Hotels and rock stars have a long, twisted history. Just about every city has horror stories about rock stars, but everyone loved coming to Cleveland because of Swingos’ Celebrity Hotel. Artists came to town knowing the hotel had a top-rated restaurant, a superior wine list, exceptional security, and an owner who was very lenient as long as you paid your bills.
The Cavaliers were the worst team in the NBA with a 3-19 record on Dec. 15, 1982. Even worse, they were probably the most boring team to watch. Then came World B. Free. “I remember when I got to the Cleveland airport right after the trade,” Free told me in 1986. “The people looked tired. I said I was going to pump some life into this place. ‘What Cleveland needed was World B. shakin’, bakin’, stoppin’ and poppin’.”
Perryton is about as far away from pro sports as a town in Texas can be. The only high school had an enrollment of 450 students. None of them, including a future American League Rookie of the Year, played baseball for the school, because the school had no baseball team. “They had football and basketball in the fall and winter, and in the spring, they had track and golf,” Hargrove said. “I was on the golf team because I hated to run.”
Someone once said, “You know you’ve reached a certain age when you remember a sports venue being built, and then see the same building torn down.” I think of that when driving down Route 303 in Richfield, at the exit off Interstate 271. Now, there is nothing but a field bumping up against some nearby farms and barns. But once upon a time, a great arena rose up among the trees and squirrels and deer and prairie grass …
I can’t confirm this, but I often heard Randy Lerner promised his mother he’d keep the Browns for 10 years. Randy took over as owner when Al Lerner (his father) died on October 23, 2002. The sale of the Browns to Jimmy Haslam was announced on August 2, 2012. Pretty close to 10 years. The sale closed with what former Browns CEO Joe Banner called “unprecedented speed . . .”