THE FIVE CITIES I HATE THE MOST:
Yes, back by popular demand, here is a list of places I absoultely, positively hate with a passion. The list is in alphabetical order because frankly, I can no longer rank them - they're all miserable. If given the choice, I would probably bomb them back to the Stone Age, because that's where they belong. Now, without further ado...
- Ada, Ohio (and Lima as well): Imagine, if you will, what the world would look like after a nuclear holocaust. There would be absolutely nothing around, no trees, no wildlife, no houses or buildings, no signs of life. Just nothing.
That pretty much describes Ada and Lima.
Ada is home to Ohio Northern University, an OAC foe of Capital's. Unfortunately, this has required me to take several treks to the Land Before Time, once for a volleyball match and also a two-day golf tournament. I can't even describe how boring the drive up there (from Columbus) is. I've seen more life in a funeral home.
The only places to eat in Ada are a Subway and, rumor has it, a Hardy's (or some other second-rate fast food joint, I didn't actually see one but people say it exists). Former Capital Assistant SID Sam McCarthy said that the Subway once ran out of bread. Come on now. Did "Jared" show up unexpectedaly and eat all their subs?
When Sam, fellow "Chimes" scribe John Carlisle, and I went up to Ada for the volleyball match, we had to stop and wait for a train around Kenton, which is fairly close to Ada. Inexplicably, the train stops in the middle of the tracks, then begins moving in reverse. Still completely blocking the road, the train stops once again before finally moving forward. This fiasco cost us 20 minutes of our lives.
I played a round of golf with an ONU kid from Ada. He seemed nice enough, until he tried helping out our group by giving us pointers about the golf course. For example, he told me to watch out for a "crick" on one hole. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about so I stepped up to my ball and took a good whack, sending it about 200 yards down the fairway before it disappeared into a valley before the green. "Nice hit," he said, "but you're probably in the crick." Confused, we walked up towards the green, where I found my ball had landed in a "creek", or a "stream".
Basically, the next time I have to go to Ada is too soon.
Ann Arbor, Michigan: Is a whore. Need I say more?
Cincinnati, Ohio: During spring break of my junior year in high school, my mom and I visited some colleges, including the University of Evansville in Indiana. We came home on I-71, which required a drive through northern Kentucky and Cincy.
It took us three hours to go 50 miles, traffic was that backed up.
As annoying as that was, I thought nothing more of the place until this past fall. See, Cincinnati has this NFL team, the Bengals (or the Bungles) which has, well, struggled recently. Like, for 15 years. Like, the the Browns had a better record from 1996-1998 then them, and we didn't even have a team. They were notoriously one of the poorest-run franchises in pro sports.
Now, this past year they got off to a pretty good start, won some games, blah blah blah. And all these Bengals fans just start climbing out of the woodworks! Where were all these fans the past 10 years? I doubt half of them even know who Sam Wyche or Anthony Munoz are, nonetheless Ken Anderson or Ken Riley. To listen to them talk, you'd have thought they were the best team in NFL history. And this was in Week 4, after beating powerhouses such as Cleveland, Minnesota, Chicago and Houston. Impressive.
Pretty soon, all you could hear on Sunday's were chants of "Who Dey!" I got news for you - "dey" is not a word in the English language. Sorry. "Who Dey! Who Dey!". And this was in Columbus! You could forget about watching a Browns game on TV - CBS almost exclusively carried the Bungles the whole season, much to the chagrin of civilized football fans.
After the Bungles lost on ESPN Sunday Night Football against Jacksonville (a game watched in my dorm room, with the door closed to block out the "Who Dey!" chants of ignorant fans down the hall), I opened the door and screamed "Who Dey! Dey Suck!!!" before slamming the door. That effort was rewarded by a glass bottle being broken outside our window.
The situation became so dire that I even started an anti-Bengals group on Facebook ("Who Dey? Dey Suck!"). I cheered when Carson Palmer went down. I cut out the full-size photo that ran in the next day's Columbus Dispatch with him lying on the ground in agony and hung it on my bulletin board, much to the delight of non-Bengals fans throughout the dorm.
And don't get me started on the Reds this year. It's the second coming of the Big Red Machine. Brandon Phillips is a combo of Barry Larkin and Joe Morgan. Is that David Ross or Johnny Bench behind the plate? Which Ken Griffey is out there on the field? Ryan Freel is the epitome of Mr. Charlie Hustle himself, Pete Rose. And Jerry Narron does have an uncanny resemblance to Sparky Anderson.
One last note: when the Reds came to Cleveland, a large group of "Nasty Nati" fans came too (oh, and they're pretty nasty, let me tell you). I attended a game the Tribe actually won (see my first post here), and with the Indians winning 4-0 in the ninth, the Reds fans started a "Scoreboard!" chant ("Scoooore-booooard! Scoooore-booooard!") What, exactly, were they pointing out on the scoreboard? That they were losing to a crappy Indians team? Stupid, ill-timed chant. Any respect I might have carried over for Reds fans disappeared in that blaze of glory.
Mentor, Ohio: I really want to extend this to all of Lake County, but since I work for a team called the Lake County Captains, I won't. I like my job.
Mentor is mainly on this list because of baseball. They played in the same summer league as us, and I cannot, for the life of me, ever remember beating them. Maybe once or twice in 5 years, if that. To make matters worse, it always takes over an hour to drive out there because of rush-hour traffic on 271 and 90, and those were some miserable rides, especially the several times we went out there only to have the game rained out.
Then, senior year, varsity baseball, sectional finals. Mentor is the top seed and we're playing them on their home field. We drive out there, only to have - go figure - the game rained out. Which was fine with me, because I was battling food poisioning from the cafeteria macaroni and cheese and spent most of the evening with my head in the toilet. But I digress.
The game is rescheduled for the next day. Game starts at 4:30; bus is supposed to pick us up at about 3:00. It doesn't show up until after 3:30. We don't get there until about 4:30. We're the home team (due to Ohio high school rules) and the umps don't give our starting pitcher, Jordan "The Moose" Schoenfeld any time to warm up. He gives up two runs in the first inning and we lose 2-0. Mentor goes on to reach the state finals. I go on wanting that city destroyed.
Pittsburgh (aka "Shittsburgh"), Pennsylvania: Man, do I hate the Steelers and their pompous fans. Enough already. We get it. The Steel Curtain. The Immaculate Reception. Terry Bradshaw and Lynn Swann. The Bus. And now Big Ben.
When news broke of Big Ben's motorcycle crash, my fellow Captains employees laughed. I hoped it was career-ending. Why? Just look at what's happened to the Browns for the past, I don't know, 40 years or so. The best player in franchise history - hell, NFL history - leaves to make movies in Hollywood ("The Dirty Dozen" is real good, but I'd rather have had a few more championships.) We had some good teams in the '70s but couldn't get by Shittsburgh. I'll sum up the '80s as follows: Red Right 88, The Drive, The Fumble. Art Modell took away our team in the '90s. Since the rebirth, it's just been one thing after the other, recently with Kellen Winslow's own motorcycle problems and what I'll now call The LeCharles Bentley Situation.
That's what it comes down to - our top player blows out his ACL popping wheelies in an empty parking lot; their star player gets a little banged up after being hit by a car! Ridiculous.
So there's my list, the five places I hate the most right now. It may be subject to change/addition as events unfold over the course of my life. If you have any more rants about these cesspools or suggestions for other unfavorable locales, be sure to let me know.