You know a site isn't legitimate unless they have the "I'm thankful for" column on Thanksgiving Day. It's like football, parades and seeing relatives you can't stand the sight of and would rather avoid. It just comes with the holiday.
And you know a writer isn't legit if he has to write it. So we're two for two already.
Without further adieu, I'm thankful for:
The Cleveland Cavaliers- Thank God for this club that plays like the antithesis of the Cleveland Browns. Off to one for the best starts of their existence, this is a fun group to watch and fun group to root for. This season they embody everything we Clevelanders believe our teams should be: hard working, powerful, exciting and loving to play the game with one another.
They have an owner who strikes the perfect balance between the Mark Cubans and Randy Lerners of the world. You know Dan Gilbert is in charge and that you don't have to send out a search party to find him (much less confirm he's alive), but it's not his name at the top of the front page or sports page every day. He's willing to spend the money on quality players and to improve the game day entertainment for the fans of Cleveland but he's not running his yap and blogging about it every 4 hours. He runs the best organization in Cleveland sports and you have to appreciate everything he's done since he arrived.
Your Cleveland Cavaliers; the deodorant to another stinking Browns season.
The NFL- I'm thankful the NFL currently has only a 16 game regular season schedule. If I had to watch two more ‘real' football games in this Cleveland Browns crap-tacular season I'd climb a clock tower in Berea with a hunting rifle and get to work.
Braylon, Romeo, DA, Opie - I can't thank these guys enough for making it so easy to write a column. Seriously, The Weekend Wrap writes itself pretty much every Sunday of football season.
If it's not an attempt by the GM to sweep some potentially fatal infection under the rug or dropping huge FU Bombs on his customers then it's often just good old Keystone Cops game day fun we're having with this group. Taking a timeout to decide if you want to review a play and then burning a second timeout to do it (and losing the challenge most of the time). Getting a delay of game penalty after those two wasted timeouts. Then hitting the trifecta by lining up too many men on the field after the penalty is not something extraordinary any more. The fellas have made it a real possibility. Sometimes the boys will show their range and their depth by changing things up and getting called for a false start penalty instead of too many men on the field after the delay of game.It's funny when they do that.
I'm thankful for a QB-Receiver combo that Hollywood would think is too dysfunctional to work in any movie. I mean, the QB can't throw and the WR can't catch. Not a lick. It's like ‘The Replacements'. And it's great fun when, as if it actually was scripted, the WR comes off the field and screams at the QB and anyone else within earshot and the QB looks like the American Indian in the ‘Litter on the Roads' commercial with a tear running down his cheek.
I'm thankful Braylon got his 5-Hour Energy gig. I just wish he'd start taking that stuff at noon at Cleveland Browns Stadium instead of at 2 AM at the House of Blues.
Brandon Phillips/Mark Shapiro/Eric Wedge- The greatest thing to ever happen in Cleveland sports history was this little deal almost three years ago. It gave and still gives the lunatic fringe of the message board society a purpose and a tagline. It gives these same One Note Johnny's a reason to show up in every single thread (Indian and otherwise) to lament the day this future Hall of Fame ballplayer was traded away by the two-headed antichrist that is the Indians front office. Whenever they lack the originality or the intellect to make an argument pertaining to a situation they can play the BP card.
Why is this important?
Because it keeps them off the streets where they could come in contact with you and me or our families. These guys are modern-day Travis Bickle's who now have an outlet for their frustration and a hero in Phillips to represent them.
Rich Rodriguez and the Michigan Wolverines- Exclusively for the laughs and the joy at what that program has become. Rodriguez has turned the football program into a laughingstock almost overnight and it's to the point where I actually feel sorry for my ‘friends' who are Michigan fans. And they hate that more than they hate being hated. So that's fun.
TCF- This isn't an obligatory or required kiss for the site or the owner. This is real appreciation. This site, its visitors and, yes, even its deluded message board posters keep getting better and more entertaining almost on a daily basis.
It's a great place to stop in at various times of the day to get news, entertaining columns and immediate fan reaction to whatever is going on. For the hard core sports junkies and the casual fans it's a one-stop shop for real opinion and no holds barred coverage of all the games that are important to us.
I didn't grow up with a place like that. I was force-fed mainstream media crap and made to swallow what they were serving.
I am thankful that we have a place to get together and do it up right. Even the Brandon Phillips contingent out there makes me laugh and feel good about life.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from all of us here at TheClevelandFan.com