The Phantom Menace of Cleveland Sports

July 28, 2006

BentkneeJust take a look at that photo on the left. Look at the expression on his face. That’s not an expression of pain, it’s clearly one of fear and disbelief. LeCharles Bentknee clearly thought that he was better than the Cleveland Curse. He obviously thought that he had already established himself as a force in the league, and that some silly jinx couldn’t stop a guy like him. Looking at that photo, it’s like 40+ years of the cleveland jimx is whispering in his ear “you had no idea what you got your self into, did you?” Frankly, he looks like he already wants out.

     LeCharles got here and said he wanted to be “that guy” in Cleveland. He can now check off that box. He has officially accomplished everything that “that guy” typically accomplishes in Cleveland. Would it be any surprise if he never donned the grey facemask again? Would we at all be surprised if Kamerion Wimbley went down on a freakish play this year? After all, you’re clearly not allowed to see the playing field in Cleveland if you’re a big money free agent, or a first round draft pick.

     So is there a curse? A jinx? A, might I suggest, Burning River? I’m not a curse/jinx believing guy, but I have to argue that nothing like this has ever happened to another sports city in the history of sport. It’s almost like it’s being done by design–everytime we are shown a glimmer of optimism and get our hopes up a little, they are crushed like so many Patellar Tendons. I won’t outline them here, we all know what I’m talking about. Sure, Boston had the Red Sox for 90 years, but they also had the Celtics win it all like 16 times, plus the Patriots and Bruins. Chicago has the Cubs, but they’ve also recently had the greatest basketball player of all time, the Bears, and the White Sox win a championship. That’s enough to tide one city over for a lifetime.

    Also, it is worth mentioning that our little jinx has a particular fondness for Pro Bowl selections. The last guy to bring a Pro-Bowl appearance to his resume (Jamir Miller), why he never played a down of football after appearing in Hawaii. You may think it stops there, but go back to the 90’s, and to arguably our best defensive player in Eric Turner. He made the Pro Bowl the last year the old Browns were here…and then he died 5 years later at the age of 31.

   So what’s behind all of this? Is Cleveland really built on an ancient Indian buyial ground? Is it the curse of Rocky Colavito? Is it God? Art Modell? The actual Burning River? Want my best guess? I think it’s Jim Brown. Yeah that’s right, why not? Ever since he announced his retirement we haven’t won anything. I mean, it’s as good of a guess as any. Maybe the source of the curse that is speaking to Bentknee in that picture is the same spirit that talked Jim Brown into retiring at the age of 29 to make bad movies, and the same force that cause Art Modell to make bad business move after move, before eventually moving to Baltimore where he went broke in 5 years.

    Pretty sad state of affairs when I’m blaming Jim Brown. It’s clearly gotten a little ridiculous around here. Guess that what happens to you when your teams constantly get beaten down in the most incredible ways. The sad part is, i’ve already said to myself “well, he’ll be back next year, and by then we should have a real shot at contention.”

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July 27, 2006

bentley.JPG

     Bentley is hurt, I feel like I just got beat up.  Please direct your attention to GodHatesCleveland, as he can sum up my thoughts better than I can.  Also, I found the adjacent screen-cap from Cleveland.com to be rather telling. Note the “breaking news” link, right on top of the article about how Bentley is a necessity.


Football Beauty Is In The Eye of The Tee-Holder

July 26, 2006

     Brown is Beautiful

     So, ever since I put up the post about the Browns minor uniform changes, I have been getting tons of feedback on it.  I received quite a few emails and had a some conversations with people and almost everyone has their take on the Browns uniforms.  Most like what they’re doing, some don’t like the gray face-masks, other gripe about the high gloss helmet color, but almost everyone has a take.

     In fact, almost everyone I hear from has a very strong opinion one way or the other regarding the Browns uniform.  Which is pretty interesting considering they have some of the most plain uniforms in all of sports.  Isn’t it?  I mean, there’s no logo, nothing on the helmet but a stripe, and two colors which most outsiders think is a hideous combinations.  ESPN voters even identified the Browns as having the least attractive uniforms in the entire NFL.

     Yet, Browns fans for some reason are ridiculously particular about what their teams uniform should look like.  You even hear some varied opinions on when they go through their stages of wearing the white Uni’s at home, or whether or not they should throw in the orange pants or jersey every so often (that probably gets the most negative feedback), the socks they wear, shoe color, the “glow in the dark” organge helmets they now wear, etc.

     I guess this is due to the fact that they are such a traditional NFL team, and tinkering around with the look takes away from some of that tradition.  I think this is a fact that isn’t lost on the current organization.  It seems that Randy Lerner actually does take this seriously, and realizes that Browns fans don’t like when they try and spin new uniforms on us for marketing purposes.  The Browns, despite their plain apparel, are always in the top 5 or 10 in the NFL in terms of merchandise sold.  I think Randy has come to realize we’re going to buy stuff with the plain orange helmet on it regardless.

I still could use more of the Elf though.


What A Championship Browns Team Looks Like

July 21, 2006

Gray   

     Well, at least what their uniforms look like anyway.  Today the Browns are offiicially releasing photos of the new look uniform, which is actually an old look uni.  The biggest change is that they will have gray facemasks instead of white.  This, and some other changes, are supposed to bring the team uniform closer to what it looked like back when they won championships.  Apparently the thinking is, if you can’t win a championship at least look like someone who has.

     However, besides the facemask most of the other changes are very subtle.  They’re moving the player number on the back of the hlemet to the right side of the stripe, and they’re wearing black shoes.  All in an attempt to look like Jim Brown when he played.  Unfortunately, there are some other changes they could have made that would have made a bigger impact.  The first would be moving the numbers on the sleeve.  Right now, the numbers are still on top of the shoulder pads as shown here.  They could have moved them lower on the sleeve like old Browns did, or like the Oakland Raiders do now.  I just think it looks better on the sleeve, plus it’s how the team wore the numbers back in the glory days.

     I know i’m getting somewhat petty when it comes to these uni changes, but I’m a freak for uniforms.  Another thing that bothers me is the Browns socks!  What is up with them?  They don’t seem to have a set style.  They have always worn the striped look, even back in the glory days.  But recently they have went to a solid look sometimes.  I don’t get it.  Pick a sock a stay with it.  Also, when they do pick a sock, it had better be the striped sock–much better. 

     Oh well, I’m starting to come off like I belong on Queer Eye or something, so I’ll stop now.  Ultimately, I don’t care what uni they wear, as long as they can wear it in the Super Bowl.  Is that too much to ask?


Lincoln Had A Secretary Named Kennedy

July 17, 2006

Bronwade    

     So, in another long line of NBA conspiracy theories, the latest involves the recent slew of 3-year deals signed by some of the NBA’s elite, including Lebron James.  The rumor, as puported by our own Cleveland Plain Dealer, claims the reason that Lebron, Dwayne Wade, and Toronto’s Chris Bosh all signed 3-year deals is because the NBA is trying to line them all up to land in NYC in 3 years.  This has to be fake, right?

     Being insecure and from Cleveland, I have to think this has some merit.  However, if this does happen, the NBA should just come out and say that they are as scripted as the WWE.  Stern & Crew are only kidding themselves if they try and say that it wouldn’t be a dream situation to have them all playing in New York–they only been trying since the Patrick Ewing draft to get a winner in NY. 

     Now, the article doesn’t say that they’d all be playing for the Knicks, just that they’d be all playing in the NY area (including the Nets).  Given that they’ve pulled the strings to land Ewing in NY, and many think to land Lebron in Cleveland, this is entirely within the realm of possibilities for the Association.  The bottome line is, if there’s a conspiracy and Cleveland is involved, don’t expect to win.


Welcome Deadspin!

July 14, 2006

Get Away From Me Carl MondayIf you’re looking for any Mike Cooper information, you’ve come to the wrong place!  Go back to Deadspin…there you can find all of the stalker-goodness you’ve come to get from Will.  But remember, Carl Monday is watching you!

Thanks for stopping by, and if you want, check some of my friend’s sites:

Swerb’s Blurbs, GodHatesCleveland, VinnyandthehornlessRhinoThatChick, Ben Cox, and TheClevelandSportsAnimal.

You’re with me, Stalking.


Cleveland Still Reigns as Most Insecure City

July 10, 2006

Lebron James Heisman      

     In a move about as anti-climatic as is gets, LeBron (through his agent) has said that he will re-up with the Cavs when he can do so on July 12.  For some reason this takes a full week to consider, even though he’s known what his options would be all year long.  That’s besides the point. 

     All week long, Clevelanders were subject to reminders of the many times we have been stabbed in the back, or had our hearts broken by our athletes.  You know the list:  Manny, Thome, Boozer, and The Guy Who Sold His Soul to the Devil.  Anyway, so we all revert to our insecure ways and start believing that LeBron could pull the same crap.  Then, then day comes and Lebron finally agrees to sign. 

     Hooray for us right? Of Course Not!  Apparently, Brian Windhorst is reporting that Lebron isn’t going to sign the max contract, but instead a version of the max deal that gives him an out after 3 years so that he can extort our city for more money when there is a new CBA in place.  Effing perfect.  Now we have just subjected ourselves to three more seasons of talk about Lebron bolting as soon as he can go out and make a ton of money, excersize the “secret” clause in his Nike contract that pays him double in big city’s, and basically end basketball in Cleveland once and for all.

 I don’t know what to think.  I guess we’ll know a lot more after he actually signs his deal, but it’s just one more reminder of how insecure we have become as sports fans in Cleveland when we can’t even celebrate the signing of the best athlete in Cleveland since Jim Brown.  I would like to believe LeBron–that he really likes playing in Cleveland, he wants to bring us a championship, wouldn’t want to play elsewhere, etc…But i’ve also wanted to believe Thome who said almost those exact words.  Or the previous Browns ownership who made such quotes as “I would never leave Cleveland, Cleveland is my home”, and “If the Browns don’t win the Super Bowl in 3 years I’ll sell the Browns and get out of football”.

     So, I guess in the meantime, we’ll just continue to hope LeKing can bring us a championship before he bolts town and wins the Super Bowl for the Ravens, leads MLB in HR while playing for the White Sox, verbally commits and then signs with another team (Jazz), Moves the Cavs to Baltimore  he does it for another city.  All the while looking for signs, like him wearing a Yankees hat, that he is leaving.  Speaking of which, why is posing for the Heisman?  Does that mean something?