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Thursday, August 9, 2012

ABJ Columnist Bob Dyer Doesn't Like When You Call Akron the "Arsehole of America"

Posted By on Thu, Aug 9, 2012 at 11:47 AM

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It's a noble capacity to retain an even-keeled view of your city. To trumpet its charms and upsides while acknowledging that yes, certain things suck and that's just the way it is. The rah-rah Cleveland publicity bunch who descend on any bad word about the Forest City like Frank Russo on an eyeglass sale at Nordstrom's are a fine example of the contrary. Ignoring the blemishes doesn't make you an effective cheerleader, it makes you an blind, ignorant cheerleader.

And it helps to remember that not everyone has to agree. And that sometimes a joke is a just a joke. And that some folks who parachute into Northeast Ohio are bound to carry with them presuppositions that are hard and even impossible to change. Whatever.

Akron Beacon Journal columnist Bob Dyer has so such perspective on life and the fine city of Akron.

When the PGA swooped into town for the Firestone tournament last weekend, a Sports Illustrated golf writer off-handedly tweeted a remark calling Akron the "arsehole of America." That did not sit well with Bob Dyer, who had column inches to fill in the paper and apparently nothing better to do than seek out the writer and interrogate her.

In response to a friend who asked whether she was going to do any TV work this week, she responded:

“No, I’m in the arsehole of America still, Akron.”

Nice.

Nice mouth. Nice attitude.

You come to our town to cover one of the biggest and best golf tournaments of the year …

I approached her in the Firestone Country Club media building on Sunday, where she was pecking away on her laptop.

I held up my cell phone, displaying the tweet in question. She looked as if she been nailed in the back with an errant tee-shot.

I turned on my tape recorder.

DUN DUN.

You don't screw with Akron, missy. Not with Bob Dyer wearing underwear with the Akron city flag on them.

Stephanie Wei, the writer in question, explained it was just a joke.

Dyer wasn't laughing, except in mock giggle-giggle-giggles spread throughout his column either to add emphasis or to pad his word count. And then he began his lecture on why Akron is a great city, donning his best 7th-grade cheerleading skirt along the way, leaving all sense of logic in the rearview mirror.

Maybe she should drive her rental car to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and hike through some of the breathtakingly beautiful 33,000 acres open to anyone who wants to enjoy them.

Or maybe she could just walk across the street from the Firestone media building into Firestone Metro Park, one of many lush oases found all over Greater Akron.

Maybe she could take in an Aeros game at one of the nicest ballparks in the minor leagues.

It goes on from there.

Blah blah blah.

Yada yada yada.

You get the point.

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