Thursday, December 11, 2003

MNF: I think this game summed up my entire life as a Cleveland sports fan. Watching the pregame and Kelly Ripa's little thing, I was starting to wonder if the Browns were even playing in this game, because they never mentioned them. I was very fired up about that couple getting married in the Dawg Pound, but as I was watching the kiss, I couldn't help but think, "are they allowed to show this on a network owned by Disney?" The game started off on the right foot. The D was shutting the Rams down, and the offense had momentum. I was getting really fired up. Then, things were starting to slip away. The D was playing bend but don't break, but the offense wasn't helping. Then, Aeneas Williams happened, and I went into the half wearing the Pete Carroll face. I was mad at Holcomb - my dad muttered something in disgust about the defense playing their hearts out - but after I saw Kelly was also wearing the Pete Carroll face, I knew he felt the same way I did. After cursing out the halftime segment where the Rams coach for yelling at their practice squad QB because Kelly Holcomb doesn't look off receivers, it was time for LeBron. He was dressed in a Jim Brown throwback, a white fur coat, and a brown and orange Nike hat. It's a good thing, too, because in a pregame interview, he mentioned that "they ain't given me nothin' yet." Now it's time for the 3rd quarter; this could get ugly. Now it's time for the "Cleveland hasn't had a championship since..." montage... again. The Fumble, Willie's catch, Tony Fernandez doing his Bill Buckner, and the Shot. Thank you. This is what prompted the trivia question. Mike, I owe you a beer. Heck, Dave, Ellen, I owe you a beer. Cronk, if you're reading this... I'm still not buying you a Mike's Hard, even if the Cranberry is pretty good. (yeah I said it. It had to be said.) But wait - Bulger still isn't doing squat, and Jamel White and Tim Couch are giving us a competent offense. The Brownies are in this game! Then, the Browns are down 6, and the Rams are lining up for a chip shot. While I'm starting to think about how everyone will be criticizing Butch for going for 2 early, the kicker misses the field goal! This can't be happening! The Browns have to punt on their next possession, but the D is huge again and forces the 3 and out! There's a good return on the punt, and no flags! This could be it! No, not today... This is Cleveland, though. Our teams play their hearts out, and win or lose, we're proud of them.

ND Basketball
Men: Two lackluster performances in the past couple games. Francis has been huge, and Thomas is putting up good numbers (except for FG%), but we just need one more scorer (we also need to play hard against the CMUs of the world). It doesn't have to be an outside shot, althought I think Falls can be that guy some day (in a good sense). Maybe another down low scorer to take some attention from Francis. As far as Quinn, he's never going to be a 5 3's per game sharpshooter, but he'll get good numbers and be solid with a few shots from behind the line. OK guys, you know you need to step up, let's do it.
Women: For some reason, whenever there's nothing better to show (not even Best Damn), Fox Sports Ohio likes to show random PAC 10 womens' sporting events (thank you, Jenny Finch). So, I got to see our womens' team take on Washington. Washinton was lead by Giuliana Mendiola (not to be confused with Gioconda Mendiola, who is hot but doesn't have as much talent) and a good game by freshman Cameo Hicks. Jackie Batteast played a solid game, but she just couldn't take it over. Our post players are getting there, but it's not there yet. This is still a relatively young team. The seniors are Severe, Joyce, and Hernandez, and Severe's the only one to see good PT over the past couple years. The triangle offense will work for this team, but they still may be a year away from once again becoming a great team.

Transaction Wire
Mets: Sign Kaz Matsui. Nice. And by "nice," I mean "thank God the Yankees didn't get him." Looks like he'll be a solid ballplayer, and he's unselfish enough that the Reyes situation will work itself out.
Angels: Signed Bart Colon. And they're going for Nomar? The championship the other year made them believe they can contend with this team, and if they can land Nomar (in exchange for Adam Kennedy, moving David Eckstein to his natural 2B) and another power bat, they'll contend in the ALWest.
Rangers: Sign 1B/DH Brad Fullmer.
Twins: Resign Shannon Stewart.
Good, good. Both these teams just added a guy to an already overstocked position. Maybe the Rangers can play 9 guys at first and the Twins 9 in right field.
Astros: Now that Andy Pettitte is off the Yankees, I can maybe finally admit that he's halfway decent. Too bad he looks like Diana Taurasi.
Yankees/Dodgers: Trade Jeff Weaver and prospects for Kevin Brown. I think the Dodgers win this one actually, if Weaver can get back on track. And, as Rick Ankiel proved, that's not as easy as it should be. Weaver is a good pitcher when he allows himself to be a wildman. Once he joined the Yankees, he tried to be calm and clean-cut, and that was the end of him. Dodger Stadium is a pitcher's park like Comerica, and if someone talks sense into him, he'll regain his mini-dominance. Plus, the Dodgers get prospects (the Yankees still have minor leaguers? I thought it was just Drew Henson and Luis Sojo playing catch in Columbus, with Jose Contreras occassionally joining so they can play pepper.) and the Yankees get a good if (big IF) he's healthy old man. Oh yeah, the Yankees suck.
As always, more Gammons-esque transactions at the link above - Vinny Castilla, Daryle Ward, Fernando Vina, Brent (no relation to Brett) Butler, Benito "even Kanka's dad thinks I'm old" Santiago, Everyday Eddie Guardado, Scott Sullivan, Lenny Harris, and about 40 former Indians and Devil Rays, including a Jason "why did Mike Hargrove keep putting me in when I sucked" Grimsley sighting.

Tomorrow: ND football POYs (yes, there were a few)