Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Cleveland Miracle

I lived and worked in Cleveland in the mid-1990's in the midst of the Indians resurgence and the loss of the Browns. It was a good mix of the "agony and the ecstasy" in sports, but all without ever winning that elusive championship. 

That long wait finally ended Sunday night with the Cavs impressive win in Oakland and Cleveland has a major champion for the first time in 52 years. 

It's hard for Columbia football fans not to look at that and think about our current 55-year Ivy championship drought. We know the Cavaliers finally grabbed that title because it has a once in a lifetime player in LeBron James and basketball's 5-man team structure basically milks the most out of a single great player at any given time. Football is tougher, especially the larger roster college variety. 

Columbia does have a once in a lifetime coach now with Al Bagnoli. And it has a once in a lifetime commitment from the administration to really boost the program instead of doing the things that make it look like it's committed. 

But at some point, I have not doubt that it will take a couple of once in a lifetime players to finally put Columbia over the top. Marcellus Wiley '97 and Rory Wilfork '97 were two of those kinds of players on defense, but the Lions did not have enough talent at the offensive skill positions to finish better than second during their era. 

As I mentioned a little earlier this year, when people talk about Columbia now they're saying better things but they're still not talking about any players. Until they do, the Lions won't be real contenders. Luckily that change can happen during the course of a season, so the fact that no one outside of Columbia is talking about our players right now or perhaps next off season is not a reason to give up hope on either year.  

But no matter how good the coach or the program, the true stars on the field need to emerge. Columbia has now prepped the soil and planted the seeds. The question is how long it will take for things to blossom.

1 comment:

jordanray said...

I think it's great no one is talking about CU football, the way I see it is let them keep looking elsewhere and worry about other teams. Who cares that CU players aren't being mentioned in preseason articles, then we can enjoy it when we walk up and hit them like they have never seen before. You are right a great coaching staff is working their butts off putting together their teams for the future and man they look like they are loading up with.
Look at the six 3 star athletes this year all six of them can be impact players at times this year, then the 2 star athletes are right there with them. The next few years are going to be a lot of fun watching this group of men grow and this program take off!!