May 3, 2010

DJ Gallo talked with Mr. Manners on

“It’s spring. Nature is changing all around us.
But there is one thing that must never change: proper manners. It’s time for another edition of Mr. Manners.
Dear Mr. Manners,
I am the general manager of a football team. In a recent pre-draft interview, I asked a player if his mom is a prostitute. Bad form?
— Jeff I. (Miami)
Dear Miami Mommy Issues,
Whether we like it or not, there are many gray areas when it comes to manners. In some cultures you shake hands. In others, you bow. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember which fork is to be used when. Dress codes can present a challenge. Whom to tip and how much to tip them. The etiquette for thank-you cards.
All of these things keep me employed.
But there is one thing I think we can all agree on. It’s my Rule No. 1 of manners: Do not ask someone if his mother is a lady of the night.
Remember that one, and everything else will pretty much fall into place. Good luck!
— Mr. Manners
Dear Mr. Manners,
I was on first base in a recent baseball game. I took off as my teammate made contact, but it was a foul ball. So on my way back to first I cut across the diamond, ran through the pitcher’s mound and stepped on the rubber. The pitcher freaked out, saying I broke some sort of etiquette. But I was just screwing around. We centaurs are known for being mischievous Was I in the wrong? (Note: The pitcher isn’t very good.)
— Alex R. (New York)
Dear Alexiquette Breach,
First of all, it doesn’t matter whether the pitcher is any good. Everyone deserves respect. Second, I cannot speak to specific centaur-related manners; I did
not take that elective at Manners School but, if you’d like, I can refer you to a manners colleague who specializes in centaurs and mythological manners.
That said, while living in the world of 100 percent humans, you need to follow human rules, laws and customs. And, yes, human etiquette, too. When in Rome, etc. What you did went against baseball etiquette — and I think you know that. It is time for some self-reflection, Alex. What kind of person/mythical beast are you? Stare into your mirror and be honest about what you see.
— Mr. Manners
Dear Mr. Manners,
Before a recent game against the Montreal Canadiens, I purposely sprayed a kid with snow while sliding to a stop on the ice in front of him.  I thought it was hilarious. Others didn’t. And my team apologized for it. What do you think?
— Alex O. (Washington)
Dear Alex-O-Snow,
No. Under no circumstances is it appropriate for a grown man to do that to a kid. However, just like with centaurs, I am not an expert on Canadian etiquette.
Perhaps covering someone with snow there is a sign of respect. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.
— Mr. Manners
Dear Mr. Manners,
In recent months my reputation has been forever tarnished. But I want to stop hiding and start living my life again. So last week I went to a Nickelback concert. They rocked! Do you think it’s OK for me to keep doing this?
— Tiger W. (Orlando)
Dear Terrible Tiger,
I can’t help you because your letter is confusing. Your letter says your reputation was tarnished months ago. But then that just last week you went to a Nickelback concert. I assume this was a typo and that you went to a Nickelback concert months ago, which was what originally tarnished your reputation.
Assuming that’s the case — sure, keep going to Nickelback concerts. You’ve already destroyed your reputation by going to one. Going to more can’t destroy it more.
— Mr. Manners
Dear Mr. Manners,
I’ve been behaving poorly lately. Nothing that caused me to get charged with a crime, but I have really hurt my reputation I recently gave a public statement to apologize about my behavior. I sported a long mullet. I like to wear a mullet because I feel it protects my head from sustaining more concussions. However, my appearance only raised the public’s level of disgust toward me. So I shaved it off. Now, while I try to restore my reputation, I am worried about the protection of my head. What should I do?
— Ben R. (Pittsburgh)
Dear Bad Ben,
You are correct. Mullets do protect. They protect the person sporting one from ever being respected by anyone in the non-mullet community.
— Mr. Manners
Dear Mr. Manners,
I am the commissioner of a large, collegiate sports conference in the Midwest. We currently have 11 teams, but would like to expand to as many as 14 so we can make even more money. However, this would likely lead to the demise of other conferences around the country. What should I do?
— Jim D. (Park Ridge, Ill.)
Dear Gym Jim,
Greed is never an appropriate goal. That said, expansion is not necessarily wrong. What you need to do is expand your conference to include all the FBS schools. Then, at the end of the year, have a conference tournament. You would make the money you desire — and much more — while also becoming a national hero.
— Mr. Manners
Dear Mr. Manners,
So I stared into my mirror like you asked. Great advice! Thanks! I love staring into my mirror. Here is what I discovered: I am crazy hot. No one ever rocked a fade this hard for this long. Not even Derek Jeter. I am the greatest.
— Alex R. (New York)
Dear Alexiquette Breach,
I am referring you to my manners colleague who specializes in centaurs. You show traits of megalomania, and you need help. Also, I am sending you a card for a hair stylist. You’ll want to address that issue, too. I wish you the best.
— Mr. Manners
DJ Gallo is the founder and sole writer of the sports satire site He also is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and has written for The Onion and Cracked. His first book, “SportsPickle Presents: The View from the Upper Deck,” is on sale now.”

Dan Shaughnessy enjoyed visiting Cleveland with the Red Sox, the Patriots, and with the Celtics. He gave his reasons in the Boston Globe.

“I love this town.
That’s right. Cleveland. You call it “The Mistake By the Lake.’’ You make it a punch line for every Rust Belt joke.
Not me. I call it a once-great American city in need of a comeback . . . and a championship, of course.
No fooling. Cleveland is great. It’s got a real downtown. It’s got clean, wide streets that are (unfortunately) never crowded with traffic nor people.
Cleveland’s got cab drivers who speak English and know their way around town. Many of them remember when Jim Brown toted the pigskin for the Browns and when Rocky Colavito hit majestic homers for the Tribe.
Cleveland has no pretense. Folks work hard and value their money.
Thirsty? Walk into Flannery’s Pub on East 4th and Prospect. Do not ask to see the wine list. And forget the Heineken. You can get a 24-ounce can of Pabst Blue Ribbon for a fin. If you give the barkeep a $10 bill, the guy won’t look down on you and ask, “Do you need change with that?’’
Before it was wiped out by foreclosures and unemployment, Cleveland was one of the five largest cities in America, stocked with immigrants from Eastern Europe. It gave America Jesse Owens and the Cleveland Orchestra. It’s where Eliot Ness served as city safety director. It’s got the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. According to Canadian bard Gordon Lightfoot, Cleveland is where the Edmund Fitzgerald — loaded with 26,000 tons of iron ore — was bound when it sank in Lake Superior in 1975.
When I first came to Cleveland in the summer of 1977 the mayor was 31-year-old Dennis Kucinich and there was a downtown nightclub (“The Theatrical’’) that featured a singer named Jim “Mudcat’’ Grant. It was the same Jim “Mudcat’’ Grant who beat the Dodgers for the Twins in the 1965 World Series.
Old Cleveland featured cavernous Municipal Stadium on the shores of Lake Erie. Home of the 111-43 Indians (1954) and NFL champion Browns (1964).
Municipal Stadium was the site of Cleveland’s 10-cent beer night (1974), when fans rioted after consuming too many eight-ounce Stroh’s. The Indians had to forfeit the game. In 1986, when the Red Sox and Indians were interrupted and postponed on account of fog (erasing a certain Cleveland victory), the inimitable Oil Can Boyd said, “That’s what happens when you build a ballpark by the ocean.’’
Cleveland’s new venues are downtown and spectacular. Sparkling Browns Stadium stands next to a parking lot at the Municipal Stadium site. The football field is just a few hundred yards downshore from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Less than a mile away, Quicken Loans Arena and Progressive Field stand, side-by-side. When Progressive Field was Jacobs Field (ever distinct, with its toothbrush light towers), the Tribe sold out 455 consecutive home games.
Cleveland is stocked with sports fans. Foofs and trendies are not welcome. Clevelanders buy gobs of team garb (Indians stuff in the golden ’90s, Cavaliers in 2010, Browns always) and pray for a championship. The poor folks have not been rewarded with a title since the Browns won the old NFL championship game in 1964.
Cleveland is tough on its football coaches. Bill Belichick may be a god in New England, but his name is mud in Cleveland because he dissed local hero Bernie Kosar. Browns fans suffered through John Elway’s “Drive’’ in 1987 and Earnest Byner’s fumble in 1988. The Browns left town in 1995, then were born
again in 1999. They hired and fired Romeo Crennel. They drafted Brady Quinn, who is already gone.
The Indians haven’t won a World Series since 1948, an active streak of futility topped only by the Cubs. The Tribe should have won a couple of championships in the ’90s, but couldn’t get it done with talents such as Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, Eddie Murray, Jim Thome, Roberto Alomar, David Justice, Omar Vizquel, and Kenny Lofton. They got to the seventh game of the World Series in 1997, but reliever Jose Mesa coughed it up and the Tribe lost to the expansion Florida Marlins.
The Cavaliers never have won the NBA championship. Their best team of the pre-LeBron era was derailed when Jim Chones broke his foot in 1976. They had the worst owner of modern times in Ted Stepien. They famously took the Celtics to the limit in the 2008 Eastern Conference semifinals. Last year they were favorites right up until they got spanked by the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference finals.
I picked the Celtics to upset the Cavaliers in this conference semifinal. Cleveland’s Game 1 victory Saturday night does not change my mind. Boston led by 11 points in the third quarter. The Cavaliers looked vulnerable, especially considering that they were playing at home, where they are 74-8 over the last two regular seasons.
But I hope they make it. Cleveland fans deserve a champion. They’ve been the butt of jokes for too long. And despite everything you’ve heard and read, this is a great town.”


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