Friday, January 04, 2008

A Good Year for Sports

Those who know me also know that I am one of the biggest Ohio State and Cleveland professional sports fan you will find in Lancaster County. Most years, being a fan of the OSU Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns, Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Cavaliers seem to have more ultimate lows than highs. But for the January 2007 through January 2008 timeframe, it’s been a pretty good year for sports, at least for this fan. For example:

In January of 2007, after a perfect season that dominated College Football and the Big Ten Conference, the Ohio State Buckeyes played in the National Championship game against the Florida Gators (and since this is my personal blog and I get to decide what is posted on it, I will forego any inclusion of the outcome of that game).

In March of 2007 the Ohio State Buckeyes also turned some heads as they won the Big Ten Championship and survived the March Madness NCAA basketball tournament to play for the National Championship, once again playing against the Florida Gators (and once again I will forego any inclusions of the conclusion of the big match-up).

The good year in college basketball also spilled over to the professional level as the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by superstar, LeBron James, won the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time in the history of the franchise and found themselves playing for their first ever world championship (at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I will again forego any inclusion of the results of that best of seven series).

And then there is my all-time favorite I love baseball and I am an avid Cleveland Indians fan. The Tribe went into the 2007 spring training with few if any of the experts expecting much beyond a limited winning season at best. Yet, my Indians ran away with the Central Division title and then easily knocked off the greatest baseball enemy of all, the New York Yankees, in the first round of the playoffs. Ultimately, they came up one game short of the American League Pennant and just missed a trip to the World Series.

This brought us to the fall of 2007 and another year of football on the college and on the professional levels. The Buckeyes entered this season after losing many key players to an early exit to the NFL. As a result, the preseason predicted that they would come in third in the Big Ten. But when the smoke cleared my Buckeyes won yet another Big Ten Championship suffering just one loss all season long. This resulted in their pagain laying come January 7 in their second consecutive BCS Championship game.

And then there was the Cleveland Browns who once were a dominating force in the NFL but who since their reentrance have been more of the laughing stock of pro football. Once again there was very little expected of my Browns and I would have been elated if the season ended with an 8-8 record rather than another losing season. But to my delight and to the amazement of the National Football League, the Browns tallied ten victories and a winning season. Though they fell short of the playoffs, it was a successful season.

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