Friday, October 31, 2008

Week 9: Browns vs. Ravens

I didn't have time this morning to post anything too significant, so this will have to do...

Sunday the Baltimore Ravens come into Cleveland Browns Stadium. Here's what we currently know about the AFC North:

  • The Browns have clawed their way back to a somewhat respectable 3-4, after starting out 0-3.
  • The Ravens are just one game ahead of the Browns in the AFC North at 4-3.
  • The Steelers, leaders of the AFC North sit at 5-2 with a tough Monday night matchup in Washington to face the Redskins.
  • No one cares about the Bengals (aside from their drunk hillbilly fans).
Why am I laying this all out? Because if everything aligns perfectly this weekend, by late Monday night the Steelers will be 5-3, the Browns 4-4, the Ravens 4-4, and the Bengals 0-8 (the bright side for them is they can't possibly lose this week). The problem is that we've seen these type of opportunities numerous times over the years and the Browns typically fail to capitalize when the pressure is on. So what should we expect on Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium? Believe it or not, I actually have hope (that is not to be confused with expectations).

As the great Andy Dufresne said in Shawshank, "hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." We've learned to live by that motto in Cleveland. And when in doubt, but still full of hope, I find it best to modify my favorite Shawshank quote of them all, delivered by Red himself:

"I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a Browns fan can feel, a Browns fan at the start of a matchup with the Ravens whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope the good DA shows up. I hope to see my friend Braylon, and watch him actually hold onto the ball. I hope to see Jamal Lewis get even more carries than the 20 he had in my dreams. I hope. "

I'm calling on Red for some hope this Sunday at the Stadium

Remember no expectations, just hope. And full of hope I'm going with Browns 20, Ravens 13.

Cavs Update: I was at the Q last night for their home opener. And damn was it good to see the way they played. Aside from the third quarter, where they seemed mostly bored and toyed with Charlotte, they looked great on their way to a 96-79 victory. Mo Williams' contant pushing of the ball up the court was a sight for sore eyes. The team defense was outstanding for most of the night. Boobie Gibson's 25-point outburst was a thing of beauty, reminiscent of his Game 6 performance in the ECF vs. the Pistons. LeBron's thunderous dunks were expected. And J.J. Hickson's powerful first two NBA points were not-so-expected. Overall, a solid first win before they head off a couple road games. New Orleans and Dallas will be two good early season road tests for this Cavalier squad.

J.J. Hickson throws down his first NBA points