Red Right 88

Cleveland sports fan and sports writer

Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States

quit my job decided to drive west

Saturday, December 01, 2007

BCS chaos

Let's be honest. Ohio State does not deserve to be in the national championship game. (You can't let Illinois control the ball for the last eight minutes of a home game and be allowed to whine.) But thankfully for the Buckeyes, no one else does either.

Everyone in the nation now has at least two losses except Kansas but they lost in their last game and didn't get to their conference's title game and Hawaii and apparently if it happens way out in the middle of the ocean it doesn't count.

Frankly I don't care about the playoff or BCS debate. It is sort of like political commercials around election time. All of these so called experts feel they need to share their beliefs. It is extremely annoying to listen to all this crap.

I am writing this at 11 p.m. so Missouri could make an amazing comeback and Hawaii could lose to Washington. But if the (Rainbow) Warriors win and the Tigers win-- my vote would be Hawaii as the only undefeated team left should be in the game. It will never happen but I would rather have a team people think doesn't belong over teams like Georgia, Kansas, L.S.U. and U.S.C that really don't deserve it either.

The truth is it really doesn't matter because in the end because since college football is all about the cash everyone wins-- well everyone but the fans but fans don't wear pads and they seem willing to spend their money either way.

It is just fun to see tradition and powers that be get smacked in the face either way. And it will be interesting to see which conference can make the right phone calls tonight to get their team in.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Is a regular season NBA game worth getting excited for?

For the first time in a long time, the start of the NBA season has held no attraction for me. Even pre-LeBron I was always excited when the season started and looked forward to watching games.

Not so much this season. I figured it was a hangover of sorts and a realization of the truth that is the NBA. After such a long and ultimately crushing baseball season I wasn't really ready to invest so much time and energy in another long campaign. Plus now that the Cavs are a legitimate NBA playoff team- the regular season is not that important anymore.

In football, you have one game a week and you can invest everything into those three hours. Each play is important as each game is worth so much. There are only 16 and you have to bring it each game.

In baseball basically they play everyday. You can count on there being a game. And while the schedule is twice as long as basketball, every game means something because at the end of the season, the playoffs can come down to one game.

In basketball- eight teams in every conference make the playoffs. While playoff positioning is worth something-- the truth is your seed doesn't mean too much. Home field can only mean so much in basketball. If you have a talent like LeBron- you have a chance to win four out of seven games against just about any team. Individual games really don't mean as much. Especially in the early season. Don't believe me- last season the Mavericks and Suns started the season 0-7 and ended up with the best two records in the league. And then Dallas lost in the first round and Phoenix lost in the second round. The best two teams did not even make to the conference finals. The NBA is all about the months of May and June.

So I while I have watched Cav games this season- most of the time I have surfing the net, playing Wordbattle on or even reading with the game in the background. LeBron has been amazing but even with triple-doubles galore I have not got that excited.

Of the Cavs' 10 man rotation from last season's NBA finals run, the Cavs have playing playing with basically six of them. Anderson is a on beach in Brazil, Larry as usual is injured, Marshall is banged up and Snow is just starting to get to back on the court. This is not the Cavs team that will be playing at the end of the season so it has been hard to get too worked up.

Until tonight. The Cavs were taking on the Boston Celtics which has the best record in the league. In fact since game five in the ACLS, the Celtics, Patriots and Red Sox were a combined 28-1. God I am really starting to hate Boston.

I started looking up from my computer in the middle of the third quarter when Gooden started draining jumpers. By the start of the fourth, the laptop was put away. And the start of the fourth got me excited about basketball for the first time since June. Gooden and Z were getting every rebound. Sasha was making shots. LeBron was well LeBron.

And then the team went scoreless for four minutes. And I was like-- oh. And then the Cavs rose to the challenge and matched Boston's intensity. It was a playoff atmosphere for sure. And for the first time this season, I started to yell at the TV for a basketball game.

I yelled at Sasha's foul on Ray Allen. I gloated when Allen missed both and I groaned along with Austin Carr when LeBron held on to the ball and hoisted a three at the buzzer rather than run a play.

But in the overtime, the team and I mean the team and not just LeBron stepped up and won an important ball game. It was fun. And it might have been enough to wake up the fan in me.

Of course then when I check the boxscore and all five starters had to play well over 40 minutes with a game at Detroit tomorrow. That makes for a tough night but if the Cavs can pull off that win-- I promise not to tug on LeBron's cape for the rest of the year.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ho-Hum the Browns win again

Other than begging that Derek Anderson be made the starter at the beginning of training camp, I have been wrong about almost everything else about this Cleveland Browns team.

Never has being wrong felt so right.

After the emotional victory over the Ravens, I thought today's game against the Texans was a classic trap game. Houston had been playing well. After finally getting a call in their favor, I was worried they might come out flat at home.

But thanks to Anderson's strong arm and talented receivers in Winslow, Edwards and Jurevicius with strong running game behind the ever turning legs of Jamal Lewis-- the Browns offense is for real. They have the talent to overcome penalties and the offense is clicking on all cylinders.

The defense had just enough of a pass rush to disrupt the Texans offense and young Brandon McDonald instantly made himself a crowd favorite. I admit I had to look up where he went to college (Memphis) but the rookie had two great defends on Houston's best receiver Andre Johnson, he made a big hit on a return and his interception clinched the victory. Lets hope McDonald's big game gives him the confidence to shore up a secondary that is starting to show some life.

I don't want to look ahead at the schedule. All I know is that the Browns now control their own playoff destiny and in this town-- as the calender turns to December--- that is all you can ask for.

Winning is so much fun, I forgot the Cavs were even on TV-- I didn't turn on the game until right as Boobie fouled out. LeBron picked up 30 more points and had another triple double as the Cavs rallied to win. LeBron is proving he is the best player in the NBA and frankly right now I don't even care. I had forgotten just how much the Browns playing meaningful football overshadows everything else.