As Cleveland sports fans, there are 2 things we are use to … change and controversies.
Our teams seem to change coaches more often than we change our socks and somehow there always seems to be some sort of controversy brewing – QB or otherwise. 2013 was no different.
Let’s take a look back at the year that was 2013.
The 2013 season for the Indians saw a spark of hope with Terry Francona taking over as manager. He didn’t disappoint – leading the team to their first playoff appearance since 2007 and winning the 2013 AL Manager of the Year award.
The Browns did a complete overhaul bringing in Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi and Rob Chudzinski to lead the team into the future. They also hired big name coordinators in Norv Turner and Ray Horton to run the offense and defense respectively.
After a disappointing 4-12 season, the Browns front office decided the team wasn’t going in the direction they wanted and let Chudzinski go after only 1 season.
Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert admitted a mistake by rehiring Mike Brown 3 years after he was let go.
Another change for the Indians happened when they went out and signed big name free agents. The signing of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn meant the team is serious about contending in the AL Central for years to come.
One of the biggest controversies in Cleveland was the FBI investigation of Jimmy Haslam and his family’s company, Pilot Flying J.
The issue of Chief Wahoo and the racism behind the logo has been debated for years. This year, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) published a powerful poster featuring two baseball hats that each have a stereotypical racist image of a Jewish man and Chinese man to show it has the same connotation as the Indians.
A controversial figure in his own right, former Major League pitcher John Rocker gained national attention stating he felt the game was better with steroids. Rocker said “They wanna see some clown throw a fastball 101 mph and some other guy hit it 500 feet. That’s entertainment.”
During a speech, Gordon Gee’s attempted to roast a few other schools and conferences didn’t go quite as planned. A few jabs went too far in the eyes of a lot of people. Those comments lead to the announcement of his retirement a few days later.
While not directly relating to Cleveland, our neighbors in Steubenville, Ohio were in the national spotlight after 2 high school football players were accused of raping a 16-year old. Tennis superstar Serena Williams spoke to Rolling Stone about the issue saying the girl shouldn’t have put herself in that position. She later apologized for her comments saying they were insensitive and hurtful.
Texas Rangers pitcher Tanner Scheppers claimed he was “sucker-punched” while walking in Cleveland after a game this summer. Witnesses later stated Scheppers wasn’t attacked – he lost a bar fight.
2013 was another crazy year for Cleveland sports fans and we can’t wait to see what is in store for 2014!
Let your voice be heard!
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