Monday, August 31, 2009


I emailed this to the Rizzo show this morning and they've been playing it all morning...

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's not HBO, it's just TV

Okay, to preface this, I hadn't ever watched the show "Weeds" on Showtime before last night.  It's gotten such great buzz and and I heard it's amazing, but I never had Showtime so never got to see it.

Sunday night, I tried to get into it.  I have Netflix streaming through the XBox (pretty cool!), and so sat down to watch a couple episodes.  Now, I'm sure that there are some fans out there, and maybe (hopefully?) it gets better, but from what I saw in the first two episodes, it was total garbage television.  A great premise, Mary Louise Parker is awesome, etc., but the actual product was some of the most crappy television I have ever seen.  Terrible, unrealistic, campy dialogue, continuity issues in directing, terrible acting by several people, etc, etc.

Now, maybe I'm just used to HBO standards, and maybe that's not fair, but Weeds, at least in the beginning, is not even in the same ballpark as anything on HBO, FX, or any broadcast network.

I'll keep plowing through the season, and hopefully it gets better.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Browns save GLC, city's collective sanity

You may now go limp, Browns fans.

Saturday night’s Great Lakes Classic™ versus the Detroit Lions will be televised after all. The Blackout Clock was at 11 and steadily nearing midnight when our benevolent football franchise swooped in and saved the broadcast of this tradition-rich pre-season contest.

As reported by Plain Dealer Browns’ beat reporter Tony Grossi:

Approximately 4,800 tickets were available as of this morning, but the Browns and (WKYC Channel 3) agreed to share the cost of the half-price seats. There was no word from the club (regarding) what will be done with the unsold tickets.

According to my sources within the media, local restaurants, concert venues and charity events were deluged with a massive tidal wave of cancellations and refund requests mere minutes after the announcement was made. It seems the entire City of Cleveland will be watching as the Browns attempt to wrest the Bronze Barge trophy back from the Lions. Make us proud, boys!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Give me one reason to stay here

The New Browns have become the gridiron version of “Groundhog Day.” While Bill Murray comically deadpanning his way through the same depressing day over and over again was vastly entertaining, there’s nothing fun about watching this pale, limp-wristed football franchise get thoroughly outplayed season after aggravating season.

I hate to base a good rant on two quarters of a preseason game, but the first 30 minutes of Saturday night’s stultifyingly dull 17-0 loss to the Green Bay Packers were reflective of everything that has ailed this team since its return in 1999. You had your “micro” variety problems -dropped passes, dumb penalties, sieve-like run defense, zero pass rush – to go with your “macro” issues that have plagued the Browns for a dawg’s age, i.e. a lack of playmakers and a tendency to get pushed around at the line of scrimmage.

That brief sketch is all you really need to know about last weekend’s contest. I’ll leave the detailed film study to Coach Mangini and defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, the latter or whom has beautiful wavy silver hair and looks a little like Charlton Heston in “The Ten Commandments.” (Neither a headset nor a humid Green Bay night could muss that impressive pompadour. So we’ve got that going for us at least.)

Indeed, my concern is much larger than two bad preseason quarters. It entails this football club extricating itself from the lightless void of perpetual suck that has consumed three management regimes in a decade’s span. Ever see that episode of “Seinfeld” where George is lamenting his lousy love life? He tells Jerry, “I cannot envision any circumstance in which I'll ever have the opportunity to have sex again. How’s it gonna happen?”

In a way, that’s how I feel about these Browns. What’s it going to take for this broken organization to play even in the same universe as Pittsburgh and Baltimore, two well-run franchises with solid organizational philosophies from which they do not waver? How’s it gonna happen?

With Randy Lerner as owner, I believe it will simply take a massive dose of luck for the toxic cycle of losing to finally end. I have no idea who Lerner was consulting with when he quickly paired Messrs Mangini and Kokinis this offseason. I don’t know if it’s going to work, and I don’t think Lerner knows either. I’m just hoping that Lerner’s seemingly half-assed due diligence works out somehow, and by some miracle of modern science ManKok becomes pro football’s new superpowered management team. But such blue-skying is not much to hang one’s hat on, is it?

Which brings me to the crux of my dilemma approaching this NFL season: Put simply(and blasphemously perhaps), I’m finding it very difficult to care about the Browns. The stone fact that they’re not going to make the playoffs is not even the biggest issue. A losing year in 2009 is almost a certainty. What will drain my reserves is a continued lack of perceptible progress; some sign that this plodding, boring brontosaurus of a franchise is pulling itself from the tar pit.

So, after such a long-winded treatise, what I’m saying is this: If the Browns are playing non-competitive football by Week 11 or 12, I’m checking out on the season. That’s it...I’m just not going to put forth the effort anymore to watch lousy football out of some misguided sense of loyalty. Call me a fairweather fan if you must, but rest assured I'm damned sick of the rain.

There’s an adage that says a bad team may be bad for a couple of seasons, while a bad franchise may stay that way for decades. I hope the latter is not the case with our Browns, but until they show fans that they’re not the sad-eyed football version of Punxsutawney Phil, I will find it hard to believe otherwise.