The DEFEND Cleveland Show

The Worm Turns

worm turns


In what was a predictable turn of events last week, the Indians lost and the Browns had misfortune settle in like a warm comfortable blanket.  The Indians loss was to be expected.  I went to the Indians game and pounded back a few cold ones with the gathered throng that had flooded the bars around Progressive Field.  It was as if I had taken a time machine back to 1995.  The energy from the crowd and raw excitement haven’t been seen from a Cleveland baseball crowd since 1997.  When’s the last time you saw guys slamming back shots before a baseball game?  There was an unhinged quality to it like a bunch of sailors getting ready to ship out to war.  There was a sense in the air that we had best enjoy the “now” because there would be no tomorrow.  Had it been the Middle Ages it would have been our Harvest Party, caution thrown to the wind before our punishment before a Mighty and Terrible God.

The main difference in the crowd from last week’s Wild Card game and the 95 World Series (besides believing the Indians would win) was the attire.  Looking at the jerseys that people wore was a walk down memory lane.  I personally saw Choo, Justice, Lofton, Nagy, Manny and amazingly a LaPorta.  I also heard a wild rumor that someone had a Damon jersey on, though it was unclear if it was a Red Sox, Yankee, A’s, or Royals version.  The fact that there were almost no current player jerseys on display gives you an idea of how little attention and passion the fans had brought to the Indians prior to the game on Wednesday.  I did hear a rumor of someone spotted in a “Chisenhall” jersey, but I suspect that it may have been one of Lonnie’s own family members and it was not an officially licensed piece of Indians apparel.

Fans were obviously bracing themselves for a collapse all through the season in a “once burned, twice shy” behavior that is completely understandable.  The lack of buy in until the team was actually hosting the Playoff game had to be disappointing to the Indians, and much more so to the GM of the Indians team shop.  Feel pity on that poor employee that was hoping on reaching distant sales goals to activate a bonus in his compensation package.  I can picture this guy now, the team in contention in mid-August staring at the sports page with a cigarette dangling out of his mouth saying, “Son of a bitch!  Why won’t these fuckers come to the games?  I’ve got Drew Stubbs hoodies I gotta move outta here!  And these Jason Giambi bobbleheads don’t have much shelf life either God dammit!”  I suspect there will be some sale items now.  I imagine this week would be a good time to swing by an Indians Team Shop to get any Chris Perez merchandise you may have had your eye on…  I’d look in the Clearance Bin if I were you.  It’s there next to the Trevor Crowe action figure.

Ultimately the Indians season should be viewed as a great success.  They got in the Playoffs, almost caught the Tigers, and were interesting all year.  It just doesn’t feel like a great success though, does it?  The Tigers pounded the Indians pricks in the dirt at will.  The team just couldn’t hang with the Big Boy teams.  The pitching staff seems sketchy.  They still don’t have the big bats on the corner.  And I am sure it has crossed your mind that the Dolans must be thinking, “We spent all this money and these ungrateful clods didn’t come to the games?  Fuck this.  Let’s get back to being one of the teams the Red Sox, Yankees, Tigers, and Rangers beat and make some money.  You think we can get Bob Wickman back to close if we give him a couple of sixers and free chow?”

And then there are the Browns…

I will admit that I fully expected something terrible to happen in their Thursday night game against the Bills.  Through years of painful karmic reprisals, we have been taught that anytime there is even a tiny glimmer of hope the hobnail boot of disaster is about to come down on our skulls.  In this case, after a few days of “Yeah! The Indians could make a run and the Browns are 2-2 and may have found a real QB!” I was expecting the Indians playoff dismissal followed by a back-to-earth loss to the Bills.  I was thinking if the team lost 27-3, Browns fans would have their hopes dashed and the universe would be appeased.  Who amongst us could have predicted the horrifying events that transpired?  When Hoyer awkwardly folded to the turf it all became crystal clear.  Of course.  This is a much worse scenario than losing a mere game.  How could we have not seen this possible outcome?  This throws the future of the franchise in chaos.  It was the only logical series of events.

There could have been no other result.  Lightning may have well flashed across the sky.  A booming voice should have filled the air.  “Behold mere mortals!  Your dreams have been crushed again!  Bow before me!  How dare you hope for pleasure in this life that must be filled with pain and disappointment!  Feel the wrath of a mighty and terrible God!”  At that point locusts should have filled the stadium, but instead Brandon Weeden came out to play QB, which is roughly the same thing.

Truly that was the worst case scenario to lose Hoyer for the year.  Hoyer actually seemed like he may have been the elusive “answer” at QB.  I am not suggesting he was the new Tom Brady, but he might have been The Poor Man’s Joe Flacco.  Had that been the case, suddenly the Browns have 17 draft picks to get a RB, RT, cornerback, and safety.  Just as suddenly, the Browns may have become an actual relevant NFL franchise.  Instead the team is in the unenviable position of having to do whatever it has to do to draft a QB early in next year’s draft.  There are no other fans on the planet that understand what a crapshoot drafting a QB is than Browns fans.  Even by packaging all those picks to get “your guy”, it guarantees nothing.  “Your guy” may be Andrew Luck.  Or he may turn out to be Blaine Gabbert or Akili Smith.  The other choice is to hope Hoyer is the answer after a mere two game sample and he comes back completely healed from having his knee stapled back together.  Ladies and gents, I present to you the bad news behind door #1 or the bad news behind door #2!

As we stand humbly awaiting the next disaster, we can drive ourselves crazy trying to predict which one will unfold.  Salazar loses his arm in a shark attack?  Joe Haden spontaneously combusts?  Mingo becomes a pacifist and joins a monk brotherhood?  It’s all bad.  In each one of your hearts, if you do even the smallest of soul searching, you know that something terrible will happen because it always does.  Something that you cannot now even begin to predict.  Something that will crush your dreams.  Something none of us could have foreseen, but afterwards seems totally obvious.

Welcome to your Monday.  Prepare yourself.  You know what is coming.


-Greg Miller

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Posted by on Oct 7 2013. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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