Sports in Northeast Ohio have been brutal for nearly five decades.
The Cleveland Browns won an NFL Championship in 1964 (before the game was called the “Super Bowl”), the Indians haven’t won the World Series since 1948 and the Cavaliers have never won a championship.
The lives of sports fans here have been littered with heartbreaks, disappointments and hopelessness. If the teams in the area aren’t floundering below mediocrity, they seem to make it ever-so-close to a championship before blowing it.
For nearly 40 years, the Kent State football team hasn’t even been a blip on the map of the sports landscape in Northeast Ohio. The team has been consistently bad. There were a few years when Josh Cribbs lit up Dix Stadium, but even then, his most successful team won six games.
That brings us to this year’s Flashes.
The team pulled off one of the biggest upsets in college football this season Saturday. The Flashes defeated No. 15 Rutgers University in Piscataway, N.J.
More than 49,000 fans packed High Point Solutions Stadium for the team’s homecoming game. There was flexing, fist-pumping and profanity — plenty of profanity. Rutgers isn’t near the shore, but by the end of the 35-23 drubbing, the fan base angrily emptied the stadium to probably go to the gym, go tanning and knock out some laundry.
Throughout the game, the Flashes biggest strengths were on display. The team forced seven turnovers — including six interceptions. It was the third time this season the defense has forced at least six turnovers in a game.
The two-headed monster of Trayion Durham and Dri Archer anchored the Flashes running game. Durham ran through Rutgers tacklers as the offense controlled the pace of the game.
All in all, this team has been knocking on the door of history all season. This Saturday, the Flashes stopped knocking and kicked the door completely off of the hinges.
Saturday’s victory virtually guarantees Kent State’s first bowl-game birth in 40 years, and the Flashes are in the driver’s seat to appear in the Mid-American Conference Championship game.
Get excited, Kent State. Support your classmates who have brought a competitive spirit and level of success that students have not seen in Dix Stadium in a long time.
The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.