Four teams, four quarters. It's just meant to be.
First Quarter: Manny Acta, Fall Guy
Chris Antonetti stood at a podium in the bowels of Progressive Field speaking of dignity and accountability as he discussed the firing of his third-year head coach, the same man whom he sent to battle with a slingshot and grade school-made paper throwing stars. In an episode of the utmost irony, there is no dignity when a fan base has never been more removed; there is no accountability when the roster Antonetti created resulted in another man -- a man who is universally known as a quality human being, one who would never upstage a player -- losing his job.
Patchwork free agent additions, desperate misfires in the trade market, and a complete lack of urgency landed the Cleveland Indians where they stand today. Unless Paul Dolan is making his general manager run suicide sprints outside of the media's eye, this team can save the accountability talk. It speaks volumes that Indians fans would rather not retain Sandy Alomar, Jr. so as to not subject him to this dumpster fire of a philosophy.
Second Quarter: 29-year-old Baby Steps
Thus far, the Browns have lost one game in the final drive and had the chance to win one as the clock turned to zeroes. There's no telling how many more games like Thursday night Brandon Weeden will need for critics to forget his historically poor disaster of a debut, but the 29-year-old rookie is showing signs of being a player that can keep his team in the game. Sure, that pick-six stung, but let's be honest: the "kid" is a rookie.
Weeden has the size and arm strength and has shown considerable growth as a quarterback in just three-and-a-half short weeks. He's still looking for that first win, but as the Colt McCoy table-pounders become more silent by the week, the Browns' rookie QB is taking the steps necessary to not only impress his coaches, but the ever-fickle fans of the Orange and Brown. It's just too bad that members of his already sub-standard receiving corps are dropping like flies.
Related: Scott Sargent's weekly newsmakers
Third Quarter: No Beauty Contests for the Buckeyes
If you want to spot a fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, the forehead bruise will be an easy tell. Whether it is a slew of botched tackles, a secondary that continues to give up big plays (especially on third downs, Ohio Stadium gong and all), or ill-timed turnovers that could otherwise lead to a huge swing in momentum, the undefeated Scarlet and Grey somehow squeak by with a tally mark in the win column. While reminiscent of the Buckeyes of old -- what with the doing just enough to pull out big wins -- this is not a Jim Tressel-coached team. It's well-documented that Urban Meyer would prefer his team blow the barn doors off of the opponent. Ohio State faithful continues to wait for that very outcome.
Fourth Quarter: Waiting on the Wine and Gold
In a bizarre twist of fate, the Cleveland Cavaliers are presently ranked 28th from a "Power Ranking" standpoint, yet have the most hope tied to their name when compared to their in-city professional peers. When a floppy-haired and constantly improving Anderson Varejao is the oldest player on the soon-to-be 15-man roster and the team boasts the most exciting backcourt -- via Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters -- since Price kicked it out to Harper, one can hardly fault Cavalier fans for looking forward to the team's October 30 opening night. Factor in a healthy potential All-Star in Anderson Varejao and the addition of CJ Miles through free agency, and it makes sense that Dan Gilbert's team is becoming the one to watch. Of course, it also helps that they're being compared to the dreadful Indians and the perennially running-in-place Browns.
Scott Sargent is a co-founder of WaitingForNextYear, where he writes about all three professional Cleveland teams. He's been voted "Ohio's Best Sports Blogger" for his work at WFNY. Scott will be covering all things Cleveland, providing feature writing and weekly snapshots of what mattered and where we're headed in the world of Cleveland sports.