Football
Category

By In Browns

Browns Diary Week 3

There’s a fun little game that I’ve started to play in my continuing effort to get into The Good Place by rooting for the Cleveland Browns. I call it: “Can the Browns trick me into thinking they will actually win?”

Here is how it works: I go into every game knowing that the Browns will lose. That’s sensible, right? The Browns have lost 21 of their last 24 games and, as the line in Bull Durham goes, the only mystery is how they won those three games.

“It’s a miracle,” Larry says.

“It’s a miracle,” Skip adds.

(more…)

Read more

By In Browns

Belichick and the Browns

Last night, while Bill Belichick was adding a few more sprinkles to his ice cream sundae of genius, this was tweeted out:

(more…)

Read more

By In Football

Buddy Ryan

CmIVOURVAAIZapI

From NBC SportsWorld:

Buddy Ryan died on Tuesday and there won’t ever be another one like him. “Quarterbacks,” he wrote in his playbooks, as discovered by Smart Football’s Chris Brown, “are overpaid, overrated, pompous bastards and must be punished.” If ever there were 10 words to sum up the coaching philosophy (and general philosophy) of James David “Buddy” Ryan, it is those …

Get the Quarterback

Read more

By In Football

Coin Flips and Hail Marys

From NFL SportsWorld:

The NFL is a league of contrasts. There are a million rules but most, by the league’s own admission, are not officiated to the letter. There are dozens of penalties but most, by the league’s own admission, are not called. There is an intensive, slow motion replay system used to make sure that calls are precise and correct but, as we often say here, the most basic measurement of the game is still made using a link chain and the rough estimate of an official 20 yards away.

Contrasts. The key, I think, is perception. Football fans have to believe, rightly or wrongly, that behind the quirks and oddities and honest efforts, there is an integrity to the sport — that is to say, people need to believe it’s fair.

With that in mind, I’m just not sure how much longer than can keep making an overtime coin flip such a critical part of who will win playoff football games.

Read my story: Wonder of it all

Read more

By In Browns, Football

(Browns) Hope (Sort of) Springs Eternal

From NBC SportsWorld:

Maybe it comes from watching the Browns botch up everything over the last decade, but the prompt and drama-free Hue Jackson hiring seemed to signal something unusual in Cleveland. Competence? A sense of purpose? Focus? I don’t know what you call it but, for a moment, the Browns have given fans a reason to believe.

Caveat: Jackson has announced his intention to call his own plays and not hire an offensive coordinator. So, as I said on Twitter, I’d like to put a courtesy hold on that Browns optimism.

Hope Springs Eternal

Read more

By In Football

Alcoa’s Fantastic Finishes

From NBC SportsWorld:

You might remember a version of this story from a couple of years ago … I go back and find the history of Alcoa’s Fantastic Finishes. More, though, it’s a memory of watching the NFL many years ago, before Red Zone Channels and constant highlights and football games on Sunday night. It is amazing to me how many people remember that same feeling of dread I felt when the “60 Minutes” ticker would start.

Story of Fantastic Finishes

Read more

By In Browns, Football

Drew Carey and the Browns

From NBC SportsWorld:

Drew Carey has given up on the Cleveland Browns. This was the fact that kept echoing in my head as I watched every minute of the Browns’ humiliating and brain-dead 37-3 loss to the Bengals on Sunday. Drew Carey — Mr. Cleveland, the city’s native son, a guy who has had his own Cleveland Indians bobblehead day, a man who (like me) cried after Brian Sipe threw the Red Right 88 interception against Oakland in 1981 — has given up on the Browns.

“You don’t have to support them just because they’re in Cleveland,” he told me two days before the game. We were in Las Vegas, him to host the NASCAR Awards show, and me to ride in a race car and spin donuts with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“You don’t have to support them,” Carey said. “You don’t have to do it. … If somebody owned a sandwich shop in Cleveland, and they were selling (bleepy) sandwiches, you don’t have to buy the (bleepy) sandwiches just because they’re from Cleveland. You could buy sandwiches from anywhere. You could buy them from a chain.”

At least the orchestra is elite

Read more

By In Browns

The Cleveland Browns Diary

For your general amusement and disgust, here is the Browns diary I’ve been writing all year — will keep updating with new links.

* * *

Game 11: Browns lose to Ravens on last second blocked field goal.

“He slid. Maybe he thought it would be fun to slide.”

* * *

Game 10: Browns obliterated by Pittsburgh.

“You should literally make your entire Browns piece this week just be a photo of Manziel with the ball just floating out of his hand,” pal Michael Schur texted me.

“On the first play,” he texted next.

“Against the Steelers,” he added helpfully.

* * *

Game 9: Browns obliterated by Cincinnati.

“On Thursday, May 8 of the year 2014, the Cleveland Browns drafted Jonathan Paul Manziel, nee Football, with the 22nd overall pick. There are two staggering legends that go along with his drafting. One is that owner Jimmy Haslam was walking into a restaurant in Cleveland not long before the draft when, as he described it, a homeless man looked up and said, “Draft Manziel.” I like to think of this as Haslam playing George Bailey in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Haslam: “Where are your wings?”

Homeless man: “I have to earn them. And you’ll help me, won’t you?”

Haslam: “Sure, sure. How?”

Homeless man: “Draft Manziel.”

* * *

Game 8: Browns blow lead, lose to Arizona

Dwayne Bowe has been such a catastrophe that Cleveland just leaves him inactive most weeks. When asked about that, Farmer shrugged: “My job is to try and help bring the talent here,” he said. Yes. Yes it is.

* * *

Game 7: Browns defense collapses against St. Louis

Karlos Dansby said this about defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s system:

“I’m trying to hone in how he wants to do it, because every coach is different. It’s a learning curve, man. Like I say, you’ve got a PhD in it. You’re trying to get a Doctorate now.”

* * *

Game 6: Browns somehow, somehow lose to Denver

“What the (bleep) was that?” Mike shouted at me. “Why are you dragging me into your (bleeping) Browns insanity? What the (bleep) was that? And you know what the worst part is? You were out, man! You were totally out. Yeah, you grew up in Cleveland, you had to root for the team so you could have friends, but then you were out! Why would you VOLUNTARILY go back into this (bleep). Why?”

And then, he asked the most pertinent question of all.

“And why would you drag me into your Cleveland (bleep)?” he shouted.

* * *

Game 5: What? Browns win! Browns beat Ravens! Radio announcer and legend Doug Dieken celebrates in his own way.

His broadcasting style is, shall we say, sparse. Here would be a fairly typical exchange.

Play-by-play man Jim Donovan: “Well Doug, now you have the ball with one timeout left and just 39 seconds on the clock …

Dieken: (Silence)

Donovan: “First down and 10 at the 20 …”

* * *

Game 4: Browns pull defeat out of the jaws of victory against San Diego.

But is Cleveland really jinxed or is that something that we Clevelanders just tell ourselves to make it all seem a little more romantic?

* * *

Game 3: Browns comeback against Oakland falls short. Of course.

The Browns have a dog mascot named “Swagger.” I did not know this until Sunday and honestly don’t know how to feel about it.

* * *

Game 2: Browns soundly beat Tennessee, are still dreaming good things.

Orange is orange, right? Technically, the Browns went from Pantone 2026 C to Pantone 2028 C — so, hey, what’s two Pantones among friends, right? The Browns’ color had been Sunbaked Orange or Knockout Orange or just plain Orange, depending on the brand of paint. Now, it is Montana Dust or Poppy or Tangelo. So there you go: From orange to tangelo, really, we’re dealing with the same fruit family. It seemed like a nothing deal. Orange is orange is orange is the new black. It’s all good, no?

No. The answer is very, very much NO. It’s not all good.

* * *

Game 1: Cleveland loses to Jets as I return to Browns fandom

So, no, it isn’t easy coming back. Well, comebacks are never easy. All you can do it try again next week. Maybe a quarterback change would help.

Read more

By In Browns, Football

Another Browns Week

From NBC SportsWorld

Rooting for the Browns to win at Pittsburgh used to mean everything to me. There really wasn’t much chance for that this week. But at least I had some text exchanges with Michael Schur to keep my mind off the horrors.

Just the Pitts

Read more

By In Football

The Last Days of Peyton

From NBC SportsWorld:

Two years ago, Peyton Manning had the greatest statistical season of his numerically dazzling career. You remember — he was 37 years old and two years removed from a horrible neck injury. People went into the season more worried more about his safety than his passing numbers. He threw for an NFL record 5,477 yards, threw an NFL-record 55 touchdown passes and was named The Associated Press Most Valuable Player for the fourth time. He carried his Denver Broncos to the Super Bowl, lighting up Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots for 400 passing yards and two touchdowns in the AFC title game.

This was, to repeat, just two years ago.

This is the End

Read more