Samples

At top, a photo of the Coliseum at Richfield, in winter. At bottom, a photo of a field of tall grass (where the Coliseum once stood)

Ghosts … (The Coliseum and the Arena)

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 …

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The Browns Blues: Two Decades of Utter Frustration: Why Everything Kept Going Wrong for the Cleveland Browns, a book by Terry Pluto from Gray & Company, Publishers – front cover

Ten Years Was Enough for Randy Lerner

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 . . .”

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Series of photos showing Gene Ditsler shooting free throws

Gene Ditsler’s Obsession

It began as a harmless hobby which ultimately controlled Gene Ditsler’s life and the lives of his wife and three children. Even now, a good 70 years later, he remembers the moment when his heart was broken and his obsessive compulsive nature surfaced …

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Hot Type, Cold Beer and Bad News: A Cleveland Reporter’s Journey Through the 1960s, by Michael D. Roberts. Published by Gray & Company, Publishers. Front cover of book.

The Cop House

I wanted to get the hell off the police beat before I ever got there. There were few bylines to be had out of that shabby carbuncle of an office in Central Station on Payne Avenue, where everything smelled of urine, disinfectant and stale tobacco. You were afraid to touch anything for fear of contracting a disease. In those days the police liked to …

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John Lanigan in jester costume on stage next to Cleveland Mayor Dennis Kucinich

John Lanigan: Friends in High Places

WGAR was a 50,000-watt blowtorch. That’s radio lingo for a station that didn’t have other stations interfering, and “the friendly station” could be heard in 38 states and a big part of Canada. We gave them plenty to listen to. Every day part had a jock who put on a show like morning drive. Interviews, impressions, jingles. All the shows had comedy bits and lots of telephone calls …

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Theater of the Mind

Wayne Mack would broadcast on WDOK-AM from “the balcony radio box at the Waltz Palace, overlooking the great glistening dance floor and the huge stage” at “Northern Ohio’s oldest and most beautiful ballroom”—all made up, of course.

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