Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for hanging with us this week. We appreciate your continued support, which is kind of easy nowadays. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be commended for visiting on a daily basis. It’s just to say when you have teams like the Indians and Cavaliers going the way they’re going, it’s easier for all of us to put the energy into reading, writing, and otherwise conversing about Cleveland sports.
Just wanted to give a shout-out to all the new Patreon people as well. It’s been great to see so many people join up to support the site and the podcast. I wanted to tell you guys about a Patreon level today that I think is a really great value and that’s the Podcast Sponsor level. For $75 per month, if you have a business in the Cleveland area or would otherwise like to sell to people from this region, we’ve got a really attractive demographic. We can be super-creative and customize the advertising experience better than other places, so hit me up and let me know if that would be of interest.
Is this a podcast or a post? Trick question! It’s both!
If you’d rather listen to this post, I covered it in the latest WFNY Podcast.
Who wants to be a Browns-first fan anyway?
I used to be a Browns-first kind of person without any difficulty. With a gun to my head, I probably would still identify that way today, but mostly out of habit. You know, like smoking? I’m not sure if I really believe it deep down. As the Indians take their first series of the year in dramatic grand-slam fashion and as LeBron James mesmerizes even in his team’s regular season boredom, it’s really hard even to pretend to care about the NFL draft. The Browns have the first overall pick, and a bajillion other picks in the top 100 and they only break into the top three by default.1
I used to say quite seriously that I thought the Browns might be the first to turn it around after LeBron left Cleveland. It seemed to me if you were betting on the outcome between the Indians, Cavaliers, and Browns that you should at least bet on the team with no financial constraints in the league with the most parity. While it would have been fun to bet on Dan Gilbert’s bank vault, I just couldn’t do it. Before LeBron returned, it was impossible to consider that the Cavaliers could build a super-team that could compete with the others that seemed to be assembled like a Marvel comic. Whether or not I believed the Dolans were actually cheap, the drafts weren’t enough to bolster the meat of the team. How quickly things change.
Here we are a few short years later, and the Indians are looking to get back to the World Series with a boosted roster including Edwin Encarnacion and maybe even Michael Brantley. In any given series they can claim to have the best starting pitcher and best reliever with a straight face. That’s the power of Corey Kluber and Andrew Miller.
The Cavaliers are limping to the finish of a grueling regular season, but they’ve replaced the likes of Matthew Dellavedova, Timofey Mozgov, Sasha Kaun, and Dahntay Jones with Kyle Korver, Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, and Larry Sanders. They also get to enter any series with the argument that they have the best three players, including against Golden State.
The Browns’ off-season has been kind of nice with a bolstered offensive line, but the real headline is that they took on the worst quarterback signing in the history of the NFL because they could get a second-round pick for Brock Osweiler. In pre-draft chatter, they indirectly maligned the top of their QB depth chart – Cody Kessler – when they indicated they preferred prospects at the position be taller than he is at 6-foot 1-inches. The team that I used to bank on as the first to turn it around currently has bottom five prospects at the position that most sports fans would argue is the most important in all of the American professional sports.
Thankfully this “Browns-first” fan isn’t even all that stressed about it. I would never have considered that I could be this happy as a sports fan with my favorite team in such an awful state. None of this post is to dwell on the Browns as much as it is to appreciate the hell out of everything else.
I was at the Cavaliers game against the 76ers last week and during that game it occurred to me how lethargic the crowd was during the player announcements. It’s been a long season for fans too. But if you could ever place these moments in the proper perspective of history, you’d never justify a tepid reaction for a team that includes LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. We’ll all get up and go crazy on opening day when the Indians are announced, but it too will fade. We’ll get into the grind of the MLB regular season. But try and think about it when you’re watching a noon businessman’s special on a getaway day sometime in May or June and Edwin Encarnacion is sitting in the lineup between Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez with Danny Salazar as your third starter.
Despite the Browns, these are the good days, and I don’t want to forget it.
Travelers on Netflix is pretty good
I have grown to hate twists for the sake of twists, but I still love them when they’re presented in an honest manner. While I’m not going to try and tell you that this show is the next Lost or anything, I have to recommend Travelers as a solid casual watch that’s mildly addicting.
Many centuries into the future, the Earth’s population has dwindled to almost nothing — but the survivors have discovered the key to time travel. Desperate to save humanity, a group enters the 21st century on a mission to avert disaster.
- I might even put Stipe Miocic above the Browns right now with his impending title defense in May. [↩]