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The Weekend Wrap
October 26, 2009 · By Brian McPeek

High Comedy 

If you like physical humor this Cleveland Browns football team is for you. It's not roller-skating monkeys and clown cars but it's pretty damn close. 

In Sunday's blow-out, 31-3 loss to the Packers the Browns gave you, for your viewing pleasure, multiple center-quarterback exchange fumbles, basic old fumbles, interceptions, hilarious chase scenes involving Eric Wright, Brodney Pool and Packers receiver Donald Driver, failed replay challenges, a short field goal attempt clanging off the upright (loudly) before careening through for three points, and countless other ‘Three Stooges' type moments. 

When you support a team as pathetic and sad as the Browns you have to seek out your entertainment through any possible means. 

So on Sunday I just sat back and laughed. When it's 21-3 at the half and the game is over you have to make up your own ways to get through to the finish. 

You know who still can't make me smile no matter what he does though? Derek Anderson. He is to quarterbacking what Eddie the Eagle was to ski jumping. No. Wait a second. There was an element of humor to what Eddie the Eagle brought to the ski jumping table. Derek Anderson is not at all funny. He's more like Vinko Bogotaj, the Slovenian ski-jumper who was famous for being the ‘agony of defeat' highlight for ABC's ‘Wide World of Sports'. Bogotaj lost control on the jump and spiraled horrifically out of control before crashing at the bottom of the jump ramp and laying in a tangled pile of body parts.  

Wikipedia calls Bogotaj "an affectionate icon for stunning failure". 

Other than the ‘affectionate' part, that's DA in a nutshell.  

My issue with DQA is that I can't feel bad for him. I can't commiserate with Anderson not because he's pathetic playing the position but because he's pathetic and he mopes around on the field and on the sidelines and he's just not a sympathetic character. Jesus, in Sunday's game the Browns benefited from a Packer penalty on a punt to get the ball back and receive another offensive set. You know, what they call in other NFL cities ‘an opportunity to score'. But DA looked like a 12-year old kid being asked to take out the garbage when he saw his ‘presence' was required back on the field. He seriously looked annoyed, as if to say, "Okay, but we all know nothing good is going to come out of this." 

Tim Couch was pathetic but at least he was likeable. You could empathize with Couch because he was miscast into a horrible situation and at least handled it for the most part with his head up. DA just looks like a loser while he's losing. He's resigned to his and his team's fate and you just get nothing from him that approaches likeability, much less leadership and command. He looks like he's accepted losing and his part in it and that's more unacceptable than the losing and the lack of his skills. 

I will say this though: because DA stinks and is unlikable that clearly makes him the poster boy for this entire team and organization.  

Acta's Role: Turn Around Tribe 

There will be teeth gnashing and complaining about the Indians hiring Manny Acta as their manager on Sunday. Acta was, in two and a half seasons, 158-252 with the Washington Nationals. That's not disputable. And it's not good. 

But people are going to find that, like every single manager in the game, that Acta will be as good as his player are in Cleveland. By all accounts Acta is extremely bright, dedicated and hard working. Those are all really fine attributes to have in any walk of life, but Acta will be judged on how talented the players are that he puts on the field. 

Out of the four finalists considered I like the choice. I didn't want a first time manager in the role and the other experienced MLB manager, Bobby Valentine, is a cartoon character with a short shelf life wherever he goes. I also like the fact that, with the Indians roster, Acta should relate relatively well (or at least relatively comfortably) with the Latin American players on the team.  

Interesting too is the fact that Acta was offered the Astros' managerial job before taking the Indians job, according to ESPN.com. Acta was drafted by the Astros 20+ years ago and one can look at his decision to take the Cleveland job over the one in Houston as possibly a sign that he thinks there's some talent here that he can positively affect. 

You can probably expect a large portion of his staff will be announced soon. But the biggest piece is in place. And the fact that he comes from outside of Mark Shapiro's Circle of ComfortTM is comforting to me. It'll be tough for Acta to fail and ever get another managerial job. You can likely assume he'll fight anyone in his way for the right pieces to succeed.  

Even if that happens to be his own boss. 


For a while there on Saturday afternoon I thought Buckeye fans were the only people who cared that Ohio State puked and gagged last weekend in West Lafayette when they got whacked by Purdue. It sure didn't seem like the loss motivated the Ohio State offense. Terrelle Pryor and company came out and choked and gagged again for the better part of the first half. 

Thankfully, Minnesota is a mediocre or worse football team and the Buckeyes got their own feet underneath them in the second half of a 38-7 Gopher beat down. 

Pryor removed his head from his Ann Arbor and threw for 200+ yards and a couple TDs and rushed for 104 more yards and another score. A huge third quarter turned a 7-0 halftime lead into a 28-0 laugher and the only drama was whether Minnesota would score. Ultimately they did but the Buckeyes got themselves back into some sort of rhythm offensively and stemmed the tide of complaints from Buckeye Nation. 

At least for a week. 

As disappointing as things have been for the Buckeyes in 2009 they still have a shot at a BCS Bowl if they can take down the Big10 title. Pryor's going to need to perform at or near the level he played in the second half Saturday if OSU is going to get by the likes of Iowa, Penn State and Michigan down the stretch. 

Cycle of Suck to Cease Soon 

It seems like yesterday that the Cavs were unceremoniously eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Orlando Magic. It was actually just about five months ago but the wounds are still fresh. 

But those memories can start to be erased starting Tuesday night at home against Boston and on Wednesday on the road against Toronto. 

As excited as I am about this Cavaliers season I surely did not need to read that Delonte West took another step sideways on Saturday night with what's being called an "airport incident" by 19 Action News. West, if he hasn't already, is threatening to become a full-blown sideshow and a regular season game has yet to be played. The Cavs really need Delonte to get his head right because he's a talented kid who contributes in many ways on the court.  

With or without West the Cavs are loaded for bear. There's plenty of articles on TCF dedicated to how they've improved written by more NBA-proficient writers than me, but suffice it to say they have addressed a number of shortcomings with the additions of Shaq, Jamario Moon and Anthony Parker. 

After what we've watched from the Tribe and Browns since we last left the Cavaliers seeing them on Tuesday night, with a legit shot at a title, will be a sight for very sore eyes. 

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