Monday, May 22, 2006


It's a Cleveland thing

From now until the end of time, every possible hurricane or tropical storm has already been named. Each of 12 different regions already has several different lists of storm names which are rotated each year. For example, the first Atlantic Ocean hurricane of this year was named Alberto. The first Atlantic Ocean hurricane of 2011 will be named Arlene. And in 2012, the first Atlantic Ocean hurricane will be named Alberto, as this year's list comes back into play.

Perhaps it's time to set up such a list for Cleveland sports teams. ABC decided to show us our list in the closing minutes of the Cavs' Game 7 loss to the Pistons yesterday. While watching the end of Game 7, we relived The Catch, Red Right 88, The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot, and The Mesa. We can add in The Modell for the Browns' move and The Non-Catch for Grady's misplay in Kansas City next year and have ourselves a right proper list. Thanks, ABC!

Then we'll be prepared for years to come. Instead of trying to come up with new names for each of our sports disasters from now on, we just start back at the top of the list, and call the next event The Catch II. Red Right 98. The Drive II. The Next Fumble. The Second Shot. The David Modell. A Bigger Mesa. Another Non-Catch. Then let's call this latest loss The Cleveland, because it just sums up our sporting life year after year. Or how about The Sigh, because that's all we can do. Then just go back to the top of the list each time you get to the end and modify the names a bit, that should last us at least the next 50 years. Certainly past 2011.

While yesterday's Game 7 loss doesn't rival the towering infernos which have burnt down in our sporting past -- after all, it wasn't at home and the Cavs weren't favored and Jose Mesa wasn't playing -- it certainly belongs on the same stage. After all, the Cavs tied the record for fewest points in a half of a playoff game (23), and set records for fewest points in a Game 7 and a Cavs playoff game (61). If you're not going to make the loss memorable, you might as well make it historical.

For some reason, despite falling for the old Lucy-holding-the-football trick once again, fans still believe. Of course, plenty of people still believe Bill Gates is giving away money for forwarding email. No, it's just the same old, same old; the promise of a big hunk of fresh cheese and the reality of a giant mousetrap snapping down on our necks in a trap sprung by God.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your website because it is so true. My name is Steve Warner, (email: Swarner56@aol.com) I am 61 years old and have lived in Cleveland all of my life.

There is no hope whatsoever for any of Cleveland's pro sports teams to win a championship. No hope at all. None. Zero. Nada. 25 years from now people will be saying just what you're saying on your great website doay. Maybe they'll find something in the Lake Erie water which guarantees failure to any and all pro sports teams here.

Anonymous said...

Steve Warner continues:

Cleveland is a dying, decaying city and I guess it rubs off on the pro athletes who unfortunately get stuck here. Walk down Euclid Avenue from CSU and you'll see vividly what I mean about a dead city. Our city and our teams are like the carp that wash out of Lake Erie and rot on the shore.

When Jerome Bettis fumbled near the end of the playoff game of Pitts vs Indy, I immediately said to myself: Coach Cowher and Bettis have been taking Cleveland pills. But Ben R, the QB, made the game saving tackle and that would have never happened in Cleveland in a million years. If Cleveland needs a big play, someone to step up, it never happens. Never will.

Northcutt in the end zone on an 88 yard punt return. You know what happens: yellow flag. Time after time after time.

Anonymous said...

All Mesa has to do is throw hard strikes and what does the fat beaner do: get cute and throw curve balls.

I remember a few years ago the Browns were up by 17 against the Bears with a minute left to play and they still lost the game. Metcalf up the middle. Courtney. Gerard Warren. Winslow. Yep.

Anonymous said...

What I do know with certainty is that whomever the Browns draft will invariably be a failure or a journeyman at best. Being drafted by the Browns is the kiss of death. Not only in the first round, but the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th. All busts.

If I were the Mel Kyper guy on the NFL draft show I would say: being drafted by the Browns guarantees you will not be worth a crap in the NFL.

Anonymous said...

"And with the 13th choice in the 2006 NFL draft, the newest bust to join the Cleveland Browns is Kamerion Wimbley."

No team should ever draft a guy name "Kamerion Wimbley." A name like that is a sure sign of a rotten upbringing when a guy has to go through life with a name like that.

I read that Kamerion sister's name is Fe Male because when she was born, her mother saw on a printout she was handed tht her baby was a Female and she thought that was the name she had to stick with.

Anonymous said...

I read that at one of the NFL scouting combines Vince Young nd Kamerion Wimbley were playing the card game "War" and they had a devil of time figuring out who won each hand. Hey, they would ask, does three beat a two? Hey, which is higher, a seven or a ten?

Anonymous said...

By the way, it is possible for the Browns someday to contend for a divisional crown. Of course it will be one and out in the playoffs, but who could expect anything else. But to get to the playoffs what they need is a QB, 2 running backs, 3 receivers, a tight end who can run a 5.8 or 6.2 forty yard dash without limping, 6 offensive linemen, 4 defensive linemen, 4 linebackers, 3 corners, 3 safties, a punter, a kicker, and an offensive coordinator who can read. [Maurice Carion 'fessed up the other day that he reads at a third grade level.]

Anonymous said...

I used to wallow in self-pit and anger at the constant, relentless, invariable failure of the Cavs,Tribe and Browns. I still get pissed, as you can tell. But my brother-in-law started me on the path to thinking straight about the stinking teams we are destined to have in this city.

First, although I follow these crummy teams, I am not a crummy person. The franchise, the players, the owners--they are the crummy ones.

Second, I used to think of pro sports as a "game" and that made me unconsciously feel nasty about the constant losing of these games.Don't look at pro sports as a game, said my brother-in-law. Instead consider them "entertainment."

Anonymous said...

Well, we have horrible "entertainment" in this dying city.

When I used to play chess, I never look at chess as "entertainment" but rather as a challenging game that I wanted very much to be good at. If I had considered it "entertainment" maybe I still would be playing chess today.

Anonymous said...

My two sons are grown now. We sat at the beloved old Stadium and watch with disbelief "The Drive." The three of us cried our eyes out on the way home. It showed me vividly that the Cleveland Browns then and now have nothing inside of them that can be considered "Heart." Journey men collecting a paycheck, probably stopping along the shores of Lake Erie to eat the dead carp washed up.

Anonymous said...

Any responsible parent in Cleveland these days should be teaching their youngsters that success in pro sports is not possible in Cleveland. Failure is a given here that they, the kids, should realize early on. And realize that if their beloved Tribe, their beloved Browns, beloved Cavs fail, which they are sure to do, that this is not their own personal failure.

Once the kids leave Cleveland, get a job in a city that is still alive, they will be able to follow teams that actually have a chance to win and succeed.

Anonymous said...

Romeo and Savage will be fired within two years. Wherever they go after Cleveland, they will succeed
marvelously. That's just the way it is.

LeBron has one more year in the pro sports armpit and then he is out of here. He is the very best and the Cavs will offer him Lakewood and Westlake and all the women there, but not even that will keep him here. It was good to know ya, King.

Kellen Winslow will play one more year with the Browns and catch a total of three balls, each under five yards. Maybe they will cut him after the preseason. Everyone who has watched him says he runs as if his every other step was into a hole. He's crippled for life. Macrame and PacMan for you, oh Warrior.

Anonymous said...

I know I sound so very negative, and guess what: I am.

Please keep up the good work on this website. And please don't ever let the possibility that a Cleveland pro sports team will win anything creep into the back of your mind. Won't happen. You'll just be disappointed and wonder why you didn't listen to me.

"If only," you will say to yourself, but "if only" will never, ever, ever, ever happen.

Let's you and I enjoy the signature food of the Cleveland pro sports fan. Nachos! As we munch on them all covered in transfat cheese we can say to ourselves: Nacho winning team. Nacho contender. Nacho winner.

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