The Optimist

Salut, sanguine sons and daughters of the mighty Cuyahoga! It’s me, da Optimist, wrapping up another regular season in style.

As you can see, today’s episode emanates from the Land of Dixie. The Wine and Gold came a-whompin’ and a-whoopin’ down here last postseason, and might have another date in the Dirty South this spring. These folk think they want that matchup, but they don’t.

Of course, who knows what fakakta lineup the Cavaliers will field for Wednesday night’s meaningless matchup the Hawks. In my last column, I esplained that my predictive powers don’t work on Mike Brown’s wooden head in the same way that Superman’s laser vision can’t see through lead. And again, the reigning Coach of the Year has me flummoxed.

It’s like some great game of chess between Coach Brown and I, except he’s making all the moves and I’m just sitting here watching.

Believe me: I’m not complaining. What Coach is doing is right. As he laid out on Tuesday afternoon, Mike Brown has an obligation to his team, the fans and the city to make the best long-term decisions to win a Championship. And after watching Chris Bosh get graped from about 14 feet away at The Q, I think he’d seen enough.

But I hate to lose, and I’m selfish.

So I’m going to attempt to make an accurate call on Game 82 tonight. But, before I do, we’ve got two quick pieces of business to attend to.

You’ll notice that I didn’t say “small” pieces of business to attend to. It’s because there’s nothing funny about the passing of Meinhardt Raabe at age 94.

Many of you known Mr. Raabe as the Munchkin coroner in “The Wizard of Oz” who recited the lines “As coroner, I must aver/I thoroughly examined her/And she’s not only merely dead/She’s really most sincerely dead” when the Wicked Witch of the West got smushed.

But did you know that this Munchkin (during filming in the 1930s he and his fellow actors were called “midgets”) was also a pilot in WWII, got a B.A. from Wisconsin and a Master’s from Drexel and cruised around the country for almost 30 years in the prestigious Oscar Mayer Weinermobile?

Of course you did. So naturally, you guys will have no problem closing your cakeholes and removing your hats and/or hairpieces – (and don’t even think about cracking wise that this will be a “short” Moment of Silence during this Moment of Silence™) …

Thank you.

OK, we’re getting a little off-course, here. We’ve wandered off into Munchkinland.

Of course, whenever things go a little off the reservation – when I go off on a tangent or some reader writes in to talk about playing ball with his kid or something – there’s always the rigid discipline of the military wing of the Junior Optimists to restore some peace and order …

Dear mo fo O …

Okay, this is what happened.

I get ready to go play ball with my son this morning at about 9 a.m. He’s only 10 months so all he can do right now is laugh at me when I miss.

I start to pump my ball up to give it a little more bounce because it was a little flat. I’m about three pumps in and the (expletive deleted) black part on the ball flies inside WHILE I’M (expletive deleted) PUMPING and begins to shoot air out. It goes flat. I have no money to buy a new ball right now because I just had another kid like a week ago.

I do, however, have a basketball that I don’t know if I should play with. I got it for my birthday a couple years ago from a very good friend of mine. It’s a signed ball.

What would you do? Keep a ball signed by THE KING and not go play? Or say “(expletive deleted) it” and assume that he would understand my love for the game?

You do know what happens when you assume right?

SPC Craig D Sirna
US Army

SPC Cirna, you must have to wash your own mouth out with soap after you’re done playing with the kids. Of course, I never mind the cursing in this column, buddy. But don’t say “9 a.m.” How about a little “Oh-nine-hundred-hours”? It’s what your fans pay the big bucks for.

And if you haven’t already played with the ball, you already know my answer is: go ahead. Just get TheBron to sign you another one.

You’ll probably have to wait until after the postseason, which will begin this weekend, I think.

“So why bother watching tonight?”

Because maybe – just maybe – there might – just might – be a Diesel sighting down in Dixie.


(not him)

As I’ve said, no one – not me, not the Son of Jor-El – can read Mike Brown’s mind. He may allow Shaq to, as the esteemed Austin Carr would say “get that carbon out of his chest” on Wednesday. And I think he will.

It doesn’t take more than a quarter-and-a-half for the 17-year veteran to show off his patented moves – (not mention his new Size 4 physique) – and give the Cavaliers a commanding 11-point edge at intermission.

Antawn “Stretch 4” Jamison catches fire in the third and despite J-Smoove’s impressive second-half surge, Cleveland leads by nine heading into the fourth.

In the final period, Coach Mike Brown does indeed release the Shaqken – and the Diesel scores eight quick points before leaving the game with the Cavaliers up 11.

The Hawks make a late run, but Jawad Williams’ trifecta closes it out for Cleveland – and the Wine and Gold close out a winning season with a win – 105-99.

The Cavaliers leave Atlanta with the Hawks thinking two things: 1. Uh, 2. Oh. And you and I and will head into the weekend knowing that nothing stands between Cleveland and the ne plus ultra of the National B.A.

I’ll speak to you then. And remember: If you’re a guy who likes a good, clean shave – now’s the time to break that off.

As for the lot of you – please …

Choose faith, Cleveland

Your pal,
The Optimist