The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers begin their season in a little over a month.
The Cleveland Indians hold a six game in lead over the second place Detroit Tigers in the midst of a playoff race.
Their successes on and off the field this year could not be in more stark contrast to the direction the other professional sports organization in town is heading.
Cleveland’s most widely supported sports franchise, the Browns, have rolled out one their worst products in recent memory and are expecting the fan base to once again write it off as part of some sort of master plan to improve in the future.
The organization’s yearly concession to less than mediocrity is something most fans are numb to at this point, but this year already feels worse.
The staff’s decision to gut the veteran base of the franchise has made their message very clear to the Browns’ faithful.
They have no plans on winning in the this year. Maybe not even next. What I will be an abysmal year for the Browns, will likely be repackaged by the front office and coaching staff as a chance to be better down the line.
It won’t be long now till we are talking next year’s draft.
To make matters worse, the team’s starting quarterback Robert Griffin III has been placed on the Injured Reserve with a fractured coracoid bone in his left shoulder.
The injury is expected to sideline RGIII for 6-8 weeks.
After being outclassed by rookie quarterback Carson Wentz on Sunday, the injury-prone Griffin could spend the duration of the season on the bench.
His performance in the team’s opening 29-10 loss to Philadelphia coupled with his play in the preseason gives me little reason to believe he will return as the starter regardless of his recovery this season.
Griffin was an underwhelming 12-26 racking up an interception and a fumble in the process.
The Browns will now start veteran back-up quarterback Josh McCown, while rookie QB Cody Kessler will likely take over the second spot on the depth chart.
Realistically, the change under center will not make much of a difference in the team’s play on the field.
Their weakness at the quarterback spot is just one setback on a laundry list of vulnerabilities.
Cleveland’s defense is full of holes. The running game is spotty at best, and the offensive line is a shadow of what it used to be.
The team surrendered 278 passing yards and two touchdowns to a rookie quarterback, who just a week ago jumped the depth chart to be named the Eagles’ starter.
Realistically, fans should not expect anything from this team in 2016-2017.
Looking at the games on their schedule, I can see little chance for more than three wins on the year.
And even less of a chance for the team to get a win against AFC North opponents.
It might be an overreaction to take a loss in Week 1 to mean the team will likely finish the year dismally under .500, but when combined with their preseason performance, as well as the organization’s approach to the season, it’s not looking good.
What at one time seemed like this season would mark the beginning of a new approach to football in Berea, looks like business as usual for the Cleveland Browns.