Thursday, June 14, 2007

Cleveland Browns, Come on Down!

Slap Hands!

With this year's improbable run to the Championships and the probable ending that all of those so-called "experts" predicted, it's time to start looking again at the lifeblood of this town, the Brown and Orange. Before I do that though, here's a few of my thoughts (since you asked) on the first 3 games so far:

"Deve ser o herĂ³i, deve fazer exame do tiro para o glory do basketball"

- This is what was going through Anderson Varejao's mind as he inexplicably took a nice entry pass from His Highness and spun wildly into the paint and put up a flailing semi-hook, semi-layup, semi-total brick with time winding down in Game 3. Roughly translated from Portugese to English, it states, "must be hero, must take basketball shot for glory". I don't know how it works in Brazil, Anderson, but in America, if you aren't completely wide open and have no discernible go-to post up moves to speak of, you pass the basketball to the best player in the world (sort of) to take that final shot. Criminy.

-I've been trying to figure out who Sasha Pavlovic reminded me of and on Tuesday night it hit me:

-Boobie Gibson, I ain't mad at ya, but welcome to pressure. Here's to hoping you handle it better the next time around.

-The first two losses were easier to take than this last one. In the first two games, we definitely didn't deserve to win and had the deer-in-headlights look except for the 4th quarter in both games, but on Tuesday: ouch, that one stung. We were the better defensive team, the more aggressive, the more dominant in the paint, and we basically shut down 2 of their big 3, and still lost. I don't know what we can do except shoot, shoot, shoot in the offseason to improve our offensive game. There were plenty of nice drives and open looks, but no finishes.

-Whatever happens this last game, I'm still proud of this team and glad I got to at least experience what it felt like to be playing for something important again.

On to the Browns:

-I've read on a few of the sites I have links to that we are located at or near the bottom of the power rankings on a few major publications. Good. I don't want any expectations or victory predictions by anyone (Braylon, this means you) for this upcoming season. If you go into this season expecting the very worse, you won't come away disappointed if it happens (easier said than done).

- I think I like the fact that Rob Chudzinski and Romeo are taking this approach to installing the new offense: drinking from the firehose. Throw it all out there, see what sticks and then see what areas need to be improved on. No more hand-holding, coddling or gradually introducing anything. These guys are all professionals making a lot more money than the average schlub and can at least be expected to grasp a plan for playing a game. I also think it's good for the QB competition. All of them are now on a level playing field and whoever can grasp this offense and its nuances the fastest and most accurately will be the starter. For this season, I honestly do hope it's Frye because I want to see him succeed, Quinn's not ready by all appearances and supposedly this offense involves more rollouts, which is Charlie's forte.

- When K2's knee status makes national headlines (I just saw it on the NFL Network), not good. We need this guy in the worst way (not in a Pittsburgh kind of wanting, but nonetheless).

- Just saw an article on how Joe Thomas and Chase Pittman got into a fight during minicamp. I'm sure RAC was thrilled that the 3rd overall pick in the draft was getting into it with someone who probably won't even be on the roster.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

San Antonio tries to be mean, but fails miserably

ooooooooooohhhhhh, come on CAVS!

Here's an interesting (for the Plain Dealer) article I found on San Antonio tries to be mean, and basically comes off looking like a bunch of second graders in the insult department. Here's a couple of gems:

"The Cuyahoga River caught on fire"

"We haven't won a title in over 40 years"

"The Cleveland Browns stink"

"We've lost games with names like The Drive, The Fumble and The Shot"

"Anderson Varejao looks like Sideshow Bob"

People in Texas like cowboys, right?

Ouch, guys, make it stop. Those insults sound like something that was said at a taping of "Wild'n Out" in Salt Lake City. I have nothing to say about San Antonio, and here's why: San Antonio doesn't matter. San Antonio has no bearing on anything. San Antonio is not relevant to anything. Bascially, San Antonio is just there. That being said, they do have a good basketball team. That's all I can come up with. Is that good or bad? I don't know, but it's the truth. I can't think of a single mean thing to say about San Antonio or a single nice thing to say. If that city didn't have a basketball team, there would be absolutely no reason for me or anyone outside of that general vicinity to even acknowledge its existence.

I think this series will be closer than most of these "experts" think. You can't discount the fact that Lebron played two excellent games against them and we beat them twice already this year. I know this is the Finals and we don't know what to expect and blah, blah, blah, but I am tired of being negative about this team so I will actually make a prediction that I enjoy writing: Cavs in 7. Lebron will not be denied!!!! Enjoy these games, folks, we are so close!!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2007


I'll admit it. I got choked up last night. My wife came down into the basement as the game was ending and asked me an incredulous, "Are you crying?". All I said was a quiet "It's been so long".

I got choked up seeing the thousands upon thousands of people downtown watching the game outside after the Tribe had let out. I got choked up seeing a Cleveland sporting arena alive and shaking like I've never seen before. I got choked up seeing Lebron and Z embrace in a hug that for Z, seemed to give him a brief respite from the sorrow and agony of losing two unborn children this year. I got choked up thinking that the undisputed best young player in the league is one of us and knew, like only someone who has experienced the Cleveland sporting experience can, what was riding on this series and played liked the hopes and dreams of the region were resting on his broad shoulders. I got choked up as all of the years of frustration, anger and disappointment of being a Cleveland sports fan completely left my mind, if only for that night. For that night, and maybe only for that night, Cleveland was on top of the sports world. Cleveland had what everyone wanted to see. Cleveland, yes CLEVELAND, was the place to be. I know we still haven't won anything, but like I stated above, for that one moment in time, I couldn't have been prouder of a team from Cleveland. I wish so badly that I could have been there to be a part of this and to share it with everyone else who has experienced what I've experienced as a sports fan. My brother and sister were down at the Jake and described to me the atmosphere that was downtown and the electricity and excitement of what was going on. I know we are still a long shot, but I can tell you this: if we do win the title, a 7 hour car ride will have never seemed so short.

I won't get into too much analysis about the game because if you're reading this, there's probably a 99.9% chance that you cared enough about the game to actually watch it. It was nice to see the Pistons strategy of double and triple teaming Lebron completely backfire due to the one factor that this strategy relied on, no other player being able to step up and fill LBJ's shoes, fail miserably. Boobie Gibson was ice cold and buried dagger after dagger after dagger after dagger in the 4th in the Pistons' collective hearts. It's shocking that a second round draft pick that was barely a factor in the regular season is now the wild card that gives the Cavs a fighting chance against the Spurs. Things like that aren't supposed to happen in Cleveland. It was also nice to see some offensive strategy being put into play, especially when Detroit went to a trap and we spaced out everyone around the perimeter and then flashed a big man to the top of the key for an entry pass. Drew Gooden did this a couple of times. He was so wide open on one of them, he didn't know what to do.

Sorry to be so melodramatic, but to win 4 straight games after losing the first 2 and to do so in such a convincing fashion is the stuff of legends. For the generations of you who bleed the brown and orange, the wine and gold and the red, white and blue, enjoy this. Enjoy like it may never happen again, because everyone from Cleveland surely knows that moments like this are never promised and definitely rarely ever given.