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Rough and tumble: the spirit of Cleveland

Running on Fumes

Steven Schoenwald

Issue date: 9/3/10 Section: Opinion
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A few weeks ago I took RTA's Healthline from the main campus of the Cleveland Clinic Public Square. I was planning to meet up with a friend of mine over at Progressive Field to watch the Indians face the White Sox. After grabbing some bagels at a local convenience store, I went to the stadium and sat down at one of the picnic benches near the right field dugout. Here, watching chaos from two below-average teams, I felt relaxed.

There is a reason true fans of baseball and other sports come out to watch their teams play even when likely to perform poorly. For some it may be the underdog factor. For others, it may be seeing the prospects of today develop into the stars of tomorrow. Still others are driven to games with an unwavering devotion to their hometown team. These fans are willing to go down with the ship if necessary, pushing onward with the far-off but ever-present vision of a championship victory. This is the plight of the Cleveland fan, as well as a defining characteristic of the denizens.

As a whole, Clevelanders are cut from the same cloth. They are hard working, gritty people. They understand that nothing will ever be given to them, and they must fight to get ahead and succeed. The national media will forever look down upon them, and celebrities will often write jokes at their expense. Still, the Clevelander doesn't mind (too much, anyway). Pre-dispositioned as members of a "second class city," the Clevelander is willing to take risks and use innovation to his or her advantage. This comes in many forms: the innovation to switch professions when times are tough, to start a business or invent with nothing more than a dream or idea, to research and find something never before discovered. The short story of my life follows similar lines: from a young age, I studied hard and independently. I used sports as a distraction from my studies, both by playing and by listening while I worked. I was able to get into the college of my choice and am working long hours in order to pay off my tuition. What little spare time I have I spend with friends and checking up on world news. I try to look at life practically, not through the rose-tinted glass of Los Angeles or the steely eyes of New York, but as you and I do: as a Clevelander.

After I finished my lunch, I headed to work. The Indians had lost, but I really enjoyed my afternoon. By watching that game, I felt like I was watching my city moving along with me. We both have a goal to reach, and will experience hardships and failures along the way, together. But as history has proven, we will survive and persevere. There's always next year.







Steven Schoenwald is double majoring in biology and business management. He currently works at the Cleveland Clinic and commutes from Hinckley Township daily.
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Issue Summary

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Opinion

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