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Gary Benz

indifferenceOn Tuesday night, the Cleveland Indians beat the Oakland A's 1-0. It was the second straight win for the Tribe over the As. It also was the team's 8th win in their last 9 games and pushed their season record to 16-14. Overall, a decent start to the season, right? The answer depends on what you're measuring.


Jonathan Knight

miami stadiumRemember the beginning of Raiders of the Lost Ark?

Right after Indiana Jones barely escapes a terrifying South American cave of death in which he battled huge spiders, motion-detecting spears, poisonous darts, and a giant rolling boulder in order to acquire the golden idol he was searching for, he winds up face to face with his bitter rival.

This suave, handsome, khaki-clad douchebag - with the pansy-French name of Belloq, no less - backed up by a cadre of well-armed natives who have no idea what’s going on, simply takes the idol Indy had risked life and limb for and makes it his own.

“Dr. Jones,” he explains smugly, “again we see there is nothing you can possess which I cannot take away.”

And indeed, Belloq not only gets away with the idol, but then later swipes the Ark of the Covenant from Indy to counterbalance months of incompetent digging in the wrong place. Things ultimately even out at the end of the movie, when Belloq ill-advisedly pops open the Ark, which causes his face to melt and head to explode like an apple in a microwave.


Andrew Clayman

mingo-great-namesWhat’s in a name? According to Bill Shakespeare, a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet. But then again, that's easy to say if you're a guy with an awesome name like Shakespeare. In the world of sports, a name can be the difference between a century of cult status and an eternity of obscurity. It’s the key to carving out a nostalgic little corner of the public consciousness—whether or not your talent actually warranted it. Why else would people still remember the likes of Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje or God Shammgod? Or take such delight in the Browns drafting a guy named Barkevious Mingo? The truth is, a name can take you a long way.

So, in honor of Mr. Mingo's arrivial in Cleveland this past week, it seems a fitting time to revisit and re-align one of TCF's sillier "all-time lists": The 100 Greatest Names in Cleveland Sports History. As sports towns go, Cleveland may not be among the most prestigious these days. But what we lack in world championships, we more than make up for in fantastically bizarre and unforgettable player names. You can probably rattle off a dozen all-time classics right off the top of your head. Some of them are recent members of the Indians, Cavs, or Browns, and others retired some time in the 1920s. The point is, we remember them. And we envy their mighty monikers.

The Top 100 Cleveland Sports Names covers well over a century of pro sports in the city, including representatives from the ill-fated Cleveland Barons and Crunch. The players included are ranked on the objective greatness of their names alone, with on-field performance relegated to “fun factoid” status. Will Barkevious Mingo crack the Top Ten before ever playing a down for the Browns? Let the names begin...


Adam Burke

00BobrovskyTwo months ago, I would have told you it was impossible. The Columbus Blue Jackets were 5-12-2 and had taken their projected spot near the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Since that time, an incredible transformation has taken place and the Jackets are on the cusp of securing their second playoff berth in franchise history. Since February 24, the Jackets have posted a 17-5-5 record and currently hold the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

The Blue Jackets resurgence this season is a testament to what hard work and belief can do in professional sports. Most would agree that the Blue Jackets are easily in the bottom third of the league in terms of talent and skill, as evidenced by having the league’s worst powerplay. The Jackets are barely breaking even in terms of 5-on-5 goals for and goals against. The key to the team’s success is their effort level, which has been a nightly staple of this team since the first night of the condensed season.

More often than not, a team is only as good as their goaltender and Sergei Bobrovsky has been a good one. The acquisition of Bobrovsky in June 2012 for a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick has gone better than anyone could have ever imagined. Bobrovsky is garnering a lot of attention for the Vezina Trophy for the league’s top goaltender and has even been mentioned in the running for the Hart Trophy for league Most Valuable Player. Bobrovsky is fifth in goals against average, second in save percentage, and is tied for second in shutouts with four. Since the start of March, Bobrovsky is 16-5-3 with all four of his shutouts and just 39 goals allowed in 24 games.


Dan Wismar

Nagy1The contest for top honors at #41 in our series was really a two-man race between a pair of modern era Indians players, as both the Browns and Cavs had nothing but lesser-lights to offer as nominees...with all due respect to Ray Ventrone and Mark West, of course.

Victor Martinez and Charles Nagy were both fan favorites while they wore the Wahoo, and it could be said of both that they were one game away from even greater popularity...even Cleveland baseball lore. Martinez was a victory in Game 7 of the ALCS away from making it to the World Series with the Tribe in 2007. And Nagy was one game...make that one half-inning away from a World Series championship a decade earlier in 1997.

In my mind, it’s Nagy by a nose for the top spot...someone’s picture has to go at the top...but your mileage may vary. We’ll give some love to both guys and let you make up your own mind.



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