In Fletch’s defense, the editor has been slacking and didn’t get this up in a timely fashion…More good stuff to come.
As I sat at work, daydreaming of a season that didn’t end with disappointment and more questions than answers, I heard something coming from the sports department that I have been expecting to hear for weeks. “Brady Quinn is getting the start”. That one simple sentence has a number of implications. First, as much as the CC trade symbolized a white flag for the Tribe…the Browns are beginning to extend their own white flag. They have, officially, not fallen out of anything at this point, but it would take the type of miracle that Clevelanders are just not used to. Second, it marks the beginning of an era. If all the hype and the belief in his talents are accurate, Brady Quinn will never relinquish his position. If he in fact is the future of this organization, Brady Quinn will be under center for the rest of his career…no more clipboards.
The third implication is one that I may be reaching on, but I truly feel this to be true. Romeo is fighting for his life. The man has made a million mistakes and in turning to offense over to Quinn may buy him more time. The Browns should be in the playoffs at the end of this season. That is bold, but it is true. They have talent all over the field and the gross mishandling of them falls on the bulldog-like head of Romeo Crannell. He is desperate and by removing DA…one year removed from being the “savior” of the team…he is trying to appease the media and the fans. My opinion…he will be a sought after coordinator come next August.
I have done everything I can to keep myself occupied on Saturday afternoons this season. I have even gone as far as registering for baby stuff while my beloved Wolverines were on television. I can rant and rave about all the mistakes and injustices that have occurred in Ann Arbor, but I won’t. Because I have, for the first time in many many years, allowed myself to enjoy the game as a whole. I have stepped back from my team and enjoyed unbiased football viewing. In doing so, I have enjoyed the game because it is a great game, not because I was worried about the Wolverines standing or who they needed to beat.
I rarely sit and watch a non-Michigan Ohio State game. I have to lean on the fact that I hate OSU so much that I refuse to watch them and their “fans” rejoice in victory after victory. Makes me sick. But I did sit and watch most of the Penn State v. Ohio State game a few weeks ago, and I loved it. The ending was the icing on the crapcake of the season. But I have to feel sorry for the guys in blue and white, because even though they beat the Buckeyes, it is the Buckeyes that will keep them out of the National Title game. Why? Because the Big Ten is considered weak. Due to the way the Buckeyes have been beat in the past two championship games it would take a two loss SEC team to put the Lions in the title game, and even then it would be close.
However, I would have to put that PSU v. OSU game as the second best game I’ve seen this year. To no one’s surprise the Texas Tech and Texas game this past Saturday was the best ending I have seen since the LSU v. Kentucky game of 2003. I have a tendency to root for the underdog in those types of games. I have nothing against the Horns, but I always seem to root for the guy that isn’t expected to win. The poise and the play of that Raider team was incredible and I was left speechless by the conclusion.
I doubt that Tech will make it through all the way to the National Championship game, because they have a brutal schedule to finish the season, but it is great to see a program like that stepping up and making a name for themselves. It put to rest the idea that the Red Raiders are a pass all over the field, shoot out type team. They played a complete game on both sides of the ball and showed that they are (at least this season) one of the best teams in the country.
Come on…you didn’t think I was going to write an entire piece without mentioning the Tribe? I have nothing to rail on and on about. But I want to take a second to mention the free agents (or additions) that I feel could be a great fit for this team. The first name on my list is Adam Dunn. For the first time I read another Cleveland writer agree with that. Dunn has flaws and with teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Mets and Cubs focusing on names like Sabathia, Texiarra, Peavy (maybe), Ramirez, etc…a guy like Dunn won’t be commanding a huge payday. He is only 29 and plays left field pretty well. Put him in the shallow left field at the Jake and he is an above average outfielder. What makes him a great fit…he hits the ball. We don’t know if Hafner will ever hit again, and a guy like Dunn is a natural 3 or 4 guy in a lineup. You can chalk in at least 30 homeruns, and that is low-balling it. Plus, he is the low key, no flash type of player that Wedge works well with.
Next, Bob Howry. He is familiar with everything Cleveland. He played here and was the best reliever the team had. He is a little older now, which financially gives the team more flexibility to sign him to a short contract. He is a veteran (which this team needs badly) and he gets outs. However, EVERYONE in the league needs relievers and he may become expensive as the winter plays out.
Third, make a trade for Houston Street. He is still a very young man who has shown he can be a very good closer. He plays for a bad team and his chances to finish games dwindle in June every year because his starters get traded. He has good stuff and given a chance to play for a contender would make him one of the better closers in the league. We have more prospects than we have teams to play them, which makes a trade very very possible.