The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Archive for January, 2008

On Hiatus

Posted by disappointmentzone on 31 January 2008

The Disappointment Zone is on temporary hiatus with the hope of returning to regular posting by mid-February. Thanks for your patience.

PS: Larry Hughes still sucks.

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 2 Comments »

Get Ready For OSU in the BCS…Again

Posted by disappointmentzone on 14 January 2008

OSU finished the season with the possibility of returning 20 of 22 starters. So far they’ve lost only Vernon Gholston, which will do some damage to the defensive line.

But the real story this evening is that James Laurinaitis will return to Columbus. Losing Laurinaitis would have been a crippling blow to the defense. His return will mitigate any other defensive losses the team might suffer.

Meanwhile all signs are pointing to everyone returning on offense. Which means that when Ohio State takes the field next season they’ll be poised to play in the BCS title game once again, much to the chagrin to the rest of the nation.

Going forward the key to next season will be the game at USC early in September. If OSU wins that game there will likely be nothing any other team can do to keep OSU out of the title game should they win out. There likely won’t be two other teams that, even if they go undefeated, will have more impressive resumes than an undefeated Ohio State.

So third time is a charm, right?

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 5 Comments »

Colts Got What They Deserved

Posted by disappointmentzone on 14 January 2008

So the Colts lost yesterday to huge underdog San Diego. These are the same Colts who were coming off a bye week and had sparingly played their starters two weeks prior in their final game against the Titans. That’s roughly a three week break heading into the playoffs. The team yesterday looked rusty, to say the least — receivers dropping passes that turned into interceptions, the league’s best scoring defense giving up a lot of points, including a huge drive at the end of the game by a backup.

The Cowboys, also huge favorites at home, lost as well, this time to the Giants. The Cowboys did not play their starters in week 17. Like the Colts their first stringers were operating on essentially a three week lay off, coming off the bye last week. The Cowboys lost to the Giants, who played all their starters in a week 17 tilt against the Patriots — who, it should be noted, played all their starters as well in that game, and then beat the hot Jaguars on Saturday.

Meanwhile the Packers, who played their starters for almost the entire game in week 17, blew the Seahawks out of the water.

So of the top four seeds the two that played competitive football throughout the entire season, particularly heading into the playoffs, won their two games. The other two teams lost at home to road underdogs after benching their starters in the final week of the season. For the Colts, this is the second time in three years this has happened.

As a Browns fan it was particularly sweet to see the Colts lose. They made no attempt to beat the Titans in week 17. None whatsoever. They mailed it in. The league apparently had no problem with what transpired in the waining minutes of the game, when the Colts and Titans basically agreed to not play the final snap of the game, which clearly came as a welcomed gift to the Titans. It may as well have come in a velvet box with a lovely note penned by Mr. Dungy himself.

If you don’t try to win you may as well lose. The integrity of the game took a sever blow in week 17 — amazingly no one in the media, as far as I can tell, has made any attempt to further investigate this — and seeing the Colts get their comeuppance was wonderful.

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 1 Comment »

Oh The Irony!

Posted by disappointmentzone on 11 January 2008

Say goodbye to Jacobs Field and hello to Progressive Field, this according to the Plain Dealer which sites sources familiar with the situation. An official announcement is expected later today.

Setting aside the sadness of losing the Jake, how ironic is it that a team (mis)named after Native Americans with a grossly offensive caricature as its mascot will now be playing in Progressive Field?

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 8 Comments »

Browns Extending Anderson?

Posted by disappointmentzone on 9 January 2008

According to ESPN the Browns have entered into talks with Derek Anderson about signing him to a long-term contract. Is this a wise move?

Consider:

* The Browns could sign Anderson to a 1-year deal for $2.4M that would require any other team interested in signing him to compensate the Browns with their first and third round draft picks. The Browns would also have the option of matching the offer.

* With Brady Quinn’s contract being heavily incentive-based — and with those incentives being impossible to reach without actually playing — extending Anderson to a long-term deal does not preclude the Browns from also keeping Quinn.

* The biggest incentive clause in Quinn’s contract is based on the percentage of snaps he takes in his first three seasons. If he rides the pine for two years he’ll lose out on making a ton of money, which would suck for him, but it would be great for the Browns. Since he’s signed to a five-year contract the Browns could get and additional two inexpensive years out of him.

* Since contracts in the NFL are not guaranteed any extension for Anderson should be judged primarily on the amount of guaranteed money. If Anderson agrees to a long term deal that only affects the team’s cap over the next couple of seasons it is possible that the Browns could trade or cut him a couple of years into the deal to give Quinn the starting job.

* Would Quinn be willing to ride the pine for more than another season? What if he turns into a malcontent?

* Is it in the Browns’ best interest to keep an asset like Quinn on the bench? If they extend Anderson should they try to flip Quinn for either draft picks or another player, say a defensive lineman like Jason Taylor?

Posted in Cleveland Browns | 9 Comments »

Enough SEC Fast! OSU Slow! Talk

Posted by disappointmentzone on 8 January 2008

Lance Armstrong is the greatest cyclist ever. He won the Tour de France — the most demanding and challenge race in the world — seven consecutive times, more than any other cyclist in history. It’s a record that is bound to stand for many years to come and it was his near constant ownership of the famed yellow jersey worn by the leader of the race that inspired those ubiquitous yellow bracelets.

But for all his dominance, for all the yellow jerseys, Armstrong never wore the less-famed green jersey, awarded to the sprint leader. Overall Armstrong was the fastest rider in the race, but on the particularly flat stages where the sprint points are highest Armstrong hardly ever battled it out to finish first to wear the maillot vert. If you put Armstrong on a short track he would be smoked by countless other cyclists. He won the race because he was incredible in the mountain stages, where no sprinters ever seriously contend and where the most time towards the overall standings is earned.

Armstrong was strategic and adapted his racing philosophy to suit the terrain upon which he raced.

The same is true of any sensible football coach who has any input over the type of players on his team (which is every football coach in Division 1 football in a BCS conference whose team is remotely competitive). When you play on turf in Hawaii it makes sense to accentuate the competitive advantages of a fast track (as turf is commonly called) by installing a wide open passing attack. When you play on the shores of Lake Erie it helps to have a punishing running back because there will be days of freezing temperatures accompanied by howling winds that render a passing game impossible.

Which is why the cries of “THE BIG TEN IS SLOW!” are growing so tired. True, the lack of speed on Ohio State’s football team — however valid this claim may be — is a weakness when playing indoors against a southern football team. But transplant LSU to Wisconsin and let’s see how that speed does in 12 inches of snow when the terrain calls for a bruising running game founded on punishing lineman and running backs who are more in the mold of Dickerson than Sanders (which, admittedly, LSU had in Hester).

LSU was a better football team that OSU this season. Anyone who watched the two teams play more than twice could see that. By earning a berth to the BCS title game OSU overachieved on a tremendous scale while LSU was a preseason favorite to win the title in a game practically played in their back yard. At the start of the season LSU was better and it turns out that at the end of the season LSU was better. This is not to detract from OSU’s accomplishments. It’s just a fact.

With all that said, it’s time to recognize that warm weather teams have an advantage in bowl games, which are predominantly played in warm weather (be it in the south or indoors). Warm weather schools have teams adapted to compliment the conditions in which they play. It’s smart. It’s what they should do. It’s also smart for cold weather schools to have teams that are designed to play well in freezing temperatures and snow. Let’s be honest here: football in snow is a qualitatively different game that football in 80 degree temperatures. It requires different strategies and personnel. Move the BCS title game to Boston and see how warm weather teams respond to playing in sub-freezing temperatures. Maybe the cries of too slow from the south will be muffled by the three layers of facial coverings it takes to avoid frostbite while standing outside rooting on your football team in a Nor’easter, replaced instead by the beefy growls of now that’s football from bearded, bare-chested northerners who prefer their football to look like a manly pursuit.

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 10 Comments »

Happy 2008! Back Soon

Posted by disappointmentzone on 1 January 2008

Happy New Year! I’m on vacation and will be back to regular posting this week, probably starting tomorrow.

Posted in Cleveland Sports | 4 Comments »