Monday, November 20, 2017 Elyria 30°


Doug Clarke: Making plans for the new year before and beyond


 DATE: Sometime between Christmas and New Year’s.
MOOD: Bad. See also; sour, disgruntled, grumpy …
PREDICTION: I see a short column in our future.
PLANS FOR NEW YEAR’S EVE: Not to leave the house under any condition.
BOWL GAMES TO WATCH: None — except for Ohio State vs. LSU in the BCS Bowl.
TODAY’S PLAN: Sleep late. Have a nice lunch. Stay out of trouble. Go to bed.
TOMRROW’S PLAN:  See above. Also: Try to squeeze in a bit of the Browns-49ers game. Just in case.
DINNER PLANS: Dinner is for suckers.
Ready, set, go …
Just becuz nobody asked …
* Mike Brown is playing wa-a-ay too many guys each game. Damon Jones and Ira Newble hadn’t done a stitch to deserve playing time prior to their public sulk when they refused to enter a game last week. Don’t want to see them on the floor again. Don’t even want to see Jones in a Cavs jersey. Brown needs to find a sensible nine-man rotation and stick to it. This business of running guys in and out willy-nilly tells us Brown is still working on a mystery without any clues.
* Mike Fratello’s observation during the telecast of the Mavericks game regarding the Cavaliers’ malaise was that “the Cavs chemistry is bad.” Huh? This is the exact same team that went to the NBA Finals last year. Chemistry has nothing to do with it, you third-rate telestrator, you. Speaking of chemistry, mixing Fratello with Reggie Miller is a swell flotsam of water and oil, isn’t it? Fratello, he of the tiny feet, kept stomping a petulant patent leather foot in exchanges with Miller. Seems Fratello still has issues with Miller over Miller “kicking his feet out” and drawing a foul while attempting 3-pointers during his playing days. Quite the pouter, Fratello.
* Don’t know about you, but if the Browns don’t make the playoffs it’ll be because they weren’t quite good enough. Period. Whether they finish 10-6 or 9-7 is roughly three to five wins more than anyone in these here parts expected back in August and I’ll take that.
* The Browns had the remote control in their hands but then took the field in Cincinnati and handed it over to the Bengals. You just can’t do that in professional tackle football and expect good things to happen. Bottom line: Destiny is as destiny does. (Aside: I should be taken out back and shot in the kneecaps for saying something like that. But first, let me finish …).
* In case you are planning on seeing Margot at the Wedding: Don’t. A great cast with sharp dialogue is ruined by a cameraman suffering from Bell’s Palsy and a director who favors back-lighting scenes with a 15-watt bulb. Trust me, it’ll make you irritable the rest of the day.
* My favorite TV sitcom is no longer “All Bets Are Off” with Bruce Drennan. My new favorite is the one where a sportstalk guy (wearing a polo shirt with the logo of a local team on it) does his show out of what looks to be a Broadview Heights basement. The ones where he has Sister Mary Sunshine from a local newspaper as a guest are a hoot. Next best would be the episodes where the guy who was separated at birth from actor Paul Sorvino glowers and scowls at the camera.
* Look, I already told you my mood was sour. So don’t go getting all huffy on me. Column-writing isn’t always pretty, you know.
Even though Larry Dolan & Son have tossed some money into the Tribe’s farm system (and are to be commended for it), they still seem to grow those infuriating alligator arms every winter when it comes time to make a reach for a free agent, or to fork over what’s required in order to get, say, a Jason Bay.
Time to ring out the old year. Let’s call it a semi-excellent one and let it go at that.
The Indians won their division, got to the American League championship series and were the 2nd best team in baseball. The Cavaliers went to the NBA final and lost to a great San Antonio team. The Browns did what the Browns did and you never for a moment suspected they’d be in the hunt the last weekend of the season. Ohio State vs. LSU in the BCS Championship Game? The year AFTER the Buckeyes lose Troy and Anthony and Ted Ginn & Company? And you’re gonna tell me you saw all that coming? Ri-i-i-iight.
2008? Play it forward, guys. And keep those cards and letters and e-mails coming, folks.
One short column dropping back to punt …
Out of bounds at the three.
PS: My Christmas card to TV announcer/sportswriter/weatherman/Local Mayor/Bon Vivant/Weekend Deskman Cog Daniels in Lonesome Lick, South Dakota, came back marked Return to Sender, “Address Unknown.” What’s up with that? Has he moved? What state is he in now? Anyone having information on the whereabouts of the peripatetic Daniels please get in touch with me. And also maybe the proper authorities.  Just in case.

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