On Saturday afternoon we were in the wife's van headed for her mom's annual Halloween blowout. The kids were in costume and eagerly awaiting the evening's festivities when we entered a construction zone on RT 2 westbound, just east of RT 306.
That's when the transmission dropped in the van.
No reverse, no forward, no nothing. To make matters worse there was a very narrow shoulder where we forced to pull off. Semis and other vehicles sped along next to us at 50mph, shaking the van as they passed. Every single vehicle that approached threatened to obliterate all of us.
I couldn't help but think after the wife kids were safely in the back of the police car (hopefully the last time the middle girl is in the back of one of those but I'm not feeling it....) that the situation was similar to the one the Browns are in.
They're basically a disabled vehicle on the side of the road that is powerless to move and they're in danger of getting obliterated by any team they're scheduled to face. It's no longer a situation for this football team as to whether they can win Sunday's football game. Rather, it's ‘How bad is this going to turn out?'
So after all that excitement on Saturday and the clocks being set back and all of that, I woke up disoriented the next morning. One of those days where you get up, aren't sure if you're late for work or not, you know, you're just out of it.
But when I turned on the television a little later and saw, "3 and out", "3 and out", "3 and out" and "Anderson interception", I knew damn well it was Sunday.
Just for good measure DA also threw another interception late in the fourth quarter. That one went back for a touchdown.
The Browns lost 30-6 and Anderson put up a 10.5 QB rating. Highly respectable when you consider he was at zero point zero for two and a half quarters. Not respectable enough to keep Brady Quinn from coming in for the final Browns drive though. So the next two weeks will have the QB controversy drama that we all crave.
And even though you might think it crazy, the defense actually played hard and effectively for much of the day. They actually made Jay Cutler quite uncomfortable all afternoon and likely quite sore for the rest of the week.
Anyway, it's 1-7 for the Browns and onto the bye week. No word on whether DA will show up at CBS next Sunday thinking there is a game. If he does, the head coach who appears as empty-headed as those carved out pumpkins we saw on Saturday night will probably run him out there and see if DA might be able to reduce his interceptions and actually throw a TD pass.
I'd still bet the under.
The Boys are Back in Town
After creating a great deal of angst amongst rabid fans desperate to watch a winning team by virtue of losing their first two games, the Cavaliers righted the ship Friday and Saturday with wins over Minnesota and Charlotte.
I have some advice for y'all if you're watching the Cavaliers closely at the start of this season: Chill the hell out.
The Cavs are finding themselves right now. That may sound crazy when you consider that six months ago they were in the Eastern Conference Finals against Orlando. But it's the stone cold truth. It's a team that has three key new additions to the game night rotation in Shaquille O'Neal, Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker. 40% of their starting five is new to the team. Nearly 50% of their regular rotation is learning to play with an entirely new cast of teammates.
I know it is basketball and not neurosurgery, but there is an adjustment period we're going to have to endure. It's going to take time for the new guys to figure out their roles. It's going to take time for the holdovers to learn where the new guys like to receive the ball and how they'll fit in.
The Cavs will be a far better basketball team in 15-25 games than they are today. In the meantime they'll need to scratch and claw against the better teams in the NBA and take the wins against the Minnesotas and Charlottes of the world. This is the reason why I expect them to win about six fewer games during this regular season than they did last year. You can expect struggles along the way against talented teams like the Celtics and Raptors. Those teams are capable of taking advantage of a period of confusion and sloppiness to grind out a win.
The one concern we should have throughout the season is the mental health and well-being of Delonte West. DWest was back in action Saturday night after being cleared by the Cavs medical staff to play and he immediately contributed 13 points in 24 minutes of run. West also grabbed a couple rebounds, dished out a couple of assists and had a steal in his season debut.
West's well-being is critical because he drives the second unit when LeBron James is getting his normal rest. West can take the ball to the basket, hit the pull-up intermediate jumpers, and knock down the occasional three point shot and D it up like a witch. He opens the floor for Mo Williams, Zydrunas Ilgauskas and the rest of the second unit and you can't underestimate his value to this team.
Patience and prayers folks.
If you needed any more evidence that Terrelle Pryor is nowhere close to the passer the Buckeyes need him to be to win big football games then I give you yesterday's game against New Mexico State at the The ‘Shoe.
Ohio State coach Jim Tressel used the football game as a passing camp. It was a glorified seven-on-seven drill in front of 100,000 Ohio State fans.
Pryor threw the ball 23 times in the first half, the Buckeyes built up a 28-0 halftime lead and Pryor watched the second half from the bench as the Buckeyes rolled up the Aggies 45-0.
There have been seasons when the Buckeyes didn't throw 23 passes.
But desperate times call for desperate measures and Tressel, knowing he could pretty much name the final score, was determined to get Pryor some throws and some confidence at the expense of the Aggies.
The results for Pryor were mixed. The sophomore completed 11 of those 23 throws for 135 yards and a TD and did not turn the ball over. He alternated between impressive and erratic. His 19-yard TD throw to Dane Sanzenbacher was a laser guided missile between defenders that hit Sanzenbacher on the hands. But a throw to an open Devier Posey that would have been a touchdown missed Posey by about eight yards.
It wasn't too much later in the second quarter that Posey hit Sanzenbacher in stride for a touchdown off an end-around option pass that had a few Buckeye fans muttering that Posey and Prior should switch spots on the field more often.
From a fan's perspective it appeared that Pryor made some progress on the day. Despite completing less than 50% of his passes Pryor did some things in the passing game that should benefit him heading down the stretch. One half of throwing isn't going to cure what ails Pryor but he likely came out of the game with a little more confidence than he had entering the day.
Will it be enough to carry the day next week in Happy Valley against Penn State? I'm not going to go that far.
Lost in the scrimmage on Saturday was the fact that the Buckeye defense threw another shutout against New Mexico State and in doing so they limited to the Aggies to 62 total yards from scrimmage. I know it was NMSU but that is a dominating performance regardless of the opponent.
The biggest loss of the day was PK Aaron Pettrey. The kicker left the game late in the first half after a cheap shot he took following a kickoff. Untested Devin Barclay assumed the placekicking duties and he'll be under the gun against the Nittany Lions Saturday. With as heavily as Tressel relies on his kicking game that could be a huge factor.