5. The Cavaliers losing in the Finals. Normally, losing in the NBA Finals would be much higher up on this list, but not this year, and not with this team. We all knew for the entire season they would be in the Finals and that they would face Golden State, so zero surprise there. We also knew the Warriors, with the addition of Kevin Durant, were just a lot better than the team the Cavs beat for the title. Was it disappointing: Of course! Were we surprised they went out in five games: maybe? But not many people thought the Cavs could win, and that's why this hits this low on the list.
4. The Indians' 22-game win streak. A 22-game winning streak had never happened in the modern era of baseball until the Tribe did it at the end of the season. It was amazing. They just never lost, for almost an entire month. Between August 24th and September 14th they were undefeated. It was incredible. It didn't matter who pitched, who was in the lineup, who was coming off the bench -- they just won. Every. Single. Time. And it helped make this next think on my list so shocking.
3. The Indians playoff collapse. Losing three straight to New York was jaw-dropping. This team was better than the 2016 team, better than the 2007 team, better than a lot of those teams from the 90s. And they lost, for two reasons. First, the offense just went cold at the wrong time, and that happens to every team in baseball. You just hope it doesn't happen in October, and it did. The other reason: Corey Kluber did not pitch like himself. A lot of us wonder if he was hurt, and we might not know till spring training, we might never know. But the collapse of the 2017 Indians was shocking and heartbreaking.
2. The Kyrie Irving trade. Another jaw-dropper. Irving went from being the guy who hit the biggest shot in franchise history, and the heir-apparent to LeBron, to being a Boston Celtic because he did not want to be here. And this came on quickly. Maybe behind the scenes there were signs of this, but to the general public and media, this was shocking. There weren't any signs of a rift, at least not one like this. He forced the Cavs hand, they had to move him, and we don't know how it's gonna work out. But the feeling of "whenever LeBron leaves, they can build around Kyrie" is gone. Now whenever LeBron leaves, they're gonna have problems.
1. The Browns. They're not 0-16 yet, but they'll need something between a miracle and an act of God to avoid it. If your response to this is "that's not surprising, they stink" then you have failed to grasp the magnitude of their deterioration. Yes, they have always been bad, they have never set NFL records for being terrible. Bad for the Browns used to be getting four wins a year. Now they've won once in two years. They're about to go 0-16, and the only time that was done before, the Lions, they hadn't gone 1-15 the previous year. The Browns have reached a historic level of bad. And everybody thought that after going 1-15 last year that they'd add some more talented players in the draft and win a few more games this year. Instead, they are apparently worse.