Hail to the Record Setters.....
Come on. It's Michigan week. Anyone reading this knows exactly what that means. It means OSU's 30-20 win over Illinois in which Terrelle Pryor and Chris ‘Beanie' Wells each rushed for over 100 yards is in the books and we can talk about what's really important to all Ohio State fans.
It's remembering the classic #1 versus #2 ball game a couple years back and how #1 stayed unbeaten and played for the national championship and #2 fell out of the Top 5 and hasn't recovered. It's remembering hanging a donut, goose egg or toilet seat (or whatever other symbol of zero/futility you choose) around the necks of Mike Hart, Chad Henne and Jake Long to symbolize the number of times those guys got over on Ohio State.
Pile on. Let your hatred for those pricks shine bright this week.
And let's get it started the right way by congratulating first year head coach Rich Rodriguez for setting a record that had not been achieved in 129 proud (more or less) years of Michigan football: he ‘led' the Wolverines to 8 losses for the first time in school history.
Solid work Dick.
Buckeye fans can't wait to watch you wear # 9 like the despicable, record-setting loser that you are. 9 losses in a season is a record you and your group of underachievers should be able to cherish forever.
By the way, tell your wife I loved her as the Crypt Keeper.
Prior to Pryor and the rest of the Buckeyes sending Michigan into the off season beaten and disgraced we'll have to subject ourselves to a little potential embarrassment of our own on Monday night.
The Browns head to Orchard Park for a prime time kickoff with the Bills and unless they were a 3rd world African government they couldn't be in much more disarray. Jamal Lewis and Josh Cribbs whispered the ‘quit' word to the media following last Thursday's come from ahead loss to the Broncos and the last ten days in Berea have been spent disarming those verbal bombs.
Phil Savage and Romeo Crennel have spent time refuting allegations that some players have mailed it in. We only know what we see. It sure looked to me like Brandon McDonald shied away from some contact last Thursday night when he pulled up and away from Bronco tight end Daniel Graham on Graham's 39 yard TD reception.
Either way, there have been happier and less tension-filled times in Berea over the years.
I'm not sure if there is anything that Crennel can do right now to motivate this football team. His reputation as a players coach and a guy you want to win for hasn't helped any in the standings and there can't be a lot of faith amongst the players that a playoff berth could be a reward for removing their collective helmets out from under the pad that protects their tailbones.
What they do have going for them, if they can find some motivation to actually play hard for their checks, is that the Bills are on the down elevator heading to share the basement with Cleveland.
If nothing else it's another game in the young career of Brady Quinn and another measuring point for him in regard to running an offense, commanding a huddle and figuring out exactly where you can throw a ball so that Kellen Winslow Jr. and Braylon Edwards can actually hang on to it.
Quinn threw nothing that traveled more than 11-13 yards from the line of scrimmage last Thursday against the Broncos. With a banged up offensive line, JLew not hitting holes like he did 6 years ago and a better defense overall than the Broncos, I'd expect the Bills to crowd the line of scrimmage more so than Denver did. That means you might see Quinn with some opportunities for 5 and 7 step drops and more attempts down the field.
I know. It's not a lot of reason to watch. But many of you will. And I've volunteered to live-blog the game again so you're free to check in early and often on TCF to either rejoice in the team's success or commiserate over another defeat.
Always End on a High Note
The Cavaliers are getting me giddy.
Maybe it's a situation where they are pygmies amongst midgets in regard to our Cleveland sports teams, and I'll drop in the cliché about it still being early, but this team is getting better and better as the season progresses and they're becoming more enjoyable to watch every single night.
More so than anything else this season I'm getting a huge kick out of watching LeBron James have fun. He's truly enjoying sharing the floor and the basketball with this group of Cavaliers. And he, due to the ability or threat of others, has elevated his game.
James was always the cornerstone and the leader on the offensive side of the floor. This year he has emerged as a balls to the wall defender. Balls to the wall, balls to the baseline, balls to the sideline, he's going after them all. He's been sprawled face-down on the floor more often lately than a member of Pacman Jones's posse.
That plays big to every guy on the roster. When the King is hustling his ass off you better be following suit.
I was thinking it would take this club ¼ of a season to get in a groove with each other. It's come a lot quicker than that. Saturday night against Utah you could see James and Mo Williams making eye contact on a number of trips down the court. They're looking to make plays together and getting each other the ball where they can make those plays.
It's a lot more than just James and Mo right now though. Ben Wallace and Zydrunas Ilgauskas are healthy and productive. Anderson Varejao is in shape and playing hard for his next contract. Delonte West is just giving productive minutes on both ends of the court every single night. Even a one-trick pony like Wally Szczerbiak is contributing without really being in a rhythm with his money shot. Wally is still a threat from the perimeter even though he's struggled thus far. But he's smart enough to realize his reputation as a shooter also allows to ball fake a defender and go to the rim. That results in a layup, free throws or a pass to an open man.
The best part is watching a team that doesn't seem lost or bored out on the court. The absence of mopes like Donyell Marshall, Damon Jones and Drew Gooden means there are actual basketball players out there in their spots. The days of defenders collapsing the lane because they didn't have to guard Eric Snow and his shot are gone. Sasha Pavlovic's minutes continue to diminish.
The Cavs have solid players all over the court this season. Teams have to pick their poison and live with the ramifications of their defensive choices. I wasn't sure we'd ever see the day where there was excitement and enthusiasm for a Mike Brown coached offense. But give credit where it's due. The man puts a team on the court every night that looks like it loves playing the game and that plays hard. You watching Berea?
Again TCF has your best Browns coverage going. Join us for the live game blog Monday night and then follow it up with the best opinions and commentaries throughout the week. We'll go live at about 8pm Monday night for the Browns and Bills. See you there.