Opinion: Month of May brings hope for Cleveland sports fans

May 27, 2014
Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel throws a pass during the organized team activities at the team's training facility in Berea, Ohio, on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Credit: Courtesy of MCT

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel throws a pass during the organized team activities at the team’s training facility in Berea, Ohio, on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.
Credit: Courtesy of MCT

If you are a Cleveland sports fan, the month of May could quite possibly go down as one you will never forget.

During the last three weeks, the championship-deprived city of Cleveland has seen glimpses of hope for the future, for which it seem to always be building.

Starting with the 2014 NFL Draft, the Browns arguably made the biggest splash, drafting superstar quarterback Johnny Manziel with the 22nd overall pick in the first round. The Browns trading up four spots to take the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner after passing on him earlier in the round and selecting cornerback Justin Gilbert with the eighth overall pick.

There is no doubt in my mind that taking Manziel was the right choice. The Browns have not had a quarterback with such star power since Bernie Kosar in the late 1980’s, and the city itself has not received this much attention since LeBron James took his talents to South Beach in 2010.

The Browns, who have started 20 different quarterbacks since returning as an expansion team in 1999, hope that Manziel will be the savior for a franchise that has not made a postseason appearance since the 2002 season.

If nothing else, the selection of Manziel has given most loyal Browns fans hope for the future.

Less than 24 hours after the selection that sent Cleveland reverberating with excitement, the seemingly forever-suffering fans learned that the 2013 NFL receiving leader, Josh Gordon, could be facing a season-long suspension for violating the league’s drug policy yet again. Gordon led the NFL in receiving yards despite missing two games due to suspension, and with Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden as his quarterbacks, that is impressive to say the least.

The Browns then proceeded to pick up two wide receivers who, while they might be past their prime, should be reliable targets for Manziel in the future. Former Chicago Bear Earl Bennett and former Dallas Cowboy Miles Austin joined the Browns on May 14 and May 15, respectively, and will need to step up early, assuming Gordon will be absent for the 2014 season.

Enter the Cleveland Cavaliers, an organization that has not seen success since the infamous “Decision” made by James in the summer of 2010.

The Cavaliers, despite having just a 1.7 percent chance of winning, won the 2014 NBA Draft Lottery, earning the No. 1 pick for the second straight year and the third time in four seasons.

Is it fate that the Cavs get the top pick again? Is it enough to lure back James? Is the lottery fixed? These are all discussions for another time. For now, let’s allow the Cavaliers to have their day.

Moving along to the Cleveland Indians, a team which last week was in the cellar of the American League Central and looked every bit like it belonged there.

While the team is still the bottom dweller of its division, it has given its fans hope after sweeping the Detroit Tigers at home, a team which owns the best record in the American League.

Inconsistency has been the main issue for the Tribe this season, as it has not won more than four games in a row and has been outscored by 23 total runs thus far in 2014.

There is hope Cleveland — it’s out there.

It is what has driven the Cleveland sports fan through The Drive, The Fumble, The Shot and The Decision.

Will Johnny Manziel bring the Browns back to past glory? Or will the Cavs newest No. 1 pick become the next NBA All-Star?

Could May 2014 serve as the month that changed Cleveland sports forever? Only time will tell.

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  1. Deb says:

    I was watching ESPNs First Take this morning discussing Johnny partying in Vegas (we just got back and man oh man we had a BALL and I don’t drink or gamble hahaha)! Success in the NFL isn’t guaranteed based on a draft and it’s been proven. Johnny is a rookie expected to come in and prove himself. I wish him well!!

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