It has been 635 days since the Cleveland Browns last won a regular season football game. On Thursday night the Browns played the Jets and ended that streak by beating the Jets 21-17. For much of the first two games fans and critics have said that they need to start rookie QB and the first pick the draft, Baker Mayfield. However, I disagreed with that argument because I believed that by him sitting until he was needed, it gave him a chance to learn from the sidelines. The NFL is a lot different than college football and by rushing a QB in to early it could ruin him. Perfect example is Johnny Manziel, had he sat and learned the offense and the speed of the game he may have turned out differently. Another example is Aaron Rodgers; he sat for years behind Brett Favre. Now, I realize that Tyrod Taylor is no Brett Favre; however, Taylor was still performing well enough to put the team in a good spot to win the first two games.
Tyrod Taylor’s first game he went 15-40 for 197 yards a touchdown and an interception and 77 rushing yards on 8 carries against the Steelers, a game that they ended in a tie. Game 2 against the Saints he went 22-30 for 246 yards one touchdown and one interception along with 26 rushing yards on 4 carries. The game ended in a loss but because of missed attempts by the kicker, who was then released the next day. These numbers show that Taylor was not to blame for the 0-1-1 start; rather he should be praised for keeping the Browns in the games. However, on Thursday, Taylor started the game in terrible fashion and it seemed like the clock was ticking for the Baker Mayfield era. Taylor took a hit late in the 2nd quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game, and it was at that time Cleveland got a look at the future.
Baker comes in down by 14 points and on his first drive goes 3-4 for 47 yards and gets the Browns in field goal range to begin chipping away at the Jets lead. Baker comes out of the half and picked up right where he left off. The Browns went on to score 18 points in the second half while holding the Jets to only 3 points. The Browns broke the winless streak and their QB of the future finished 17-23 for 201 yards and a receiving touchdown.
The Browns finally won a game but the key is not only that Baker looks the QB of the future for the Browns but the fact that if the Browns had a competent kicker they are sitting at 3-0 and are shocking the world. This team has started to put all the pieces together and is beginning to look like an actual NFL team right now. The Cleveland fans went crazy on Thursday night and from the videos seen of all the fans celebrating in bars and in their homes and how social media exploded some could have believed the Browns just won the Super Bowl. There is a lot to be excited about right now if you are a Browns fan and there is a lot of energy on this team. This being said, to all the NFL fans that have laughed and joked at the Browns expense, hold on because this team might not be the mistake on the lake for much longer.
The Oakland Raiders have announced that Jon Gruden is set to become their new head coach. Furthermore, Gruden is going to now be the highest paid coach in NFL history with a 10 year, 100-million-dollar contract with possible ownership stakes. Gruden has not coached in the NFL since 2009, however he was still involved with the NFL, he was a commentator on Monday Night Football as well as having his own show Grudens QB Camp where he worked with soon to be drafted QB’s.
I like the move by the Raiders. This is a guy who knows the game and has been around the game even when he was not coaching. Gruden worked with his now starting QB Derek Carr when he was about to go pro so he already knows how to elevate his game. Gruden also knows the strengths and weakness of other young QB’s since he has worked with most of them. Which will give him the advantage when working with his Defense.
Many people might not like the amount of money Gruden is going to get, let alone the fact that it is a 10-year deal but it seems like every year when there is a coaching job open, sports networks always throw in Gruden’s name as a possibility because they know that this is a guy who not only knows the game, but also is a coach that can win games and elevate his team’s performance.
This off season has been a tough one for Marlin fans. Derek Jeter comes in and starts firing people left and right and then he gets rid of their best players for prospects and a bucket of balls. Yesterday the Marlins fans had a chance to tell Jeter how they really felt. Many were fighting back tears because they love the team so much and others were just pissed and told him they had no plans to renew their season tickets. It is a tough time in Miami right now no doubt about it.
However, let us just recap what has happened before Jeter took over. Miami has not had a winning record since 2009. As matter of fact they only have six winning seasons since their existence is 1993. Now they do have two world series titles one that even came against Jeter’s Yankees in 2003 but oh wait, the next year they get rid of their best players and their world series MVP goes to Boston and wins them a world series a few years later. Marlins fans are a tough group of people it takes a lot to put up with constantly losing and never having much to be proud of.
The issue I have is that the fans in south beach are making it sound like it is all Jeter’s fault. They are upset that he is gutting the whole organization. But why are they mad? It is not like they were winning with who they had and furthermore the contracts they had tied the hands on the organization to become better. Stanton had to go to New York for many reasons but the biggest is to get rid of the massive contract because the Marlins are not the Yankees they cannot throw that much money at a player and be able to keep growing. Besides it is a known fact that nobody goes to Marlins games the stadium is always empty which is another reason for television companies not to show their games. Last season they ranked 28th out of 30 in attendance beating out only Oakland and Tampa Bay. These prove that even by having a relatively new stadium people will not come if you cannot win games.
I am fine with what Jeter is doing in Miami because it needs to be done if you are not winning games people will get fired and the organization should get shook up. Jeter is right by getting young player that can become the future and get extras that can be traded away for more talent and depth. So, my feelings are very simple towards Marlins fans. Shut up and trust the man, it cannot be much worse for you all then what it already has been and if you do not believe me then look at your attendance and think to yourself why is there nobody here. True fans will stick it out through the good and the bad. If Jeter makes this a playoff team in the future I hope you all will look back and realize how stupid you looked because you threw a fit over losing a couple of players and did not trust the Jeter to build a winning team.
On Saturday college football fans everywhere watched as USC played Texas. A game with so much history behind it followed by an 11 year wait to see it happen again. This game was full of hype and everyone was talking about the last time when these teams played each other in the National Championship. For those who may not remember or are too young and did not have the chance to witness one of the classic games of all time. USC and Texas played each other in the National Championship game in 2006 and it was full of hype and stars. The game had three Heisman candidates playing in it and two of them ended up winning the award while in college. Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush lead the way for the Trojans and Vince Young lead the Longhorns. The game was close and there were so questionable calls made by the referees but in the end Young ran it into the end zone with seconds left to beat the Trojans and end their historic run.
Fast forward 11 years and the feeling around college football is the same when talking about these two teams. Almost anyone you talk to will remember that game and talk about how exciting it was to watch. Now USC was ranked #4 going into this game and Texas had a new coach so everyone was excited to see what happened. The result, a double overtime thriller. The game was back and forth and in the fourth quarter within the final minute Texas scores to take the lead the stadium was stunned and USC fans everywhere were thinking “no, not again we were so close to redemption”. But here is where it got wild, Heisman hopeful Sam Darnold marched the Trojans down the field in the final 45 seconds and got into field goal range. Freshman walk on Chase McGrath nailed the 31 yard field goal to send it into overtime. Suddenly USC fans had hope and Texas was not sure what just happened.
Overtime was just as exciting, USC went on to score and touchdown and make the PAT all the defense needed was a stop. Texas ended up countering and scored to tie it up again forcing a double overtime. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger attempted a QB sneak near the goal line and ended up getting the ball stripped and USC recovered. USC was able to get the ball back into range for their young kicker and as the ball went 43 yards through the uprights the USC fans could finally breathe a sigh of relief. Another instant classic between these two teams the only difference was that now the Trojans were victorious.
In the end, it really does not matter if you were shouting “hook em horns” or “Fight on Trojans” because this game lived up to the hype and it was provided a sense of excitement that every college football fan across the nation loved. This game was exactly what everyone wanted and as the old saying goes “it isn’t over till it’s over” and this game reminded fans everywhere of not only that but how sports can make you forget about all that is wrong in the world.
On Friday, the now second longest consecutive winning streak in MLB history ended for the Cleveland Indians at 22 games. This was a remarkable thing to watch even if you are not an Indians fan. During this streak the Indians were on fire at the plate they outscored their opponents by 142-37 and they only were behind eight innings during the entire streak. They batted .306 as a team and their pitching staff was lights out with a 1.77 ERA. Corey Kluber was pitching just like Cleveland fans are used to and Jose Ramirez was able to get out of his slump and lead the team offensively during this incredible journey and guys like Lindor and Santana were the leaders the team tended to lean on.
The question is what does this all mean for the World Series runner up? Well, to be honest other teams should worry because they did this without some of their best talent. Jason Kipnis, Andrew Miller, Michael Brantley they were all on the DL waiting to return and Bradley Zimmer broke his hand during the streak. With this being said, presuming the pitching staff continues to be consistent and the offense continues to produce runs this is a team that could make a deep run in October. But, here is the answer to the question, yes, the Indians will get major help when all their talent returns. However, as the A’s GM Billy Bean once said nothing matters unless you win the last game of the season.
This is still true today, the Dodgers have been having a historic season but if they fall short of winning it all, it does not matter, last year the Indians won 14 straight games but failed to win the last game of the World Series. The Astros and the Diamondbacks have had the best season for their clubs as well so far this season. As a baseball fan this has been a season to remember across the board with so many teams playing great baseball and new stars emerging in to the light. However, as I can say personally there is nothing worse than having such an amazing season and thinking it was your team’s year and then fall short of the title. With this being said, keep grinding Cleveland and keep believing in Believeland because sports is all about who gets hot at the right time.
Mayweather and McGregor are set to fight this weekend and what a fight it will be (maybe). The thing is the only one with something to lose is really Mayweather and the boxing world. If Floyd gets beat, then boxing is dead (even though it more or less is already) the talk at the water coolers will be all about how UFC fighters can beat boxers and it proves that UFC is better. However, if Mayweather wins, who will really care? The guy is 49-0 in his career and is arguably the best boxer of all time (even though his style of fighting is boring).
The rules that they agreed to will favor Mayweather however everyone is aware of the power that McGregor has. Mayweather is also 40 and McGregor is 29 and from a fighting standpoint Mayweather might be right, he isn’t the same boxer who beat Pac-Man a couple years ago, the experts are saying the fight won’t be all that good but yet they say it will probably set records for Pay per View. The reason is simple, if McGregor wins than many people will cheer because they hate Mayweather and hate the way he fights and whatever other reasons they have to not like him. Furthermore, it will make the UFC look better and Mayweather will no longer be undefeated.
If Mayweather wins a lot of fans will be upset. UFC fans will say “it would be different in the octagon” but the fact is it doesn’t matter these are the rules they agreed to and this is what they will fight. If Mayweather wins he will have beat Rocky Marciano’s record and become 50-0 and on top of that he will do it when he is 40 years old. The only thing is there should be an asterisk beside it because he would have beat the record against someone is not a professional boxer and with different rules then the ordinary fight. Let alone if one fighter does not get knocked out the judge’s decision will forever be challenged by either side (even though I think they favor Mayweather)
Mayweather is the last boxer that the ordinary fan will know. There is a huge fight coming up with Canelo Alvarez vs Gennady Golovkin but nobody is talking about that fight and how it could be one of the best fight in boxing history. Reason being, because they are doing interviews together and not going on a world hype tour (and their names are not McGregor or Mayweather).
If there is not a ridiculous amount of trash talk then people seem not to be interested. I get it “if it bleeds it leads” and you always had a feeling that something could happen between these two on stage so everyone watched. This fight just does not seem like a good thing for the sport of boxing, there is too much on the table if they lose and too much controversy if they win, even if Mayweather wins by KO.