When I learned that this issues cover would feature homegrown Clevelander Drew Carey, I, also a native Clevelander, immediately went to Sherri Burns to campaign to write her Editors Note for this issue. Not that much campaigning was necessary, mind you. We all know how much Sherri loves the chance to take a breather from her column. Im sure she would have had Carey himself fill this space if shed been able to talk him into it. But hes already provided us with a thoroughly entertaining interview, and its always wise not to push your luck. (Even someone from Cleveland knows that.) So I now have this opportunity to make sure everyone knows that Cleveland does indeed rock!
But lets get the unpleasant stuff out of the way first. Lest I be accused by people from such places as Baltimore, Boston, Pittsburgh, and San Antonio of burying my head in the sand, I have to acknowledge the painful truth: No Cleveland team in the NBA, the NFL, the NHL, or Major League Baseball has won a championship since the Cleveland Browns won the 1964 NFL title in the preSuper Bowl era.
But in 2007, the Cleveland Cavaliers reached the NBA Finals and the Browns went 106 after almost everyone picked them to suffer more losses than Susan Lucci (who finally won that elusive Emmy in 1999). Plus, Im convinced that this year the Cleveland Indians, set to field essentially the same team that last year tied for the most regular-season wins (96) in Major League Baseball and came within one win of the 2007 World Series, will bring Cleveland its first World Series title since 1948. Think Im wrong? Ill bet you all of Sherris 2008 vacation days that this will be the Tribes year.
Also, Cleveland boasts an impressive collection of celebs, Carey included, who got their starts on the shores of Lake Erie. Ever heard of Halle Berry? Thats right this beautiful and talented Oscar winner is originally from Cleveland. Patricia Heaton, a two-time Emmy winner for Everybody Loves Raymond, also hails from Cleveland. James Pickens Jr. (a.k.a. Dr. Richard Webber on Greys Anatomy) is a native Clevelander. So is legendary comedienne (and Oscar nominee) Carol Kane. And the list goes on.
If its culture youre looking for, Cleveland is definitely the place to be. Granted, as a kid, I viewed visits to the Cleveland Museum of Art to be only slightly less excruciating than a trip to the dentist. But now Im thankful that my mom and stepdad exposed me to works by folks such as Monet and Degas. (Heck, its thanks to them and the museum that I can even pronounce Monet and Degas.)
The world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra, which turns 90 this year and has been honored with numerous awards, has also benefited me. When growing up, I was able to circumvent my folks no-TV-on-school-nights rule and watch The Cosby Show and Family Ties while they were out every Thursday night enjoying their concert subscription something they do to this day. (Sorry, Mom and Ken. But, hey, I graduated, didnt I?)
So there you have it, friends. Just a few shout-outs to a city Im proud to call my hometown. Mistake by the Lake? I think not! Walk with your heads held high, fellow Clevelanders! And remember: The next time you hear people dissing Cleveland, just ask them whether their city can boast LeBron James, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and a river thats caught on fire.