cleveland sports. It's a law.

I am obligated to display a good natured aversion towards Denver on account of one John Elway. The same goes for Pittsburgh because of Terry Bradshaw, who is practically a senior citizen by now.

Cleveland fans are downtrodden for many reasons. I won't get into the most obvious, but will mention the announcers. Even if our team does something right, they belittle it. Cleveland Brown Jamal Lewis could run the pigskin through 67 yards of snarling armor-clad Jets, score a spectacular touchdown and the announcers would react with subtle disgust:

Looks like the refs are gonna hand them this one on a platter, Mike.

Heh, heh. Yep, Jim, the Browns pulled another one out of their hat.

When it comes to the New York Yankees, however, I harbor a particular distaste. I call them the Ninnies.

My loathing for "America's Team" began in 2007, when the Cleveland Indians did something unusual: they were winning. The Indians beat the Yankees in the American League series that year, which was hard to notice on account of the national sportscasters. They predictably talked about how the New York Yankees (gasp!) were losing instead of how the Cleveland Indians (shhh!) were winning. The zenith of this outrage ensued when Yankee manager Joe Torre was getting canned on account of his team losing to the Indians.

You could almost a collective sigh of relief coming from the press box. No need to mention those stinky Clevelanders now! Instead, anchors far and wide suspended coverage of the series and thankfully dropped to their knees in order to fellate The Magnificent Torre.

The insufferable lackeys (lickies?) reverently mused over his sparkling career while heroic photos of Torre graced the screen and dramatic music played in the background. Cleveland? What Cleveland?

The entire experience set me squarely and forever against the Ninnies. So, um, go Phillies. This concludes my coverage of the 2009 World Series.

* * *


Anonymous said...

As a long time Red Sox fan I share you're hatred of the Yankees.

Having said that, LeBron James is a rare athlete who you should go see at least once. The Goat might even give you the oral pleasure a la' your sports watching advice for women.


Bri said...

I've never liked the Yankees because they routinely beat the hell out of the Rangers, who is the only MLB team I've ever actually seen play in person, having been born in Arlington, TX and living nearby for most of my life.

Never mind that there are about 100 other teams that routinely beat the Rangers, I've decided to be mad at the Yankees over it, so it shall be.

Of course, this is why my kids are all avid Yankee fans, so watching TV in our house the last couple weeks has been interesting, to say the least.

DeMo said...

Hey ! LOVE your blog! your do funny! In a good way of course ;)

Big Mark 243 said...

I can talk about baseball, but to watch it??

I think you like sports a little more than you let on, Erin but I won't tell anyone.

As far as Jamal Lewis running those 67 yards this season against anyone in a victory ... good thing the Cavs are playing!!

Betcha remember the days of Mouse McFadden and the good Cleveland State teams ... and don't forget the legendary Cleveland Barons of the NHL!!

I am just rambling ... don't pay me no never mind!!

filmgirl said...

Giiiiiiirl, I feel your pain. I couldn't be MORE BORED watching the world series, and I live in nyc so of course it's yankee-mania out here. Every bar, every person, at night, when I hear cheering from my window, I don't even have to turn on the tv to know the yankees scored.

But who cares! they always score, they're PAID to score.

and baseball is SO BORING and LOOOONG.

I'd do rather watch SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE. now that's talent.

JoJo said...

I feel your pain. My father grew up in cleveland and he always jokes that one of his neighbor put up a michigan flag and by the end of the week they were run out of town. It's amazing to me how much cleveland fans love their teams even though they keep breaking their fans hearts. I don't even follow cleveland sports but I still feel a pain in my heart when I hear that they loose. Long live Believeland!!

Anonymous said...

I am actually bored with baseball. A friend in New Jersey can't handle it when I rail on the Yankess (overprivileged whiners) and tries to insult the Tribe in retaliation. Doesn't work. I've been in Cincinnati for close to two decades, so try insulting the Reds if you can catch me in a moment where I even care.

Now, the Bengals...

I promised the former Mrs. Winter that I would switch allegiance to the home team if and when they striped ones gave me three straight seasons of .500 or better football. For most NFL teams outside of Arizona, this would be a simple process. The Bengals still had Boomer, Munoz, Fulcher, and Brooks. Surely they could rebuild by 1996.

Instead, I had to wait until 2006. In that time, my beloved Browns were kidnapped to Baltimore (whom I firmly believe should buy the Clippers, change their name to "The LA Browns" and move them to Chesapeake Bay, just like they did the Orioles and the Ravens), forcing me to spend four years in the late 1990's to ROOT FOR THE FUCKING PITTSBURGH STEELERS!!!!

Do you know how blasphemous that is for an ex-Clevelander?!?!?

The Bengals are doing quite nicely now, but for making me an unwilling Steelers fan for four years, Bengals owner Mike Brown must be waterboarded.

While I'm on the subject, so should Art Modell.

Carmen said...

you're a riot! thanks for the laugh.

Jennifer said...

i hate sports and i don't care who knows.

fastest man adopts fastest animal and all that jazz i like.

but the actual sports?

nahh manngggg

except, of course, Formula 1


standing on my head said...

as a born and bred baltimoron, i'm a longtime oriole fan, and by extension, yankee hater. i love to go to baseball games, sit in the park, watch the boys of summer, and eat hot dogs. since i moved to a place with no team, not so much. i do miss it, tho.

John Ettorre said...

You have to care about sports if you're a Clevelander because it's a law. That made me laugh. But it also seems true on several levels.

Once Known as The Badger said...

There's only one real sport: bicycle road racing.

Anonymous said...

"fastest man adopts fastest animal and all that jazz i like."

While we're not really talk sports, except vicariously, I must say this. I'm 55 years old and have followed sports all my life and I have Never, Ever seen a runner dominate sprinting like Usain Bolt does.


MeanDonnaJean said...


What the hell is THAT? ;-)

Matt Conlon said...

I don't really even care for Baseball, but growing up in Boston you're expected to hate them. Hate NY in general, for that matter. It's to the poiont that if you grow up around here, you get sick of hearing about it, and thus, grow to hate it by association.

There are commercials up in this area (South Eastern MA) where someone's interviewing another fellow. They've got their obligatory over-emphasized NE accents on full blast, and the guy's saying things to which the interviewee responds in such a way that it's supposed to be obvoius he's from these parts... Natureally now that I'm quoting, I can't remember most of the examples, but the one I liked the most was "Manhattan Chowder" and the response was "Nevah herd uv it."

whoarewe said...

It is not so.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, i think i still kinda like the yankees.


dean said...

I like bed sports myself.

jonas said...

Going to go ahead an invite the hail storm: born a bred a Yankees fan....even in Vermont.

An yeah, I liked them when they were terrible in the 80's.

If your team had their money (biggest market, remember), they'd spend it too.

elle said...

I just wanted to say that I just recently started a blog on here and I love it so far.. I randomly came across yours and love it because, well it is so random. So I wanted to tell you great job, I am going to follow your crazy thought pattern.

Oh, and I laughed at your spork reference. That was genius.

James Bayard said...

you think american football is a bit silly. you should see our aussie version of football. same strange shaped ball with even more strange rules. great to watch once you know what is going on though :)

Erin O'Brien said...

Yo sports fans:

The Erin O'Brien you are reading is NOT the Erin O'Brien who just got fired from the Cleveland Browns.

I have neither assisted nor met Coach Mangini (but with a name like that, he oughtta stop fooling around with those lug heads and make a lasagna for cryin' out loud!)

So as luscious as it may have been to think that a former Brown's coaching assistant was talking about fellatio and Torre, you're out of luck. You'll have to find that other Erin O'Brien somewhere else.


Ashton King said...

This was a very enjoyable read. It reminds me of the Tim Tebow sensibilities of all southern football announcers. Granted he's a good player, but (like the Yankees) his "fame" overshadows any good playing on the part of the other team and even his teammates.

Tony said...

You ignored Chief Wahoo. He has cast a curse on all Cleveland sports.

Al Penwasser said...

Sorry, Yankees fan here. But, how do you like the way the ex-Indians pitcher, Cliff Lee, is tearing them up? I don't, but I still admire his skill.
Cleveland rocks!

Joshua said...

I hate the Yankees...but I'm lifelong a Cubs fan. Always will be.

And just for this post season: "Go Phillies!"


monkey man said...

nice read, i wish we had baseball here as well

Sean Craven said...

I am one of eight adult males in the US who hates sports. Playing them is fun; watching them is exquisitely boring.

(Although I admit that I relish a good performance-enhancement scandal. I'd probably at least try watching football if they established a pharmaceutical league.)

Once when I was riding BART, a dude sat down next to me and he was talking sports before his ass hit the seat.

When he finally ran out of air, I said, "Hey, man, I'm sorry, but I just don't follow sports."

He gave me this deer-in-the-headlights look. I think he thought I was speaking Mandarin.


"Just never got into them."

He looked away. It was like I'd hit him with one of those tranquilizer darts -- he must have shut up for nearly a minute. His face went blank, he'd almost say something, then his face would go blank again. He had no effin' idea of how to respond.

"Oh," he said. "Okay. I guess I can see that..."

And then the life flowed back into him and he leaned forward, eyes blazing and spit flying.

"But you gotta support your team!"

And people wonder why I'm a misanthrope.

Anonymous said...

Sporks and footballs...Brilliant

Bri said...


The sport for people who don't like other sports.

(S)wine said...

i lived in Cleveland from Jan. 1980-July, 1982. During that time The Browns, led by one Brian Sipe and a hard-hitting Lyle Alzado, were known as The Cardiac Kids. They couldn't make it past Philly (I believe), but...I choose to remember Cleveland football that way. Also, George Voinovich was mayor; I lived in Lakewood--a huge gay community. Voinovich is now a senator. I miss that Cleveland; I don't know the new Cleveland. The more things...stay the same. (yes, i'm drunk at noon. but i have the week off so suck it)

Dan said...

Hi Erin:

Just a note to tell you how much I'm enjoying your blog. Good writing is good writing. And you got's it, lady.

When I saw Joe Torre's picture, I had to drop you a note. I've used his image, too. Please honor me with a visit:


...Or not. I'm still learning proper blogger protocol. Did I just shamelessly promote my blog? Is that okay? Will I go to blogger jail if I do it again?


Dan Bushman

Anonymous said...

It's so easy to relate with you through your writings. Well done! :)

And yeah, hate the Yankees. Could there be a more pretentious team?

- the brewmaster

Mr. L said...

Great. Now I can't get that Lunachicks song "Spork" out of my head.... :)

Dan said...

Or maybe this one is more to your true feelings:


I really was honored, by the way.

Amy L. Hanna said...


"dermund" sez: This post is partly why I root only for the Buckeyes.

hoosierboy said...

I did not know you left your other job in Cleveland:


You said you do not know anything about sports!

Erin O'Brien said...


You cannot believe how many people are mistaking me for her. Dig these nits. Sheesh!

I'm trying to come clean, but google Erin O'Brien and I'm right up there.