hopeful cleveland sports.

Browns Jets Football

Waaaaaaay back in 2007, I said I was retiring the tag “Hopeless Cleveland Sports” from Uncle Crappy. I made the decision based on a sudden rash of tolerable performance by the Cavs and the Indians and a draft by the Browns that included now-certain Hall of Famer Joe Thomas. It got even better later that year, when the Browns actually finished with a winning record for the season.

But then? More of the same.

There have been peaks since then — the Cavs title that brought grown men to tears (and by “grown men,” I mean me) and the frustrating, maddening and ridiculous — and awesome — World Series run by the Indians later that same year. But that marvelous year coincided with a 1-15 season by the Browns and a winless season the following year. The Indians got stomped by the Yankees. And there was another inevitable departure — albeit a much less acrimonious one — by King James.

But then last year happened. And things truly felt different.

It’s not perfect, not even close. The Cavs are rebuilding without LeBron, and the Indians can’t quite catch the Twins, although they still have a shot at the AL wild card.

But last night, I sat in my living room and watched the Browns win their first MNF game since 2008. A friend in Cleveland remarked that we weren’t aware that Hank Williams Jr. was still coherent enough to sing the MNF intro … although it struck both of us that we hadn’t really had a reason to pay attention to MNF for a while.

But now we do. And that’s the point. The team that beat the Jets last night isn’t good enough to win the division, but when you recall that the Browns finished last year 5-3, you understand — It’s a long season. Things can improve.

And if they do — if Baker Mayfield understands that he doesn’t have to throw for 30 yards on every play; if Freddie Kitchens finds a running game; if Myles Garrett can maybe not try to actually end the life of the opposing quarterbacks he hits — they could get to the post season for the first time since 2002.

That’s a loooooong drought, boys and girls, and I’m ready for a drink.

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as promised.

Yeah. Not beat up too badly. But a little fuzzy nonetheless.

We bought art. We drank beer. We ate pulled pork and ballpark hot dogs. We watched the only Pittsburgh Pirates win in the entire month of June. And, in the hotel bar after the baseball game, we watched the Cavs set up Cleveland sports fans everywhere for another agonizing brush with a championship.

And then I came to work and tried to stay awake. That’s going OK. So far.

See y’all tomorrow.

retired.

OK. I may regret this later, but I’ve made a decision about the future of Uncle Crappy. When I upgraded a while back, I added “Hopeless Cleveland Sports” as one of the “filed” categories. As you’re all aware, I have plenty of reasons to view my North Coast teams with a jaded eye, but I think — I hope, anyway — that trend could be coming to an end.

Look: The Indians are in first place. The Cavs are rolling through the first round of the NBA playoffs. And the Browns haven’t fucked up their picks on the first day of the NFL draft, even trading to add a cornerback in the second round.

I’m actually hopeful.

So. I’m retiring the “Hopeless Cleveland Sports” tag, and replacing it with sport-specific tags instead.

Let’s just hope it stays that way.

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A side note. The Bengals and Stillers have been picking Michigan players like they’re going out of style. Which makes it even easier to hate them. Whoo!