FOUR DAYS BRINGS BUSTLING ACTIVITY IN SPORTS
Though I haven't been living up to the "daily sports chronicle" billing of this Web site, partly because I'm ashamed I actually picked the Browns over the Bengals and partly because homework got in the way, I am back, insightful and profound as ever for your reading pleasure.
I'll start with the Browns' debauchle to get it out of the way. Bengals fans, rejoice. Browns fans, get used to it. The Bengals offense, lead by coming-into-his-own Carson Palmer, is poised to propel to the Bengals to 10-11 wins. Barring injuries, I think the Bengals will be a fun team to watch, especially when they have the ball. Can they beat Minnesota this weekend? Well, they are at home and Minnesota looked absolutely terrible last week. I'm not predicting anything, but I will make the Bengals/Vikings game my "NFL must-see game of the week." Cleveland might want to consider throwing all of their support behind the Indians, at least until mid-October. The Browns are going to have growing pains in the early going. Reuben Droughns was a great acquisition, Braylon Edwards, I'm confident, was a much better pick than Kellen Winslow, and Trent Dilfer proved with 270 yards passing that he won't be terrible. Some experts think the Browns actually have a chance to beat the Packers this weekend. What does that say about the Packers?
Tennis, anyone? Andre Agassi lost to Roger Federer in the final in four sets. Federer, the machine that he is, was playing even with Agassi through three sets. It was teasing enough for the viewers to think that Agassi actually had a chance. Then Federer blows Agassi away in the third-set tiebreak and never looked back. Good tennis players win a lot of points. Great tennis players win a lot of points that matter (break points, set points, match points, etc.) The greatest of all time, however, wins the points that matter against other great players. Roger Federer's consistency doing this makes him, right now, the best male tennis player I have ever seen. Sampras should enjoy having the most titles in men's tennis now because Federer will eclipse that accolade.
To hell with the inverted pyramid, I'm saving the best for last! THE TRIBE beat Oakland twice out of three games, losing the first but rebounding to take the next two. I was fortunate enough to be there for the middle game of the series, a game which some are calling the Indians' biggest win of the year. Trailing 2-0 with Kevin "I get no run support" Millwood, Eric Wedge was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, the Indians had made three errors, two by Ben Broussard, and the lights went out. Sitting by the visitors' bullpen, I was fortunate enough to hear Oakland closer Huston Street's taunts of "Why don't you pay the electric bill?" Funny, Huston. Broussard supplied all the power Cleveland would need the rest of the game, smacking two home runs, including a three-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, en route to the victory. I don't care that there were only 21,000 fans there. At least the feeble 21,000 were loud, cheering and having fun. To top it all off, I took a souvenir home courtesy right fielder Casey Blake, who tossed a ball right into my mitt.
Last night, Jake Westbrook outdueled Barry Zito and the Tribe won 6-3. With the win, the Indians are a season-best 22 games over .500. They have a one game lead in the wildcard over the Yankees (now 3.5 over Oakland) and they have trimmed a once 15-game deficit to Chicago to five games. Even if the Indians don't make the playoffs, the stretch run has been so fun to watch and will continue to be that way.
It's an exciting time for sports. If only it were my real job to write about it.