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Raiders Of The Lost Snark: The Cleveland Indians And The Last Crusade

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The votes, my friends, are seemingly in for the 2007 MLB playoffs and it looks like the world and the national media nitwits are voting for the New York Yankees to win it all. But that’s okay, right? No way!  Sorry, ESPN, but I'm simply not ready to give up on this fantastic roller-coaster ride in my own personal "Temple of Doom."

Sure, even the so-called "hometown hero" LeBron James is cheering for those damn Yankees – what’s up with that? Maybe LeBron is positioning himself to be a member of the floundering New York Knicks so he can perform some more lame skits on Saturday Night Live in the meantime. So be it, Jedi.

But I have not come this far to turn my back on the Cleveland Indians NOW. Besides my own blinded hometown loyalty, I truly believe that the Indians have the talent to win the whole baseball burrito. Regardless of that fact, I really just want to revel in the ridiculous fun that is Tribe baseball, as my local sports team tries to turn the corner on our town's so-called curdled history.

The billion-dollar “bionic Yankees” are “bigger, stronger, faster” to be sure. But my Cleveland Indians are a blast to watch on any given day and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. So, quite frankly, who could ask for anything more?

Win or lose, Mark Shapiro (our Tribe general manager) is the man with the plan! Grady Sizemore constantly climbs the center field walls at "The Jake" as only our very own C-Town Spider-Man can. The Incredible Pronk (Travis Hafner) can “Hulk out” at any given moment and smash puny pitchers in any marvelous minute (channeling his fan enthusiasm for pro wrestling and those WWE “sweaty men in tights” to be sure). Not that there’s anything wrong with that!  Hey, I enjoy Hogan Knows Best, myself (Help me).

C.C. Sabathia and Fausto Carmona are a fiery one-two duopoly punch that can, quite simply, bring batters to their knees out on the beleaguered baseball diamond. So the Yankees and the Red Sox are still the fan favorites, huh?  How can you, as a fan of the Cleveland Indians (or baseball, for that matter), not rightly toss that bag of noise out the proverbial third-floor window, I ask?

Quite simply, you CAN NOT in all good-natured fun during this Cleveland love-fest. I choose, however, to hunker down in the baseball bunker with Drew Carey and Halle Berry and cheer for my beloved Indians. Is that wrong? Am I mad?  I think not, fine folks.

I choose to smile a sarcastic grin and shuck for the Tribe. All the other outsiders who callously cringe that Cleveland is in the baseball playoffs can go throw themselves in a burning river of bile for all I care, quite honestly.

If a native Ohio guy like LeBron James wants to shamelessly shill for the New York Yankees, then let him go bake some cookies up in a tree with Dennis Kucinich and the other Keebler Elves looking to secure a circus-sideshow spot(light) on the national media scene, I say (FYI: Have Easy-Bake Oven, will travel).

Win or lose, I’m standing by my Tribe. I’m going to continue to cheer for the Cleveland Indians all the way to the end of this glorious run (and rainbow). And hey, if my wacky Wahoo's wind up waffling in the first round, I can live with that too! I am a fan of the Tribe (nothing more, nothing less) and I will be damn proud to call them “my team” – no matter what the outcome, no matter what the disgruntled out-of-state ogres opine.

Maybe everybody existing around the shores of the Cuyahoga categorically questions who Casey Blake is, or what he has contributed to this Indians’ organization – but native Clevelanders do not go so gently into that good night (and good luck).  The Tribe has put all the pieces of this puzzle together as a team, pure and simple.  So get a Clue about these "no-bodies," Colonel Mustard.

Regardless, bring it on Yankees! Throw some more bags of your MLB-Monopoly-money on the fire because I (along with the Tribe) am not going out without a fight – or any time soon, for that matter. This “Underdog” would not have it any other way, Sweet Polly Purebred.

So what am I trying to tell you, Cleveland? Here it is in a Buckeye nutshell:

Marcus Brody: “Well, I mean that for nearly three thousand years man has been searching for the lost ark. It's not something to be taken lightly. No one knows its secrets. It's like nothing you've ever gone after before.”

Indiana Jones: “Oh, Marcus. What are you trying to do, scare me? You sound like my mother. We've known each other for a long time. I don't believe in magic, a lot of superstitious hocus pocus. I'm going after a find of incredible historical significance …you're talking about the boogie man. Besides, you know what a cautious fellow I am.”

The city of Cleveland (along with their beloved Tribe) is in search of “the Lost Ark” in regards to a baseball championship. I say, rock n’ roll, you Wahoo Raiders – let’s just enjoy the glorious ride and melt the faces off of all the so-called naysayers (ESPN or otherwise) along the way.

Like Indiana Jones on a mission: "I'm going after that truck!" Go Tribe!  Does anyone else out there want to come along for the ride?

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About Chris McVetta

Chris McVetta is a writer and comedian from Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate from Cleveland State University and an alumni of The Second City comedy writing program. His first job in journalism was as an Editorial Assistant working with Harvey Pekar ("American Splendor") at The Free Times. Most recently, his was invited to speak at the Ray Browne conference on Pop Culture at Bowling Green State University.
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