Believe it or not, there’s plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day when it comes to Cleveland sports. Don’t believe it? Well, we’ve got LeBron James. For now. How can a Cleveland sports fan not be thankful for the reigning NBA MVP? It’s a nightly highlight show with the league’s best player, a veritable did-that-just-happen fest each time he takes the court.
Well, we’ve got … um … errrrrrr … uh … well, there’s the Cleveland Browns faux Snuggies. That’s really cool. Progressive Field hasn’t been foreclosed upon or caught on fire like many of the vacant houses around Cleveland. No one has died on the field in any Indians, Browns, or Cavs game this year. Everyone’s thankful for that.Really, we do have a few more things to be thankful for around Cleveland. Consider …
* Thank you to the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets for being so awful that the movie 2012 looks like an Oscar winner next to them. Before the season these two teams were considered the leading suitors for LeBron’s services simply because they call Gotham their home. Now, at 3-27 combined (all three wins by the Knicks, one over the Nets) they’re just a couple of dogs whose owners should put them down. * Thank you to to the Lake Catholic Cougars, Maple Heights Mustangs, and Glenville Tarblooders. If not for your semifinal runs in the state football playoffs, we would have nothing but the Browns to look at when it came to football in Cleveland this year.
* Thank you to Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr.. They’re nowhere near Cleveland anymore, but they’re still being heard loud and clear on the shores of Lake Erie. And here’s what we’re hearing: 2-15. That’s the combined record of the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers with these two ex-Browns. The Jets were 3-0 when Edwards joined them. They’ve gone 1-6 since, same as the Browns sans Edwards. You hear about addition by subtraction all the time, but the formula for subtraction by addition = Braylon Edwards + Kellen Winslow Jr.
* Thank you to the Indians for being as rotten as they were. If they were simply mediocre or merely average, there wouldn’t have been hundreds of empty seats right behind home plate. And thanks to the Cleveland Clinic for subsidizing the Indians by giving away tickets all throughout August and September. Not very many people will be able to sit 30 yards from home plate for free when there’s a good team on the field!*
* Thank you to Eric Mangini. No, really. The Browns might be unwatchable, but their coach is must-see TV. He might only be here for a year but he’s already left a trail of wreckage that would make any tornado jealous. There’s the trades of Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, and the Browns first-round pick that have left us with center Alex Mack and an Internet full of message-board threats and diatrbies. There’s the $1,701 he imposed on one of his players for not paying for a $3 bottle of water from a hotel. There’s the shoulder injury rookie running back James Davis suffered during a practice drill that drew an investigation from the NFL. There’s the sacking of general manager and most likely former Mangini friend George Kokinis that provided more drama than the best arc of Gray’s Anatomy. There’s the low-scoring offense that makes first downs feel like climbing to the top of Mt. Everest. There’s the accusations that the Detroit Lions faked injuries during their victory last weekend, and the ensuing apology. If you made any of this stuff up you’d be sent to the loony bin.
* Thanks to Mark Shapiro. That one’s from Philadelphia Phillies fans. And New York Yankees fans. And Boston Red Sox fans.* Thanks to Dan Gilbert. He’s built a first-class organization around LeBron James and now he’s got a casino coming right next door to The Q. (This thanks contingent upon LeBron’s free-agency decision next summer.) * Thanks to you, the fans. Without any of you, none of these teams would be able to present half the garbage they’ve shoveled down your throats this year. The Indians should stop with the bobblehead giveaways and go with anti-depressant medicine for the first 15,000 fans to any home game next season. The Browns could just concentrate on a touchdown as a giveaway at their next home game. Cavs — well, you’re doing OK. Just give us a lifetime contract for LeBron, we’ll be happy.