Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in Review: Cleveland Sports

Did Cleveland have one of the worst sports years of all time? Consider:

1. No NFL team.

2. Indians were supposed to contend this year. Didn't pan out. Indians fans get to watch their favorite players play elsewhere next season. Also Kerry Wood is the savior.

3. Bubble burst for tOSU. Once USC hammered them, any lingering doubt tOSU fans had that winning the Big 10 was the same as winning a tallest midget contest faded. Fast. I've spoken with MANY people who are ready to throw Tressel back to Youngstown. Seriously. I feel bad for tOSU fans when I see the spark of faux-superiority missing from their eyes. But then I pay them for the pizza and tell them to get off my property.

4. The Cavs are having a nice season, but LeBron is...well, I'm still waiting for consecutive days without speculation that he's going to New York or New Jersey/The Bronx or Italy or wherever. Point is, even though the local NBA team has one of (if not) the best players in the league is soured by the nagging feeling that he's going to get the hell out of here as soon as he can. Best hope is that he stays long enough to win a championship, but it's a foregone conclusion that he'll wear more than one team's jersey in his career. I kind of hope it's for the Bronx Hovs or whatever Jay-Z is reimagining the Nets to be.

5. No NFL team. Just to re-iterate. I'm not sure as a fairly recent Cleveland area guy if the Browns are more important than tOSU. I think if the Browns were winning they would be. Once tOSU was exposed this season -- mercifully early this time -- fans turned to the Browns for football happiness. After all, the Browns were coming off a 10-6 season and a narrow playoff miss. Surely they would do even better this season. Right? Instead, they got these Browns. I realize the Lions were bad this year, but the Browns FAILED TO SCORE AN OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWN IN THE FINAL SIX (6) GAMES OF THE SEASON. Honest to Pete. And people wonder if the offensive coordinator will be held over with the new coaching regime.

6. The Akron Zips football team didn't do much this year. We all wept. Also they've got a new stadium, which is great for the school in obvious ways, but its name (whatever it is) could never be as cool as The Rubber Bowl.

7. Cleveland fans looked out the window Sunday and realized that not only was the season over, but they live in Cleveland.

8. The Browns GM-to-be is allegedly...um...not interested in having Bernie Kosar and Jim Brown around too much -- not in the locker room and not talking to the media. This is, of course, fine in the real world. Unfortunately, Browns fans don't live there. This bums me out too because I've really come to enjoy Kosar's drunk, depressed phone interviews on Monday afternoons during football season. It's like a radio broadcast of a train wreck.

9. Cleveland State blew a late-game lead at Syracuse. (But then hit a miracle half-court shot at the buzzer. It was pretty sweet, actually.)

10. Many folks expect the Indians to contend next season. I'd wonder why they do this to themselves, but I grew up on the North Side of Chicago.

Summary: Did Cleveland have the worst sports year of all time? No. Actually Seattle had a worse year. Look it up.