How apropos would it be of Cleveland sports if Bernie Kosar moves a two-win Arena Football League team to Cleveland and it wins a championship? Alanis Morrisette would have to revise Ironic, as it would be simply mind-blowing. First the Cleveland Barons, then Force, and now an AFL team in its first year of existence?
Count us in on ESPN’s Titletown USA!
As you may or may not know, the Gladiators are one win away from their first ever Arena Bowl. The only roadblock in their way are the wavy locks of Jon Bon Jovi and his franchise, the Philadelphia Soul.
Terry Pluto wrote an all-encompasing piece on Raymond Philyaw in today’s edition of the Plain Dealer, discussing the many attributes of a guy who takes hits that would make Tim Couch look unscathed. If he were just tall enough, we would likely see him at the next level. However, the vertically challenged quarterback (he’s listedat 5’10”) has spent seven years on the short field, hitting receivers that get to start their routes pre-snap.
Not to get ahead of myself, but by no stretch of the imagination would a Gladiator championship quench the thirst of Cleveland fans. Would it increase the popularity of the sport in this town? Sure. We would see a bump from the 10-14,000 people that witness the home games, perhaps a little more coverage, and even more promotions. But in no way would a title be sufficient enough for the fans of this championshipless city.
A city that has witnessed John Elway pull the carpet out from underneith their collective feet. We have witnessed Jose Mesa blowing the Vegas odds out of the water. Dare I even mention Joel Skinner holding Kenny Lofton at third while Manny Ramirez was still bending down to pick up a soft grounder to left? And don’t get me started on Jordan/Ehlo…
It’s unfortunate that a win that would be so important to an entire organization of people would be qualified as “nice, but…” by the town. But I guess that is just the way things are until the Browns, Cavaliers or Indians (ha!) take the next step in winning. Until then, Philyaw (as good as he is), will just be grouped in with Hector Marinaro, Zoran Karic, and Bill Needham.