Dr. Z Week and the Cleveland Indians are Rolling Rolling Rolling: While We're Waiting

Sports Illustrated's Paul Zimmerman was a great influence on my sports childhood, so there should be no surprise Dr. Z Week is featured on the WFNY pages today.

Mornin' y'all. Hope this Wednesday finds you in the highest of spirits with the wind forever at your back. Just a week ago, 1.3 million of you were downtown celebrating the Cleveland Cavaliers' championship. Now, the first-place Indians are doing their best to capture your imaginations about turning Cleveland into #ChampionshipCity by not just winning games, but doing so in a rather convincing fashion.

Do not fret. The Cleveland Browns will be back in Training Camp soon enough to add a dose of harsh reality. They are the perpetual itchy wool blanket that the city wraps around itself every year because grandma made it and we miss her. So, it should not be surprising to see Mr. Hero choose head coach Hue Jackson as the latest upon which to bestow the Curse of the Romanburger.

https://twitter.com/ViewFTT/status/747481877364281344

Then again, the Cavaliers obliterated the curse of Cleveland, so perhaps it will end up being just more proof that jixes get stixes.

Dr. Z Week on MMQB at SI

Sports Illustrated's MMQB wing of writers led by Peter King is dedicating this week of writing to the great Paul Zimmerman, aka Dr. Z. Sadly, the reason they are having such a week is to help out one of last generation's greatest football writers as he continues to suffer from the fallout of strokes. Additionally, Dr. Z and the Flaming Redhead had the rare coins and monies that could have helped continue his treatment stolen from them. Of course, in true Dr. Z fashion, there is also an incomplete set of memoirs to tidy up and publish, which would detail his amazing life.

To me, Dr. Z was the writer who taught me how to watch football. He did not merely give an accordance of accounts on the happenings on the field. Paul Zimmerman studied the tape before and after the game to understand why plays might be called or which players could be exploited. His attention to detail was second to none in the football reporting world, as he obsessed over everything from the air time of punts to, yes, the song duration of the Star Spangled Banner. And, through his column's later at SI.com, he let us get to know him (even the cranky side that most would hide). Here is what I had said a year ago:

Paul Zimmerman is still incredibly influential today. His style of always needing to know the history behind the practice led to long and detailed columns that would weave references of Red Grange, Bart Starr, Paul Brown, and others into the modern context of covering the NFL. He was my favorite columnist and his work has left an indelible impression on my writing. Anytime you see me incapable of writing about the destination without first writing about the journey — that is Dr. Z coming through.

There are several great articles already up at MMQB and I suggest you keep tuned in throughout. And, if you feel so generous, then there is a gofundme account to help Dr. Z and the Flaming Redhead continue with his treatment.

Peter King kicks off Dr. Z week: "'"We’re having ‘Dr. Z Week’ at The MMQB this week," I said, “and I want to explain what our plans are.' Eye roll. He never did like a fuss. Just the opposite: Dr. Z would have said something insulting about the fuss. Those who know Paul will tell you that, at times, it’s been kind to call him a curmudgeon."

Matt Millen explains how he instantly respected Paul Zimmerman and their friendship: "But there was this guy that day in State College … his questions weren’t normal questions. Either he played, or coached, or had been around the game in a way like no other writer. He had this nasty cigar, and the stogie breath that came with it. That was my introduction to Z. I immediately liked him. You could tell he loved the game, asking about far more than just the surface. I loved that."

Tim Rohan's excellent portrayal of Dr. Z: "When there wasn’t a game, Dr. Z often bought drinks for players, took them to dinner or had them diagram plays on film. He called coaches and talked strategy. Agents used his All-Star teams in contract negotiations. Working on his annual draft column, Dr. Z would call general managers and 'tell me who we were going to pick,' says Ron Wolf, the former Packers’ general manager. 'I’m sure maybe once or twice he would’ve been right.'"

Dr. Z from his unpublished memoirs: "Gerage, our night editor, had been enamored with an old Tim Cohane column of the early 1940s called Frothy Facts. He wanted to see it revived, and he decided I was the guy to revive it. I was told to be bright and sparkling and lively. Well, the urge to be clever is one that will destroy you; the straining will blow you apart. I look back on those columns now through fingers spread over my eyes. The less said the better. Occasionally a laugh or two, but clearly I was not ready for that kind of action. The worst thing was what it did to my ego. Listen, everybody, I’m a columnist now!"

Indians Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Go Tribe!

Indians rollin', rollin', rollin'
Lonnie's biceps swollen
Bauer striking out the side
Through rain an' wind an' weather
Wahoo's single feather
Winnin' 11 straight gives us pride

Don't you be missin'
Gimenez dismissin'
Runners late to second on their slide

Hit 'em out, strike 'em out
strike 'em out, hit 'em out
hit 'em out, strike 'em out
Go Tribe!
Throw 'em out, Run 'em in
Run 'em in, Throw 'em out
Throw 'em out, Run 'em in
Go Tribe!

Keep winnin', winnin', winnin'
No fan is disapprovin'
Keep them runners movin', Go Tribe!
Don't try to understand 'em
Just watch, cheer an' tweet 'em
Now the division lead is wide
Mario coins calculatin'
Party at Napoli's be waitin'
Tees at the Team Shop reside

Hit 'em out, strike 'em out
strike 'em out, hit 'em out
hit 'em out, strike 'em out
Go Tribe!

Throw'em out, Run'em in
Run'em in, Throw'em out
Throw'em out, Run'em in
Go Tribe!

Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
Go Tribe! Go Tribe!


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