Hope everyone’s having a great week. I’m doing my best to have an alright week. Over the weekend I talked with Andrew about my sick cat, and that situation came to a head on Wednesday when we put my friend of 11 years, Pixie, to sleep. This is a sports website and I promise we’ll get there eventually today, but first…
Putting the cat to sleep was awful in its own right, but even in the middle of it, the sadness didn’t really feel like it came from losing the cat directly. Cats die after being on this earth in around 15 years on average. My cat had 11 years, and she let us know it was over by not eating for at least a week before we had the vet in. The logic of all that outweighs the sadness or potential feelings of tragedy. It’s the difference between losing an 80-year-old grandparent and a teenager. I’ll miss the cat, but the minute I got a pet I knew this day would arrive. There’s no other way for these things to end. So where does all that emotion come from if it flies in the face of logic in such obvious ways? What’s been crazy to me is to realize what those 11 years have represented in my life.
The best I can remember, I got that cat in the fall of 2004. Those are kind of hazy times in my memory by this point because it was so different. I remember the house I lived in and things like that, but I’ve completely forgotten the day-to-day details of what it was like to live that life. What did I do with my time? What did I have for breakfast most days? What was it like to come home to that house? It’s all blurry at this point.
My wife and I had dated off and on, but she still lived in Chicago and even though we still talked, it wasn’t remotely close to a guarantee that we would someday be married. I lived in my bachelor pad in Lyndhurst and I was trying to get my band together while working at the big corporation, mostly in misery. I got the cat after a friend found the mom and her litter outside of the office they worked. They took the kittens home and started searching for permanent homes. My sister called to let me know about the kittens and I didn’t hesitate.
Most people thought I was crazy to get a pet, but I had never had one that was my own and not shared with my nuclear family. I always liked cats growing up and I didn’t have enough time for a dog at that stage, so I got Pixie and named her after Frank Black’s band. I had no idea at that time that Pixie would eventually become a part of my own first nuclear family.
During that cat’s time with me I went from my mid-twenties to my mid-thirties. I got married, moved three times, switched careers, got two dogs, had two kids, wrote more than 3,100 posts on WFNY, lost 50 pounds, ran a marathon, and on and on. That cat missed out on most of those things in reality, because she was just a cat running most of her existence on instincts and a desire for comfort and food. To be honest, she was particularly annoyed by the additions of dogs and kids, but seemed to learn to live with it. I will miss the cat and all the real cat things that I had gotten used to over the last decade-plus, but more than any practical cat stuff losing her makes me wistful for all the time that passed.
Now for sports…
I have been thinking long and hard about what I think the Cleveland Browns will do going forward. We’ve had conversations galore about Mike Pettine, Ray Farmer, Jimmy Haslam, and even wild cards like Peyton Manning as pieces of the future. There are so many moving pieces that it’s not really possible to make a good prediction. I’m also not saying this is what I want to happen, necessarily. This is just where my head is in terms of reading tea leaves and creating the scenarios in my head. You just can’t possibly know what will happen. There’s still a chance – albeit a small one – that there’s a status quo. Here’s what I’m thinking right now if I’m handicapping it based on likelihood.
I think Mike Pettine gets fired and Ray Farmer stays. I think Ray is closer to the management team and I think he’ll make the case that even his good picks and signings were failures in coaching. He’ll say that Danny Shelton and Cameron Erving are supposed to be further along. He’ll proclaim that it’s ridiculous to say that Dwayne Bowe has nothing left while Marlon Moore gets meaningful playing time instead. It’s my suspicion that he’ll point to Justin Gilbert and say that it was Pettine’s pick and his responsibility and Jimmy Haslam likely knows that his fingerprints are all over the draft card with Johnny Manziel’s name on it.
Jimmy Haslam will understand that he doesn’t have the political capital left to enact across-the-board change and if he has to choose someone to fire, it will be Mike Pettine. It will be easy to point to a defensive coach’s miserable defense as a good reason he’s not given the ability to carry on.
Again, this isn’t what I’m rooting for necessarily. I don’t know what I’m rooting for. Do you think it could turn out this way? What do you think?
In honor of her retirement, here’s “Abby Wambach has SAVED the USA’s life in this World Cup!”
I will have a podcast with Brian Spaeth forthcoming about Star Wars, but I need to share the good news with you multiple times and places. The Force Awakens was everything I could have asked it to be. It had personality, heart, action, and the very soul of the films from the 70s. These really aren’t spoilers, but seeing Han Solo and Leia back on the big screen was legitimately great and J.J. Abrams didn’t just hammer square pegs in round holes in order to give a proper nod to the history. The ubiquitous BB-8 was a droid that had character and personality the same way R2D2 did and they achieved it without anything in this movie becoming a parody of itself.
So incredible. I think you’ll love it. That’s all we’ve ever wanted to say about Star Wars movies, is it not?