Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Year in Review – Fourth Quarter

As we enter the last few days of 2011, it’s time to take a look at the past year in sports.

While it was another year without a title from any of Cleveland’s teams, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t interesting.

For the First Quarter, check here.

For the Second Quarter, check here.

For the Third Quarter, check here.

The Browns entered October at 2-1, but the wheels quickly fell off as the Orange and Brown looked like an expansion team in losing to Tennessee.

Things got worse the following week when word came out that Peyton Hillis’ agent advised Hillis to miss a game because of strep throat. Somehow a player missing a game because of injury/illness became a controversy, which in hindsight was a precursor to the hysteria surrounding Colt McCoy later in the season.

Coming out of the bye week the Browns got knocked around by the Raiders, squeaked out a win against the Seahawks and closed the month with a loss on the road to the 49ers.

Along the way the team lost linebacker Marcus Benard for the season to a motorcycle accident and the team continued looking for an answer to The Colt McCoy Question.

The month also had us questioning the level of competition the U.S. Men’s National Team faces.

In November, the Indians were movers on the first day of baseball’s off-season, declining the option on outfielder Grady Sizemore, picking up the option on pitcher Fausto Carmona and trading for starting pitcher Derek Lowe.

The Browns continued cutting away the dead wood left behind by “super coach” Eric Mangini, releasing wide receiver Brian Robiskie.

The fun continued on the field, as the Browns were rolled in Texas, lost on a blocked field goal – and poor snap by formerly reliable long snapper Ryan Pontbriand – against St. Louis, pulled out a win, thanks to a goal-line stand, against Jacksonville and lost on a late touchdown against the Bengals.

Fans struggled during the month to separate reality from perception and some even longed for a past that existed only in their imaginations.

December opened with the Browns losing at home to the Ravens.

Four days later it all hit the fan as the Browns lost to Pittsburgh on an NFL Network Thursday night game and Colt McCoy suffered a concussion at the hands of repeat offender James Harrison.

Harrison earned a much-deserved suspension, but thanks to a poor choice of words by Browns coach Pat Shurmur the local media, always desperate for a controversy surrounding the Browns, worked overtime to create one.

Team president Mike Holmgren tried to calm the waters, but we’re not sure everyone got the message.

The Browns took the Cardinals to overtime before falling in Week 15, and staged a rally that fell short in Baltimore in Week 16 to fall to 4-11 on the season.

Also during December, Clint Dempsey became the highest-scoring American in the Premier League.

The end of the month also saw us make our debut at The Cleveland Fan.

And that’s a wrap on the year in Cleveland sports. Thanks to everyone who read and commented during the year, if you like what you see be sure to come back and spread the word.

We’re looking forward to new opportunities in 2012 and, while we’re not sure what will happen in Cleveland sports, there is no doubt that it will be anything but boring.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year’s.

(Photo courtesy of Cleveland Browns.com)

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