This is a depressing book - but one you won't be able to put down.
If you are a lifelong Cleveland sports fan, these vignettes will serve as painful refreshers of our sorry sports accomplishments.
The biggies are all included - The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, Game 7, Red Right 88 and so on. But what was more interesting to this reader was the dredging out of other long suppressed memories that have contributed to our bad sports psyche.
The missed draft opportunities and bungled trades for example. We could have had Tom Seaver, Roger Maris, Brett Favre, Jack Lambert, James Worthy, Paul Warfield in his prime, and so many others instead of people like Mike Phipps, Mike Junkin, "Dinner Bell" Mel Turpin and their ilk. Ouch.
Plus the true tragedies of life are recounted - the boating accident claiming the lives of Tribe players in 1993, the leukemia of Browns running back Ernie Davis, the sudden death of safety Don Rogers at his bachelor party, Tony Horton's mental health issues, the beaning of Herb Score and the death of Ray Chapman.
Throw in the ineptitude and greed (sometimes both as in the case of the traitor Art Modell) of owners and team officials and Cleveland teams ended up as laughing stocks (Ted Stepien with the Cavs) or taken advantage of by players (Keith Hernandez, Wayne Garland, etc) instead of having George Steinbrenner buying the Tribe like he wanted to.
Sure the fans cut loose on Beer Night and at the Jacksonville-Browns game a few years ago but for loyal fans (short for fanatics remember) not having a championship since 1964 in any major sport - longer than any other city - is a little justification.
My mood did not improve during or after reading this book but the 144 pages went by in one sitting. Hopefully there will never be a Volume 2 of this book. And we did get LeBron James. Keep your fingers crossed.