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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Help Wanted - Sheriff

"...there's a new sheriff in town. And his name is Reggie Hammond. So y'all be cool. Right on." - Eddie Murphy, 48 hrs

That is one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies. With all the swagger he can muster, a young Eddie Murphy strolls through a red-neck cowboy bar looking for information. He uses the strength of his personality to take control of the situation and get the information he needs - plus he gets out alive! It's also what Cleveland sports fans are looking for: a new sheriff.

In all of the great old Westerns, there's a town in trouble, a Sheriff, and a group of bad guys/outlaws looking to oppress the people of the town in some fashion. And the Sheriff is the hero of the film, saving the townspeople from the outlaws and wearing a white hat and getting to kiss the prettiest girl in town. Sometimes the Sheriff has been in office for a while and knows it's his job to save the day. But my very most favorites were the ones where just a simple cowboy, going about his business, was forced into a situation where he suddenly became the Sheriff. Where he was thrust into the position of saving the whole town. And he does!

We've had Sheriff's in the past here in Cleveland. Men who stepped up and, with their personalities and athletic talents, took control of this city. They are still (mostly) regarded with awe and respect even though their careers are over. You know some of the names... Jim Brown. Bernie Kosar. Sandy Alomar. LeBron James. (Yes, I said LeBron. Before the fateful decision, he was a Sheriff in this town. The fact that he joined the other side and became an "outlaw" doesn't change what he was to this town and Cavalier fans.) Browns, Indians, Cavaliers. We've had Sheriff's come from each team during different periods of time and in different ways.

The question now is: Who will be our next Sheriff? Which team will supply us townsfolks with the hero to save the day and bring our sports pride back?

It doesn't have to be a player. For a while, I thought perhaps Mike Holmgren could take on that job. He came to town and filled Browns fans with the hope & faith that he could build a winning team here, that he could put together the Super Bowl Champion that we've all been dreaming about. This season not only left us with a dismal 4-12 record, it also left Browns fans with little faith and less hope. We didn't see the progress that we expected which makes the losing record that much harder to handle. And it makes it very difficult to believe that the Browns are on the path to success.

If you ask me (and since this is my blog let's assume that you did), the Cavaliers show the most promise of providing fans with the Sheriff that will give us hope, make us feel safe, give us something to look forward to in trying economic times. Byron Scott, as head coach, is ruling with an iron fist. He is in complete control of the Cavs and is showing that he has what it takes to develop this group of young players into a really great basketball team.

And then there's Kyrie Irving. In his first five games as a professional basketball player, this young man has already exhibited signs of leadership many veterans don't possess. Admittedly, he has a long way to go towards becoming a great ball player, but with the little bit I have seen so far, he has promise and poise. He has the opportunity to take control of this city and it's fans. He has the chance to be the Sheriff of this town, to save us all from the oppression of bad sports teams, and to get the girl. Or the ring. However you want to look at it.

Respectfully Submitted,


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