Crazy, With the Papers to Prove It

Stories About the Most Unusual, Eccentric and Outlandish People I've Known in 45 Years as a Sports Journalist

Dan Coughlin


An award-winning Cleveland sports reporter tells stories about eccentric and outlandish characters he knew in his 40-year career, including a degenerate gambler; a sportswriter who ripped open beer cans with his teeth; an Olympic champion who turned out to be a hermaphrodite; a football player who was a compulsive practical joker; and many others.

Softcover / 272 pages / 5.5 x 8.5 in. / 28 photos / ISBN 9781598510683


“Fascinating and fun . . . If you love Cleveland sports—in spite of the records—you will love this book.” — The Morning Journal

Dan Coughlin isn’t crazy, but for 45 years he covered sports in Cleveland, which means he lived life under a full moon. In this book, the award-winning Plain Dealer and WJW-TV reporter reflects on the most unusual, eccentric and outlandish people and events he covered.

“I never met a wacko I didn’t like,” Coughlin says.

Not only did he write about them, they became his lifelong friends, including a degenerate gambler . . . a sportswriter who ripped open beer cans with his teeth . . . an Olympic champion who turned out to be a hermaphrodite . . . a football player who was a compulsive practical joker . . . and dozens of others. Every day was an adventure, but it wasn’t all laughs; some of his boxers went to jail, his softball players got shot, his race car drivers were killed. Luckily, Coughlin kept notes!

Any Cleveland sports fan will enjoy meeting these memorable characters.

Additional information

Weight0.61 lbs

Table of Contents


Junior O’Malley: He Died a Thousand Deaths

Stella Walsh: Stella Was a Fella

Hubert Hopeful: Agony and Ecstasy

Joe Trivisonno: Neighborhood Hero

The Charity Game and Unintended Consequences

Jack Harbin: Invented the Point System

Bill Veeck: The Last Dinosaur

Colavito and Lane and the Trade That Rocked the Franchise

George Steinbrenner

Super Joe Charboneau: He Felt No Pain

Beer Night: Punched in the Jaw

Fistfighting in the Aisles

Poetic License: Bye, Bye Baseball

Albert Belle: Not Easy to Like

Bob Reid Caught a Bullet

Dennis Lustig: To Make a Short Story Long

Hal Lebovitz: “Too Highly Principled”

The Mysterious E. J. Kissell

Pete Gaughan: Human Can Opener

Joe Tait: “He Came With the Franchise”

Bob Buck: A Tragic End

Dudley and Neal: Enemies to the End

Blanton Collier: He Couldn’t Hear the Cheers

Doug Dieken: “Holding, Number 73”

Art Modell: Debt Was Good

Woody Hayes: Warrior Without a War

Cheering in the Press Box

Barry Clemens: Old School

Larry Weiser’s Season Tickets

Call Him Lucky

Muhammad Ali: Boxing’s Prettiest Face

Don Elbaum: He Took It on the Chin

The Indy 500: Years of Fire and Rain

Rosie Ruiz Loses in a Photo Finish

Whispering John Duffy: He Could Pick a Winner

Chester Bright—Scratched

The Sport of Kings

My Move to the Press—A Stroke of Genius

I Replaced Gary Dee—and WHK Never Recovered

The Ugliest Guy on Television


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