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No hope for Ohio sports

Chris Michalski | Thursday, October 29, 2009

As a general rule, I like to remain optimistic in life. However, when it comes to my sports teams, that is downright near impossible for me, especially now. That is because I am an Ohio sports fan, not including Cincinnati, which I don’t consider part of Ohio anyway. Growing up in Columbus, I have been a die-hard Ohio sports fan for my entire life (and yes, I still have some affinity to THE Ohio State University) but I can’t remember a time when my teams were this bad.

Let’s start with the NFL, where the Cleveland Browns have once again fallen to the bottom of the standings and show no signs of improving. Even the beloved Brady Quinn couldn’t save the abysmal Browns and has now sold his house and will likely be traded. What’s most depressing that the other guy, Derek Anderson, is even worse. Silver lining: he actually won a game. Unfortunately for him, though, going 2-for-17 with 23 passing yards and an astounding 15.1 passer rating actually doesn’t normally get you a win, go figure.

The front office attributes much of the struggles to sickness and injury, with the flu bug running through the team almost as well as opposing offenses through their porous defense. I’m no doctor but I do know what makes me sick: watching the Browns try to run an offense. Knowing that, I’m not surprised that over a quarter of the team missed practice this last week due to illness.

And then we have MLB’s farm team, the Cleveland Indians. With the Tribe being eliminated from playoff contention in late April, I haven’t had much to watch as far as baseball goes. I didn’t even notice that they almost fell below the Kansas City Royals. That being said, I was glad to see the Indian’s all-star team play this October. Too bad the Dodgers’ ex-Indians Jim Thome, Ronnie Belliard, Casey Blake, and Manny Ramirez couldn’t take down the defending champs, the Philadelphia Phillies.  But wait, that’s okay because manager Charlie Manuel will represent the Tribe (it’s been a while but I still remember him). And then of course the World Series features the Indians’ two Cy Young winners over the last two seasons, C.C. Sabathia and Cliff Lee, in Game 1. Silver lining: maybe the Indians’ front office going back to the late 90s heyday with Manny Ramirez by hiring another Manny (Acta).

There have to be some Ohio teams playing well, right? Maybe the Cavs? No, I’ll be pessimistic here too. They’ve already lost to division rival Celtics at home and the end of the King’s contract is right around the corner. The Blue Jackets? The Blue Jackets are never good, I don’t see why this year would be any different.

I’ve got one: the Columbus Crew. Winners of the MLS Cup last year and the owners of the best record this year. This must be the team to root for.  Only one problem: no one cares about soccer.

Okay so maybe it’s not entirely hopeless in Ohio, and I’m sure there are other cities with the same thoughts and more facts to elicit pessimism. But as bad as baseball and football have been for Cleveland, I can’t see how anyone can have hope.