Thursday, January 1

Happy Cleveland Sports New Year!

My colleagues here at FCF and I would like to wish all Cleveland sports fans a very Happy New Year! Here are a few things related to Cleveland sports that I'm looking forward too in the coming year.

1. The imminent collision of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Does anyone really think these two teams aren't meeting up in the last round of the Eastern bracket? Last year's series came down to a hard-fought seventh game, and there's no reason to think this year's series won't be as good, if not better. As a result of better overall team health, gelling after the Big Trade, and the addition of Mo Williams, the Cavs are a much better club than they were last year. As Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins have come into their own, it appears that the Celtics will also be even better than last season. Is it May yet?

2. The Cleveland Indians competing for a playoff spot again.
I'm not saying that they'll get in, but it's an odd year, and that as much as anything ensures that the Tribe will be competitive again this year. Yesterday we got a late Christmas present with the De Rosa trade, and it was a complete freaking gift. We basically traded a reliever with decent potential for a third baseman with a .376 OBP with a one-year, fairly inexpensive contract ($5 million). The infield's set, the bullpen's loaded, and we've got three solid young outfielders. The rotation isn't as strong as it's been in past years, but if Fausto can come back and at least be solid, the starters will be fine.

Note to Mark Shapiro: Don't trade Kelly Shoppach under any circumstances.

3. The Browns will rise from the ashes.
I expect Lerner to hire a GM by early next week at the very latest, and we should have a new head coach within a couple weeks. I'm comfortable with either Rich McKay or Scott Pioli as the GM, and I'd be happy with Eric Mangini, Josh McDaniels, Jim Schwartz, and maybe even Mike Shanahan as the head coach. This team has more talent on it than most people realize right now, and I could easily see them winning 8-10 games next year with a solid off-season and a few breaks. On Sunday, I couldn't wait for the curtain to fall on the '08 Browns. On Monday, I couldn't wait for the 2009 season to start.

4. A full year of Terrelle Pryor at QB.
Not much to add here, except that this dude's going to be really good.

5. Nick Allburn running the '09 Cleveland Marathon.
I'm all in, bitches. Can I have a press conference to declare for this, like high school ballers used to have to announce candidacy for the NBA Draft? All I can say right now is that I'm running the 2009 Cleveland Marathon, and I'm going to finish. I've got a couple of top secret goals that I may reveal at some point, but right now I'm just focusing on buidling up my training base to ensure completion.

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