Scott O’Brien grew up sad.
He is, after all, a Cleveland sports fan.
One heartbreak after another. Year after year. Season after season. Sport after sport.
O’Brien, 35, a South Euclid native living in Los Angeles and operating an e-commerce business called the Green Life, has decided to do something about his sports sadness.
He has written a coloring book called Why is Daddy Sad on Sunday? He is raising money through the online venture Kickstarter to self-publish the book in April.
He took a few minutes to answer questions about his project.
Q: How did you come up with this idea?
A: I was stuck in L.A. traffic, listening to sports talk radio and heard that the Browns were going to fire their front office again, and it struck a chord with me that the whole recent history has just been comical. I was thinking about how I could ever explain it to my 1-year-old daughter once she is old enough, and the coloring book idea came to me.
Q: Are you sad on Sunday watching the Browns?
A: At this point, I have moved past being sad. Now I am just constantly disappointed to the point of finding everything that happens totally ridiculous. I do see a glimmer of hope though for the future, and I really want to see them get it together. If you ask my wife, she will say I’m sad, though.
Q: Which Cleveland sport is the most disappointing and sad?
A: I think it has to be the Browns. They have been a mess pretty much since the mid-’90s and never seem to get it together. Although the Cavs are catching up to them after “The Decision” and what has happened after that. They seem to finally be headed in the right direction, so I hope it continues, although I have learned to temper my expectations at this point.
Q: Is this book for children or just sad fathers?
A: I think it is for both. The fathers (and mothers) can use it as a way to get over the past disappointments in a humorous way, and the children will learn about the past debacles we hear about as kids from the adults. Cleveland sports have so much lore attached to them. As a kid I remember hearing about “Red Right 88” and “The Curse of Rocky Colavito” and I think it is a great way to pass on the tradition in a fun way. There may also be a few Cleveland triumphs that find their way into the pages, as I am a fan.
Q: Why are you using Kickstarter for this?
A: I originally was only going to do the book for myself and a few close friends and family, but I figured that there may be some other fans out there who would be into it. So, I decided to get a quote for a small print run and then see if I can raise enough money for that. That is where the $2,000 budget came from. If I didn’t raise that money, I was just going to make a few out of my own pocket.
Q: Explain how Kickstarter works. Do you repay the money people put up? What do they get out of the deal?
A: People can pledge different levels of funding and they get a different reward based on their donation. The money goes toward funding the project and producing the reward. For example, in my project, people who donate $25 can get a copy of my book plus their name in the Thank You section of the book. It’s a fun way to fund the project as well as get a unique part of the project.
Q: What are your five most disappointing moments?
A: 1) “The Drive.” 2). “The Fumble.” 3) Art Modell moving the Browns out of Cleveland. 4) Game 7 of the 1997 World Series. 5) “The Decision” ... The Fumble and the Drive are probably the most painful for me. I was a kid when they happened and I thought for sure that [the Browns] were going to win the Super Bowl. I remember my mom taking me for ice cream after The Fumble happened to console me. I’ve never forgiven John Elway or Denver for those childhood memories.
Note: As of Tuesday, O’Brien had raised nearly $17,000 from 564 donors — far surpassing his original goal $2,000. The fundraising drive will end March 17.
To help in his project, go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1254956201/disappointing-moments-in-cleveland-sports-coloring.
Jim Carney can be reached at 330-996-3576 or email@example.com.