Wow, what a week!
I had the priviledge of attending Sunday's game against the Steelers. I can say without reservation that it was the single worst performance by any professional sports team that I have ever seen. I have seen ugly baseball games. I have seen ugly basketball games. Considering that a single game in football carries more weight than in the other two major sports, this was the ugliest of the ugly. Some highlights:
FOUR penalties on ONE PLAY to go along with a botched punt by fill-in punter Paul Ernster. In the ugliest game ever, this was the ugliest play, and it set up an immediate Steelers touchdown. This happened in the first possession of the day.
Charlie Frye's interception. This was in the Brown's second possession, and it set up a field goal.
The Browns being down 17-0 in about 4 seconds and everyone in the stadium knowing it was all over already.
Charlie getting sacked 5 times in a QUARTER AND A HALF.
Derek Anderson throwing behind his receivers on what seemed like almost every pass.
The Browns defense completely mailing it in the second half.
Romeo Crennel being outclassed by a rookie coach.
The team being unprepared in every possible way.
An actual highlight was Gene Hickerson's Hall of Fame halftime tribute. They wheeled the Browns great--now ravaged by Alzheimer's disease--onto the turf and his son gave a touching tribute. The reel of footage they played was the only good football the crowd got to watch all afternoon.
My hotdog was delicious, but it kind of hurts to pay 21 dollars for two beers, two dogs and then be forced to watch that kind of a game. If we have to pay NFL prices for concessions, the organization could please do us the courtesy of providing a real NFL team. I mean, please. The average Browns fan is shelling out a large portion of a paycheck to watch this shit. In eight years we have seen a team go from bad to worse. And the beer was Coors Light!!!
Romeo Crennel, if his team performs against the Bengals on Sunday like it did against Pittsburgh, should be sacked. There is no reason for his team to be so disorganized. There is no reason to be flipping a coin to decide who your starters will be.
Also noteworthy was listening to the coast guard choir sing every single patriotic song in the patriotic song canon while a football field-sized American flag was unfurled. Surreal. Bizarre. Excessive.
Charlie Frye getting traded pretty much sums up how fucking absurd quarterback controversies are. The media spent weeks, months hyping up the QB situation in Cleveland. Frye was named the starter. Less than a week later he is gone. We all know who the starter will be in about two weeks. We also know who the first quarterback to be injured will be. Can you guess? Clue: his last name has the same amount of letters as Couch.
Before Sunday's game I kept hearing the phrase "Season of Dreams" floating around. Well, all the empty seats proved that not everyone out there was fooled, and the game itself sobered everyone else up real fast. You will not hear this line again for a long, long time.
Indians - Magic number: 11
Ah, a good, nay!, a very good team. The Indians just wrapped up a 7-3 road trip. Most impressive was that they split with the Angels after dropping the first two of a four game series. This team is going to be very, very tough to deal with in the postseason. And they will be in the postseason, barring a Cleveland-type meltdown.
C.C. Sabathia. He is the Cy Young winner in my books. He has owned Santana and Verlander this season and he has the chance to win 2o. He won't win, because he's from Cleveland, but when you outshine the A.L.'s best pitcher (Santana) all year, you deserve some recognition.
Your 2007 A.L. playoff teams: Cleveland, Boston, Los Angeles of Anaheim (or whatever they're calling themselves now) and, arg!, New York. I so enjoyed watching the Yankees 200 billion dollar payroll flounder all season, but, alas...
Asdrubal Cabrera. Now hear this, Cleveland: you are watching a rare talent. Do you see how he is in the middle of everything? Do you see how comfortable he looks in a major league setting? Cabrera is for real, so enjoy watching a true natural play the game.
Prediction: This is Cliff Lee's last season in a Tribe uniform.
Prediction II: Cabrera will never play in the minor leagues again.
The Indians have, in my book, four Cy Young candidates. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Rafael Perez and Rafael Betancourt. Each has been amazing in his respective role. Of course, setup men are never considered for this award, but the league is batting .188 against Betancourt, and for the past two years, Perez has given up exactly 1 extra base hit to left handed hitters. Find a better lefty/righty tandem in baseball. You can't. Where would this light hitting team be without them? Fighting Kansas City and Chicago for last place, is where.
You know what's been really gratifying about this season? The Tribe has owned the Central Division. Really, it's a complete turnaround from last year.
You know what's been really scary about this season? The Red Sox and especially the Yankees have owned the Indians.
Jim Thome's 499 home runs aren't really making a lot of headlines, are they? Why is that? Maybe because home runs are about a dime a dozen these days. Also, his team is horrible, but HORRIBLE. Thome is a hall of famer, but it's tough to get excited about this former Indian and all the homers he should still be hitting in a Tribe uniform. I mean, did he really sign a contract with the Phillies? I still can't get my head around that one.
LeBron had laser surgery on his eyeballs. Whee!
Baseball won't last forever. The basketball season really can't get here soon enough. Same goes for the Lake Erie Monsters. Anything but the Browns.
Nate's unreasonable predition of the week:
The Browns will win three games this season. OK, two.