SCENE/DOBAMA "10 MINUTES" CONTEST WINNER: YOU GOTTA BEREAVE

To help Dobama Theatre celebrate its 50th anniversary and its first season in its new home, we asked readers to send in essays about 10 minutes in Cleveland that changed their lives. We received a wide range of entries, including some that adhered closely to the guidelines and some that took liberties but still made for good reads. All three winning entries will be read by actors following an upcoming performance of 10 More Minutes from Cleveland, by local playwright Eric Coble (who also helped choose the winners). Here's one:


YOU GOTTA BEREAVE
By “Simply Tim”

Ten minutes from Cleveland that changed my life? Yeah, I got ’em. Not 10 consecutive minutes — that would be too easy. And we don’t do things easy in Cleveland. But if you add up all the individual moments, like the shiny pennies that they are, they equal 10 minutes, 10 of the most glorious minutes of my life. Even if, uh, Dad did almost die. Let’s have a look, shall we?

Crowd noise fades in, growing louder and louder in volume. Yelling, cheering. Lights come up on TWO FIGURES seated in old stadium seats — TIM and HIS FATHER.

It all started that wondrous day when my father took me to my very first football game — the 1964 NFL Championship. Cleveland Municipal Stadium, December 27, the underdog Browns versus the dreaded 12-2, Johnny-Unitas-led Baltimore Colts! And although I didn't know it at the time, that was the greatest Browns' game I would ever see.

Over the crowd noise, we hear an ANNOUNCER: And there’s the gun! That’s the end of the first half between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Colts as the teams head back to their locker rooms …

Tim's father excitedly jumps out of his seat and points.

FATHER: Look at that scoreboard, son — what's that say?
TIM: Zero-zero?
FATHER: Zero-zero! You know what they call that?
TIM: What?
FATHER: A tie! They call that a "zero-zero" tie. And you know what that means?
TIM: What, Dad?
FATHER: Means we're not gonna get our asses beat as bad as I thought! I figured the Colts were gonna wipe the field with us, 60-0. Ha! Only gonna be 30-0 now. Man, I'll take that any day. The Browns are looking good. Whatta say, let’s give 'em a cheer.
FATHER and TIM: Go-o-o-o-o-o, Browns!

Lights go down. The voice of the Announcer is heard.

ANNOUNCER: Now the teams line up. They await the snap.

The lights come back as Tim and his Father stare intently at the field.

ANNOUNCER: Ball’s down. Groza hits it. End over end, got the distance, and it … is … good! Groza’s field goal is good and the Browns take a 3-0 lead!

Crowd noise goes off the chart. Tim’s Father jumps out of his seat, ecstatic.

FATHER: Lou the Toe, yeah! You know what this means?
TIM: What, Dad?
FATHER: Means no shutout! “Colts Win Championship, But Can't Shut Out Browns.” Yeah! Colts 30, Browns 3. I'll take that. Whatta you say, Tim?
FATHER and TIM: Go-o-o-o-o-o, Browns!
ANNOUNCER: Ryan back to throw. Deep to Collins. He’s got it! Collins has it, runs it in, and touchdown, Browns!

Crowd noise is thunderous now as Tim's Father stares in quiet disbelief.

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