Wednesday, November 14

Random thoughts

- I read an article today wherein Browns coach Romeo Crennel defended his "decision" to spend two timeouts to challenge the Steelers' final touchdown this past Sunday, a decision that essentially everyone in Northeast Ohio with a television set knew instantly was the wrong one and one that may have cost the Browns a chance to win.

Crennel seems like an honest guy, one you'd expect to stand up and take responsibility for mistakes, so this defensive position is strange. If ever a situation warranted a coach simply admitting that he and his staff handled the situation badly and made errors in judgment, this is the one.

- Congratulation's to the Tribe's CC Sabathia, taking home a well-deserved AL Cy Young Award for his performance during the 2007 season. He got 19 of the 28 first-place votes, while runner-up Josh Beckett got eight from confused voters who don't understand that the playoffs don't factor in and John Lackey got one from, presumably, an extremely drunk writer.

Somehow, someway, some idiot left Sabathia out of his top three entirely. This is another prime example of why the balloting should be open - this person should have to justify such a ridiculous decision, especially if he's the same loon who voted for Lackey, in which case he should never be allowed to vote again. For anything.

I hope Tribe fans can appreciate CC's selection for this award - no, it's not the trophy we wanted, nor is it what CC would have preferred, but it's still something to be celebrated. I'm a tad bit disappointed that Tribe fans seem to be focusing more on how this affects contract negotiations with CC rather than simply enjoying the moment. Obviously it's important to think about the organization's future and long-term health, but sometimes the present is good, as well.

- Nice work by the CaVs to finish a difficult early-season West Coast roadtrip at 3-3, very nearly pulling out a 4-2 voyage but falling to a tough Utah team along with tough Suns and Nuggets squads. Apparently, their play was enough for ESPN resident Cav-naysayer Bill Simmons to revise his pick of Los Caballeros not making the East playoffs (as if), bumping them all the way up to 3rd in the conference in his forecast.

Tying this note into the previous point, it's interesting how many Cav fans worry incessantly about LeBron moving and about what the team will be like in a few years, etc. Hey, we're the Eastern Conference Champions - things are pretty good right now. Enjoy it.

- As long as I'm making a point about Cleveland sport fans' sometimes farsighted perspectives, let me mention a few Browns items, namely the situations of rookie left tackle Joe Thomas and QB Derek Anderson.

Thomas, in his first year, has solidified what most observers regard as one of the truly important positions in football, playing at a Pro Bowl level at a position that the Browns have been absolutely horrible at ever since rejoining the league and, dare I say, establshing himself as a legitimate rookie of the year candidate, if linemen won such things. So why are so many people debating whether they should have picked Adrian Peterson, a running back who is now injured? Can't we just be happy that we drafted an outstanding player at a position of need who will probably be among the league's elite for many years? Isn't that good enough? Even knowing what we do now, would anyone in their right mind do anything differently on draft day? I would not.

The situation with Anderson is different, but with some common themes. He's played very well this year - even his off game against Pittsburgh featured three TD passes and zero interceptions. So why so many articles about how/why/whether to get rid of him? Again, I know it's interesting and fun to speculate on the future, and you should read Nick's earlier piece on the subject, but why not just enjoy the Browns' high-scoring offense and leave the Quinn/Anderson talk for the off-season?

I don't mean to sound overly critical, but I wish sometimes Cleveland sports fans would simply focus on the games and live for the moment, especially now, given the unprecedented current situation where all three clubs in town are, to varying degrees, good. I'm reminded of Yoda talking about young Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back - the old Jedi master delivers a scathing third-person assessment of Skywalker as if Luke's not sitting right there next to him, saying "All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing."

For now, I'm happy to have my mind on where the Browns, Indians, and Cavs are. Hmm? What they are doing.

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