Friday, October 26, 2007

Cleveland's Troublemaking Little Brother from a Previous Marriage

I just saw one of those "You Know You're From Cleveland When..." lists that we've all seen in one shape or form. The list had over 200 entries on it. Having lived in Cleveland for a number of years, I had to read through a bunch of them.

At #103?

"You're glad Youngstown's there just to make you look a little better."

Unfortunately, this is sort of true. When you tell Clevelanders you're from Youngstown, you always get that "look" - often coupled with the other person taking a half-step backward. Try it next time you're up there (unless you're in Little Italy. Don't mention Youngstown at all if you're in Little Italy.)

My roommate in college used to think I was badass simply because I was from Youngstown. Now, that may be true, but what impressed me was that this same roommate grew up off of Lorain Avenue in Cleveland proper - which is a pretty rough area in itself. When quoting me, though, he'd always repeat what I'd said and then add "B*tch, I'm from Youngstown!" to the end of it, as if it was an implied conclusion.

He's not the only one, either. I have another friend from Middleburg Heights (out by the airport) who once told me how the YSU penguin logo was the perfect image to represent Youngstown - not because of the hat and scarf, of course, but because of the pissed-off, "don't mess with me, tough guy" look on his face.

I imagine Pittsburghers look at us much the same way (although many of them still seem to think that state line is the freaking Berlin Wall. "The world is shrinking," my ass).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Y-town's Own "Catholics vs. Catholics" Rivalry Getting Some Online Pub

Sports Illustrated's website,, has put out their weekly list of the top high school football teams in the country. Cardinal Mooney is at #14, and their upcoming game against rival Ursuline is mentioned. On's front page, in the bottom left corner, is a link to the article with a photo of a Mooney player.

The link to the relevant part of the article is here.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pavlik: Champion.



Thursday, September 27, 2007

Slowing the Waters

The two of you who are regular visitors to the site have probably noticed that it hasn't been updated in quite a while. Unfortunately, this is not a message to calm your fears and assure you that I'm getting back on the horse to make sure it gets updated on a regular basis. Instead, I'm writing to explain that the site, while still up and running, will have to be updated much less frequently over the next few weeks as well, due to a lot of other commitments. I know you come to Mighty Mahoning for its hard-hitting, captivating, no-holds-barred style of journalism. Actually, I know that's not true. Regardless, at the moment, I don't have the ability to really contribute to this as often or with the effort that I want. So, for the time being, expect fewer posts.

While I'm here, though, I should point out that I did see a spread in the Vindicator a couple weeks ago that talked about Black Monday and featured a list of Youngstown bloggers and their profiles. I was happy to see a few friends on the list, and even discovered a few new sites I hadn't seen before. I was not featured in the article and nor was I asked to be. This is fine, of course - the paper has the right to make these types of decisions and, plus, I hadn't updated for quite a while at that point, either.

Of course, my not being asked may also have something to do with my criticism of the paper in this space. If so, that's still fine. They're certainly not obligated to publicize other media outlets that are critical of them. I, of course, stand by the remarks I've made. I should, however, point out that the Vindicator's story on Youngstown bloggers is a good thing (especially considering that most of them weren't part of the paper-owned Valley24 project, which shows some journalistic integrity in this age of corporate synergy in the media. See "ESPN.") Points to the Vindicator for publicizing something positive about the city.

With that, I have to go - good luck to Kelly Pavlik this weekend - and hopefully, I'll be back soon.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

If you're one of the three people who regularly read this page, you may have noticed that it hasn't been updated in quite a while. Unfortunately, I'll have to resort to the usual excuse for things of this nature- I've simply been too busy. Part of why I've been so busy, though, is that Mighty Mahoning has moved its headquarters from Cleveland to Youngstown. Obviously, this is a good thing- why would you want to be anywhere else?

Anyhow, there are a few Youngstown-related things to catch up on.

Chris Barzak World Domination Day

August 28 was unofficially designated "Chris Barzak World Domination Day" by our good friends over at the Oakland. The reason for this, of course, was that his first novel, One for Sorrow, was released on that day. If you've been keeping up with the other Youngstown blogs (and of course you have), you've probably already heard about this. There are lots of interesting and exciting things to say about this, and presumably, many of them have already been said. In simplest terms, though, it's something for us all to be proud of and it's another great example of what a great scene we have when it comes to the arts here. I urge you to read the book (I hear it's great, although I haven't read it yet myself) and check out Barzak's blog over at

Something to Crow About

County fair, county fair
Everybody in town'll be there
So come on, hey, we're goin' down there
Hey, little girl with the long blond hair
Come win your daddy one of them stuffed bears
Baby, down at the county fair."

-Bruce Springsteen, County Fair

This weekend, as you know, is the Canfield Fair, one of the supremely important items on the Youngstown area calendar every year. It's hard to articulate just why I love the fair. As a city kid, I know very little about what qualifies a pig as a blue ribbon winner or just how one can grow a pumpkin the size of a Geo. The smell of several tons of horse and cow manure is a pretty foreign and pretty awful scent for me, too. It's not that I dislike the country life, it's just that I can't relate. Regardless, I love the fair.

Of course, everyone loves the fair. It's a great tradition and one that has been more or less preserved in its proper state even though everything else around it has changed. One imagines that, when the fair first started, Canfield was a pretty remote place, made up almost entirely of farmland. Obviously, things have changed around town- but the fair really hasn't. That's reassuring for a lot of people. The fact that things are almost always the same there- sights, sounds, smells- brings back lots of memories.


The Penguins take on the Buckeyes this weekend in the Tressel Bowl. I'll be there, proudly clad in my Defend Youngstown t-shirt. Go Penguins.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Seen Around Town, Vol. I

The old Stambaugh's Hardware near Elm Road in Warren once had the phrase "Improve your home" proudly painted on the side of the building in huge letters, easily visible from the highway. Over time, the building underwent some changes, and either a paint job or wall replacement ended up altering the writing on the side of the building. It's blank and nondescript now, but up until a couple of years ago, the side of the building had the following phrase, which I would see as I drove back and forth to college in Cleveland:

"Improve your ho."

Wise advice. Wise advice indeed.