Perfect weekends are hard to come by for Cleveland sports fans, especially in the fall. Over the past two decades, the Ohio State Buckeyes have been pretty dominant on the gridiron and above average on the basketball court; with LeBron, the Cleveland Cavaliers were dominant but without him, they’ve been one of the worst teams in the NBA; and the Browns, well, they’ve seemingly been in the cellar of the NFL ever since they returned to the league in 1999.
This weekend was different. To start the weekend, the Cavs won just their third game of the season, upsetting the Philadelphia 76ers, 121-112. It was quite a win, especially considering what happened this offseason. After LeBron left, Tristan Thompson still said that the East runs through Cleveland, much like it had the previous four seasons.
“We’re still four-time Eastern Conference champions, so until you take us down from that, teams ain’t got much to say. Boston, Philly, they ain’t got much to say,” Thompson told reporters. “Boston had homecourt Game 7 and lost. Philly, you guys almost got swept. Toronto — we already know that story. So until someone takes us down, there’s not much they can really say.”
Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons were two of the many players who took exception to that comment, replying to Thompson that they will “see him soon”. Whether Thompson truly meant it or not, the rest of the East took notice, especially some of the top teams in the conference.
Cleveland clearly isn’t the class of the East, a win like that– while it’s just one win– was still satisfying.
Also on Friday night, the Buckeyes took care of business on their Throwback Night. At St. John Arena, Ohio State went all-in, with throwback jerseys, old-school pregame playlist, throwback pictures on social media, and even a throwback player introductions. It was so well done and concluded with an 89-62 trouncing over Cleveland State to continue their undefeated start to the season.
Then came the most important game of the weekend: The Game. Although they were underdogs at home, the Buckeyes took care of business, beating Michigan for the seventh consecutive year, 62-39. Ohio State not only just beat their arch rival, but they dominated throughout much of the game.
To add to the winning, the Cavs — who had won just two games prior to this past weekend — won their second consecutive game in as many days, upsetting the Houston Rockets, 117-108. Over the last two games, it’s been clear that the wine and gold are not only improving but that Collin Sexton is getting much more comfortable as a rookie.
Not to be outdone, the Browns concluded what was a perfect weekend for Cleveland sports fans by beating the Bengals, 35-20, in Cincinnati. It was not only refreshing that they actually won, but that it was their first road win since October 11, 2015.1
The Cavs won twice, Ohio State won once both on the basketball court and the football field, and the Browns took care of business against a division foe. It was a nice change of pace and things seem to be looking up for all the teams involved. Here’s to hoping weekends like this one happen much more often going forward because Cleveland was feeling quite dangerous this weekend.