The Broad’s Side of the Sports Illustrated Jinx


If you’re unfamiliar with the phenomenon, there’s some speculation that being on the cover of Sports Illustrated can be somewhat of a jinx. Enter the 2015 Cleveland Indians and their fanbase with a predeliction for doom. Whoah! Kiss of death, right? 

The Cleveland Sports curse is often highlighted around these parts. In fact, it may well be responsible for my last three failed relationships. To be fair, I’d like to think there were some athletics involved, and I definitely don’t want to take accountability for any type of failure. See how easy that is? Blame the curse. As Clevelanders, we’re conditioned to do that. So, imagine the reaction when SI elects to feature Indians standouts Cy Young winner Corey Kluber and MVP candidate Michael Brantley on the cover. 

Even more alarming is the magazine’s assertion that this team may be good enough to contend or perhaps even win the World Series. WHAT?? How dare you suggest that this team has a ton of upside. Are you soulless, Sports Illustrated? Don’t you know what you’ve done here? I’ll tell you what they’ve done…They’ve indicated that this team has the pieces in place to be competive and they think the Indians are capable of winning. That pretty much sums it up. 

Kluber’s arms aren’t going to fall off and a meteor probably won’t hit the ballpark on dollar dog night. The concept of a curse or jinx is nonsense. Let’s pull ourselves together here. I’m a fairly logical person, so I’m not a huge fan of predicting the World Series champs before a single pitch of regular season baseball has happened. EVER. There are far too many unknowns in any sport to begin that type of speculation, but I’m not mad at the concept. Why can’t we just enjoy the positive press and possibly get behind the team? Maybe it will be a great year. Why the hell not? 

I don’t believe a magazine cover can ruin your individual career, force you to lose a team championship or put you in a pine box. Let’s explore, shall we? Dale Earnhardt was on the cover of SI shortly before he tragically died at the Daytona 500 in 2000. Well, clearly that was caused by a photo shoot and not his frighteningly dangerous career choice and excessive rate of speed, right? If SI was to blame, I may have missed that murder trial. Race car drivers die… A lot. I doubt that the majority of them expect to spend their final days at Sunnydale retirement community. 

When I was little, my dad took me to the races regularly, until my favorite driver, Jimmy Shampine was involved in a firey crash. I’ve never been to another race since that day. My dad couldn’t break my heart with news of his death, so he told me he retired from racing and moved to a farm. I just found out about that a few weeks ago. Now that I think about it, I’m starting to think my dog Shelby didn’t really end up on a farm either, but I digress. 

Here are some other examples we should chat about. Are we willing to entertain the thought that perhaps Michael Phelps was photographed smoking pot because of his cover…. Or that Tiger Woods’ wife caught him having sex with essentially ALL the women alive due to a hex? Did Marion Jones get caught up in the BALCO scandal and get stripped of her Olympic medals because of magazine voodoo? What about the Kansas City Royals? Did they lose the World Series in 2014 because of a cover story? I’m pretty sure that one was Madison Bumgarner’s fault. If you need to place blame, I’d stick with that theory. There are far too many examples to name, but I think you can see my point. Whether it’s performance related issues or something as simple as someone being a complete dumbass, there’s ample opportunity for everyone to become an asterisk in the SI jinx Wikipedia entry. 

The Indians might have a phenomenal season this year. They might not. One thing I do know? Whether it’s a great season or a shitty one, it’ll be because they earned it themselves. It won’t be because of the Sports Illustrated jinx, a message in some tea leaves or a prediction from a magic 8 ball. Take a deep breath, Cleveland. Wear your socks inside out, eat some eye of newt, do whatever it is you do to ward off the evil sports reporter gods that be, and come down to the ballpark and root for your team. 

I Only Counted 17 Shades of Grey, Max

50 shadesI reluctantly attended a showing of the highly anticipated, supposedly super sexy film, 50 Shades of Grey last night. Full disclosure… I read exactly one page of the first book. It happened by accident when I picked it up off the floor at a SAMs Club. I tried to read a random page in the middle, but it was so poorly written that I couldn’t fathom reading even one additional page of that crap.

I summoned two of my cohorts and we met for martinis before trudging over to the theater in the -2 degree Cleveland weather. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean, this was going to be super hot, right? Maybe people wouldn’t be able to control themselves sitting in a dark theater with strangers while watching soccer mom porn. I brought a rain poncho just in case. I also brought sunglasses. I wasn’t afraid that people would see me. I just wanted to avoid the possibility of making eye contact with one of the other Girl Scout moms as she was being led to her seat in a spiky dog leash and ball gag. I didn’t want to risk that awkward exchange, especially during cookie season.

The basic plot of the film (if you can call it a plot) has our leading lady, graduating college senior, Anastasia Steele subbing for her roommate in a meeting with billionaire 27 year old business man, Christian Grey. The accidental meeting naturally turns into Mr. Grey proposing the two enter into filthy sex contract, which I’m sure is a legally binding document in sex court. Clearly, the smartest move you can make as a handsome billionaire with everything to lose would be to approach a total stranger with your closeted, freaky sexual habits. How could that go wrong?

Christian has previously managed to convince 15 other women not to call TMZ and engage in his fantasies of the dominant/submissive relationship, as we find out. I believe the intent was for this character to be a tormented, yet sexy and successful, misunderstood soul. The result of the casting, unfortunately made him an extremely un-likable, creepy, robot man with a potential murder spree in the not too distant future.

I'm going to start saying this to random strangers

I’m going to start saying this to random strangers

Anastasia was drawn to this cyborg for some reason. That part never became very clear to me. I wasn’t buying into the chemistry between the two characters. I’m just going to put this out there… It’s weird to buy someone a car after a week of flogging their naked ass. That’s a one month anniversary gift, at best. That’s precisely what happened though. I’ll be honest, I spent most of the remainder of the movie wondering how he was able to sell her old car without some kind of consent. It hardly makes sense that she’d need to sign a consent form in order to agree to nipple clamps, and yet we just go all nilly willy on a huge transaction such as transferring ownership of a motor vehicle. I knew this wasn’t a true story.

It wasn’t a total loss though. How many times do you get to see a shirtless piano concerto in the dark as a post-coital ritual? Handcuffing people is probably pretty exhausting and who couldn’t use a good tickling of the ivories afterwards? The hottest part of the movie for me was when I inadvertently dropped some popcorn down my shirt and had to fish it out of my bosom. I instantly wished I’d opted for the extra butter. Tell me that isn’t wildly erotic.

I saw two movies last week: this one and Spongebob. I’ll be honest, Spongebob was sexier. Hands down. At least he has a sense of humor. He’s also a more believable character than Christian Grey.

On a parting note, I’ll leave several suggestions on how 50 Shades of Grey could have been a much better film…

1) The roommate should have been the one to attend the meeting with Christian as originally intended. She was the only character I liked. She would have banged him once and moved on, saving me approximately 109 minutes of my life.

2) Make Christian an interesting person… Perhaps a doctor who performs life saving medical measures and THEN flogs Anastasia’s ass and buys her a car. They could call it Christian Grey’s Anatomy.

3) New leading man… Mr. Squarepants. The sex scenes would have been far less ridiculous.

Laters, baby.


The Manziel Era… Wait. I missed it?

TMTI’d love to put together an intelligent review of the Johnny Manziel era in Cleveland, but truth be told, I missed it. I had to work that day. As most Browns fans will agree, that was a pretty damn good day to be stuck at work. For Manziel’s hugely anticipated first NFL start, the Bengals humiliated us on our home turf, all the while mocking Johnny’s monumental failure by throwing up his “money sign”. Incidentally, this appears to have become some sort of douchebag gang sign. I’m very thankful that I was not featured on Sportscenter in the sea of brown and orange pouty-faced drunks. I’ve never seen so many sad looking grown-ups in one panoramic sweep.

Just like that, the love affair was over. We’d been catfished by Johnny and every damn one of us knew it. He wasn’t here to sweep us off our feet and finally bring us “just one before I die”. Let’s face it…. Unless one of our receivers happens to be a Nissan Altima with the driver’s side window open, the ball isn’t landing where it’s supposed to go. Not even close.

Surely, the Browns would acknowledge the egregious mistake to start him in the first place, right? Oh hell no. Not only did they pull our original starter, completely shattering any shred of confidence he may have retained, but they acted like a third grade girl by not admitting the mistake. What happened in Carolina for Manziel’s next (and last) start is no big surprise. I won’t lie, if it’s me in Johnny’s cleats, I clutch my hammy and beg for my clipboard back too. Johnny Boy is done for the year and Hoyer is hurt as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if the official report on him notes “feelings” as the area of injury.

I tried to get excited, but I always knew in the back of my mind that it was too good to be true. We don’t deserve nice things, do we? Hey, I really attempted to be a shot glass is half full kind of girl. Don’t you remember when the Browns were in first place? That was the best 6 1/2 days ever! Boy, those were some good times.

In a nutshell, as we enter the final week of the season, we have TWO broken quarterbacks and Rex F’in Grossman is too busy next week to get paid to play here. He has “holiday plans”. How’s that make you feel? Rex would rather tip back a few glasses of eggnog and play awful board games with relatives he probably can’t stand than play a single game in a Browns uniform. If that’s not a curse, I don’t know what is.


Sorry, ladies. The NFL hates you!

ray rice

I’ll be the first to admit it, I love the NFL. Sadly, the NFL doesn’t love me back. Do you want to know why? I’m pretty sure the fact that I have a vagina is the crux of the problem. The relationship first started to deteriorate last year when Roger Goodell announced the purse ban, which clearly wasn’t directed at the penis having contingency of the fan base. Feel free to bring a sandwich bag exposing any potential contraband, as if you’re starring in an episode of “Orange is the New Black”, but don’t you dare bring a purse. The message was pretty clear, in my opinion… My adorable $40 NFL endorsed jersey handbag I’d just purchased the previous season was no longer welcome and neither was I. Obviously, I should be hanging out at Target on Sundays shopping the circular sales anyways. My mistake, NFL.


Just the other day as I was deciding whether my game day purse should be the “yellow and blue make green” zipper variety or the Target brand (maybe they’ll be in the ad this Sunday), I read online that my pal Roger had handed down the penalty for Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens domestic violence infraction that occurred in February in Atlantic City. I’ve included a link to the video of this upstanding citizen dragging his then fiancee’s lifeless body out of a casino elevator. Was she dead? it was hard to tell from the footage… she wasn’t moving, that’s for sure. He was kind enough to move her legs out of the way. We all know what a bitch it can be when someone’s waiting on an elevator and it never comes because an unconscious woman’s pesky legs keep setting off the sensors every time the door attempts to close. What a thoughtful man! Always thinking of others, that Ray Rice! There appeared to be one glaring exception to his graciousness as he stepped over his woman and engaged in casual conversation with his buddy. Does someone want to possibly check for a pulse? Maybe use an elevator mirror to see if there’s any evidence of breathing? No? This is clearly true love!


Rice admitted to knocking her out and as a first time offender was able to secure a pretty sweet deal which would eliminate time in the slammer. He’s very sorry. Well, he’s sorry that TMZ obtained footage of the callousness of the whole episode, at least. After carefully reviewing the NFL’s code of conduct and seriousness of the offense, Goodell lowered the hammer. Evander Rice was given a TWO game suspension. Ok… makes sense, right? Felonious assault against a woman can hardly be considered a big deal, can it? I mean, we need to be focusing on the super duper serious offenses like smoking a few joints. We can’t overlook that! Someone might get high, eat way too many Cheetos and binge watch old Beavis and Butthead episodes. That would be a black eye for the NFL, without question. Josh Gordon of the Cleveland Browns puffed his way into a one year suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy. Granted, he tested positive more than one time, but can we really be sure that he remembers the first conversation? My mom says marijuana kills brain cells. If we’re giving benefit of the doubt, let’s at least be consistent. Let’s recap: Ray Rice goes all MMA on a woman and loses two games. Josh Gordon is a pot head and he’ll miss 16 games. By my calculations, Rice can get away with punching his wife in the face (oh yeah, they’ve since married. Does anyone know where they’re registered? I hope it’s Target!) seven more times to earn the penalty given to Gordon. In summation, Roger Goodell and the NFL don’t really like you or consider you worthwhile, all women everywhere. In fact, perhaps they’ll just start punching us all in the face at the turnstiles this season for kicks. Hopefully, that knocks women senseless enough to purchase a few pink glitter jerseys at your friendly stadium teamshop. They don’t want you there, but they’ll gladly take your money.

To say that there has been some backlash would be an understatement. Stephen A Smith from ESPN found himself in quite the pickle when he stated that women should be careful not to provoke an attack. The implication was that the victim in this case could have done something to prevent the domestic violence incident. After several failed attempts at an apology, ESPN suspended him for the insensitive comments. How about that? All he did was have a stupid opinion about domestic violence. As far as we know, he never laid a hand on anyone. As part of the ripple effect, ‘The View’ co-host Whoopi Goldberg weighed in with a woman’s perspective. Yeah… I didn’t realize she was a woman either. I just found out earlier today. She stated, “If you hit a man, don’t be surprised if he hits you back”, to the shock of her co-hosts. Once again, we have a blame the victim mentality. It’s difficult for me to take anything she says seriously. I remember ‘Corrina Corrina’, If the network is smart, they’ll fine her, encourage her to donate to a charity benefitting victims of domestic violence, or perhaps force her to star in ‘Corrina Corrina 2′ as punishment. At some point, someone needs to protect the victims and understand how helpless their situations must be for them to tolerate someone using them as a punching bag. For the new Mrs., Rice’s sake, I hope it’s the last time, but statistics tend to show otherwise.

As for Rice, the Ravens faithful gave him a standing ovation at training camp! How awesome! Was “Eye of the Tiger” playing over the public address system at the time? What a great way to acknowledge abhorrent behavior. I’m so glad that hero worship supersedes ability to recognize someone’s criminal nature. Keep on cheering for this thug, wearing his jersey and teaching your children to idolize a horrific human being. How could that go wrong?

If you know a woman in need of help…




true love’s kiss?

I’ll be completely honest, I’m NOT a Disney fan. Even as a child, I disagreed with the messages the stories sent in regards to women. Why do we always need to be saved? Thank God for men! What would all of us poor meek girls do without the stronger, smarter male gender to bail us out?

I’m not sure what happened in Maleficent. Perhaps Minnie Mouse finally got fed up and went to the board of directors. Everything we’ve learned through the many years of sexist Disney movies is notably absent. Maleficent is in essence, a Prequel to Sleeping Beauty. It takes us inside Maleficent’s story and enlightens us on how she became such an evil presence. Get this… It was a guy’s fault! Maleficent was a happy little fairy, beloved by everyone until some cocky, power hungry man came along and stole her spirit.. And her wings. This Stefan jerk wanted to become king so badly that he betrayed his friendship with a really sexy fairy in order to do it. Essentially, he roofied her and hacked off her wings. Disney date rape? Whaaaaattt?

I don’t know about you, but I’d be pissed. One time, I was stood up for a date and took it out on all of mankind for a good 48 hours. I can’t imagine what I’d do if someone performed surgical procedures on my hot, passed out body. Granted, Maleficent went a little overboard. “I’m really angry. I know what I’ll do. I’ll put a curse on a baby.” In my opinion, this is a little extreme. Most babies are pretty chill. Stefan is a jackass, but messing with his infant is just wrong.

Cursing babies

Cursing babies

The curse is the ever popular “prick your finger on a spinning wheel on your 16th birthday and fall into a coma” curse. That’s the best you could come up with? Naturally, father of the year decides to send his baby, Aurora to live in seclusion in the woods with three really dumb, non-motherly fairies for 16 years and a day. Why wouldn’t he? That’s clearly the best solution. Aurora grows up to be a pretty annoying teenaged girl with zero social skill (that’s what forest living will do to a girl). However, as Maleficent keeps tabs on the girl, she grows to care for her a great deal, for some reason. We begin to see a softer side of her character.

Of course, Aurora has a gentleman suitor who becomes enamored with her, I’m guessing based solely on her looks because the character could not be more boring. Prince Phillip, apparently is a normal teenaged boy.

Try as they might, they just can’t keep Aurora away from a damn spinning wheel on her 16th birthday. It’s seriously, the worst birthday party ever. I’d probably be looking for a way out too, in her shoes. Maleficent desperately tried to revoke the curse, but she’s so good at curses even she can’t break it. Aurora falls into a deep, beautiful slumber which can only be reversed by “true love’s kiss”. Maleficent urges Prince Phillip to kiss Aurora in hopes that she will awaken. This might be my favorite part… They acknowledge how creepy this is. Thank you! You should NEVER make out with someone who’s unconscious. EVER. You’ll get arrested. Phil protests a bit by pointing out that he’d only met her once, very briefly in the woods. Thanks for not being a complete tool, Phil. Maleficent eventually convinces him to plant a very non-sexual, quick kiss on the sleeping princesses lips in front of witnesses. No monkey business! Well, it doesn’t work. Do you know why? Because Phil doesn’t love her. They just met, so that would be weird. He thinks she’s hot… End of story.

Maleficent has all but given up at this point. She’s responsible for this coma, which somehow requires no medical intervention on any level. I looked for feeding tubes, to no avail. As she leans over to say goodbye, she gives sleepy head a sweet, motherly kiss. Guess what? Life of the party wakes up! True love doesn’t have to come from a man? What? Is it possible that we don’t need men to save us? Well, this is a new development. I feel like Walt must be turning in his grave. We’ve destroyed his vision of helpless women everywhere!

Listen, Maleficent isn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not even a true story. However, kudos to Disney for at least attempting to make women a little less needy and pathetic. I was actively looking for a boyfriend before I saw this movie. To hell with that! I have a kid AND a cat. I can get “true love’s kiss” any time I want.


Pool Crimes

Last year's pool party

Last year’s pool party

OMG, you guys! My pool might actually open next week… Only 2 1/2 weeks late! The maintenance guy at my building, the Mayfair said I should be thankful that it’s opening at all. According to him, this will be the earliest it’s ever opened. Woo-hoo! Way to celebrate inadequacy! I’ve tried to reach out to the owner of my building, Lenore Krantz (lovely woman that she is), but for some reason she won’t take my calls. I’ll be honest, my feelings are kind of hurt because I’m an absolute blast to chat with. I guess I’ll just have to use this platform instead. I’m much more comfortable with the public forum anyways, Lenore. I wouldn’t want to get hit with your broom in person.

The maintenance guy flat out told me that she refuses to speak with me and that she plans to ban me from the pool for having an opinion. I’ll tell you what… I can’t wait for that call to the Lakewood Police Department! I’m not completely up to date on the particular ordinances in regards to swimming related crimes, but if you guys could start saving your pennies in the event that I need to be bailed out of the clink for my egregious acts, I’d surely appreciate it. You guys are the best!

I’m no attorney, but I’m pretty sure that you can’t pick and choose what parts of a property a paying tenant is trespassed from, unless I did something horrifying like pooped in the pool or blasted Justin Beiber songs on loop while sunbathing naked. I also complained about the shitty laundry facilities, so I suppose I’m no longer allowed to use the dryers either. I’ll have to take my Bounce dryer sheets someplace where the machines actually work. That should free up an extra six hours on laundry day.

Reasonable Pool Rules. Who needs guests?

Reasonable Pool Rules. Who needs guests?

Let me be clear with one thing, I don’t blame building management at all. Those poor folks have been dealing with Ebenezer Krantz for years. Let me tell you, I plan to be the ghost of summers past, present and future. Maybe she’ll see the error of her ways before Lucifer takes her to her firey ever after. This broad shouldn’t be allowed to get away with the same mistakes time and time again without repercussions. If 19 Action News shows up on your property and demands to know why the pool isn’t open at the end of June, wouldn’t you be damn sure that didn’t happen again the next year? Does she think I’m any less of a sarcastic asshole than I was last year? I like to think my sarcasm is aging like a fine wine. This isn’t difficult. Do the shit you’re supposed to do as a landlord, and I’ll gladly be a model tenant. For me, the pool was the swing vote when I moved into this shit hole. Open it on God-damned Memorial Day weekend like every other pool-having place does. It’s such a simple solution. If you don’t, I will bitch. I promise.

I’m sure you’ve gathered by now that I don’t think my slumlord is a very nice person. None of this in conjecture. I’ve repeatedly heard her scream at and belittle the people who work for her. I can’t imagine ever speaking to another human being, animal or new aged robot in that manner. Her tenants don’t matter either, and I get that. I don’t want to adopt her as my 3rd grandmother or anything. I just want to be respected. I pay my rent on time. How about you do your part?

Last year, sweetheart had the nerve to charge tenants a $10 fee for a pool pass when it didn’t open until July. She also posted the ‘pool rules’ which I’ve included for your enjoyment. No guests? Wow… Am I allowed to have people over inside my apartment, evil step-mom, or is that something you’d like to regulate as well? Who wants to come over for my pool party? Perhaps I’ll run around the pool with my cat, while eating a Wendy’s double bacon cheeseburger and chain smoking Marlboros. Who’s with me?


Trailer Park application

Grillin' up some steakums

Grillin’ up some steakums

Dear City of Lakewood,

I would like you to consider reclassifying my apartment building, the Mayfair from ‘luxury apartment’ to trailer park. Hear me out here… I know it sounds far fetched, but I think you’ll see my side. Effectively, I think this should knock my rent down about $500 per month.

I’ve included a picture of the building’s ‘sparkling pool’ (their words, not mine). As you can see, it’s June and there isn’t any water in said pool. In fact the only moisture appears to be some sort of moldy residue in the ‘deep end’. We’ve been down this road before, my friends. Last year, sparkleville didn’t open until July 4th, and that was only after I demonstrated how awful pool parties are when there isn’t any water in the pool. http://thebroadsside.com/2013/06/22/worst-pool-party-ever/

Who wants to go swimming?

Who wants to go swimming?

Coupled with the fact that the washers and dryers in the ‘state of the art’ laundry facility are evidently decorative, I’m sure you can understand my frustration. Spending $15 for one load of laundry because the dryer takes four cycles isn’t exactly something I look forward to doing. Perhaps, I’ll just start individually drying my clothing with a hair dryer.

I’m aware of the fact that last winter was especially brutal, but I feel that heat is pretty critical. I didn’t appreciate being huddled around a space heater with my cat, while wearing a snuggy the majority of the winter. Did I mention I’m single? Thank you, Mayfair for your generosity with the ‘free heat’! The owner also refuses to spend extra money on salting the parking lot. I guess I should feel privileged that the plow driver journeys through the lot at all. I waved at him several times, but I was flat on my back after slipping so he probably didn’t see me.

Cooling off with a PBR Tallboy

Cooling off with a PBR Tallboy

I’ve included some pictures to show you that I’ve already begun my transition to the trailer park lifestyle. I’ll have to admit, I’m having a great time! Just the other day, I was listening to “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock while cooking up some scrumptious Steakums on the grill that’s stuck into the grass in the back yard. Tell me that doesn’t sound like a blast! Additionally, I’ve begun shopping exclusively at Wal-mart and my bra straps are always exposed. I plan to start parking my car on the grass, but only out front. I wouldn’t want to take up space in the area where I plan to fashion a slip n slide out of hefty bags and a garden hose. Who needs a pool? Laundry is no longer an issue since I’ve commenced drying my unmentionables on a clothesline in the parking lot.
Laundry Day!

Laundry Day!

I’m confident that if we work together, we can make this happen. I’ll gladly volunteer to be tornado preparedness captain if that sways your vote in my favor. If you would care to discuss the specifics further, feel free to stop by and we can toss back a few PBR tall boys on the rotted picnic tables on the luxury grounds. Just don’t be surprised when I crush the can on my head and throw it on the ground after I’ve shotgunned it.

Thanks so much for your time!

About the Broad

A humorous look at dating in your mid-thirties and the other hilarious things that happen around us on a daily basis.

April 2015
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