How to tell the difference between Cleveland and Albany

Jon Campbell is a good friend of mine; earlier this year, his trivia team “The Fist” won the most recent Trivia Bowl.  In addition to working as a reporter, he is also a fan of most things involving New York sports.

At the same time, ESPN has produced this excellent series known as “30 for 30,” a collection of documentaries and short films about sports and athletics in our generation.   The most recent “30 for 30” features a story about how Cleveland seems to be snakebitten in terms of winning any sort of professional sports championships – you know, the Indians haven’t won anything since 1948, the Cavs have come up short in the finals, and the job security for a Cleveland Browns quarterback is almost as long as the life expectancy of a drummer for Spinal Tap.

So when I saw this post from Jon on his Twitter account… he noticed that the footage used to describe a harsh Cleveland winter included something that … well … isn’t necessarily Cleveland-based.


Well… yes it is.  Or maybe it isn’t.  Because you know, it’s very very hard to tell Cleveland and Albany apart these days.

See, Cleveland has one of the most iconic skylines out there.  It’s very distinctive, you see it and you immediately think of Cleveland.

Skyline of North Albany, in Kodak Elite Chrome slide film

And of course Cleveland has some iconic movie theaters and cinemas.  Definitely hard to miss.

Midnight at the Palace Theater

By the way, have you ever checked out Cleveland’s Tower City?  It’s an amazing complex of shops and government offices.

Albany Sunset-0163

Not to mention the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which may be the most popular tourist attraction in the entire state.

Ferris Sales Co., Albany NY

As for Cleveland’s sports teams, their basketball team has a chance to break that title-less drought.

Jamario Moon of the Albany Patroons with a monster dunk

And at some point in time, you have to visit Cleveland’s downtown, complete with nightclubs, bars and other entertainment.

The Beat of Officer Harris

And finally, Cleveland is the home of the Drew Carey Show, that popular sitcom based on the comedian’s home town.  Watch one episode of that series and you know the difference between Cleveland and Albany.

So yeah, just in case you can’t tell the difference between Albany and Cleveland…

Here’s one more difference.

Our sports teams win championships.  The Patroons, the River Rats, the Firebirds, the ValleyCats, they all have rings.

And they were all earned during my lifetime.

And at least our river doesn’t catch on fire.

Just sayin’, Cleveland…