The Optimist

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Bonjour and happy Fat Tuesday, loveable tubbies! My nom de guerre is “Optimist.”

Fat Tuesday – as many of you know – is the only fun Tuesday of the year. Every other one that isn’t St. Patrick’s Day or your birthday sucks. You can look that up.

In Ireland, Australia and the UK, they call it “Shrove Tuesday” and celebrate by eating pancakes. In Panama, water trucks roll through the streets soaking revelers. In South America, the “Carnaval of Salvador de Bahia” is recognized by the Guinness Book as the biggest street party in the world. And in Germany, they call Fat Tuesday, “Fastnacht,”

No matter where you’re from, the point is: blow it out tonight – because “Ash Wednesday” is as stern and ominous as it sounds. And it means 40 days and 40 nights of no fun and a million Filet-O-Fish sandwiches until Easter.

Them’s the rules.

That’s why we kick it on Fat Tuesday. And, in a few short paragraphs, we’ll get to where the Cavaliers plan on kicking the Warriors.

But before we do, there’s a topic I wanted to address that’s sweeping across the NBA landscape – possibly involving some old friends.

Of course, I’m speaking of the Miami Heat and their controversial “Cry-Gate” imbroglio. Naturally, as one who bleeds Wine and Gold, I don’t support much of what they’re doing down in South Beach. But I felt the need to aid in their defense on this one.

Just last week, I watched a classic old movie on TMC about WWII veterans readjusting to life after the war called The Best Years of Our Lives. (It won the 1945 Oscar™ over It’s a Wonderful Life.) During a couple scenes, I had major waterworks going. And I’m comfortable enough in my masculinity to
admit it!

Hey ... LeBron ...
Wanna have a catch?

I cried when my dog died and when that little kid in Ol’ Yeller’s dog died. I cried watching Brian’s Song as a kid and as an adult. I have trouble choking back tears during several points of Field of Dreams.

And consider that this is just me, watching movies! Think about how horrible it would be to live through something as horrific as a four-game losing streak!

Crying doesn’t make you any less of a man.

Of course, accurate reporting is paramount in this column, so I can neither confirm nor deny whether LeBron or Zydrunas Ilgauskas were among those weeping like little girls. (Perhaps Coach Spoelstra will unveil that after Miami’s matchup with Portland.) But I can go on record to say that there’s no shame in crying like a little sissy-mary, yellow-bellied, lily-livered pantywaist after losing a ballgame.

Luckily, we Cleveland sports fans are tough as a coffin nail. If we bawled every time our teams took one on chin, we’d walk around blubbering like John Boehner cutting an onion.

The Golden State Warriors are going to find out how tough Cleveland – and its newest adopted son – can be on Tuesday night at The Q. (Whether they’ll cry after tonight’s four-point defeat is anybody’s guess.)

That “adopted son” is sited in this week’s visit to the Optimist Mailbox

My Lord Optimist,

In the past, our allegiance lied with the self-proclaimed king whom I will not name. We were fools. All along he had his own selfish schemes in mind!

But now, my eyes are opened, and I am writing in to declare my allegiance to Davis, the Baron of Cleveland! And I urge you all to do the same!


Sir Jonathan Henry
Macedonia, OH

Sir Jonathan, first of all, thanks for reading and writing in. And I think you’re safe in asking fans to rally around the hirsute Cleveland Baron.

In just two games, it’s abundantly clear that Baron will bring toughness, passion, pure point guard play and a wealth of experience. That experience – playing with a West Cost team like the Warriors for over three seasons, for example – tells him that Golden State is at the end of a seven-game, 11-day roadie and will probably try to save some remaining juice for the trip finale in New Jersey.

Does that mean easy pickin’s for the Wine and Gold?

It does not. But it does mean that when the Baby Bull, J.J. Hickson, gets revved up midway through the second quarter, the Warriors will be in a world of trouble. Combine that with Samardo Samuels’ continued rugged post play and a double-digit return for Boobie Gibson, and we’re talking about a Wine and Gold victory.

As for the Baron: he battles his “little brother” – Monta Ellis – to a virtual draw, electrifying The Q with a stunning fourth-quarter display of long-distance marksmanship and pinpoint passing. Ellis matches him blow-by-blow, albeit in a losing effort.

After the big Fat Tuesday victory, maintenance staff cleans up The Q for the giant mess that droves of college kids intend to make in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament.

Yes, my friends, it’s time for MAC Madness on the corner of Huron and Ontario!!!

Despite the utter disaster they leave behind like a horde of locusts, I love when the unruly undergrads roll in. The Tournament starts out kind of tame, but heats up heavily heading into the weekend. By Saturday night, Bob the Dancing Usher will be doing beer bongs with the Omega Mu’s from Bowling Green.

At this year’s Tourney, I hope to see the young’ns really bring it. I want to see face-painting and big heads and even a couple Teletubbies. And I’d like to see several Green Men (plural).

For as frenetic and unpredictable as you claim to be, I know I can set my watch to you MAC students. I know that every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear and that every spring, the toilets explode. And I’m counting on some major bacchanalia later this week.

As for the rest of you post-grads and seventh-year seniors, gird thyselves up for a big, fat Fat Tuesday win tonight at The Q.

I’ll see you knuckaheads on the other side. But in the meantime, please continue to …

Keep the faith, Macedonia

Warmest wishes,
The Optimist