Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Random Thoughts

On the Browns and the Cavs... I can't promise any of this is coherent.
  • I don't get the Browns... I'm no longer going to even pretend to. I'm just going to hope "good team" shows up each week and not "bad team"
  • I care about the Cavs at about 3 points during the year: (the season is waaaaayyyy too long for me to follow at other points)
  1. When they come to New York or New Jersey and/or I am going to the game
  2. Once the playoff start
  3. Tonight. So we can avenge the playoffs last year.
  • Z is one gangly white guy
  • Shaun Rogers. BEAST. He's up for defensive MVP this week and well deserved. I would not want to cross him. In a dark alley or otherwise. Especially if I was a small animal. He might eat me in one bite.
  • The Celtics may have knocked us out of the playoffs last year. But does their scoreboard shoot fire? I think not!
  • Seriously... what did the Browns do differently last week and against the Giants?
Eat their Wheaties? Down a can of spinach Popeye style before the game?

Drink some Redbull (Phil Dawson gives you wiiiiiinnnnnngggggggsssssss)

I guess we'll never know.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

My take on the Injury Report

So apparently I now take requests on blog topics. This one comes from Ryan H. of Columbus, OH. Today we will discuss my analysis of this week's Cleveland Browns Injury Report (real or imagined!)

This post is brought to you by the Cleveland Clinic's Staph Infection Special Victims Unit.

Kellen Winslow is listed as out for this week. He is suffering from a severe case of diarrhea of the mouth. Side effects include: Bruised ego, broken spirit, and weakened relationships with authority figures.

In other tight end news, backup Steve Heiden did not practice yesterday due to a strained pectoral muscle (sadly, I did not make this one up). Romeo did not seem concerned, and has voiced that the veteran will be available to play come Sunday (he had limited participation in today's practice). Heiden, in the meantime, is getting ready for the game by flexing his pecs in front of the mirror (and/or Brady Quinn) for several hours a day.

Braylon Edwards has been suffering with an on again off again case of dropsies all season. This devastating condition plagued him much of the early part of the season. According to WebMD, this can be contagious and effect other team members in varying ways. It seemed to have cleared up in the Monday night game against the Giants, but he appeared to have a relapse last week against the Redskins. Hopefully he has found the cure and will be 100% for this week.

The defense is again a bit thin this week with both Shaun Smith (hand) and Corey Williams (shoulder) missing practice yesterday. I have hope here though. Smith has been out the past two weeks, and Williams is questionable. Our defense has been looking better, but as is usually the case, you never know what team is going to show up with the Browns. But looking at the NFL standings/records, mediocrity and inconsistency seem to be the norm in this league right now....

Apparently Jamal Lewis did not participate today, but is listed as a non-injury. Ummm... ok? One can only hope that this is not another case of the Browns covering up something a la Winslow's "undisclosed illness".

So there you have it. The injury report as seen by me. There's a few others that are out, and who knows, some of these may not be. Let's hope that we've got enough gas in the tanks though to go out and put up another win on Sunday.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Theeeeyyyy're bbbaaaccckkkkk.....

Yep, that was the Browns. Typical. I want the MNF team back. :( I'm tired of wondering which Browns team is going to show up from week to week.

After spending an awesome weekend in North Carolina for a reunion with my college roommates, I was pumped to hang out and watch the game with my good friend, former roommate, and fellow Browns fan (hi Ashley!). Being told that the Browns Backers bar in Columbia, SC where she lives is a bit creepy, we were pretty pumped that the game was being shown locally. Also, I'm obsessed this pop (yes pop, NOT soda) they have in the Carolinas called Cheerwine. So I was pretty excited to veg on Ash's couch with some Cheerwine and Sonic and watch the game. The Cheerwine was last night's only savior. Way to make me grumpy Browns! (Also made grumpier by the fact I'm now sitting at the airport... waiting for my flight back to NYC)

Seriously Browns? SERIOUSLY! I really think that if we would have decided to start playing during the first freaking quarter rather than halfway through the last quarter, we may have had a fighting chance and wouldn't have had to try and kick a freaking 54 yard field goal to tie the game with 30 seconds left. Only the Browns. And I'm so F*ing sick of kicking freaking field goals when we should have scored touchdowns. Although kudos on the TWO attempts at the TD on 4th and goal. The second one was a gift from the football gods, although it almost looked like they were showing a replay of the first try though when we were stopped short on pretty much third and inches both times. At least we were attempting to have some balls (there's a Winslow joke there somewhere...).

Also, I really want to know what Brady Quinn did to Romeo Crennel. Because I'm pretty sure that he has to have done something to him for Romeo to be so dead set on DA. Yes, I understood DA had an awesome game last week, but this week, not so much. And I'm just talking in general. I'm thinking BQ probably hit on his wife. Or maybe his son. I'm convinced that's got to be it.

My spirit is too broken and my frustration too high to really say much more. Last week's hope is all but gone. As an aside though, I must say that I will never be able to take Clinton Portis seriously, even though he ran all over us yesterday. And that is because of this ridiculous commercial, which somehow me and my roommate discovered a few years ago, and still makes me crack up at its awfulness every time I see it. (Also keep an eye out for Carmelo Anthony, random firefighters washing their truck, and the secretary jamming at her desk... too funny) So at least I have that and the cheerwine going for me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Our Superbowl

(ok had to get that out of my system first)

When your season starts as slowly (ok, horribly) as the Browns did this year, its never a good thing. Especially when it was hyped up to be so much more. Coming into this week, this game was make or break. We could essentially count our season as over if we didn't start winning. And on national tv? Against the defending Superbowl champs? On a Monday night (for the first time in 5 years)? Well, its safe to say, that for Cleveland fans, Monday night was our Superbowl. So this is what it feels like to be on top, eh?

Seriously, that might be overreacting a bit, but not much. My loyal readers have been wondering when my post MNF blog was going to be written (and by my loyal readers, I mean by brother, best friend, and people who are bored at work) and what the reactions of New Yorkers have been (Seriously, we treated this game like the Superbowl, expecting to leave a wake of devastation. In the realm of Cleveland, we failed to see this as just another game) My brother even went so far as to suggest that I call this week's post "How does my ass taste". After my rant awhile back about rubbing it in and "kicking a dog when he's down", I chose to go a different route.

But I digress. My thoughts now that I've had a chance to digest the fact that Monday actually happened and it wasn't a dream. I was slow at work during the day and had spent some time reading about the game from varying sources. This of course left me nervous. I was quite honestly stressing out about a game in which I had no control. I found myself saying at the begining of the game, "I really don't expect to win this game, all I ask for is that we do not embarass ourselves on national tv". This was the very phrase I said 5 years ago en route to Cleveland Browns stadium for the last Monday night game we played. Though I would soon come to see the outcome would be very different. (Aside from the fact that 5 years ago included tailgating in a parking garage, randomly ending up seated next to my uncle at the game, and sneaking vodka into the stadium in an aquafina bottle, but that's another story)

Our offense started out in typical "2008 Browns" fashion. Falling just short of a TD and having to settle for 3. Then in a twist of fate, we intercepted and were given a second try, which again, in typical '08 Browns fashion fell short when PD missed a 50-some yard attempt. But as the first half went on, I began to notice something. The 2008 Browns began to play in a very untypical fashion. They were playing like a professional football team!! Braylon was catching passes! We were blocking! We were making key stops on defense! I don't know who this team was, but I hope to God they stick around!! I could get used to this team.

We scored late in the second quarter to take a 10 point lead, and in a cloud of euphuria I took a stupid bet with a Giants fan that I was watching the game with. He bet me all the money in his wallet (which amounted to $6) that they Giants would score again before the half was out. I knew this was probably going to happen. But I didn't care! I was excited! My adreneline was pumping! I had faith in my team! Plus, I admitadly know very little about gambling. I took the bet and lost my $6, but in hindsight, it was $6 well spent. (Maybe I should have gone double or nothing in the second half....)

I don't have much faith in the Browns as a second half team. I'm a Cleveland fan and eternally skeptical. I was nervous again as the 3rd quarter began. But as I had lost count on the pitchers of beer in front of us by this point, that nervousness was numbed a bit. And then things began to get exciting! We began to put points on the board! Several times! So THIS is what real football looks like!?!?!??! After a TD pass to Braylon, shortly followed by an interception which we returned for a TD, the game was essentially over.

The Browns bar I watch the games at is also a Giants bar. The crowd on Monday had been about half and half. It was about this time that half of the bar began to clear out. I'll give you one guess as to what half that was. I on the other hand was on cloud 9. While there were many upset Giants fans on Monday night (um our Giants fans friends stormed out without so much as a goodbye), life in New York did go on. I didn't get evil glares from co-workers, despite my Cleveland Browns wallpaper on my computer, and even got some 'good games' from a few people.

I don't know what this means for my boys going forward. Our play was far from flawless. We still made stupid mental mistakes, but lucky for us, the good outshined the bad. The Giants also made many mistakes, and eventually those cost them the game. If we can continue to play with the fire and intensity that we did in the national spotlight on Monday, we may still just have a shot.

Here's hoping....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Romeo's facebook page

I sneaked a peek at Coach Crennel's facebook page tonight. Check it out for yourself. Click the image to view it larger.

Monday, October 6, 2008

That's What She Said: MNF edition

With the Browns bye week, I don't really have much spouting off to do. Having the sense of humor of Michael Scott, I always appreciate a good "that's what she said" joke. Lucky for me, football games offer countless opportunities for this.

The follow are actual phrase uttered during this week's Monday night football game:

"What a great grab"

"Great penetration by the safety right there"

"Tight end" (ok that one is kind of a push...)

"Campbell sneaks in from behind"

"He comes out of the pocket and gets the ball to Bush" (really... I'm starting to approach "the line"...)

"You've got Williams coming in your face" (annndddd... I crossed it... the announcers said it not me!)

"It's a little short, they might have to measure that"

"He's really good in this position"

"He's been in position to score a million times"

"Oh NO!" "Oh no what? You can't leave us hanging like that, is it out or is it not out" (I am in tears... I can't make this stuff up!)

"Coming up, your fastest three minutes"

"He had protection"

I think that that is more than enough inappropriateness for one night... but on unrelated side note.... Reggie Bush is apparently dating Kim Kardashian?!? All jokes aside, this was one exciting MNF game... hopefully next week will be the same....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bitter Sweet

Well I'd like to start off by saying that I'm pretty excited that I know that we will go two weeks without a loss. (Since we somehow managed a win last week and we don't play this week). That's something right?

It seems like all the good things I can point out about this team this year and said through clenched teeth. Its all bitter sweet. Like two weeks without a loss. If only that translated into back to back wins....

The win against the Bengals in and of itself was bitter sweet. We didn't play amazing football, winning a game with our heads held high. Oh no. We merely embarrassed ourselves slightly less than an even worse team who was playing with a back up QB. I think our defense was our best offense this week. At least we walked away without a zero at the front of our record.

There was one play this week that was stood out to me as so typical of the team this year. We had a nice interception in I think the 2nd quarter, that on the return, was fumbled. I'm pretty sure the Bengals GAINED yardage on that play. As I've said before, its not that we aren't being given opportunities, it's that we are failing to do anything with them.

This past game also somewhat delays the inevitable. Mind you I don't think I could have functioned this week due to the cloud of depression that would have resulted from a loss to this joke of a team. I will take a win over a loss in all circumstances. But at least it would have forced some action. In terms of staff, QB, etc, etc. Now we're stuck dealing with the same crap for at least another game or two.

There's just so much wrong with this team right now. I really hope they can fix some things in the extra time they have due to the bye week. Somehow, I don't see that happening though. I had a conversation with a friend who recently got a position as an intern for one of the major Cleveland news channels covering sports. Very cool job which has given him the chance to visit the locker room, go to practices, interview players, etc. Yesterday he told me that during a recent trip to the locker room, several players with large contracts were complaining about practicing in the rain. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!? This is your freaking job!!! This is football. In Cleveland. Bad weather comes with the territory. Be glad it's not snowing. You're getting paid millions of dollars to do this. I promise, you will not melt. No wonder we can't win games against real teams.

So I guess now we wait. Wait to get our asses handed to us on a platter on national TV. I really hope I eat my words. Somehow though, I doubt it.