Cleveland Indians Must Once Again Fight For Attention in Local Sports Scene
The Cleveland Indians will enter the 2017 season as title favorites, but still must fight to be on top of the Cleveland sports landscape early in the year.
Now that Cleveland has become a title town, the Cleveland Indians won’t automatically dominate the city’s sports landscape after winning the American League pennant in 2016.
Diehard Indians fans may be watching the clips from spring training workouts on loop, but a majority of the current Cleveland sports focus surrounds both the Cavaliers’ quest for another NBA championship and the Browns’ quest to select any sort of talent in April’s NFL Draft.
Caring about football in April when the Indians are back may seem crazy to the diehards, but that is just how it is in Cleveland. The Indians must once again earn the attention they received last season.
In theory, this concept makes perfect sense. While the Indians enter the season as favorites on paper to return to the World Series, nothing is guaranteed in professional sports. So it is almost better that the team won’t be in the spotlight early in the season.
While the Cavaliers make another deep run into the NBA playoffs, the Indians may be going through some early-season struggles. This does not mean the team will be in last place, but it is possible a .500 start could be had through May as the team gets back into the routine of the regular season.
But if that happens, the majority of the city’s sports attention will be on basketball, allowing the Indians to do their thing without constant scrutiny from sports fans in Northeast Ohio.
This does not mean that the Indians won’t be facing any criticism during the first half of the season, but it won’t be as bad as it is in a place like New York or Boston, where one bad stretch has the whole city declaring the season is all but over.
The attention will once again shift back to the Indians once the Cavaliers’ season is finished. The Browns will be gearing up for training camp, but a winning baseball team should be able to hold the city’s attention over a lowly football team just practicing.
The Indians were underdogs in 2016 and while that is not the case in 2017, the respect must once again be earned. But that shouldn’t be too hard for this talented team.
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