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Cleveland Sports Report

Cleveland Sports Report

Posted Nov 9, 2013

Home to three professional sports franchises, the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, MLB’s Cleveland Indians and the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland is a booming sports town. With professional sports scheduled year round, chances are you’ll find one of these teams playing at home during your visit.

Cleveland Browns

The Cleveland Browns are four-time NFL Champions, most recently in 1964, the last professional sports title for the city of Cleveland.

The team is named for their legendary first coach, Paul Brown. Brown led the franchise to a championship in its first year in the NFL, in 1950, and two more in the same decade, in 1954 and 55. The Browns won another title
in 1964. In 1995, Art Modell, the franchise’s owner for the previous forty years, announced he was moving the team to Baltimore, Md. The NFL reluctantly agreed, but forced Modell to give up the team’s naming rights, logo and history.

After ceasing operations for three years from 1996-98, the Browns returned to the NFL in 1999 and the playoffs in 2002. Today, the franchise is led by Super Bowl Champion Mike Holmgren. BizJournal, in an unscientific study, named Browns fans the most loyal in all of sports, citing attendance numbers versus weather climate and team record. A testament to their faith, an organization for Browns fans, Browns Backers Worldwide, and its more than 100,000 members, is considered the largest sports fans organization in the United States.

The Browns franchise has the fourth most players elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Among those in the Hall of Fame are Otto Graham, Paul Brown, Jim Brown, and Ozzie Newsome. The movie The Express, which was released in 2008, told the story of Cleveland Browns running back and first African American Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis. Lou Groza, another famous Browns player, has an award at the collegiate football level named after him, given annually to the nation’s best kicker.

The Browns play eight home games a year in Cleveland Browns Stadium at the North Coast Harbor near the Great Lakes Science Center and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

For ticketing and more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com

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Mr. Rock and Roll

Mr. Rock and Roll

Posted Nov 9, 2013

From his seat behind the microphone at WJW Radio in Cleveland and, later, WINS Radio, deejay Alan Freed did more to spread the gospel of rock and roll during its infancy than any other non-performer.

Born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, and raised in Salem, Ohio, Freed came to WJW as host of a classical music show in February, 1951. He befriended Leo Mintz, owner of Record Rendezvous, a store on Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland. Legend has it that Mintz told Freed that numerous white kids were buying black R&B records at his store and convinced Freed to begin playing R&B records on WJW. In fact, the vast majority of Mintz’s customers were African Americans; by getting Freed to play R&B, Mintz thought he could increase his sales.

Nonetheless, on the evening of July 11, 1951, Freed’s R&B show made its debut on WJW. Soon, Freed adopted a new persona – the Moondog, a crazed hipster who talked over the music, howled, pounded on phone books and banged on a cowbell. “Hello everybody,” Freed would say. “How ya’ll tonight? This is Alan Freed, the ol’ King of the Moondoggers, and its time for some blues and rhythm records for all the gang in the Moondog Kingdom.”

By the following January, Freed’s show was causing a stir in Cleveland, and other stations began adding R&B to their play lists. Then on March 21, 1952, Freed, Mintz and Lew Platt, a booking agent and promoter, put on the Moondog Coronation Ball at the old Cleveland Arena on Euclid Avenue. A landmark event in the birth of rock and roll, the Coronation Ball was intended as an R&B concert staring the Dominoes, Paul Williams and Varetta Dillard.

Despite the fact that the concert was only advertised on Freed’s radio show, nearly 20,000 people, mostly black, showed up – twice the capacity of the Arena. They crashed through the doors, knocking down ticket takers and ushers and by 11:30, the police and fire departments had closed down the show.

The riot became national news, and Freed’s popularity escalated. Many now cite the Coronation Ball as the first rock and roll concert and, indeed, it many have been. But even more important, as another Cleveland deejay, Bill Randle, pointed out, was the fact that “it was the beginning of the acceptance of black popular music as a force in radio. It was the first big show of its kind where the industry saw it as big business.

Freed eventually moved to New York, where he grew in national prominence as he continued to promote rock and roll, via his radio show, television, movies and all-star concerts at Brooklyn’s Paramount Theatre. By 1956, Freed was known throughout the country, and he was arguably rock and roll’s best-known booster. But by the end of the Fifties, he was a major target of the payola investigation, charged with illegally taking money in exchange for playing certain records. He eventually relocated to the West Coast, where he died a broken man in 1965.

Alan Freed was inducted into the inaugural class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986. 

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Cleveland Sightseeing

Cleveland Sightseeing

Posted Nov 9, 2013

Cleveland is a vibrant, culturally diverse city that has so much to offer. Perched on the southern shores of Lake Erie, the city is home to a wide variety of entertainment venues and is the urban center of Northeast Ohio. There are plenty of choices when it comes to sightseeing in Cleveland, so this feature highlights a few of the most interesting and convenient tours available.

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Canton, OH: America's Playing Field

Canton, OH: America's Playing Field

Posted Nov 9, 2013

From the nationally known Pro Football Hall of Fame, Wm. McKinley Memorial and Presidential Library and Museum, and First Ladies National Historic Site to the hidden treasures of Amish country, Stark County offers world-class attractions, 21 beautiful golf courses, malls and specialty shops, and unique restaurants with dozens of cuisines.

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RTA Trolley Map

RTA Trolley Map

Posted Nov 9, 2013

Please click the links below to download the PDF maps.

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