NOT SO FAST! While spelling that last sentence with all capital letters won't help the Soul win their round one matchup, there are plenty of reasons why the Soul can upset the Gladiators this Saturday. First off, these two teams are fierce division rivals. Sure, Cleveland can come in and run through their usual plays against some other team out west, but that won't work against a team like the Soul who has seen everything Cleveland has ever tried to run.
Furthermore, the Soul play well against Cleveland, maybe better than any other team in the league. Yes, Pittsburgh was the lone team to defeat the Gladiators this season, but they also were blown out in their other previous match. The Soul, however, lost twice to Cleveland this year, but the combined margin of victory was 3 points. June 21, the Gladiators came to Philly and edged the Soul by a score of 69-68. May 23, Philly went to Cleveland and lost 54-52. Both of those games were winnable for the Soul and it is incredibly to beat a team 3 times in a row, no matter how good one of the teams is.
Finally, its fucking Cleveland we're talking about here. One of the most tortured sports cities in America finally had a ton of collective luck thrusted upon them for the first half of 2014. Maybe 2014 was meant to be the Year of Cleveland, but history says otherwise. What would be more Cleveland than finishing the regular season 17-1 and losing to a 9-9 opponent in round 1? If the Gladiators win, then kudos to them and hopefully they can be the first to bring a championship to their city in a long time; but they have to get through Philly first.
By: Dan Goggin
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