Posted: Tuesday June 14, 2005 1:08PM; Updated: Tuesday June 14, 2005 4:58PM
Landon Donovan (right) and England's Peter Crouch battle for the ball.
SI: What's the greatest sporting event you've attended because of your celebrity? Carey: I would like to say Rangers-Celtic but I know it's going to be the World Cup. But the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996. I went with [Drew Carey Show co-star] Christa Miller. Her uncle is Dick Ebersol and we got good tickets to everything. We were the greatest pals that week. Her family treated me great. But I'm bad at a picking a greatest thing. I got to go to the Tyson fight right after he got out of prison. At the party before the fight, Wolfgang Puck was serving pizza. Donald Trump was in one corner. Shaq in another. Stars everywhere. I was like, "Man, this is huge." But you get to stuff like this all the time when you are a celebrity. But as far as intensity, the Rangers-Celtic game was right up there.
SI: How closely do you follow Cleveland's teams these days? Carey: I went to the Indians' home opener and I look in the paper every day for the box scores. I get up at 9:30 a.m. every Sunday so I can be awake when the Browns come on at 10 Pacific Time. I watch the Browns without any breakfast. That's how big a fan I am.
SI: What's your most indelible sports memory as a fan of Cleveland's sports teams? Carey: I have two. One is in the late-1980s when a photographer got knocked out in the end zone at a game in Cleveland. He was sprawled out in the field and his legs were inside the end zone so they had to stop the game. The paramedics came out to look at him and the fans were so mad that the game was stopped that they started throwing snowballs at the half-dead photographer and the paramedics. They were just whipping snowballs at him. Who is that jerk who coached the Bengals? Sam Wyche. His big quote later in the season when the people in Cincy started throwing snowballs was "You're not in Cleveland, dammit. You're in Cincinnati!" That's one of the reasons I always hated Cincinnati because they always had this uppity "We're better than you attitude" toward Cleveland. It makes us mad up in Cleveland. They called themselves Cincinnati USA for awhile to disassociate themselves with Ohio, we think. And then the other one is of course the 10-cent "Beer Night" riot the Indians had in 1974.
SI: Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar appeared on your show as did Dave Winfield. Assess them as actors. Carey: Well, they are not actors. They are sports stars. We also had Ahmad Rashad and we had Lynn Swann. I was talking to Kosar once on the phone and I said, "Hey, do you realize that you were on the losing end of the two of the biggest come-from-behind upsets in history?" And Bernie said: "Do you want me to punch you?" He was one of the greatest quarterbacks the Browns ever had, though. He was a really good athlete despite the way he ran.
SI: And you nearly had Albert Belle on the show. What happened? Carey: I was having trouble getting the writers to buy my pitch for the scene. I wanted to have him show up at the Warsaw Tavern and be out of money with his car breaking down. I wanted him to ask somebody for change to use the phone. People would be like "Get out of here." And then he'd be like "But I'm Albert Belle!" Then they wouldn't believe him and he'd get in argument and we'd throw him out. The last scene would have been him pounding on the glass screaming "But I'm Albert Belle!" I don't know if he would have done it, and I had a lot of writers who were not sports-oriented. They were like, "Nobody is going to know who Albert Belle is."
SI: Do you play any soccer? Carey: No. If I do 20 minutes on my elliptical machine I'm so happy.
SI: When I type "Drew Carey" and "Playboy Mansion" into Google I get more than 100,000 hits. What should I read into that? Carey: You should read into that I am one of the happiest people in the world.
SI: Did you ever imagine as a kid that you would be financially secure enough that you could travel the world to attend any sporting event you wanted? Carey: It's amazing. But because I just had my birthday (May 28, 1958), lately I am big on firsts of the months. I'm really goal-oriented. I was looking at my old goals from years ago, like 1989. Here are some of my goals from back then: Travel the world. Spend summers in Cleveland, winters in L.A.Get a black a sports car, two-seater. [Be] financially independent by the time was 40. [Have] excellent credit. That was one of them because my credit was bad. Appear on The Tonight Show. I've done all of that. Keep friends I have now. Did that. I never did rock climbing. Getting in shape is always one of my goals. I've done almost everything I set out to do when I was younger except being in really good shape. That's a big let down for me.