Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Okay, I'm Back

I know it's been a while. Did anybody miss me? Yeah, I didn't think so. Anyway, why didn't I write anything for almost two months? The answer is that I've been dealing with a severe case of Cleveland sports malaise. For better or worse, I truly haven't given a damn about teams that I usually obsess about. Start of the Tribe's season? Yawn. Cavs playoffs? I think my left foot is asleep. The new Arena team? Jeezes, Bernie, I love you man, but try as you might, there's no way you're going to talk me into Arena-ball.

Even the Browns and their free agent signings didn't stir my interest. Can you imagine?

I think I came down with this ailment when the Tribe collapsed against the Red Sox. Although the onset of symptoms was postponed until after the Browns missed the playoffs, I couldn't forgive the Cleveland Indians for that massive choke job. I was really obsessing about it for awhile, and just kept getting angrier and angrier about the Indians and their complete lack of heart. That led me to ponder the Cavs inability to take a single game from San Antonio in the NBA Finals, and how the Browns managed to overcome almost insurmountable odds to miss the playoffs despite winning 10 games.

At some point this winter, I just said "to hell with it," and decided that these teams simply weren't worth the effort I've put into them. Hey, I still read the sports section and catch the highlights on Sportscenter, and I even sit down and watch entire games from time to time, but neither the Tribe nor the Cavs have constituted must see TV for me over the past couple of months, and since this blog was fueled by that obsession, well, let's just say I haven't had much to write about.

Some people started to worry about me. My mother actually called to see if I was alright. I got a couple of e-mails from readers asking if I was okay. And by a "couple," I mean just that -- two measly e-mails in two months. Thanks a lot. Looks like I'll definitely be needing Life Alert if I make it to my dotage.

My buddies tried to snap me out of my funk. I went to Opening Day with Vinny, Joey Peeps and The Starfish, but while I enjoyed the game, the afternoon was marred by the fact that we got stuck in front of this complete nitwit whose muttonchop sideburns and strange haircut made him the spitting image of Wolverine from X-Men. And true to his Superhero nature, Wolverine was not going to be shy about sharing his baseball insights with all of Section 307. According to Wolverine, every move the Indians made all day was wrong, all six of the White Sox fans in attendance were a-holes who had to be called out at every opportunity, and the three year old sitting with his mom two rows in front of him was no reason not to drop at least five f-bombs in every sentence. The highlight of the afternoon was his five minute soliloquoy about why Casey Blake sucks, which ended just moments before Blake hit his game winning double. Hey, Wolverine, I believe the word I'm looking for is "pwned."

I guess the bottom line is that I still haven't rallied. Cavs v. Wizards? Sorry, I've seen that movie before. Wake me if they win a couple of games from the Celtics. I actually tried to get fired up for the NBA playoffs. I went out and bought Terry Pluto and Brian Windhorst's new book, "The Franchise," about how the Cavs got LeBron and built the team that got them to the NBA Finals last year. You know what? The book blows. The writing is subpar, the proofreading is worse, and the storyline after the Cavs get LeBron is simply not very captivating. In short, it's got all the signs of being a book dashed off to capitalize on last year's post-playoff euphoria. Terry Pluto must have a guilty conscience, because in the author's notes to the book, he starts out by assuring readers that this isn't that kind of book. Uh-huh.

Okay, well, how 'bout that Tribe? Sorry guys, but I've been mad all winter, and so I'm just going to come out and say what I gotta say about this team. There's just something about this Cleveland Indians team that I don't like. This isn't kind, but I'll be blunt -- I think the Indians are gutless. It's not that they missed the playoffs in '05 or that the Red Sox came back from a 3-1 deficit in last year's ALCS, it's the way that it happened in both instances that bothers me. Frankly, the team's performance in both situations can fairly be called cowardly, and I think we all know it.

Good Cleveland teams always falter in the end, but they seldom quit. That's part of the reason they've inspired such devotion on the part of their fans. I'm just not sure I can say that about this incarnation of the Indians. So, while I root for them, I'm not hanging on every pitch -- because I don't think they do, especially when the going gets tough. Maybe I'm wrong and I've misjudged this team, but based on the entire season of underachievement sandwiched by two epic collapses that we've witnessed over the past three seasons, it's going to take a World Series Championship to convince me of that.

I'm sure I'll snap out of this eventually, but since the Browns don't have a draft choice until the 4th round, it's not likely to happen any time before training camp opens. In the meantime, however, I will continue to periodically purge some of the bile that's been building up over the past generation or so onto the pages of this blog. Maybe that will help me shake this funk.


Vinny said...

All is now right in the world.

Dwayne Rudd said...

I just figured it was March and April. Those months suck for sports. Unless you can get yourself to care about college Basketball. Which I can't.

Joey Peeps said...

Take comfort in these wise words from Olivia Soprano: "It's all a big nothing."

chocolate starfish said...

I figured you were sitting around with a diverse group of guys all over age 40 on a porch of a run down shack playing the banjo while you all sang about Viagra while smiling at each other in an overly-familiar manner before you all sped away on your swell motorcycles until the next time that you could all get together and sing another spirited country tune about boners ... Guess not.