Sunday, September 30, 2007

Limited Edition Angles-n-Jobbers Championship Merchandise

Dress like a champion . Relive the memories. Get it before its gone. Angles-n-Jobbers 2007 Rock-n-Roll Chittenden Champions merchandise...
(Be sure to check out the commemorative video at the end)


Traditional Style T-Shirt (available in white or gray):



Stylized T-Shirt (available in white or gray):




Special Commemorative Issue Sports Illustrated:





Commemorative Video:

video

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

How the 2007 Indians Were Aquired

A friend of mine emailed this from the LetsGoTribe.com it basically outlines how the current Indians team was put together. Pretty interesting how all the trades ended up.

Here's the Post its much easier to read there the formating wouldn't work with a cut and paste.

Message from Oden

Greg Oden posted a video message on his blog...notice all the interaction with his readers too...

Also, Brian Windhorst posts that Sacha Pavlovic's threat to go to Europe is a huge bluff, and Varajao would be an idiot not to sign with the Cavs this year for 3 more.

Browns still stink?

Indians v. Cubs in World Series?

Buckeyes best in Big Ten again?

Lake Erie Monsters....wait, I don't know anything here.

Should be a good couple months.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Is this blog called "Cleveland Sports Torture" because of the crappy teams and heartbreak we have had to deal with or because of the crappy bloggers who write dumb comments and torture

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Burger Time



Saturday afternoon Ryan called me to see if I wanted to go to the Browns game. I declined, pompously stating that I would not attend another game until the Browns were respectable. I did not expect much progress to be made in that department after yet another week of organizational incompetence on display in Berea. Getting rid of one numbingly mediocre quarterback and replacing him with another while the future of the franchise roams the sidelines with a clipboard for the next two, four or six weeks and the team continues to get embarrassed on the field. I didn’t want any part of that; not live and in person. I’d watch the game on TV, but I’d be damned if I was going sit through another certain shellacking after a six-hour tailgate. If that made me a bad fan, so be it! I was just fed up already.

I don’t know how much has changed in 24 hours. I know this organization is still in dire straits. But I’m happily eating one of Vox’s shitburgers after today’s crazily unexpected display of offense leading to a rousing victory. Winning truly does change everything. After last week’s misery, the offensive line creates holes big enough to drive a cement truck through and Anderson goes virtually untouched all day. The wide receiver corps is suddenly full of playmakers. Edwards doesn’t drop any balls. Jurevicius is used effectively. Winslow’s kid plays like Winslow’s kid can. The defense...well...let’s not talk about that right now. The best aspect of today’s win?

No “Brady” chants.

One win doesn’t solve everything. But it does bring a tiny bit of respectability back to a once proud franchise whose fans are dying to cheer for something positive. I’m willing to go along for the ride, in person or not.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hadman Rants, Briefly

You know what else bugs me...

Anytime there is a controversy it becomes " _____gate"
Hummergate (Lebron)
Bottlegate (Browns Game)
Vidoetapegate (Belichick)
If you do this you are a Jack Ass. The Rodeman (as in Kenny) does this all the time, but he is a Jack Ass for a thousand other reasons. I mean who changes there own name into a nick name like the Rodeman.

By the way I thought I was through with 850 when I got satellite, but after a few months I was missing that local flavor. You figure hey the Tribe's hot, let's tune in and get fired up. Instead of Tribe talk it's this shitty quarterback or that one. Go Tribe.

My neighbor turned their AC on sometime around May and has left it on throughout the summer even during the chilly nights. Annoying.

It's almost Playoff time which means we will start to hear one of my all-time rants. At some point when a team is down in a five or seven game series 1-0 or 2-0 and one Jack Ass reporter will ask another "Is this next game a must win?" It bugs the crap out of me. I get it, if they lose again, they are in pretty much out of it, but it is not a "Must Win."

Cheat to Win



"Cheat to Win" - that was the late Eddie Guerrero's motto. He wore a shirt admitting to it. The blatancy of it makes your skin crawl. The audacity... I mean how egotistical can one be? Guerrero performed in a scripted sport, where this type of behavior is known as "drawing heat". A "heel" (or rule breaker) getting over in an over-the-top , maniacal manner. So where am I going with this?

Egotistical. Audacity. Rule Breaker. Maniacal. I'm speaking of course about Bill Belichick, coach of the New England Patriots. Yes, our favorite ex-Browns coach... 3 time Superbowl Champion head coach. Superbowl Champion defensive coordinator... the man that was once accused of telling his players to fake cramps in order to seal a Superbowl victory. The man who in showing great sportsmanship, refused to shake hands with Eric Mangini, turning his back on a friendship with one of his former coaches who was simply living his dream... becoming the head coach for the rival NY Jets. Nothing like being happy for one of your friends. (By the way Bill... didn't you go from the Patriots to the Jets with Bill Parcels... and then accept the head coaching job with the Jets, only to back out and accept the Patriots head coaching job instead?) Those in glass houses...

So why should the latest indictment of Mr. Sunshine come as a surprise? The Green Bay Packers told us the Patriots were video taping them last year. Caught red handed last year yet turned their nose up at the NFL - Audacity. Egotistical. Pretty much sums it up.

Rumors have it that the Football Hall of Fame officials have contacted the Baseball Hall of Fame to find out where they can purchase astericks, however Major League Baseball has signed an exclusivity contract.

People will argue that Pete Rose betting on games DIRECTLY influenced the outcome of the game. That's why he is vilified even more than Home Run Champ Barroid. I hear ex-NFL athletes like Sean Salisbury saying that the players still have to execute... stealing signals isn't that big of a deal. HOW THE HELL CAN KNOWING WHAT PLAYS THE OTHER TEAM IS GOING TO RUN NOT BE A HUGE ADVANTAGE? Especially in a sport where Xs and Os are so important. In the words of NBA MVP Tim Duncan... "That's retarded".

Yes, baseball players still have to be great athletes to hit. But a 310 ft. deep fly out turns into a 350 ft. home run and suddenly great hitters become home run champs. Very good NFL teams win. Very good NFL teams that know what plays are coming win multiple championships. Just ask the Eagles, who in light of the news, pondered "So that's why every time we blitzed in the Superbowl they knew to throw a screen." And we though Tom Brady had ESP.

I petition that the NFL immediately:

1) Bans Belichick from the sport (Pete Rose has been banned from MLB, and we don't even know for sure that Rose's betting had any influence on the game, unlike the case here).

2) Expunge the Patriots 3 Superbowl Championships (The NCAA does this... after all, CBS kept reminding us that OSU hadn't been to a Final Four since 1968... 1999 was just in our imagination).


"Cheat to Win" - a motto created in a sport where the outcomes are predetermined. Barry Bonds,Tim Donaghy, Bill Belichick... I'm beginning to wonder which sport that is.

Friday, September 14, 2007

2007 Fantasy Football Team Reviews


Please keep in mind these reviews are for entertainment purposes only. Do not take anything personal, I don’t think I went to familytown on anyone so I’m not too concerned. I wrote some of this last week and some this week, you may notice that when I reference a game or something. Also, my use of the English language and punctuation may not be the greatest, deal with it. Without further delay…

Las Vegas Vox
Let’s start with the good news because there isn’t much, Vox has possibly the top 2 receivers in the league. Vox also did an excellent job of picking up crappy running backs. Late in the season if you are looking for a running back that gets 5-10 carries a game, Vox has a lot of “Trade Bait, dude.” Maybe you should stop screwing around on your laptop looking at porn and hold ‘em. You must have thought it was the 16th round and not the 6th round when you drafted Michael Turner, unless you know something about Tomlinson getting hurt that the rest of us don’t. I still don’t get the trade you made, it was essentially Ladell Betts and Fred Taylor for Marshawn Lynch. I don’t know if Lynch will be anything great but he has a lot more potential than those other two. I don’t think this team has any chance of making the playoffs and will likely be picking first next year as well.

The Return of Jack Stryker
I already went over your “brilliant” trade with your gay wrestling butt buddy Kevin, I just hope the blow job was good. You drafted two solid receivers in Andre Johnson and Reggie Brown, but this teams success comes down to Ronnie Brown and Tatum Bell. Bell will probably not have enough carries in Detroit and will likely not get the goal line carries. I like Carson Palmer, you will be kicking yourself each time he hooks up with Houshmanzadeh. I think this team has an outside chance at the playoffs.

The Anal Dwelling Butt Monkeys
The “Butt Monkeys” had to play the waiting game at the draft, Tim didn’t get his first pick until the last pick of the 8th round. Lucky for him he got to sit next to Ryan which is a treat for anyone and worth the $125 the league costs. The starters on this team have some potential but the bench is awful. I see some potential issues when the bye weeks start up. Brees and Gates should have great years, Bush and Colston will likely do well, Jamal Lewis and Lee Evans have some good potential. One thing that does scare me about this team(I even mentioned it to Tim the other night) is having 3 starters on one team with Brees, Bush, and Colston, When the Saints don’t score much like Thursday night against the Colts he has very little chance to win. If everything goes well this team could make the playoffs but my guess is the back-ups will have to play too much during the bye weeks and that will cost him.

Dough Boyz
This team didn’t have much to start with, just Willie Parker, my favorite player on my favorite team. But the draft guru that I am I was able to get the top RB available(Adrian Peterson), the top WR available(Larry Fitzgerald), and the QB available(McNabb). Have some concern with the 2nd wide-out position if Braylon doesn’t step-up there isn’t much on the bench to take his place. Drafted 4 Cleveland Browns which not only shows loyalty but brains as well. With the Browns going to the Super Bowl this year the players will no doubt perform very well each week. Vernon Davis will have a huge year and help lead this team to the Fantasy Football Play-offs in a very weak division. Even if I don’t make the playoffs I still have the chewiest player in the league on my team. If you don’t think so, I challenge you to look at my team logo for a minute or so and I dare you to tell me “it” doesn’t move. Go ahead, try it! (I made the game even easier for you by adding my team logo to the top of this post)

Watered Down Talent
This team had a very solid 4 core players, Tom Brady, Frank Gore, and Rudi and Chad Johnson errr Ocho Cinco. Those 4 players alone give Brian a chance each and every week. I didn’t really agree with protecting Crumpler and Clayton although when I look what would have been available in the draft in those spots not too sure you could have improved much. Picked up a good WR in the 7th round in Vincent Jackson. It was probably around this time he started thinking about long distance phone sex with his “girlfriend.” At least that is when I started thinking about it. Or he might have wanted to hang himself after sitting next to Kevin “I like wrestling more than anything in this world, it gives me a boner, and a really gay smile” Hogan, I know if I was sitting next to him I would have put my draft on auto-pilot. This should be one of the top teams in the league.

Jack Attack
This team has a really good QB Vince McMahon, a solid RB Triple H, and a nice RB The Rock. I can only imagine the gay smile on Kevin’s face if that were true. He did watch more wrestling clips in the draft than Sam watched porn, which is saying something. Does it turn anyone else’s stomach watching the pure joy this grown man gets looking at those clips? I seriously believe he gets a boner while watching it and I’m 50/50 on whether or not he masturbates to it. That being said I think this is a good team. Kevin must be a great GM to talk Doug into the dumb ass trade they made and I think the trade with Rob was good for him too. Although protecting Chester Taylor was dumb, you could have gotten him back in the 6th round if you wanted him that bad. This team got hooked up when Chicago traded Thomas Jones to the Jets. Jack Attack went from 4 running backs that split time to 2 full time backs and 2 part backs. Then, as I mentioned, traded the 2 part time backs for 2 good WR’s. I like this teams chances to make the playoffs.

Long Live Jambi
I figured it was asking too much when I said everyone must draft at least 2 players at each position. Trey apparently didn’t hear the 30-40 times that was said. I let it slide because sitting next to Kevin was enough punishment. I think Trey was busy watching a hellacious knee drop or a crippling figure four and that’s why he drafted like 12 receivers. I don’t know about this team, I like Steve Smith. Santonio Holmes and Calvin Johnson have good potential. I’m not huge on Edgerrin James and I hate that touchdown stealing cocksucker Barber. If Lamont Jordan has a surprising season then maybe just maybe this team has a chance at the post season but I doubt it.

O.K.
Well our once a year Scip sighting was nice. I think I’ve seen him more on news clips than in person the last year. And I only saw him once on the news. Remember Mike I was not one of those A-holes who left your party last year and went over Brian’s. I had a family event that day. I don’t know what will happen over the course of the year with this team but I do know it is in for a beat down in Week 1 against some bad ass team named the Dough Boyz. The running backs with Jackson and McGahee are very solid and I like his wide outs too. They aren’t great but should be solid. He has the Steeler D and I bet he will be rooting for them this week against the Browns. I have heard several people say Wes Welker has good potential and I think they were talking fantasy potential too. I don’t see it, there is like 10 good receivers on the Patriots and Brady likes to spread the ball around. I personally don’t care for any New England WR’s when it comes to fantasy. If Steven Jackson had an MVP season this team should be in the mix.

Hooters-n-Brew
The highlight of the night for me was when Telly and Andy got into it again over the N word. I always love a good N word discussion, especially when someone(specifically a white person) tries to justify its use to a black person. This will always bring a smile to my face. As for the team the starters better be good because I haven’t heard of many guys on your bench. A lot of question marks for this team. Can Marshawn Lynch be productive? Can T.O. keep his mouth shut? Can Andy keep his mouth shut?(I hope not) Can Leinert live up to his potential? I just think there are too many question marks surrounding this team and a crappy bench that will prevent a playoff run.

The Next Big Thing
Bill was at the draft…I think…he’s lost so much weight I could barely see him. Another fun part of the night was when Telly yelled at him for being too skinny. I’m just glad Telly didn’t yell at me for being too fat. Maybe I need to get a girlfriend who likes to run. Bill protected Cutler, Alexander, and Moss. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Moss protection at first but after week 1 it looks like it was smart. Might have found the steal of the draft in round 13 with Chris Brown who scored 17 points in week 1. Bill needs him too keep it up because I may put up as many points as his back-up running backs. My guess is Chris Brown won’t score that much in any week the rest of the year. Tony Gonzalez’s numbers have started to slip but if he and Galloway can post solid numbers this team could make the playoffs.

You Hear the Dial Tone
WHY?…cause this TEAM IS OFF THE HOOK!! Still the most creative fantasy team name, still gives me chills too say it. I’m sure Sean had to resist the urge to name his team after his child like Rob and Kevin did, Buddy’s Battallion or something like that had to be pretty tempting. I thought this team was going to win it all last year until Cadillac Williams had a huge sophomore slump. Very good core with Larry Johnson, Reggie Wayne, Hines Ward, and Kellen Winslow. If Cadillac can bounce back this should be one of the teams to beat. More importantly did any of you notice Sean didn’t rage or even get impatient once at this draft. If he did I missed it. I’m wondering if he is on some medication or something. What’s a draft without a little Sean rage, please bring it back next year or we may have to go from 17 rounds to 30 rounds the following year.

Jmac
I don’t know what is worse the team name or the team logo(a naked picture of his daughter). OR WORSE YET…a naked picture of an adult girl bending over. I literally wrote that first line and then went to check Rob’s logo to make sure he didn’t change it and I SHIT YOU NOT last year he had a naked picture of his daughter’s backside and this year he has a VERY MATURE lady’s backside. It’s a very nice picture BUT I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW INAPPROPRIATE IT IS TO GO FROM A PICTURE OF YOUR NAKED DAUGHTER TO A NAKED ADULT. Am I wrong about this? Not to mention his team name is named after his daughter. I may have to kick Rob out of the league. I might even have to turn this over to the proper authorities. I don’t even want to comment on this sickos team. I don’t think this team is very good. How the hell did you make the playoffs last year?

Gout
LT…need I say more. I was shocked when I received Kevin’s protections and he only protected Tomlinson. Then I looked at his team and was surprised to find that they pretty much sucked. Tomlinson single handily led him to the Championship game. Larry Fitzgerald might have helped slightly but this team didn’t have much else. I’m not huge on LT’s supporting cast on this team this year either. Kitna should be solid, Chambers might be o.k. and I suppose Maurice Jones-Drew could live up to the hype but there really isn’t much here. However, LT may be all you need. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this team in the playoffs again and if Tomlinson goes off Gout could win it all.

Marrie’s Morons
This team is good. Great quarterback in Manning, 3 very solid running backs in Adai, Westbrook, and Henry, nice wide receivers in Boldin and Driver. This team is a lock for the playoffs and has an excellent shot at winning it all again. The Browns might want to give Ryan a call about finding talent, he made a nice trade or two last year to build this team and now it should be a powerhouse for years to come. Don’t think draft day was one big party in Marrie’s Moronsland though, I don’t know how many noticed the disappointment on Ryan’s face but I did. I’m not talking about when he got stuck with Joey Harrington as his back up QB, I’m talking about the fact that Las Vegas Vox’s team owner, who he was sitting right next to, looked at no porn the entire draft. The only reason the “Morons” protected 6 guys was because he knew he was sitting next to Vox and he didn’t wanted to be bothered with drafting while a nice titty f*ck or double anal was going on. I’m guessing Ryan had to go home and TCOB thinking about his Peyton Manning protection since Vox let him down.

My picks for the playoffs(not taking divisions into consideration) are:
Dough Boyz
Watered Down Talent
Marrie’s Morons
Gout
You Hear the Dial Tone (Why?)

Jack Attack

Missed this Article last week

From The Onion...

Brady Quinn Leads Browns Into Post-Preseason

Brady Quinn Leads Browns Into Post-Preseason

September 6, 2007 | Onion Sports

Brady Quinn

CLEVELAND—Establishing a reputation for quarterback performance that football insiders have called "reasonable," Browns quarterback Brady Quinn silenced his critics and stunned his coaches, teammates, and family by performing competently enough in his limited play during preseason games to put the Cleveland Browns in 2007 post-preseason contention.

"I guess I can only say 'Wow,'" former Miami Dolphins quarterback and current Inside The NFL co-host Dan Marino said Tuesday following the announcement that Cleveland would advance to the regular season, playing the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first game on Sept. 9. "Wow. I think I speak for everyone when I say no one thought Brady Quinn could do it. To see him come into that preseason game against the Lions and just embarrass one of the best auto mechanics to ever play cornerback in the NFL…I admit it, I didn't think he had it in him."

"Quinn seemed possessed, like he was out there playing like it was the last game those other guys would ever play," added Marino, saying Quinn reminded him of a younger version of a quarterback who used to back him up.

In his first-ever preseason start against the Detroit Lions, Quinn defied the extremely low expectations when he did not run out onto the field with his helmet on backwards, trip over the yard lines, line up to take the snap behind a wideout, or attempt to roll the ball down the field towards his receivers.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," said Sports Illustrated football writer Peter King. "The conventional wisdom going into that game was that Brady Quinn was a huge mistake on the part of the Browns. But anyone who saw him will tell you he might not be all that big of a mistake after all."

This breathtaking display of basic knowledge of football fundamentals continued in a workmanlike display of quarterbacking against a group of men attempting to make the Lions, as Quinn threw for 81 yards while not falling into any random holes or stepping on any rakes that had been left lying around the field. And in the final game of the preseason, facing a Bears defense that almost certainly contained players who will make Chicago's taxi squad, Quinn threw only a single interception while conspicuously not lighting himself or his teammates on fire or tying his shoelaces together even once.

Predictably, Browns fans were ecstatic at the level of Quinn's performance.

"Mark my words, Brady is going to be one of our quarterbacks of the immediate future," said Ken Fairfield, a Browns preseason-ticket holder who said he would be camping out for regular-season Browns tickets long before they went on sale, if not for the fact they would almost certainly be readily available. "I can't believe people said he wouldn't even be an adequate field general. If what I saw in the second halves of those games wasn't adequate, I don't know what is."

"I'm completely surprised…I always felt that we could count on Quinn to totally blow it, but this is whole different side that we could never imagine," Browns head coach Romeo Crennel said. "I anticipated that he would hand off the ball to the first defensive lineman he saw. I even game-planned for it, keeping a fullback deep in the backfield to tackle him if he started running the wrong way. But then he goes and throws a basic little dump-off pass to Cribbs in the flat and it turns into a touchdown."

"I'm not saying we wouldn't have made it to the regular season without him," said Crennel, "but his play certainly didn't hurt. Which is one hell of a nice surprise, let me tell you."

Charlie Frye has been confirmed as the starter for the Sept. 9 game. Quinn is currently fourth on the depth chart, behind Frye, Derek Anderson, and strong-armed long-snapper Ryan Pontbriand.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mike Trivisonno is an Idiot

I wish I had the time or energy to back that title up with a detailed analysis of his show but I don't have the time. I barely ever can drag myself to listen to the Big One (ironic) between 3 and 7 on weekdays; normally after a big trade or Browns game, that's about ever. But it absolutely amazes me to hear someone as entirely ignorant as him try to pass himself off as knowing anything at all about anything. Whether it's sports takes or his new-found neoconservative views, he makes asinine points (which I can see), and then backs them up with ridiculous or circular logic.

That being said, now Charlie Frye is gone (as of now it's an undisclosed draft pick; I heard 6th round which means the Browns got a deal, then I heard 3rd round pick and that means the Browns got a steal. Oh well, still worth it.)

I don't know if I want to start Brady Quinn or not, but here are my reactions to the two main reasons that people are giving NOT to start him immediately:
1. "Let him sit on the bench for a few weeks to learn the NFL."
-Ummm, from whom? Derek Anderson and Ken Dorsey???
2. "Look what happened to Tim Couch!"
-Two responses--first, isn't the O-Line supposed to be much improved, especially from 1999? And second, isn't it possible, just possible, that Tim Couch just plain sucked regardless? Not that Quinn might not suck too, but the Browns (and their fans) have seen enough to hope, and that's more than we saw from Timmy.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

We Can Still Go 15-1

Wow, how many more days, weeks, months and years can Browns fans take this. I’m probably the biggest optimist/homer when it comes to talking about the Browns and watching the Browns and reading about the Browns. I like to always look for the silver lining the small improvements that might not translate to wins, but are the good foundation for a decent football team. Unfortunalty the Browns can’t even be considered a decent football team. I know it’s only one game and blah blah blah, but my God it’s getting depressing. After the game I was actually happy that I didn’t get tickets to the game today because as depressing as it was at home it had to be worse sitting in the rain at the stadium watching Derek Anderson throwing to the wrong side of receivers. I don’t know where the Browns can go from here they totally opened the whole QB controversy again this week by benching Frye. (he did look horrible and held the ball for way to long) Despite the loss to me the scariest/most troubling thing to come out of the game today was they looked like the same exact team they were at the end of last year and haven’t been practicing for the past 9 months, and that only points to the people standing on the sidelines without the pads on. Maybe it’s just the first game jitters and next week will be different and I hope it will be (since I’m going, and don’t want to sit through a blow out), but I wouldn’t be shocked to see this happen again. I heard Peter King on NBC say that Savage called a 7 AM meeting for tomorrow morning to discuss some things with the team.

I heard Reghi say in the post game that since they went to Anderson so soon, they should cut Frye and bring back Dorsey since he was Brady’s mentor because it’s obvious that they need to get him ready to play sooner rather then later. Interesting thought….

Some random things from watching the game….

-I enjoyed the announcers trying to say the new punter muffed the catch on the first punt b/c he hasn’t worked out with the team for that long, like it was his fist time punting ever. The ball only hit him in the face mask, and he’s an NFL punter I’m pretty sure he’s caught a long snap before and catching the snap is a fundamental part of his job he doesn’t need excuses.

-Why did Lawrence Vickers dance after his touchdown catch, maybe he didn’t know we were down by 23 points at the time. If I were Romeo I bench his ass or at least chew him out. It doesn’t come across that well when players are dancing and we’re getting our asses handed to us. If Ian Ziering danced as well as Vickers did today he would have won Dancing with the Stars.

-Rich Gannon said that Eric Wright needed to watch out for the savvy veteran experience of Santonio Holmes while covering him. Since when does being in your second year make you a savvy veteran?

-while flipping to Golf during the game someone said “whoever shoots the lowest will win” I thought that’s how Golf usually works.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Plenty Meets the Eye

Someone mentioned that Doug gave a review of Transformers. I couldn't find it on the blog, so I don't know where it is. Here's my review. It's only two words long: MEGAN FOX:

Getting close to kickoff

A quick roundup of some 2007 Browns predictions...

Bill Simmons:

The Rebuilding Projects

28. Cleveland Browns
One year away from being turned around by Bill Cowher and his rejuvenated spittle.

TMQ's All Haiku Predictions (with computer simulated records):

If don't win this year,
UPS will change color.
Second Cleveland Browns.

Forecast finish: 7.6-8.4

Peter King: (from July)

32. Cleveland: The Browns are beginning to draft their way out of the abyss. But it's a pretty deep abyss.

King Kaufman:

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12, fourth place)
Four of the Browns' first five games are against Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Baltimore and New England. Better win the other one, against Oakland. The Browns' best day of the year was probably draft day, when they landed tackle Joe Thomas, then traded up to draft quarterback Brady Quinn.

Until he's ready, it'll be Charlie Frye handing off to the faded Jamal Lewis and throwing to talented but not yet good Braylon Edwards and supremely talented and good Kellen Winslow Jr. -- who's coming off microfracture knee surgery, which makes him a question mark. Cleveland's defense isn't good enough to make up for the offensive shortcomings. It's yet another rebuilding year, which is to say a building year, in Cleveland. If the task for Romeo Crennel's team is to improve on the 4-12 disaster of 2006, the chances for success are pretty good.

Best gimmick: Old-timey uniforms
Worst gimmick: Never having enough good football players
If they were a female pop star they would be: Ashlee Simpson

Rich Eisen on NFL.com:

And then there's the quarterback situation in Cleveland. After months of speculation over who the starting quarterback would be, coach Romeo Crennel finally gave us an answer. But the answer was far from definitive. Six days before the Browns' season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Crennel announced that Charlie Frye had beaten out Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn for the starting job ... against Pittsburgh. And that's it. The soft-spoken head coach praised Frye for his leadership skills and experience. He unequivocally stated Frye gave his team the best chance to win. But Crennel steadfastly refused to give Frye a whole-hearted endorsement beyond Week 1. Indeed, the quarterback position in Cleveland will be evaluated on a week-to-week basis. On one hand, it keeps pressure on Frye to keep his job and gives hope to anyone in the organization or fan base eager to see Quinn under center. On the other hand, it's a rare instance of an NFL head coach virtually inviting the media to ask him about the performance of his quarterback on a weekly basis. The Ohio media no doubt could not believe its ears, immediately pressing Crennel on why he wouldn't just name Frye his guy and proffer a policy of open-ended support rather than open-ended scrutiny. Crennel did not blink.

"I don't think anybody makes a guy a starter for the whole year because things happen in this game," Crennel said. "I think there's one team in the NFL (Jacksonville) who named a starter (Leftwich) and then all of a sudden named somebody else the starter (Garrard). So, hey, that's this business we're in. To say that a guy's the starter for a year, I can say that. But then if I leave him in the whole year, and if he's not doing good, then you're gonna say that, 'You're a bad coach, because you won't make a change.' So, it doesn't do me any good to sit here and say a guy's a starter for the whole year."

In other words, Crennel doesn't have a crystal ball.

What he certainly has is one big mess if Frye falters. The Browns have the proverbial make-or-break schedule to start the season: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, at Oakland, Baltimore, at New England, Miami, bye week. Or, depending on how those first six weeks transpire, Bye-Bye Week. Talk about needing a quick start: The Browns will be completely done with the home portion of their division schedule by the end of this month. In order to have even a remote chance at a successful year, they must take two of those three home games against their AFC North brethren and one of their two games on the road (I'd suggest targeting the game at Oakland rather than the one at New England.) And I don't buy Crennel's line of thinking. Not on Frye as choice of quarterback. If the coach feels he's the best guy for the job, who am I to claim to know his roster and players better than he? No, I think Crennel should have said Frye was his quarterback for the forseeable future, rather than admit his quarterback is on a one-week leash every single week. Isn't a team supposed to be more prone to succeed when they know who their quarterback is? Aren't we, as NFL fans and observers, taught that the most successful teams are the ones with consistency at the quarterback position?

Crennel essentially told the Ohio media that if he named Frye his guy and stuck with him despite poor play just so he could back his word that Frye was his guy, he'd get roasted. But if Frye throws two picks in a season-opening loss to hated Pittsburgh and Crennel still sticks with Frye even after defiantly claiming his quarterbacks were on a week-to-week evaluation, Crennel would get roasted, too. Right? Or would Crennel really bench Frye after one week and go with Anderson or Quinn in Week 2 against Cincinnati, starting two different quarterbacks in as many weeks to start a season? If Anderson falters against Cincinnati, would Crennel go to the raw rookie Quinn or go back to Frye, thus angering a fan base eager to see Quinn as soon as possible? Talk about inviting controversy. Thanks to Crennel's stance, it's a weekly referendum on the quarterback position in Cleveland. If the Browns stumble out of the gate, the media will quickly start asking the players where they stand on the situation. And the Browns have a handful of brash inmates in their offensive asylum who could add considerable grease to this fire if they speak out of turn to the wrong reporter. Do you see how quickly this can spiral out of control?

Two of the game's greats (heretofore referred to as GOATs, as in Greatests of All Time) disagree with me. Both Marshall Faulk and Terrell Davis applauded Crennel's candor. On Monday's NFL Total Access, Marshall and TD said they believe many players in the Browns locker room appreciate Crennel's straight-forwardness in dealing with a position that usually gets handled with kid gloves. It's about time a coach put a quarterback on the same thin ice as virtually everybody else on the team plays, they said.

And then there's this point from the GOAT running backs: If the whole team knows Frye is on a short leash by what they hear out of Crennel's mouth in practice, and then see that same mouth publicly claim to back Frye indiscriminately, then Crennel could be viewed as a hypocrite by his own players.

Bottom line: Crennel needs Frye to play well and do so from the first snap this Sunday. But we didn't need a crystal ball to know that, did we?

__________

We've already discussed the quarterback issue at length, so let's turn to the defense. Does it have a single playmaker of note? Second-year player Kamerion Wimbley appears to be emerging as one. The jury on the youthful secondary is still out, but the unit could be solidified by second-round character question mark Eric Wright out of UNLV. On offense, is this going to finally be the year an offensive line arrives in Cleveland? And will Jamal Lewis torch opponents the way he used to torch the Browns? Man, that's a load of questions on offense, to the point that the defense could wind up getting overburdened. Or the running game finally flourishes behind a resurgent offensive line and Brady Quinn gets to sit and learn from Frye as he leads the Browns back to the playoffs. Which will it be? Hmmm.

Len Pasquerelli on ESPN.com:

Although the Browns are an ugly 10-22 under the leadership of general manager Phil Savage and coach Romeo Crennel, the blueprint is a good one. The Browns have put a clear emphasis on building through the draft and filling in with some key free-agent acquisitions. Unfortunately, the franchise hasn't had much good fortune with some of its big-name free agents, with guys such as center LeCharles Bentley and cornerback Gary Baxter suffering catastrophic injuries.

The Browns are starting to get some nice, young pieces in place, such as tight end Kellen Winslow, wide receiver Braylon Edwards, linebacker Kamerion Wimbly and safeties Brodney Pool and Sean Jones. But this is a year in which Cleveland's progress may not be measured so much in wins as in growing up in general.

There will have to be progress in the division, or Crennel's job could be in jeopardy. Inside the division, the Browns are a miserable 1-11 the past two years. They have been outscored by an average of 13.5 points in those games, lost eight of them by 10 points or more and three by 20 or more points. The Browns will find out quickly how they stack up against their division foes this year because they face all three in the first month of the season.

A quick roundup of some 2007 Browns predictions...

Bill Simmons:

The Rebuilding Projects

28. Cleveland Browns
One year away from being turned around by Bill Cowher and his rejuvenated spittle.





King Kaufman:

4. Cleveland Browns (4-12, fourth place)
Four of the Browns' first five games are against Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Baltimore and New England. Better win the other one, against Oakland. The Browns' best day of the year was probably draft day, when they landed tackle Joe Thomas, then traded up to draft quarterback Brady Quinn.

Until he's ready, it'll be Charlie Frye handing off to the faded Jamal Lewis and throwing to talented but not yet good Braylon Edwards and supremely talented and good Kellen Winslow Jr. -- who's coming off microfracture knee surgery, which makes him a question mark. Cleveland's defense isn't good enough to make up for the offensive shortcomings. It's yet another rebuilding year, which is to say a building year, in Cleveland. If the task for Romeo Crennel's team is to improve on the 4-12 disaster of 2006, the chances for success are pretty good.

Best gimmick: Old-timey uniforms
Worst gimmick: Never having enough good football players
If they were a female pop star they would be: Ashlee Simpson

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Labor Day Takes

Not entirely unlike watching Brady Quinn tear up second- or third-tier defenses in the preseason and saying "well, he could have sucked against them, so it's a good sign," I was pretty impressed by Boeckman's performance against Youngstown State yesterday. A couple very nice passes, including a needle-threading touchdown to super-name-on-the-back frosh Dane Sanzenbacher. Who would have seen three true freshmen (Sanzenbacher, Saine, and Washington) all scoring touchdowns in Jim Tressel's system?!? Of course, as the PD points out with its "F" grade, the OSU goal-line offense left much to be desired. (Chris Wells called his performance "trash.") Bright spots, obviously, were Brian Robiskie's great game, and Brandon Saine showing fantastic potential on a few runs. I know, it's only a I-AA team (or whatever the NCAA is calling that division now), but it could have been worse! (Ha!) OSU 38-YSU 6. Next up...Akron. Whoopie.

Had to trek to a bar to watch the Big Ten network. Not too bad coverage, but noticed pretty much no on-screen graphics where they show the player's name and stats. Same thing in the studio, beside Dave Revsine, I didn't know who anyone was. Only one time during the game do I remember seeing a player's stats superimposed on the video of him. Wonder why? At least they have a first down line on-screen though.

Two weeks ago, nearly every Tribe fan in town was seriously gripping over the team's recent performance. Now, after a fantastic (and thrilling) week, they look to be in solid control. Now if Pronk could only start hitting like he can... Right now (Sunday), the prediction site CoolStandings.com has the Tribe with a 94.3% chance of making the postseason. BaseballProspectus has the Tribe's chances at 91.7%. CoolStandings also has run the first 14 games of the NFL season based on last year's stats, and have the Browns with a 6-8 record (after running off 3 straight wins). Of course, also have them eliminated from any postseason chances. And, of course, if they are truly 3-10 after 13 weeks, I think Romeo will be counting his money at home during the week instead of running the team's practices.

North W L T PCT PF PA EW EL ET DIV WC POFF
Baltimore 9 5 0 .643 18.7 11.1 9.6 6.4 0.0 61.2 3.2 64.4
Pittsburgh 7 7 0 .500 23.2 20.9 8.4 7.6 0.0 36.0 5.2 41.2
Cincinnati 7 7 0 .500 20.3 20.2 8.1 7.9 0.0 2.8 2.6 5.5
Cleveland 6 8 0 .429 16.9 24.1 6.7 9.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

Terry Pluto debuted with the Plain Dealer on Sunday. Although I could have done without his column explaining why more people should have gone to Cleveland Browns Stadium to watch Akron battle Army, I liked the "Terry's Talking" page.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Y-A-W-N

Jason Lloyd points out in the News-Herald that the first four Buckeyes opponents' names basically spell out what we all will be doing. Youngstown State, Akron, Washington, Northwestern. Also an interesting quote from Mrs. Quinn himself, A.J. Hawk: "This is Ohio State. We don't play I-AA schools."

One more thing about Ohio State. Ex-prez Karen Holbrooke has drawn some almost defensive critisism from OSU people for her comments:

“When you win a game, you riot. When you lose a game, you riot. When spring comes, you riot. African-American Heritage Festival weekend, you riot,” Holbrook said on the tape.

“They think it’s fun to flip cars, to really have absolute drunken orgies. … I don’t want to be at a place that has this kind of culture as a norm.”

I've seen responses like "it happens everywhere" or "it's not that bad". When I was there, I saw some ugly behavior, but nothing was a more disconcerting feeling to me than the pre-game OSU-Michigan in 2002. I could feel the passion, but in a negative way, like maybe, just maybe, a Michigan fan was going to get murdered that day. Nobody got murdered, but I wasn't suprised to hear that blocks away from where I was, the normal "rioting" and turning over of cars was going on. I still don't understand why some jackasses feel the need to launch a bottle or light up a La-Z-Boy if their team wins. Or loses.