I feel like we’ve said this every year for a while now, but I can’t think of a worse time in Cleveland sports.1 I’m really not going out of my way to dwell in the negative here. I think there are some good things going on in all three Cleveland sports teams right now. I think the Browns have a decent young roster that might surprise us all if coached up properly this season. I think Byron Scott lost the Cavaliers, but I think with their positioning this off-season and all Chris Grant’s “assets” there’s a really good chance for a positive makeover year-over-year. Lastly, the Indians are mired right now in a nearly whole-team slump, but they’ve turned over a lot of those veterans that have been dogging Indians fans for much of the past five summers. All that being said, and without any of that “Look at us and respect us for our suffering!” clamor, it truly couldn’t get much worse, right?
Let’s look at the negative streaks fans have endured in all the sports recently.
The 2012 Cleveland Indians had an 11-game losing streak, 9-game losing streak, 6-game losing streak, and a 5-game losing streak all in the same season. Nearly 20% of the MLB season was spent slumping hard in Manny Acta’s last year in Cleveland.
The Cleveland Browns start 2012 with five straight losses. They also ended the season with three straight losses as Pat Shurmur was shown the door and Randy Lerner sold the team.
The Cavaliers had a 6-game losing streak, 4-game losing streak, 5-game losing streak, 6-game losing streak, 10-game losing streak and a 6-game losing streak all in the same season. That’s nearly half the season spent in pretty exceptionally bad streaks.
The Indians brought in the most exciting manager hire of my lifetime as an Indians fan, turned over the roster pretty dramatically, and were mired – until last night – in a pretty exhausting losing streak. Think about it. In 2013 so far the Indians have had two 5-game losing streaks and thankfully just ended an 8-game losing streak last night in Texas.
None of those streaks even mention off-the-field issues involving Jimmy Haslam, Quentin Groves, Chris Perez and Josh Gordon. The streaks also don’t mention LeBron James marching toward a second straight NBA title2 and Art Modell‘s old team winning the Super Bowl in memoriam.
I honestly am not looking to hold this up as a suffering badge of honor to the rest of the world. I’m not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me or the rest of Cleveland sports fans. I’m simply pointing it out because it truly is remarkable. I don’t think I’m even reaching hard to grasp at negatives. I think all of these are obvious and would slap any sports city in the face.
I hadn’t really stepped outside of the daily grind of being a sports fan to think about it, but between my conversation this week with Scott Raab and another one I had today with a friend of mine, it really hit me just how far down these teams have been for Cleveland fans in just the last 18 months or so.
Again, I’m not totally negative on the prospects for the teams either. Maybe that makes me stupid, but I believe the Indians still have a chance to get hot or at least warmer than their recent ice cold streak. I think the Browns coaching changes (and possibly the schedule) could make a real difference as to how we think about the current state of the Cleveland Browns this year. I also think the Cavaliers are going to make over the roster and play more competitively with Mike Brown’s defense this upcoming season.
Again, though, when you really put the losing out there all in one place with all the negative streaks it really is remarkable. Extraordinary even. I’m not even depressed as much as I’m in awe.
I have no conclusion really. Just thought I’d let you know where my head is right now as I continue to write articles and do podcasts.
- Excluding the real outlier of when we didn’t have a football team at all of course. [↩]
- I know the Spurs hammered the heat last night, but this series has been so up and down I don’t think there’s a way to predict the outcome. [↩]