Top 5: Current Cleveland Public Enemies

SoN will be beginning a running column of Cleveland Top Fives. The first post will be covering the current people in the sports world that, for one reason or another, have caught the ire of the Cleveland fans. This post, as well as all other top 5 posts, will be debated, compiled, and written by both The Seaward and Joe Table Blew It.

Ground rules: The members of this list must have committed a recent infraction on the Cleveland sports world, which is why you will not see good ol’ Art Modell. He may appear in a subsequent Top 5, (at the top I might add) but not in this one. Also, it was decided that no current member of a Cleveland sports team would be considered (you can breathe a bit easier, Pronk). That being said, in reverse order, your Top 5 Current Cleveland Public Enemies.

5. Ichiro Suzuki. First of all, unless you made a song with Justin Timberlake, you cannot go by one name. So stupid. I don’t care how many singles you hit, your name is Ichiro Suzuki. Now, to his offenses:

To tell the truth, I’m not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I’m excited going to Cleveland, I’d punch myself in the face, because I’m lying.

— Ichiro Suzuki

Mr. Suzuki must live in a bubble in Seattle. A bubble where it doesn’t rain 95% of the time like it does outside of the bubble in Seattle. Plus, Seattle’s a great sports city. They don’t care about their basketball team until it’s ready to leave town. I’ve got news for you. When the Browns jumped to Baltimore, ESPN.com didn’t have to tell us they were leaving. Besides our mutual hatred of the Pittsburgh Steelers, there isn’t much that the two cities have in common, thank the lord. Suzuki, go sip a non-fat no foam caramel macciachto in an Apple store, we don’t want you anyway.

Oh, and another thing, Suzuki. You owe Victor Martinez last year’s All-Star MVP award. Since when does hitting a game winning two run homer not win you the All-Star MVP? Screw off, Suzuki. Franklin Gutierrez has a better arm than you anyway. –Joe Table Blew It

4. Tony Dungy and Jim Sorgi. To be square, we really couldn’t decide which member of the Indianapolis Colts was more responsible for the abortion of football perpetrated inside the RCA Dome in week 17 of the 2007 NFL season, so we decided to declare a 4th place tie between the disinterested coach and the incompetent quarterback.

JTBI first lobbied for Sorgi to be included all by himself, and it’s not difficult to understand why: the Colts’ backup QB was somewhere in the neighborhood of ‘putrid’ in his 2+ quarters of work against the Titans, completing 11 of 24 passes for a less-than-stellar 68 yards and a TD. He couldn’t really move the Colts’ offense very well and with the game on the line he pretty much took a nap under center once the fourth quarter hit. And let’s not get too carried away with the fact that he had that touchdown pass; it came on a series that started at the Tennessee 30–not exactly a daunting drive, even for a quarterback from Wisconsin.

I was more on the side of Dungy having this spot all to himself, personally. For my abridged thoughts, I defer to Herman Edwards:

Are we clear on that, Tony? You play to win the game. Now I won’t get down on the fact that Dungy rested his starters part-way through the second; it’s an accepted policy of any team whose playoff road is sealed to rest some players during week 17. I can get with that. I can’t wait until there’s a week 17 where the Browns give Braylon Edwards, Kamerion Wimbley and Joe Thomas the week off. That day can’t come soon enough, truly.

That said, Dungy colossally failed in the charge set forth by our friend Herm in the fourth quarter of the game. The final Colts’ drive, trailing 16-10, was a complete and total farce. And as if four straight short passes from your own 25 with less than 3 minutes left wasn’t a big enough joke, Dungy delivered the ultimate middle finger to the Browns by not even bothering to call a timeout on the third down play–the only completed pass by Sorgi of the sequence–unequivocally signaling the Colts total lack of interest in winning the game.

Afterward Dungy said, “we really wanted to get that 14th win. We got a lot of things done, we just didn’t quite get the score the way we wanted it.”

I call BS. If you really wanted that 14th win, you would’ve coached like your name was Tony Dungy and not Sam Wyche. –The Seaward

3. Carson Palmer. Carson Palmer, who the hell do you think you are?

The Bungles’ quarterback, who to his credit has lasted longer than one year under center, has had some interesting comments toward the Browns over the past year or so. It started with his chatter on how he thought they should’ve beaten Cleveland in the 51-45 Browns win in Week 2 and how losing that game ruined their season, etc etc. It seemed like stupid chatter that Palmer scarcely backed up in a 19-14 win that had less to do with Carson Palmer playing like a former Heisman winner and more to do with Derek Anderson mistaking some crap safety from Notre Dame for a former Thorpe winner.

Well, you’d think an 11/21, 115 yard, 1 TD, 2 INT game after he’d been chirping the Browns would be enough to perhaps stifle the suddenly mouthy Bengals quarterback… but you’d think wrong. After reviewing the 2008 NFL schedule, Palmer couldn’t help himself and blurted out his thoughts on the Browns’ slew of national TV games to the fantastic Chick Ludwig:

“I was as shocked as anybody to see that because they’re still a ways away from being a …”

Palmer’s voice tailed off.

“They weren’t even in the playoffs,” he said, “I think it’s a lot of hype early. Just like every year, there’s hype around one or two teams early. It’ll fizzle out once they start playing games.”

Well, I’m sure he’d know all about hyped teams fizzling once they start playing games… after all, he was on the 2006 and 2007 Cincinnati Bengals!

I’m sure that living in Cincinnati for five years could cloud the judgment of any rational person–hell, Wayne Krivsky was only there for two years before he decided it would be a good idea to hire Dusty Baker as his team’s manager–but what would possess this former #1 pick to just go out of his way to take potshots at the Browns? Was his brain damaged when Kimo von Oelhoffen obliterated his A/M/P-CL (and summarily crushed the entire Bengals franchise, apparently), too?

Perhaps Mr. Palmer should worry more about his own team, their shaky draft picks, their odd offseason transactions, their All-Pro holdout wide receiver, the Hamilton County police blotter, the Bengals’ horrific owner… or any other issue that has beset his team over the past few months before he opens his mouth to bash the team that finished comfortably ahead of them in the standings.

And if you need a real explanation as to why the Browns have so many national TV games this year as opposed to, say, your dysfunctional squad, let’s look at the Pro Bowl rosters and then ask the question: is six more than one? –The Seaward

2. Deshawn Stevenson. Oh, Deshawn, where do we even begin? I suppose we start with yours mid-March comment on Lebron James that read, “he’s overrated, and you can say I said that.”

What on God’s green Earth could possess a journeyman guard, with a season PPG of barely over 10, to step out and take potshots at one of the greats of the game? How is this possible? How could it happen?

Well forgetting the five W’s (+H) here, let’s just remember that it did happen. And the fact that it happened set off an offcourt war of words that won’t soon be forgotten in either Cleveland or Washington D.C. Brendan Haywood jumped in, Jay-Z jumped in, eventually the league jumped in when they suspended Darius Songaila (whose hand jumped into Lebron’s jaw in Game 5), Papa John’s pizza jumped in… everybody jumped in.

Unfortunately for De-yawn and his merry band of loudmouth idiots (see: Haywood, Brendan; Arenas, Gilbert; Daniels, Antonio), all that jumping seemed to wake up Lebron and the Cavs. And let’s make no mistake here… they were asleep at the wheel in March, big time. Before Stevenson’s chirps, the Cavs were struggling down the home stretch, barely clinging to homecourt in the first round against the Wiz while losing 7 of their last 12 games including three embarassing losses to the likes of Milwaukee and Chicago.

Not satisfied, however, with poking the sleeping bear, Stevenson proceeded to throw buckets of ice water on it from two feet away as he continued to taunt the Cavs, infamously doing his lame “you can’t see me” ‘celebration’ after knocking down a second half 3-pointer in Game 2 that cut the Cavs’ lead to a mere 16. As if that weren’t enough, he then spurred Lebron again in Game 4, after Cleveland sleep-walked through Game 3, when he got hit with an F-1 for hitting James in the head so hard that his headband flew off.

His antics became so extreme that Brian Windhorst worried about possible headhunting. He became so distracting that his team captains essentially told him to shut the hell up. He got so out of control that speculation is swirling that Eddie Jordan may be on his way out for his inability to control his team.

All of this from a journeyman guard playing on his 3rd team in 8 years averaging just over 10 PPG.

The really funny thing about this is if a D.C.-area blog created a top 5 current villains list, don’t you think Stevenson would be near the top of that, too? –The Seaward

1. Carlos Boozer. I’m going to speak directly to Carlos for a moment.

Dear Carlos,

We still haven’t forgiven you for what you did to us. You had an opportunity to play with one of the greatest players in the NBA, be the second fiddle, and not have to be the face of your team. You will never be forgiven until the Cavs win a NBA Championship.

Sincerely,

Cleveland

What was so wrong with the photo to the right? Why did you find it necessary to swindle a blind man who was nice enough to let you out of the final year of your contract? Oh, and the fact that you had a “knee injury” the first time you were supposed to return to Cleveland did nothing to alleviate the bad blood that still exists. I still hate your guts Boozer, and I wish you were on an Eastern Conference team so that we would play you more often. If you don’t think LeBron would go for at least 50 a game in those match ups, you’re crazy. What would Coach K say, Carlos? I mean, he’s someone who prepares young people for life, who just happens to be a college basketball coach. I never thought there would be an athlete that Cleveland could hate more than Albert Belle. Just goes to show that nothing is official until it’s signed on the dotted line. You should know something about that you traitor. –Joe Table Blew It

Honorable Mentions (by The Seaward):

  • Ben Roethlisberger — for being the Steelers’ QB
  • Myron Cope — he’s only omitted because he’s dead
  • Mike Hart — for endless un-backed-up trash talk
  • Ozzie Guillen — for taunting the Tribe after their late-September collapse in ’05
  • Dave Lapham — because he sucks
  • Chad Johnson — only omitted because he’s currently destroying the Bengals internally
  • Rasheed Wallace — loudmouth moron (plus his threes kill us)
  • Joey Porter — only omitted because he’s been exposed as a total fraud in Miami
  • Ray Lewis — because he still couldn’t possibly be more overrated
  • Brandon Phillips — for being the archetype of a guy who plays 5000% better after he’s traded from Cleveland
  • Bill Belichick — we kinda wished he’d cheated while he was here
  • Skip Bayless — he’s probably on every city’s Top 5 biggest villains outside of Gainesville, FL and San Antonio, TX.
  • Mason — two words: Deee-troit Basket-ball. Maybe one of the worst gimmicks in all of professional sports since FOX’s glowing puck.
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