Things I Did Not Know: Brett Tomko's Father Named the Cavs and the Team Could Have Been Called the "Towers"

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Maybe I'm the only one who didn't know this. Maybe you're as surprised as I was. Read on...

There I was, in the middle of an innocuous story about Brett Tomko's painting hobby when I learned that his father was responsible for naming the Cavaliers and more.

Tomko started drawing when he was 5. He's not sure why. He began by copying the comics section out of the Sunday newspaper — Garfield and Snoopy mostly.

His father, Jerry, was the only one in the family with artistic ability. Years earlier, as part of a contest sponsored by a newspaper , Tomko's father named the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers. As part of his entry, he sketched what would become the franchise's first logo. But quickly,
the younger Tomko supplanted his father as the best artist in the family, a fact that he worked hard to keep concealed.

Now, I knew that the Cavaliers were named through a newspaper contest, and on the site, they give Tomko's name —

"In 1970, Cleveland’s newspaper, The Plain Dealer, held a contest to name the city’s new basketball club. Contest winner Jerry Tomko wrote that the Cavaliers “represent a group of daring, fearless men, whose life’s pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds.

— but I never connected the two.

Anyway, the story about Brett's artistic touch is nice and they have some photos of paintings he's done of teammates. It's kind of like when I write poetry about and for our managing editor. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Another thing I didn't know, or at least never bothered to ask anyone or look up for myself — the other name options fans could have voted on instead of Cavaliers.

The losing foursome from the Plain Dealer contest: Jays, Foresters, Towers and Presidents.

(Really? Towers was an option? WTF?)

About The Author

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
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