Monday, December 8, 2008

Polar opposites

At this exact moment can you think of two sports franchises that are more opposite than the Cavs and Browns? While the Browns continue to flounder through another lost season the Cavaliers are only getting stronger. They extended their impressive run with two more easy wins over the weekend, running their current winning streak to 8 and their overall record to 17-3. On Friday night the Indiana Pacers were the victims of a 97-73 drubbing (highlights) at the Q. Then the Cavs followed it up on Saturday night in Charlotte with a 94-74 thumping (highlights) of the Bobcats. Their routine blowouts of the opposition are reaching historic proportions - the Charlotte victory was the team's 8th straight win by at least 12 points. That ties an NBA record with one team you may recall... the 95-96 Chicago Bulls that finished the year 72-10.

LBJ and the Cavs are soaring to new heights this year

That's not to say the Cavs are going to win 72 this year. I just don't see any reason to push the pedal that hard all year long, especially given their already swelling 5-game lead in the Central division over the Pistons. But with the Celtics at 20-2 and showing no signs of slowing down, the Cavs will likely be pushed all year. Both teams will be gunning for the all-important #1 seed in the East, and home court advantage that goes along with it. So it will be interesting to see just how high the win total can get this year. And to put this season into perspective, when the Cavs finally reached 17 wins last season (not until January 6th) they also already had 17 losses. Buckle your seatbelts Cleveland, we're only a quarter of the way through the regular season and this is going to be a long, enjoyable ride.

Browns Update: As I said, at the opposite end of the sports spectrum you have our Cleveland Browns. Pathetic in every way, now 4-9 after their 28-9 loss in Tennessee. I know that Ken Dorsey is our starting QB now and of course I didn't expect a win over the far superior Titans yesterday. But is it too much to ask for the coaching staff to mix things up a bit? Try something new offensively (before the 4th quarter when the game is out of reach) and make it at least bearable to watch?

Some of my favorite highlights from yesterday's game:
  • Jamal Lewis' 7 total rushing yards on 7 carries.
  • The Browns' total offense of 178 yards.
  • Romeo Crennel's flat-out refusal (or disinterest?) in challenging a close call in which Josh Cribbs actually threw a great pass that Braylon Edwards appeared to catch on the sideline for a long gain in the fourth quarter.
  • Crennel's insistence in calling a timeout in the last minute of the game when the Browns were still near midfield and Tennessee just wanted to celebrate winning the AFC South title.
  • The Browns then following that timeout up by not even getting a Hail Mary pass off as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
The mess of this organization is now visible in virtually every aspect of the game for this team. From the front office, to the coaching staff, to the undisciplined and quitting players (save for a handful of them) this franchise is everything the Cavaliers are not. Let's hope some of this speculation is accurate and we can get some professionalism and control back on this team.