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Waiting for the return of meaningful Cleveland sports

The Cleveland Browns ended the season today which means the competitive focus in town can shift back to the Cleveland Indians.

2019 should be a fun year to be a Cleveland sports fan.

The Cleveland Browns ended the 2018 season today with a loss, but there is hope in 2019.

The same is true for the Cleveland Indians, who will play the next meaningful game in the city. The Cleveland Cavaliers are so bad I can’t imagine anyone getting too worked up about any more games this year.

It is a weird thing after the Cavs were in the NBA Finals for four straight years. The Indians began the season when the NBA playoffs were just about to start, so there was always that to keep track of through June. Then the Finals ended and the city could focus on the Indians.

But this season will begin with minimal attention paid to the Cavs, unless you watch them just to hope they lose to secure better lottery odds.

The Indians will open the season as favorites to win the American League Central for the fourth year in a row and there will be a major sense of urgency after another early postseason exit.

I imagine the lack of competitive basketball will lead to a more exciting regular season, compared to the 2018 version where some fans were just waiting for October to roll around.

It was almost nice to have the distraction of the Cavs. The championship win in 2016 made the Indians’ own magical run feel like one big party. Then came the past two years when at least no one would panic about the Indians until June once the Cavs were done.

I also understand some people are only fans of the Indians and live and die with every game. I am speaking more about the city as a whole here, as there are plenty of people who watch all three teams with equal love.

Even though the Browns are done, the team will continue to dominate local sports talk just because that’s how it will always be. But the city will be waiting for some competitive sports to watch after nearly three months of only having the Cavs.

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Next: A state of unease heading into 2019

That will make Opening Day on March 28, weather permitting, that much more exciting.

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