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Cleveland Heartbreak Coloring Book in Works

Cleveland Heartbreak Coloring Book in Works

| On 04, Mar 2014

Being a Cleveland fan brings with it a level of heartbreak unsurpassed in American sports.

Some fans get drunk. Some rage. And some, like Scott O’Brien, try to laugh at it.

O’Brien, a South Euclid native now living in the Los Angeles area, was in elementary school for the Fumble and the Drive. He watched the Indians snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series in a dorm room at GMI in Flint, Michigan.

And after the Browns cleaned house in the offseason, he finally couldn’t stand it any longer.

“I was sitting in LA traffic, as I do a lot, and they just announced the Browns were firing their front office – again,” O’Brien said. “It was getting to the point where it was comical.”

O’Brien, the parent of a 1-year-old daughter, couldn’t figure out a good way to tell her about the insanity of being a Cleveland fan. So he figured he’d show her with a coloring book, “Why is Daddy Sad on Sunday: A coloring book depicting the most disappointing moments in Cleveland sports.”

Surprisingly, the book’s only 55 pages. It starts with Game One of the 1954 World Series, as Vic Wertz’s towering fly ball is snared in deep center field at the Polo Grounds by Willie Mays.

“I wasn’t alive to remember it, but it was kind of iconic,” O’Brien said.

From there, it goes through the litany of agonizing moments. For Cavs fans, there’s the Shot and the Decision. For Browns fans, there’s the Fumble and the Drive. And for Indians fans, there’s the 1997 World Series, where the Tribe was two outs away from their first World Series win in nearly 50 years before losing to the Marlins in extras.

“That’s probably my most disappointing moment as an Indians fan,” O’Brien said. “It was devastating. I was thinking about it constantly for weeks after that.”

The project started out as something for friends and family. O’Brien, who describes himself as an amateur artist, did the drawings himself, but needed someone to do the printing. The estimate was around $2,000, so he took to Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site, looking for donations.

The project got attention, including a bump on Twitter from Darren Rovell of ESPN. Since then, O’Brien’s gotten more media attention – and donations. The project has more than exceeded its goal, with funds over $20,000 with a little less than two weeks to go.

“I was very surprised,” he said. “I thought it was going to be one of those things where I might come up short. I’m really shocked.”

Now, he can afford to hire a graphic designer, but will still self-publish the first edition. He hasn’t decided if he’d do more printings with a publisher.

The Kickstarter campaign runs through March 16. Anyone who donates $25 or more to the project will get a copy of the book, and O’Brien is taking pre-orders for copies as well.

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