Thursday, October 11, 2007

Scott Raab, His Chief Wahoo Tattoo, and His Faith in Dennis Kucinich

Posted By on Thu, Oct 11, 2007 at 10:27 AM

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Next time you're in the bookstore, and you're flipping through Esquire in search of a cologne sample or tips on how to tie a double windsor, peruse through Table of Contents and seek out Scott Raab. A writer-at-large for the best general interest magazine in America -- at least for dudes it is -- Raab is a beautiful writer with an interesting eye, fun to see the world through from time to time, which he allows with his fairly regular stories, celebrity profiles, essays, etc. More important, though, is his uncanny ability to sneak his hometown -- that would be Cleveland -- into a magazine that otherwise has an all-too-hard hard-on for New York and LA. Last month, it was a short-but-sweet essay about the Tribe and his Chief Wahoo tat, in which Raab wrote:
They're back. No whammy, praise the Lord, but they are good again. They're good, they're cheap, they're young -- and they're steaming down the stretch with two aces, C.C. and Fausto, a slugging first-sacker named Garko, and the major leagues' finest young all-around player, Grady Sizemore. The baseball gods love names like these as much as they hate Cleveland.
This month, Raab has a baseball blog going, which means he gets to riff on the Tribe's post-season run, and the apparent ongoing seizure he and his wife are suffering over Eric Wedge's loyalty to Joe Borowski. That's online. In the magazine, which should hit newsstands shortly, Raab has a long, soulful profile of Dennis Kucinich. It's a pretty intimate profile because, well, who else but a Cleve-o-phile would want to ride around in Kucinich's Ford Focus with his schizo brother and strangely hot wife? I'm trying to get a hold of Raab to talk about the profile and other things Cleveland, and I will link to it as soon as it's online, but for a sense of the piece's direction, consider this lengthy quote Raab elicits (and doesn't dispute) from Chris Matthews, a quote that, I have to admit, left my jaw dangling somewhere around my kneecaps: "He may have found his time," Matthews told Raab, talking about Kucinich. ...
"He has to decide if he wants to ride the trail all the way to the end. There will be a tremendous prize -- a trophy for the person who's willing to stay in the race and debate Hillary from February to the end of the route. There is an incentive to still be in the race, just to have a lottery ticket in case something happens. Whoever's got the ticket -- if Hillary's got a problem, and we can all imagine that ... anything can happen -- and whoever's out there on the stump and still active as a candidate might be able to be the Cinderella candidate."
There's a lot more interesting stuff in that piece, too. Check it out. And keep an eye out for Raab's stuff. He's a nice ambassador for Cleveland, even if he can't get any of our bars into Esquire's Best Bars list. -- Joe P. Tone

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