It's been 10 years since the Hampton Pirates of Virginia clobbered Alabama's Tuskegee Golden Tigers in the last meeting of their once-heated football rivalry. The two teams play again Saturday afternoon at Cleveland Browns Stadium in the P&G Ohio Classic, the centerpiece of a four-day celebration of everything African American. "They used to have a great, great football rivalry," says John Pace, the event's president. "[This] is the rebirth of a rivalry."
After the game, the action shifts to the Music Hall for the Greek Step Show, a black-college tradition in which colorfully costumed fraternities and sororities show off their syncopated routines. Tuskegee and Hampton will take part, along with Kent State, Akron, and other area universities.
The Classic also features more than 30 lectures, comedy showcases, dances, and luncheons. Syndicated radio talker Tom Joyner will broadcast live Friday morning at the Music Hall, and Bootsy Collins leads an All-Star Classic Jam at the stadium's club lounge Friday night. The Pirates and Tigers tee it up at 1:30 p.m Saturday. The P&G Ohio Classic starts at 6 p.m. Thursday and runs through 3 a.m. Monday at various locations. Admission to the game is $14 to $29. Call 216-861-3937 for more information. -- Cris Glaser
Tough H20 to Row
Crews cut through the challenging turns of the Cuyahoga.
The Head of the Cuyahoga is one of the most challenging regattas in the country, thanks to the river's many natural twists. "The river has more severe turns than any other course in the States," explains Matt Trevits, director of the 3.1-mile rowing race. "There are only some spots where it's possible to pass another [boat]." The contest typically attracts 900 rowers from 35 teams, competing in master, lightweight, junior, novice, and open classes. Teams consist of four and eight members. "The fate of a boat is linked to the contribution of each person," Trevits says. Winners take home $500 "cox-boxes," which amplify the voice of the coxswain (crew leader) and track the boat's speed. "Most crews need three to five [of them]," he says. "So they are certainly hot prizes." The race starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday on the eastern bank of the Cuyahoga River, from the West Third Street Bridge to the Nautica Complex. Admission is free. Call 216-789-2139 for more information. -- Cris Glaser
Walk the Walk
Sweating's optional at the annual AIDS Walk.
Whenever someone organizes a 5K walk, Grayson McHugh is there. For four straight years, he's signed up for the Dr. John Carey Memorial AIDS Walk & Run to help raise money for the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland and to keep his lanky body tight. "But I don't run," he says. "I'm too much of a wuss." The route starts at Edgewater Park with a westbound stroll on Edgewater Drive, heads south to Clifton Boulevard, and winds back to the park. (Runners tackle a variation that stays inside the park.) It starts at 9 a.m. Sunday at Edgewater Park, 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway. Admission is free; call 440-735-9255. -- Cris Glaser
After seasons like this one, you could argue that there should be more than one Fan Appreciation Day for loyal Tribe fans. Before their final home game against Boston on Sunday, players will greet ticket-holders at the gates. Every half-inning, fans can win prizes, including autographed jerseys, team-shop merchandise, and other Indians paraphernalia. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. at Jacobs Field (2401 Ontario Street). Tickets are $5 to $55; call 866-488-7423. -- Steve Albanese