Cleveland is the most cursed sports city ever. The Browns are never good. And the Cavaliers, other than that brief period of time when LeBron was in town, are horrible. Worse yet, they are predictably bad. More often than not, both teams come into their seasons with low expectations. It’s just a matter of how bad they will be in a given season. But last week takes the cake. The NFL and NBA are both in their respective off-seasons, but the Cavs and Browns have managed to stay firmly entrenched in the SportsCenter news cycle. And not necessarily by choice.
The Good: Seems like there’s an increasingly good chance that LeBron returns home and signs with the Cavaliers. That is, if he listens to his “inner circle.”
The nation was outraged the last time LeBron was a free agent, with his ill-conceived televised ‘The Decision’ that brought him to Miami. Outside of Cleveland though, most casual sports fans were disappointed and upset with how LeBron conducted the entire process, not necessarily that he left his home town. The whole spectacle afterwards, showing Cleveland fans burning jerseys and proclaiming their hatred of LeBron seemed just a tad excessive.
The ensuing Comic Sans scathing letter written by Dan Gilbert did little to create any sympathy for Cleveland’ers. All in all, Cleveland came off perhaps even worse than LeBron. And that is saying something.
But that time is over, and LeBron is a free agent, and no one wants him to re-sign with Miami. This is Cleveland’s one chance to return to prominence in the NBA. Pairing LeBron with young studs like Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins would have the potential to extend LeBron’s career a few years. He needs younger players and fresh legs in the regular season so that he doesn’t have to exhaust himself before the playoffs begin.
If LeBron were ever to come back to Cleveland, now is the time. Miami is dwindling, Bosh may leave, and Cleveland has quietly developed a solid core that is attractive.
The Bad: Johnny Manziel at Las Vegas nightclubs, rolling $20 bills in the bathroom.
Just the latest of Johnny Football’s weekend antics. Except this time, it’s a little more worrisome than just drinking on an inflatable swan. Everyone knows that rolling money up in a bathroom only happens for a couple (err, one?) reason. Not good news for Browns fans. Manziel has yet to play in an NFL game, but he’s still in the news weekly, and it seems like just a matter of time before something really bad happens.
None of this really a surprise. He has told everyone he won’t change in the NFL. That’s fine, as long as he is successful. But if he flames out, he’ll be the most predictable cautionary tale of all time. And a sure 30 for 30 favorite.
The Ugly: Josh Gordon arrested for DWI, just the latest of a long list of troubles for Gordon.
This could be the end of his career because of his off-the-field issues, despite being one of the two or three most physically talented receivers in the league. Gordon might be the lone bright spot of the Browns, if not for the constant problems he finds himself in. It’s really sad to see someone so gifted unable to stay out of trouble, but that looks like it might be Gordon’s legacy.
Gordon very well may have already burned his last bridge, at least in Cleveland, but maybe in another situation, he could come closer to staying out of trouble. It’s unlikely that every team in the NFL will give up on a 23 year old wide receiver who leads the league in receiving, in only 14 games though.