I sure sound rather hopeless, don't I? That series collapse was brutal. There's no way to enjoy blowing a 3-1 lead (especially to Boston). And yes, Ohio has been playing the role of the bridesmaid for all of 2007. So I should be pissed off and gloomy right?
Look, obviously, I'd rather the Tribe had beaten Boston. I'd rather the Buckeyes beat Florida (twice) and I wish the Cavs could've found a way to beat San Antonio four times (and I wish that the Columbus Destroyers could've beaten whoever they played in the Arena Bowl). But despite all those (bad) postseason losses, there's no way you can tell me that Ohio sports fans haven't had a pretty damn good year.
Sure, the losses hurt. To get that close to a title only fall apart... I'm not gonna lie, it sucks. There's no denying that. But even with those losses, can any Ohio sports fan honestly say that this past year hasn't been a blast?
I can't believe anyone would say that 2007 sucked. Really? Did you experience the same year I did? I got to see LeBron drop 48 on the Pistons. I got to see the Tribe make Joe Torre expendable. I got to see Troy Smith win the Heisman. I got Number 1 Ohio State beat Number 2 Michigan in a battle of undefeateds. We got to watch Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. wear scarlet and gray. Hell, the Browns managed to draft a franchise tackle AND quarterback in the same draft!
Sure, our teams lost late, but you know what? At least they were still playing late. Which Tribe season do you remember more fondly, 1997 or 2003? Yeah, we had to watch Jose Mesa blow a save in Game 7 (I'm still waiting for him to throw an offspeed pitch) but you can't say that you didn't enjoy the Baltimore series. Like those six games weren't fun as all hell. I'd much rather follow my baseball team into October only to see them lose than to lose interest in mid-July. It's not even close.
I refuse to believe that Cleveland has had a bad year. At least our teams were in it. Would you rather be a Pirates fan? A Royals fan? Atlanta Hawks? Golden Gophers? How about Tampa Bay, you wanna root for those teams? Didn't think so.
Yes, Ohio teams have lost big games this past year. It's been gut wrenching. But you can't tell me we aren't in a good spot. These teams weren't one shot deals; they're young and they should compete for the foreseeable future.
I mean, look, in the coming years we get to watch LeBron James, Boobie Gibson, Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, Brady Quinn, Joe Thomas, Victor Martinez, CC Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Grady Sizemore and Eric Snow. Plus, the Ohio State football and basketball programs are run by Jim Tressel and Thad Motta respectively (I trust those two, anyone disagree?).
Mistakes were made, there's no denying that. Joel Skinner probably should've sent Lofton (and Casey Blake probably should've taken a pitch or two). Maybe someone should've D'd up Tony Parker. Or blocked a defensive end or four.
But I dunno, maybe I'm weird, but I just can't see myself complaining about a year in which my basketball team made the NBA Finals, my baseball team made the ALCS and my alma mater played in two national championship games.
Sorry, I'm just not gonna do it.