Originally the plan was to meet my pal Cleveland fan pal Jeremy Smith (aka Mr. Beaks) at a bar where we’d drink, catch up and color his new copy of Why is Daddy Sad on Sunday: A Coloring Book Depicting the Most Disappointing Moments in Cleveland Sports.
The part of the plan that worked was that we did get drunk in a bar thanks in small part to a stranger that bought us shots of Jack Daniels then proceeded to tell us about his time freelancing for Vice (“Hey, did you know you could get cocaine delivered in LA?”), his new comedy sketch group and then proceeded to try to start a physical altercation with Jeremy. The coloring and the commiserating over the sad state of Cleveland sports history had to wait.
Commiserate? That may seem like a strange word for a Pittsburgh sports fan to use when discussing a rivalry with Cleveland, but Steeler fans also lost so much in the decimation of the Browns franchise. Loathe the Ravens and Baltimore fans all you want, it’s not the same feeling — for me at least — as a bitterly cold, miserable yet relevant game against the Browns in December. Now? Now it’s like watching your younger brother put the bucket on his head and repeatedly hit himself in the head with a large wooden spoon. Amusing, but ultimately a little sad.
How does the book read to a hungover Steelers fan fresh after spending the morning making Johnny Manziel jokes?
That’s sweet. It’s not often that you see three fan bases get the same book dedicated to them at the same time. It’s also not often you see a book dedicated to the children that have to see their daddy suffer week after week. Feel like I should send poor little Mila a teddy bear for all the times daddy yells at the television.
Painful. Find the deepest ochre you have in the coloring box for the melancholy of 1981.
Don’t want to give away this play, but I believe the Dead Milkmen once sang, “If you color outside the lines, then Earnest Byner will send you to hell.”
This is the one page of the book I was able to take a peek with Jeremy before the night got away from us. A quick glance at the “To Do” list and I couldn’t stop laughing for a good ten minutes.
Of course, any coloring book about Cleveland sports is going to have its moments of sadness. Even in roughly sketched form, Art Modell’s face is eminently punchable. If one were to take a black marker to completely obscure his massive head, it would be very satisfying.
This is the part of the coloring book where you might be tempted to channel your inner nine-year-old and put some horsey stickers on the heads of players.
Huh. It turns out you can’t name photo files “:):):):):):):):):):):).jpeg” after all.
It’s hard to believe that one city would have much more despair to color after these examples, but the book has a couple dozen more heartbreaking, agonizing images and stories of Cleveland sports misery. I highly recommend it not just for Cleveland sports fans, but for all sports fans. It’s a great and hilarious reminder of how our favorite pastimes can make us incredibly unhappy.