(July 18, 2016 — Nuremberg (formerly known as Cleveland), OH) – Given the fractured state of the Republican Party these days, above all else it needed its Republican National Convention to go off without a hitch.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) just shot that to hell.
Standing in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, Eddie Munster waved a Terrible Towel to excite the tens of convention attendees awaiting the coronation of their Führer, Donald Trump (R-NY).
Problem: The “Terrible Towel” is an icon of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Bigger problem: The Pittsburgh Steelers are arch-rivals of Cleveland’s hometown Cleveland Browns.
“I really don’t know what’s wrong with the guy,” said a convention attendee and Cleveland native, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Maybe he really is that clueless. Or maybe he’s just flat-out stupid. Or maybe he was having an aneurysm. We’ll probably never know.”
But Ryan’s faux pas didn’t end there, as he invited former NFL player Ray Lewis to attend as his guest.
He probably could have chosen better.
“A cadaver would have been a better choice,” said a political scientist, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Lewis played for another Cleveland rival, the Baltimore Ravens. In fact, the Cleveland Browns became the Baltimore Ravens when they left the city in 1996. Former Browns-turned-Ravens owner Art Modell, who died in 2012, was responsible for moving the team; he now has his own suite on the 14th Level of Hell. The current Browns returned as an expansion team in 1999.
“I’m sure Ryan thought he was booking a not-afraid-to-speak-his-mind celebrity,” said a sportswriter, speaking on condition of anonymity. “And I’m sure Ryan thought booking an African-American was meant to show racial inclusion within the Republican Party. But bringing a Baltimore Raven to Cleveland is like bring a member of the Boston Red Sox to New York.
“And, given that Lewis is a murderer, I don’t know what signal Ryan is trying to send. But, in the end, it’s not a good one. He’s going to be flagged for an illegal procedure at some point.”