August 26, 2014

The New Cleveland

Welcome to Cleveland, Johnny Manziel

Are the winds changing in Cleveland? The mood and spirits of this lakefront town are at an all time high because of the recent happening with the sports teams. The national media has all eyes on Cleveland, but this time they are watching the city because of the prospects of good news rather then the horrible events that have littered its past. The Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians are all producing exciting moments for the its sports fan. The wins have yet to be accumulated, but could Cleveland (finally) be entering an age of professional sports success?

The atmosphere of Cleveland started to change on May 8 during the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft when the Browns selected the biggest name Draft with the pick of quarterback Johnny Manziel. Manziel was the 2012 Heisman trophy winner and a player who transcended college football. He has come in to Cleveland as one of biggest stars in the NFL even without playing a single game yet in the league. The Browns finally could have a quarterback who can take the team to a championship and one who will end the era of losing. Because of all these things he brings, Cleveland has Manziel mania. The town has not been this excited for a player on the Browns in many years.

Manziel started the craze of “Good Karma” in Cleveland. This optimistic sentiment has made Cleveland more positive about their sports teams. “Good Karma” is a new positive mindset that Clevelanders have taken on regarding their teams that have disappointed them to no end over much of the last decade—it has replaced Cleveland’s old sentiment, “Only in Cleveland.” This change to a positive attitude has made the past few weeks more enjoyable to be a Cleveland Sports fan, but the Manziel selection was only the beginning of the great month of May.

The positive momentum continued this past Tuesday when the Cleveland Cavaliers won the won the NBA Draft Lottery for a second straight year. They won the No. 1 pick in one of the best drafts in recent years despite having just a 1.7% chance. The draft has given the team a new breath of fresh air and brighter future. The team was headed to a tough offseason with a lot of uncertainty, but the Cavaliers struck gold with the lottery and because of all the options it has opened up for them. The Cavs can pick the best player on their draft board or they could trade the pick for an All-Star level veteran. They can be aggressive with their roster because the team has the No. 1 pick in their back pocket. Without a doubt, the positivity has flowed through to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

And that is not all for the good fortunes in Cleveland. This past week, the Cleveland Indians swept their rival in the AL Central-leading Detroit Tigers and took the first game against the Baltimore Orioles. The Indians turned a disappointing weekend series versus the Oakland Athletics into a hopeful momentum shifting series win. The Tigers were the Indians biggest nemesis last year. The Tribe only won four games last year versus their division rival. With the sweep this week, The Indians have already matched this win total of last season. The Tribe has started the season off very slowly and has played very sloppy baseball. Hopefully this series win can propel them into a successful stretch of winning baseball.

It has been wild and exciting month of May for the Cleveland sports fans. The national media has descended on to Cleveland to take notice of the big news happening here. It seems like every team in Cleveland is trending positively. The “New Cleveland” moniker fits very well because of how different the sports environment feels now. There is no more dreadful woe-is-me attitude that has haunted this town’s fans for so many years. Cleveland has so much anticipation and excitement surrounding its teams which has not been seen for a very long time. Good Karma is the new belief that has many in this city believing that this could finally be the beginning of more successful professional sports. The city has seen so much disappointment by their sports teams over the many years. It is finally time that the tide turns and Cleveland gets better fortunes. The Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians are on a path to finally obtaining to the ever-elusive championship.

(Picture by: Adam Hunger/ USA Today)

  • CB Everett

    I don’t know if this is ushering in a new era. Call me crazy, but I’m a little leery to buy in just yet.

  • TomWFNY

    (from the article:) “Good Karma” is a new positive mindset that Clevelanders have taken on regarding their teams that have disappointed them to no end over much of the last decade—it has replaced Cleveland’s old sentiment, “Only in Cleveland.” This change to a positive attitude has made the past few weeks more enjoyable to be a Cleveland Sports fan

    That’s exactly it. When everyone complains about the teams all the time, being a fan is annoying. When people stop embracing “lolbrowns” and such, it’s fun. And that’s independent of whether we win or lose (although winning is obviously the better result).

  • matt underwood

    whoa, whoa, whoa, stop the clock…

    so the tribe swept the tigers, they are still in last place.

    browns just drafted a QB at #22 to be our savior – stop me if you’ve heard this before.

    the cavs just got the number #1 pick (again) – ive lost all faith in gamblin’ dan after the past draft and coaching debacles.

    it is exciting yes, but forgive me as i am not ready to buy in yet, the crash is way too hard when things dont work out. and they wont. they never do. never will.

  • architrance

    Hate to be that guy, but is this satire? Really, the entire city has completely forgotten their life’s sports history and has adopted this blissful, skippy and way over-optomistic/enthusiastic mindset???

    This is clearly written by a young, naive Cleveland sports fan (an enviable viewpoint). Greater expectations lead to even greater disappointments. Hardly any of these examples have translated to any sort of success on the field.

    “The Browns finally could have a quarterback who can take the team to a championship and one who will end the era of losing.” Call me when that happens, because it hasn’t. Can he be a good quarterback? Probably. Will he accomplish those things? I’m a bit skeptical.

    While the Cavs suddenly have a much rosier future, but this has to be tempered with the fact that they were put in that position because the team just isn’t very good. Adding a great young player, who may need a lot of development time is fantastic, but results may not come immediately. And lets remember, the Cavs still haven’t proven capable of attracting big name free agents or coaches yet.

    And yes, the Indians are still in last place, Detroit can still beat all other 29 teams and the Tribe only made it to the playoffs last year due to a minor miracle.

    Am I hopeful for these teams? Yes, just not with such unbridled enthusiasm, which can only lead to heartbreak. Two of these teams have done nothing on the field and the Tribe has a lot of season left. I’ll get excited when real wins start piling up, not dream victories, thank you very much.

  • architrance

    Winning heals all wounds. It’s just none of these teams are doing that… yet.

    You cant forget the past. That’s irrational and a fool’s errand. It’s what shapes our collective civic & athletic psyche and unites us as one.

  • saggy

    it beats the alternatives.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    Wow. Well–hey, you guys don’t mind if I lay out this blanket before I get started, right? Apologies if it’s a tad damp.

    Look, optimism can be a very powerful and positive thing–I’m thinking of the variety of studies that seem to indicate positive attitudes can help those recovering from injury/illness, student performance, etc. But there’s a fine line between optimism and being idealistic, and this early in the game…well, let’s just say the word “premature” first came to mind while reading. Actually, it was a less-family-friendly word, but, you know, house rules and stuff. And no offense intended whatsoever, Joe, in any way (almost went with “with all due respect…”, but we all know what that usually leads to). It’s actually about this…”thing”…a number of us Cleveland fans (myself included from time to time) tend to do in times like those currently being experienced: getting waaaaaay ahead of ourselves. My thought is that it’s a direct response to just how negative things can get for us, leading the pendulum to swing faaaar the other way at any sign of hope/progress/competency/good luck. And I believe it makes things worse if/when things fall apart.

    We drafted “the biggest name” in the 2014 NFL Draft? Bully.

    “…Heisman trophy winner and a player who transcended college football. He has come in to (pro football) as one of biggest stars in the NFL even without playing a single game yet”

    Sounds awfully familiar. How is that Tebow fella doing these days, anyway? Names and hype and college success, sadly, do not win games–which is still the ultimate measure of success for a QB, no? Let’s allow the kid to prove that he has what it takes to succeed at the top of his profession before getting too worked up.

    The Cavs somehow, some way, managed to get the top pick in what is expected to be a loaded NBA draft? Definitely seems like good luck. As I’m sure it did to Portland fans back in 2007 when it seemed there were numerous, can’t-miss prospects to be had. Let’s first see what this franchise chooses to do with the pick, then see what the youngster they select can do in the pro game, before planning any parades through downtown next June.

    The maddeningly inconsistent (unless you’re talking bad defense, then they’re totally consistent) Tribe sweeps the Motor City Kitties in three games. Always a good (if rare) feeling. On this date last season the Tribe was 27-19 (0-3 against DET). We know how the season series between the teams ended, and it took an incredible streak of wins at the very end of the season just to qualify for a play-in game, even with 92 victories. Maybe this marks the start of a true team turnaround, but it’s one series in May–lot of time left, good or bad.

    Maybe mine is the glass half empty view, and maybe others prefer to keep things positive in their fandom–do you, friends. But our collective tendency to often get ahead of ourselves, to me, is the reason why the letdowns are ultimately that much worse. I’m not saying we take a Vulcan approach to our teams, but I do think some level-headedness could be better for us in the long run. “Positive vibes” and “karma” and cute ideas, but ultimately things are decided on the field/court by players, not fan sentiment/attitude. Not a bad read, and everyone should fan as they see fit, but I feel like this sort of thing is worse for us rather than better more often than not. Take things as they come. Enjoy the present for what it is, and figure out the rest as it comes. Just my two cents (and 140,000 words–sorry). As always: Go Browns, Go Tribe, and Go Cavs.

  • nj0

    All time high? I think this article shows an ignorance of all but the most recent Cleveland sports history. You don’t even have to go back that far. Look at winter 2007. You had the Cavs coming off an NBA Finals run, the Indians off an ALCS run, and the Browns a 10-6 season. The future looked mighty bright, much more so than it does now.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo

    Whiskey? Nothing beats whiskey.

  • nj0

    May I introduce you to my friend: vodka.

  • nj0

    Savior QB, #1 pick, an Indians winning streak… You, me, and all of Cleveland sports fandom have been through enough of these we’re-turning-the-corner moments to know better.

    Results. Wins. Championships.
    I’ll take those over positive vibes and karma.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo
  • nj0

    Actually, I think the most palpable excitement I remember from Clevelanders was when we won the lottery to draft Lebron.

    That might have been the one moment in all my years where it seemed that a championship was all but assured. The 80′s Browns/Cavs, the 90′s Indians, 2007… all those all felt like waiting for the inevitable to happen.

  • architrance

    Yup, mid-90′s Tribe trumped everything. Also don’t forget all of the Buckeye basketball & football title games, Heisman Trophy winners, etc.

  • architrance

    I agree, I’ll always remember that moment, even though I didn’t even see it. I was buying my first car and someone stuck their head into the office to announce it.

  • nj0
  • nj0

    I’m not even much of an NBA fan and just thinking about it sends shivers down my spine. The hometown boy, a once-in-a-generation talent, winning a championship for Cleveland. Seemed all too perfect.

    That 35-14 drubbing in ’08 of the NYG on Monday night was also a high water mark for me. I think that may have been the best, most complete game I’ve seen the Browns v.2.0 play. Felt like we turned the corner there too.

  • http://twitter.com/bbo13 B-bo
  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Ew, a Crunch tweet.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    And you are “that guy”. There’s always gotta be “that guy”.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    that guy #3

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    that guy

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    i’m still very wait and see on the indians but if they plug-in (ahem, jon) josh tomlin as a starter there’s hope.

    as for the cavs, i’m containing optimism until we find a coach. (that hire mike brown last year would be like if the browns would’ve hired pat shurmur in january.) if we score a good coach, im in the camp that says lebron wants to come back and will.

    but on the browns? we’re going to go 11-5/12-4 and win division and that’s for realz.

  • maxfnmloans

    Hate to be that guy # 3, but the #goodkarma thing was started by KNR, who happens to be owned by Good Karma broadcasting (Craig Karmazin, son of Mel, friend to that moron sidekick of Rizzo’s).

    So #GoodKarma is all a branding effort for “ESPN Johnny Cleveland”. ‘Scuse me if I don’t “buy in”. It is good to have hope though, and I have some.

  • maxfnmloans

    whether or not that actually happens for the Browns, isn’t it nice to actually be able to type that sentence without laughing out loud before reaching the end? That means it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility, which, considering the state of things most years, is a definite step up in class. Viva Ray Farmer!

  • maxfnmloans

    I was in BG at the time, but when we beat the Orioles in ’97 ALCS after dispatching the Yankees in the Division series, THAT is when I remember people just walking around campus with their gear on, high- fiving strangers, and just a sense of overall giddiness.

    Perhaps this was due to the fact that since the ’95 World Series the Browns had skipped town, we lost in the Division Series to Baltimore the in ’96, Belle and Lofton were gone, and it had been a rough 23 or so months for Cleveland fans. But at the time it seemed like everyone thought we were winning that series in ’97.

  • RGB

    Shurmer?
    More like rehiring Romeo.

  • cmm13

    2007 called; it wants it’s title as “the year it all changed” back.

  • cmm13

    Should have read your comment before posting a reply.

  • nj0

    Great minds

  • nj0

    Wow. That’s just… wow. Thanks for reminding me that I can never be cynical enough.

  • architrance

    The New* Cleveland

    *same as it ever was

  • Dan_L79

    I think I’m becoming meta-negative and going down a wormhole here, but I’m really against the whole “Good Karma” thing. Not because I’m against being positive for Cleveland, but because as maxfn said, it is a marketing scheme, and further, a scheme by KNR which has fueled negative thought on it’s programs for the past few years.

    For instance, go back and listen to a few random hours of Rizzo and Goldhammer talking about the Indians last year. I’ll bet you find more negative comments than positive ones, and this is a team that outperformed every preseason projection, won 92 games and made the playoffs. Whenever it made them money they helped drive the negative attitude, and now they want to sell a different story as the positive station. Forget that, I’m not buying what they’re selling.

  • stryker1121

    A friend of mine called 2007 the ‘golden age’ of CLE sports. I’m not going to get excited about if-comes until they produce on the field. Hopeful but prudent I am about this recent run of luck.

  • stryker1121

    You and me both..I’m happy about the recent good vibes, but it means nothing until we get consistent winning and an actual legit playoff appearance from one of our teams.

  • Sam Gold

    “…go back and listen to a few random hours of Rizzo and Goldhammer…” Never. Ever.

  • mgbode

    thanks. that makes sense. drafting a QB who slipped, sweeping a team in May, and getting a draft pick (and may draft a guy with a back injury) do not seem like things that Clevelanders would generally get all fluttery eyed over.