Expectations. They inflate so easily, don’t they?
Finish one game away from the World Series with strong starting pitching, a lockdown bullpen and a core of good young hitters, and our heads inflate like a balloon.
And it’s not just the fans who get sucked in. ESPN’s Buster Olney and a host of national media started talking like they’d taken a hit off our helium tank, predicting the Indians would finally bring Cleveland a championship.
We weren’t immune either. But who can blame us for putting Grady Sizemore on the April cover? He can hit, plays a mean center field and the ladies love him. Plus, we’re notSports Illustrated, right?
We might have mentioned that “being an Indians fan means believing that 60 years is long enough — this is our year.” But what we really meant is that being a fan in this town always means believing, no matter how painful, that this is our year.
And if by, say, June or July, those lofty expectations look like our former Cy Young Award winner sat on them, well, we’ll figure something out.
Because in case you forgot, the Browns went 10-6 last year and would have made the playoffs had the Colts not laid down in the final game of the season. And even though the team didn’t have a draft pick in the first three rounds, they’ve added veteran talent to the defensive line, they’re starting the season with two quality quarterbacks, and ... yeah, expectations. Right.
We have expectations too. After being named the best magazine in Ohio two straight years in the Press Club of Cleveland’s annual Excellence in Journalism Awards, we were hoping for a three-peat. Though we were edged byCincinnati Magazine for the honor this year, it’s hard to be disappointed since our magazine earned 20 awards.
First place honors for news feature went to John Hyduk for “The Long Goodbye.” Dave “Coondog” O’Karma took first for personality profile with “Wrestle Maniac.” Erick Trickey earned the top spot for his editorial “Voters Win!,” while Laura Taxel took first place honors in food writing with“Dim Sum for Dummies.”
In the visual awards, Paula Pindroh took first for her multiple illustrations in 2007’s Summer Fun Guide, and Eric Mull took top honors in portrait photography for his picture of Eddie Levert.
Andy Netzel, who was runner-up for best staff writer in Ohio, earned second place for “Can Anyone Save Slavic Village.” Other second place awards went to Jim Vickers for the headline “Dino Score,” Trickey for “The Epic of d.a. levy,” O’Karma for his essay “And the Weiner Is ...,” and Jacqueline Marino in medical writing for “White Coats.” The staff also took second for “The Experience” and in consumer features for “Comfort Food.”
Honorable mentions went to Pete Jedick for “Smoky the Wonderdog,” Netzel for “Crash Course,” the staff for “Rating the Suburbs,” Trickey for “Foreclosure Central,” and Element Photo for “BBQ Meatloaf.”
Yes, that’s a lot to live up to, but we don’t mind high expectations around here.Great Expectations