Saturday, September 5

The Downtown report

To celebrate the opening of football season (the amateur part of it, anyway) I'm going to use my 7th straight FCF post for a little downtown report action.

The Weather
This time of the year is just splendid here in Northeast Ohio for those who enjoy spending time outdoors. Last year was particularly pleasant - I'm hoping for a repeat in 2009. I've had the chance to do some bike commuting the past few days, and I'm looking forward to some nice weekend morning runs as the leaves start to turn colors. I wish we had three months like these instead of the stupid long winter.

The Tribe
I don't really have an angle here for the Indians. Obviously we're playing for 2010 and 2011 at this point, so your perspective all depends on how much you enjoy watching prospects break in at the major league level, playing games that aren't terribly meaningful. Baseball will pretty quickly become a mid-week sports diversion for me between weekend football games.

I was out for a run yesterday near Progressive Field, when a scalper demanded of me: "You buying, or selling?" Note the comma - he asked it as if these were my only two options. "Running," I responded.

I like the new kids on the Tribe - I'm excited for the newest Indian, Michael Brantley, to get some playing time. He's good good speed, defense, and plate discipline; if he can start getting on-base at a .370 clip or so, we can lead him off, drop Grady Sizemore a spot or two, and be even stronger on offense. Speaking of Grady - it's about time they shut him down. Can we shut down Tomo Ohka too?

One thing I joke about that the Tribe broadcasters say is, whenever a hitter falls into an 0-2 count, they always say "the count quickly 0-2 on so-and-so." Underwood does this every time; I heard Pawlowski say it last night as well. Why "quickly"? It always takes exactly two pitches to reach an 0-2 count. Just once, I want to hear them say that the count "slowly" hit 0-2, or did so "at a normal pace."

One more baseball-related note; I saw that Boston's Jonathan Papelbon was fined $5000 for pitching too slowly. Maybe he can slowly get a count to 0-2? Apparently it's the 5th time he's been warned/fined, leading him to say this:

"If I have to get my agent involved and see if there are other guys doing the same thing I'm doing and not getting fined, then I have a case. If I don't, then I don't."

How about pitching faster, you dummy?

The Cavs
ESPN's Bill Simmons had a good idea about sports reporting, wherein once a story is initially broken, no one should report further on it unless something new develops. Like the yearly Brett Favre story; once it's established that he's mulling a comeback, we don't need any news until he decides one way or the other. Or the Browns QB situation: once we know it's undecided, no reporting is needed until a decision is announced.

Where am I going with this? Let's apply this rule to LeBron's contract situation. Yes, he's a free agent at the end of the year. Until he signs a new deal, nothing need be written on the matter. Thanks for your time.

The Buckeyes
As I write this, I'm sitting comfortably in my living room watching them finish up a fairly weird 31-27 win over the US Naval Academy.

This just in: Terrelle Pryor is good. Fun fact: he was named the Big Ten's preseason player of the year by sportswriters, yet was somehow not named the Big Ten's preseason offensive player of the year. Huh? Granted, preseason best-of teams are inherently worthless and stupid, but this is just absurd.

Kurt Coleman: also good. His forced fumble helped the Bucks build the late lead that they mostly coughed up, and he followed it up with a nice diving interception on the following Midshipmen possession.

Could have done without that 99-yard Navy drive. And the 85-yard TD pass. Don't get beat deep when you're up 15, dummy. Anderson Russell needs to run some laps. Also: the TD drive after that was not cool.

Brandon Saine almost got his head ripped off and no face mask was called. I've rarely seen such an obvious and dangerous penalty call missed.

Aaron Petrey missed an extra point minutes after nailing a 52-yard field goal. Sounds about right. In other extra-point shenanigans, OSU returned a Navy 2-point conversion attempt for a TD, earning themselves 2 points in one of college football's most bizarre and arbitrary rules. It sounds so made-up.

I went downstairs at halftime to get some pretzels, sporting an OSU t-shirt. There were two guys in the elevator - one of them, sporting some local baseball league t-shirt, was apparently a Michigan fan. He sort of scoffed at my shirt, hummed Michigan's dumb fight song, and blurted "go blue" as we parted. I pretended like he wasn't there. Michigan, as you'll recall, went 3-9 last year and has dropped 5 straight to the Bucks, including last year's 42-7 shelling. Sorry, elevator michigan douchebag - you're not worth my attention.

The Browns
I'm ready, ready, ready for the season to start. Who wants to spend Sundays sober?

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