In 1849, esteemed British poet, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, delivered one of the most poignant and oft-quoted lines in the history of the English language: “‘Tis better to have loved and lost / Than never to have loved at all.” Now, in 2017, after years of struggling and countless disappointments, I believe I finally understand the true meaning behind Lord Tennyson’s famous line. It has to be about the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. The Bengals, of course, are the team to have “loved and lost.” Unlike the Browns, the Bengals have been to a Super Bowl — two of them in fact — but proceeded to lose both in historically heartbreaking fashion. Since their deflating Super Bowl loss to Joe Montana and the 49ers in 1988, the Bengals have made the playoffs eight different times and pieced together a stunning record of 0-8 in these playoff games. For reference, the Browns have only made the playoffs three times since 1988, but own a respectable 2-3 record in those trips. Even in recent history, the Bengals compiled a 52-27-1 record from 2011-2015. However, despite piecing together a nice string of successful seasons, they then proceeded to lose in the first round of the playoffs five seasons in a row — a feat never accomplished before in the current NFL playoff format. To put Bengal fandom in perspective, I offer...Read More
We’ve all heard the statement before. You could be discussing the record-setting amount of All-Stars moving teams in the NBA offseason (11 players!), hyping up your favorite player as the next superstar-in-the-making, or even sitting around playing NBA 2K on your couch with your friends. As sports discussions are apt to do, the conversation may get a bit heated as different opinions are brought up and counterpoint after counterpoint are raised, but eventually one person will end the discussion with a single statement: “It doesn’t matter. It’ll be Warriors-Cavs in the Finals again, anyway.” It’s a single statement that can end all NBA arguments. Whether you’re discussing Russell Westbrook and James Harden’s neck-and-neck race for last season’s MVP, the Boston Celtics’ recent acquisition of Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, or the most recent NBA draft class, all discussions seem to be moot compared to the seemingly pre-determined Cavs-Warriors Finals matchup. The point of this article isn’t to pick the teams with the strongest chance of knocking off the Warriors or to point out the glaring holes in the newly re-constructed Cavs’ roster, but rather point out three NBA teams that may or may not end up being the most successful teams in the league, but will surely provide entertainment value regardless of their season outcome. Without further ado, I’d like to introduce the three most strangely interesting teams for...Read More
What do all of this year’s top contenders for the World Series crown have in common? An ace up their sleeve. 2017 has marked a year of unprecedented offensive output in the MLB. Rumors of “juiced” baseballs have surfaced. Herculean sluggers like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge pushed the realms of reality in the this year’s Home Run Derby. Superstars such as Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado, and Joey Votto have continued to improve on what are already borderline Cooperstown-worthy careers. However, in the midst of all of this offensive output, we have also seen four pitchers put together historically impressive seasons. Max Scherzer, Clayton Kershaw, Chris Sale, and Corey Kluber have combined to put together four of the most impressive pitching performances in recent history, and consequently one of the tightest Cy Young races as well. Each pitcher is so uniquely dominant and fiercely competitive that their performance has improved despite an uptick in offensive performance around the league. Scherzer, a 6’3” right-hander from the Washington Nationals, is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and the 2013 American League winner. Scherzer’s lethal five-pitch arsenal has allowed him to post career lows in earned run average (ERA) and walks + hits per inning (WHIP), while also posting a career high in strikeouts per nine innings (K/9). Despite battling a nagging neck injury that has sidelined him...Read More
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