Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fire The Bums!

It’s time to fire the bums. That’s right! The Cleveland Indians need a complete overhaul. Fire the manager, the general-manager, and the owner, as my father would say.

I feel that I have the right to say this. After all, the present owner’s fortune actually started at my family’s house. They made their fortune with cable television. So why does the house I grew up in claim to be the starting point. Well, we were the very first house to be wired for cable television, back in the sixties. I always knew that we were one of the first homes to have cable television in our neighborhood (Shaker Heights, Ohio), but it wasn’t until almost thirty years later that I found out we were the first.

Our cable went out, and a crew came to fix the problem.

They came upon a dilemma. The cable was not strung across the backyard, and drilled through a wall, into the home. No! They found that the cable had been tunneled under the garage, under the driveway, and came into the home through the basement. It was then thread up throughout the home inside the interior of two foot thick brick walls. The cable itself was of a type that the crew had never seen before. It was as if a car mechanic had someone drive a 1914 Model T into his shop, and said, “Can you fix this?”

Word got out fast, and before we knew it, there were at least thirty cable trucks parked all the way down our street. It was amazing. They all came to see the infamous house. They were crawling over the place like ants. “Come look at this!”—“Check this out!”—was the banter throughout the house.

The company was called Telerama, when we first got cable. Basically all it did was to add the two UHF stations to the dial of thirteen numbers. The best part was that we also got a CBC station from London Ontario. I loved it, because I grew up watching Hockey Night in Canada. The best part was that in Canada, they didn’t censor movies. Back in the sixties, by the time a newer movie made it to television, one third of it would be left on the editor’s floor. On late night, I sometimes even got to see flesh. Years later they added WOR TV, from New York, where I got the Ranger’s games. Also, I was raised watching the WOR TV 4 o’clock movie (I owe them a debt).

My father got it, because when the Cleveland Browns played a home game, Telerama would pick up a station from Erie, Pennsylvania or Sandusky, Ohio, that would be outside of the banned area. Remember, the NFL has always had strict rules about showing home games, unless it is a sell-out. All the kids in the neighborhood would come to our house to watch the games.

The folks that started this operation eventually moved on to New York City and renamed it Viacom Cablevision. The family went on to make a gazillion dollars. So what do gazillionaires do with all their money? They buy sports teams. Now the Cleveland Indians have another, in a long line, of inept owners (with the exception of Dick Jacobs). It is only an ego massaging exercise for them. It’s too bad they don’t run the team the way they did their cable company.

But, the fact is, they don’t need to run this team. Let’s find a new owner and fire the bums!

By the way, the crew decided to string new wiring, the way they do it with all the other houses in America. And guess what? It turned out that the old system worked better!

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