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2012 New Year’s Resolutions for Cleveland Sports

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Let’s face it, Cleveland sports are not exactly trending upward. The 4-12 Browns would be unwatchable if they didn’t keep finding new ways to lose games. The Cavs, fresh off having the #1 and #4 picks in the draft look headed for the top 3 picks again next year and the Indians are attempting to compete in a division despite spending half as much as every other team they are facing. However, in the spirit of the New Year, I’ve decided to list just a few of the many should-be New Year’s Resolutions for Cleveland sports teams.

 

Cleveland Browns:

 Sign/Draft/Clone/Birth a Quarterback

I really don’t care how the Browns get a quarterback, as long as they get one. Watching the Colt and Seneca show makes me long for the Tim Couch show… If Browns fans are forced to watch Drew Brees without the talent or arm strength Colt McCoy trot out there and throw feathers at the receivers one more time, they may escalate their rage from YouTube videos to actually stealing his “grand dad’s truck” from the unintentionally hilarious commercials and running it into the stadium.

Find and Offensive Coordinator

I don’t just mean find an offensive coordinator who is given complete play calling responsibilities, but one who, in his job description, also has the explicit power to smack head coach Pat Shurmur in the mouth any time he feels it’s necessary. If he can fire mind bullets that’s another plus.

Give Tom Heckert Complete Roster Control

Tom Heckert seems to know what he’s doing. Mike Holmgren seems to enjoy eating and collecting a paycheck. Let Heckert run the team and let Holmgren spark the Cleveland economy one buffet at a time, while refering to the Browns as “they” instead of “we” in every interview he gives.

 For God’s Sake Find A Right Tackle

You would think it would be pretty easy to find a right tackle who wasn’t allergic to contact. Evidently it’s harder than you’d imagine. The Browns combination of Tony Pashos/Oniel Cousins/The weekly winner of the play right tackle for the Browns contest has a missed block percentage of 97% and a not make contact with anyone at any time during the play percentage of 76% (estimated).

Lower Ticket Prices

Sporting event tickets should mirror the stock market. When demand is down or teams go 47-97 in their past 9 seasons, prices should fall. When demand is high or teams win, prices should go up. It would provide the ultimate incentive to fielding a high quality team. Yes, it’s anti-capitalistic, but so are sports to a certain extent. NFL players are limited in both rights and what they make; therefore costs are pretty much set year-over-year. Charging people hundreds of dollars per game to watch garbage football is criminal.

On 3rd & 2 Or More Attempt A Pass At Or Beyond The First Down Marker

Just once… please…

Cleveland Indians:

Take A $1 Bill And Light It On Fire

That’s the first step to curing stinginess. Pay high quality baseball players to play baseball and attendance (and profits) will rise. It’s not a revolutionary concept. It takes money to make money. Not surprisingly, the Indians most profitable season of the Dolan era was 2007 when they made a run at the World Series. What was shocking was that Larry Dolan was unaware of the concept that it wasn’t a coincidence. Ownership in unsuccessful sports teams should be looked at as starting a new business. You are going to take a loss for the first few years, but then you will turn terrific profits as you improve the team. If you can’t afford the risk, get out of the game.

Take 40 – $1 Bills And Light Them On Fire 2 Million Times

Average cost to attend an Indians game is around $40; average attendance is usually around 2 million. So that’s pretty much what Indians fans have been doing for the past 60+ years. Obviously tickets didn’t average $40 in 1949, but the point remains the same; you can’t be cheap and expect the fans not to be. I’m fortunate enough to attend 20-30 games a year regardless, but I am way more of an exception than the norm.

Less Fireworks Off The Field, More Fireworks On The Field

The Indians literally have one of the best fireworks displays I’ve ever seen and they do it 7-10 times per season. They are so good that they pretty much have ruined 4th of July fireworks for me. While this is great, fireworks are expensive. I would estimate these shows easily cost $50-100k each. so that’s upwards of 1 million dollars a year. Or… what amounts to an upgrade from Austin Kearns to Jeff Francouer. Neither will light the town on fire, but Frenchy would’ve provided at least 5 more wins than Kearns.

Less Excuses, More Action

Yes, the Indians are a mid-market team, but that excuse doesn’t fly anymore. IsMinneapolisa major market? How about Denver? Seattle? Milwaukee? Oakland? Baltimore? Cincinnati? All of these teams have payrolls much higher than the Indians. If you aren’t going to spend, or can’t afford to spend, then say you aren’t going to spend. Don’t propagate information about major increases to the payroll then go out and sign Andy LaRoche, Robinson Tejeda, and Bob Dobalina. You’re going to have to overpay to get impact players to Cleveland. If you aren’t willing to do that, don’t pretend that you are.

Continue To Set The Marketing Trend

The Indians are arguably the most social media friendly professional sports organization. They need to continue to push this and other marketing opportunities in order to recreate a feeling of inclusion with the team. Granted nothing does this better than a winning team and this is more of a “keep up the good work” than a resolution, but with the current owner, something has to keep the fans coming in.

Cleveland Cavs:

Make Dan Gilbert the King of Cleveland Sports And Take Over The Indians And Browns

He’s far and away the best owner in Cleveland sports and may be the best in Cleveland sports history. He loves winning, loves spending money to win and invests in the town like few have ever done. LeBron leaving hurt, but Dan Gilbert leaving would be the end of Cleveland basketball.

Continue To Come In 2nd Place In Games

It’s not rooting against your team if you are indifferent to their losses during a rebuild. In this case, the Cavs are in full re-build mode and losing gives them more ping-pong balls in the hopper. Mix in a Varejao or Jamison (someone please save us and him) trade for another lottery pick and 2013 would have the makings of a fairly strong year.

More Moondog

Cavs mascot Moondog is one of the only highlights to any Cavs game over the past 2 seasons. Unfortunately Moondog’s responsibilities haven’t increased as they should. Moondog should be allowed to start at shooting guard and shoot all technical free throws the Cavs earn at all home games.

 Learn How to Ice Skate

OK, this has nothing to do with the Cavs, but Cleveland seems like it would be a great hockey town and while the Lake Erie Monsters are technically a hockey team, it’s tough for any city to get behind a minor league team. Is Cleveland a 4-sport city? Probably not, but with Gilbert, his Detroit roots, and the billions more he is about to make off of the casino at the helm he wouldn’t mind losing a few bucks in order to chase the Stanley Cup.

Discussion

2 Responses to “2012 New Year’s Resolutions for Cleveland Sports”

  1. I couldn’t agree more about the Moondog comment. Bravo on that revelation!

    Posted by Kevin Hocevar | January 3, 2012, 6:29 pm
  2. “Paging Dobalina, Mr. Bob Dobalina…”

    You failed to mention the increasing court time seen by SIR CC. This is a direct threat to Moondog’s chances at Elite Superstardom.

    Posted by Bobby Digital | January 4, 2012, 10:09 am

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