Cleveland Jackson discusses Cavs Zine’s support for Dion Waiters’ Bowling Extravaganza this Sunday

The Waiters Weekend Basketbowl Fundraiser will be held this Sunday, August 4th, from 5pm-9pm at the Corner Alley on Euclid Avenue in Downtown Cleveland.

Tickets for the Bowling Extravaganza, presented by Cavaliers guard Dion Waiters, are still available and you can pick one up by clicking here.

Admission as a spectator requires only a $25 donation and for $45 you can even bowl.

So basically everyone in Cleveland should be trying to get down here for a tremendous event that benefits the entire community.

One of the sponsors for this fundraiser is Cavs Zine Founder / Editor, Cleveland Jackson.

It's his Cavs Zine 4 logo, as designed by Mike Brenkus, that you see on the pin opposite the Cleveland Cavaliers pin on the promo. 
I had a chance to catch up with Mr. Jackson to discuss not only the event itself but also his willingness to get his Cavs Zine team involved. 

What inspired you to donate on behalf of Cavs Zine to support Dion Waiters' Charity Bowling event?

Cleveland Jackson: Nothing in the world makes a man feel more grateful to be alive than a perfect cup of coffee in the morning, the air in the mountains, the swish of made free throws on the road and the sound of a bowling ball hitting the pocket and blowing that up. On top of that, it’s great to see a young guy from out of town come in and hold a charity event for Cleveland in Cleveland. Dion Waiters doesn’t have to do this at all, but here he is, the year after his rookie season, coming in and making things happen. So we have to support that if we can.

Who is on your bowling team and have you guys been practicing?
Cleveland Jackson: The bowling team was @TheDannyFairy, who was captain of his high school bowling team, Scott Raab, who boasted some solid games over a long career, Mikey Five Bucks, who used to run and now writes for and likes to chill at Mahalls in Lakewood, and myself. I usually bowl for recreation only as a pretty strict policy, but am making an exception for charity. Oh, so then Mikey Five Bucks had to go to Milwaukee and so I had to replace him with a superringer. Man this guy I got coming is probably going to win the whole thing. Can’t say enough about how he’s about to destroy the competition. For charity.
Do you expect to beat Dion Waiters' team in bowling? If so, why?
Cleveland Jackson: This is pretty much in the bag. Like I said, pretty sure everybody is going to concede when they see what we got coming. That’s cool though, I hope they have a lot of fun too.
Has your bowling team discussed a signature celebration move in response to a strike in order to keep momentum going? Examples include Darius Miles' two-handed head tap, DeShawn Stevenson's face is on fire or Jamario Moon's goosie signal.
Cleveland Jackson: We just act like we’ve been there. Fistbumps could happen, but don’t touch my bowling hand if it’s hot, which it usually is. You can see the smoke sometimes. So surreal.
Will you be dressed in Cavs Zine apparel, patches, or other gear during the charity event to represent?
Cleveland Jackson: Cavs Zine 4 is going to get promoted much more than the prior issues. I got stickers and whatnot coming out, plus 1” Cavs Zine 4 buttons. Unfortunately the buttons aren’t going to make it in time for Sunday, but you’ll see them out on the streets and at Cavs games this coming preseason and season. If you see someone else wearing one, it’s like a brotherhood / sisterhood. You better help that person out if they need some jumper cables. That’s what I’m saying.
What are some of the coolest / most random experiences you've had as a result of publishing Cavs Zine going on four years? For example, I believe you met Kyrie Irving's grandmother in New Jersey while giving her Cavs Zine 2?
Cleveland Jackson: I’ve met some pretty fancy celebs, from Sam Amico and Henry Abbot to Kiesha Cole and, of course, yes, Kyrie Irving’s Grandmother. She CLAIMS to be his biggest fan and has some pretty compelling arguments. That was actually outside of MSG in that lockout season. Jeez, you remember how we all had to wait through the lockout to see Irving play? Also how popular Jeremy Lin was there then and how much tickets cost? It’s interesting how Cavs Zine gets distributed, many by hand at games in Cleveland and elsewhere. I go to a fair number of road games and Cavs fans outside Cleveland go totally nuts when they see what it is. The best for me personally is when someone becomes interested in the Cavs and Cleveland because of the Zine. Like they just see it’s a cool zine and want to find out more about the writers or artists who are doing stuff for it.

Is there any inside information you can release now about Cavs Zine 4?

Cleveland Jackson: Other than Mike Brown being on the cover, which is still in the works, I’ll say this: You better figure out a way to get a copy. Again, it’s going to be super positive, but honest. We could put out 36 pages of mean-spirited humor about former players who left during free agency. That’s not how we roll. There’s a ton of great stories on this team. Waiters year two, the maturity of Irving, the possibility of Anthony Bennett and Andrew Bynum taking the team to the playoffs. Two years ago we all had our hopes pinned on JJ Hickson and Jawad Williams, so there’s a lot more options this time around. Stylistically, it’s still going to be black and white, hand-made and old school. Also it’s likely to be a heavy Wu-Tang influence, owing in part to RZA’s appearance at Cleveland Public Library this spring, the new Ghostface Killah album and his show at the Grog Shop, and GZA’s release of that chess set Liquid Swords box set. Looking to get as many of the writers from Issue 3 back that I can, plus some new talent. Still working on the insert, which is likely to be something you can’t live without. And hopefully Craig Ehlo doesn’t end up using his copy for kindling. Just kidding Craig, and I think you can beat those charges. How can there be a law against destroying your own property? Not sure how they pin you down on the recklessness of setting your own clothes on fire if you don’t want them anymore.
How does it feel to have your logo on a bowling pin featured prominently on Dion Waiters Bowlathon photo?
Cleveland Jackson: It’s fun to think that people will be curious and find out what we’re doing. Also it’s cool to think how real this got.
Who are some of the Cavs Zine writers you invited to come watch your team bowl?
Cavs Zine: These guys and ladies have all been working for free for Cavs Zine. Can’t say how much I enjoy working with everyone and appreciate free work. Looks like we’ll get cover artist Mike Brenkus, Ben Cox, Angelo Beneditti, Robert Hogg, Kelly Gentile, and Patrick Kocon. Kocon isn’t a writer, but he’s been quietly working behind the scenes for Cavs Zine from day 1. It’s an all-star group, really.
On a serious note, how encouraging is it to see young players like Dion Waiters already understanding the importance of giving back to the community that supports him?
Cleveland Jackson: That’s really the coolest part as far as I’m concerned. Dude is relatively young but the fact that he cares about coming to Cleveland three months before the season starts to raise some dough for Cleveland charities, can’t give enough props for that. Life is bigger than the NBA basketball player lifestyle. Some guys get that, some guys don’t. There is no requirement that players like Waiters do stuff like this anywhere, let alone in the place they play. He’s from Philadelphia, not from here, but here he is choosing to have a relationship with our city. You have to respect that.
Brendan Bowers

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.