Readers Poll Winners: Sports & Recreation

Best Team

Cleveland Browns

Newcomers to Cleveland learn what the rest of us know from birth: This is a football town through and through. Two other big-league teams have sniffed more recent success, but Browns Town always votes the party line.

Best Coach

Eric Mangini

The Browns' second-year man looks much more comfortable under the guidance of new President Mike Holmgren. The next few weeks could determine Mangini's long-term future here.

Best Athlete

Joshua Cribbs

No other athlete so electrifies a stadium every time he touches the ball. Not just the best athlete, he's the best reason to watch any sport in Cleveland.

Best Browns Player

Joshua Cribbs

In only his fifth NFL season, Cribbs already owns the NFL's all-time record for kickoff returns for touchdowns. Now that the Browns are finding new uses for him, his value might only increase.

Best Indians Player

Shin-Soo Choo

On a team that can be a painful sight to watch, this blossoming South Korean superstar deserves more acclaim than he gets. Let's hope Choo's Tribe teammates mature along with him next year.

Best Cavaliers Player

Mo Williams

As a seven-year reign of greatness is broken, Cavalier fans hope this once-burgeoning star prospers anew outside of LeBron's shadow.

Best Minor League Team

Lake County Captains

Say hello to your 2010 Midwest League Champions. Yes, the best baseball in town happens east of downtown. Of course, a gorgeous field and family-friendly vibe are two more very good reasons the Captains are deserving farm-system kings.

Best Sports Executive

Mike Holmgren

In his first offseason in Berea, the NFL great took hold of his new franchise in a way no nouveau Browns regime has. Holmgren restored a sense of purpose and a connection with the community Browns fans hadn't seen in a generation. Just as refreshing: Now that the season is under way, Holmgren has receded to a background role. But rest assured, his presence will be felt whenever necessary.

Best Reason Next Year Will Be Our Year

Mike Holmgren

The Browns' new president is too football-smart to let mediocrity fester for much longer. Happily, encouraging signs of a turnaround are already all around us.

Best Place for Outdoor Exercise

Cleveland Metroparks

Just around the corner from almost every Northeast Ohio burg, the Cleveland Metroparks are Mother Nature's complimentary health club membership. And Mother Nature keeps her place spotless.

Best High School Team

St. Ignatius

A rare down year for Ignatius football can't deflate the local love for this perennial multi-sport powerhouse. Even the debate team is a killer.

Best Place to See a Game

Progressive Field

The ballpark was broken in with a string of magical seasons. Now it's overdue to field a team that's the equal of its amenities.

Best Place for a Sweaty Date

Cleveland Metroparks

Whether you're into biking or jogging or activities we cannot condone within the pages of a family newspaper, the Emerald Necklace is a jewel of a place to spark romance with your workout.

Best Place to Hike

Cleveland Metroparks

Nowhere else could you get so lost in nature this close to the heart of the city. Visitors to Cleveland are quick to praise what we so quickly take for granted.

Best Fitness Club


The national chain has done more than its share to get Northeast Ohio in shape. Locations throughout the area make it easier to commit to your welness.

Best Festival

Feast of the Assumption

With its abundance of otherworldly food and traditional music, Murray Hill's annual August celebration of all things Catholic and Italian is just as much fun for Protestant Irishmen.

Best Place to Swim

Mentor Headlands

Here's an Erie shore oasis and nature sanctuary with a beach that's unequaled in the region. You haven't experienced the wonders of our Great Lake till you've experienced Mentor Headlands.

Best Place to Bike

The Towpath Trail

Part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the vaunted Towpath Trail along the old Ohio and Erie Canal is a biker's paradise and a welcome nod to our region's industrial roots.