Grady’s mug shot

November 30, 2009

 

The Cleveland sports scene finally got one right — it’s Grady Sizemore who’s naked all over the Internet.

Just imagine Cleveland sports as a high-school gym class. The gym teacher chooses two captains and everyone waits to see who gets picked first and who gets picked last. But imagine the game the class is dividing up for teams that day is “Let’s Take a Naked Self-Portrait and Email it To Someone.” Who do you think the top pick would be? That’s right, Grady Sizemore. Or maybe the No. 2 pick, after Brady Quinn.

Grady and Brady, those are the two Cleveland sports figures that people want to see naked. At least Austin Powers naked, with a strategically placed mug the only thing in the way. We got our top pick out there. Even Indians general manager Mark Shapiro knew the importance of this moment:

“I have not seen the pictures,” Shapiro told The Plain Dealer, “but I will look into it.”

Of course you will, Mark. Just like everyone else “will look into it.”

So give yourself a round of applause, Cleveland. You’re represented well by Grady’s self-shots. We all know that not every professional athlete looks great in uniform, much less out of it. Cleveland’s got its fair share of those.

Just think of all the Cleveland sports figures who could’ve been naked. Who would be Cleveland sports’ Top Gym Class Picks You DON’T Want to See Naked On The Internet? Here’s our first team:  

1) Shaun Rogers

When 6-foot-4 Shaun Rogers was with the Detroit Lions he weighed more than 400 pounds. He’s since slimmed down to a listed 350 pounds as a Brown, though he most certainly weighs more. Rogers is the biggest Brown of them all. Based on the team roster he’s 20 pounds heavier than Ahtyba Rubin, the next heaviest man on the Browns.  

So while Rogers is as big as they get and no one wants to piss him off by saying he’s the top pick in the please-keep-your-clothes-on draft, really Shaun, please keep your clothes on. Or at least keep the cameras away when your clothes are off. We really don’t need to see what size coffee mug you need.

2) Zydrunas Ilgauskas

Ilgauskas is about to set the Cavs record for most games played in a career. No one wants him to break Grady’s record for most naked pictures taken with a coffee mug. Ilgauskas might be tall, but kinda looks like a round, tall fencepost. No one’s saying Z’s not in shape. He’s just not the type of guy anyone imagines naked (or so I’m told).

Seeing a naked picture of Zydrunas would be like walking in on your uncle as he stepped out of the shower. You like your uncle and all, you think he’s cool and you might like to grow up to be just like him. But no one wants to see their uncle naked. Or Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

3) Jhonny Peralta

Poor Jhonny Peralta. The guys’ averaged 18 home runs and 78 RBI per year since becoming a full-timer yet nobody likes him. He drew more criticism than anyone on the Indians last season other than Eric Wedge, and he never complains.

He does pout a lot, though. With his baby face and slight double chin he looks like he’s in pain during half his at-bats. His uniform doesn’t fit quite right and he’s probably yet to be introduced to a treadmill. All this adds up to not only Cleveland’s least favorite Indian heading into 2010, but also Cleveland’s least favorite naked Indian. Keep your balls on the field, Jhonny.

4) Phil Dawson

Phil Dawson might be the most fit guy in Cleveland sports. Maybe he eats egg whites and peanut butter for snacks, healthy fish and chicken for dinner, and never eats bacon for breakfast. He might do yoga and Pilates on a daily basis. None of this matters.

He’s a kicker.  Alex Karras ruined it for kickers 30 years ago when he described them as foreigners who could barely speak English and didn’t know the rules. He imitated a fictional kicker by saying, “Hooray, I keek touchdown.” Forever after, kickers have not been thought of as athletes. 

So Phil Dawson, you might be the only kicker the new Browns have ever known. You might be one of the best Browns we’ve had. You might be the nicest guy and look really good out of a jock strap. No one wants to see it. You’re a kicker. You could probably grow a really good porn stache, but you’re a kicker. Keep your goal post hidden.

5) Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal is gigantic. Humongous. Gargantuan. He weighs just about as much as Shaun Rogers (325 pounds listed weight) and is almost as tall as Zydrunas Ilgauskas (7-foot-1). He is as big as his own Fathead. He is just a big, big, big, big man.

Shaq is also always sweaty. Sitting under a 60-watt light bulb makes Shaq sweat.  It would be scary to look at a naked, sweaty Shaq self-portrait. First of all, would he even be able to fit himself in a mirror? If he were taking his own picture in Grady Sizemore’s bathroom Shaq would have to bend over. The room is too small for him. If you saw Shaq naked and sweaty it would be like looking at the sun without sunglasses. It might be quite an impressive sight, but there’s no question that your eyes would just melt right into your head and you’d be blinded for life.

Please, Shaq, for our sakes, keep your naked, sweaty self to yourself.

If anyone out there runs into Grady Sizemore anytime soon, thank him on behalf of God Hates Cleveland Sports. Thank him on behalf of your wife or girlfriend or sister. Thank him on behalf of Cleveland sports fans everywhere. Because just think about who it might have been, and shudder.

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Thanks for the memories

November 26, 2009

 

Believe it or not, there’s plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day when it comes to Cleveland sports. Don’t believe it? Well, we’ve got LeBron James. For now. How can a Cleveland sports fan not be thankful for the reigning NBA MVP? It’s a nightly highlight show with the league’s best player, a veritable did-that-just-happen fest each time he takes the court. 

And the Cavs are a pretty good team, too.So we’ve got that going for us. Beyond LeBron James, what do we have to be thankful for?

Well, we’ve got … um … errrrrrr … uh … well, there’s the Cleveland Browns faux Snuggies. That’s really cool. Progressive Field hasn’t been foreclosed upon or caught on fire like many of the vacant houses around Cleveland. No one has died on the field in any Indians, Browns, or Cavs game this year. Everyone’s thankful for that.Really, we do have a few more things to be thankful for around Cleveland. Consider …

* Thank you to the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets for being so awful that the movie 2012 looks like an Oscar winner next to them. Before the season these two teams were considered the leading suitors for LeBron’s services simply because they call Gotham their home. Now, at 3-27 combined (all three wins by the Knicks, one over the Nets) they’re just a couple of dogs whose owners should put them down. * Thank you to to the Lake Catholic Cougars, Maple Heights Mustangs, and Glenville Tarblooders. If not for your semifinal runs in the state football playoffs, we would have nothing but the Browns to look at when it came to football in Cleveland this year.

* Thank you to Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow Jr.. They’re nowhere near Cleveland anymore, but they’re still being heard loud and clear on the shores of Lake Erie. And here’s what we’re hearing: 2-15. That’s the combined record of the New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers with these two ex-Browns. The Jets were 3-0 when Edwards joined them. They’ve gone 1-6 since, same as the Browns sans Edwards. You hear about addition by subtraction all the time, but the formula for subtraction by addition = Braylon Edwards + Kellen Winslow Jr. 

* Thank you to the Indians for being as rotten as they were. If they were simply mediocre or merely average, there wouldn’t have been hundreds of empty seats right behind home plate. And thanks to the Cleveland Clinic for subsidizing the Indians by giving away tickets all throughout August and September. Not very many people will be able to sit 30 yards from home plate for free when there’s a good team on the field!*

* Thank you to Eric Mangini. No, really. The Browns might be unwatchable, but their coach is must-see TV. He might only be here for a year but he’s already left a trail of wreckage that would make any tornado jealous. There’s the trades of Kellen Winslow, Braylon Edwards, and the Browns first-round pick that have left us with center Alex Mack and an Internet full of message-board threats and diatrbies. There’s the $1,701 he imposed on one of his players for not paying for a $3 bottle of water from a hotel. There’s the shoulder injury rookie running back James Davis suffered during a practice drill that drew an investigation from the NFL. There’s the sacking of general manager and most likely former Mangini friend George Kokinis that provided more drama than the best arc of Gray’s Anatomy. There’s the low-scoring offense that makes first downs feel like climbing to the top of Mt. Everest. There’s the accusations that the Detroit Lions faked injuries during their victory last weekend, and the ensuing apology. If you made any of this stuff up you’d be sent to the loony bin.

* Thanks to Mark Shapiro. That one’s from Philadelphia Phillies fans. And New York Yankees fans. And Boston Red Sox fans.* Thanks to Dan Gilbert. He’s built a first-class organization around LeBron James and now he’s got a casino coming right next door to The Q. (This thanks contingent upon LeBron’s free-agency decision next summer.) * Thanks to you, the fans. Without any of you, none of these teams would be able to present half the garbage they’ve shoveled down your throats this year. The Indians should stop with the bobblehead giveaways and go with anti-depressant medicine for the first 15,000 fans to any home game next season. The Browns could just concentrate on a touchdown as a giveaway at their next home game. Cavs — well, you’re doing OK. Just give us a lifetime contract for LeBron, we’ll be happy.

 


We’re not Detroit! Dammit

November 22, 2009

 

 

You thought the Browns could beat the Detroit Lions, didn’t you? They could AT LEAST beat the Lions, who generally look like they all just learned what a football was a year ago. After all this is a team that came into the game with one win in its last 26 tries.

You thought the Browns could hold a three-touchdown lead against the Detroit Lions, didn’t you? After all, this is a Lions team that had scored as many as three touchdowns in just two games this season and had scored more than 23 just twice in the last season and a half. Up 24-3 in the first quarter, you were feeling really good weren’t you? Admit it. You actually felt confident during a Browns game.

You thought scoring a franchise-record 24 points in the first quarter would be enough, didn’t you? A franchise record for points from a team that, coming into the game, was on pace for setting an NFL record for fewest points in a season should be more than enough to beat the Lions, right? Right??

You thought the Browns could prevent the Lions from driving 88 yards with no timeouts in the final 1:46 of the game, didn’t you? This wasn’t exactly Peyton Manning at the helm for the Lions. It was a rookie playing his eighth game. What rookie playing his eighth game not named Peyton Manning could drive nearly 90 yards for a winning touchdown? Heck, what veteran not named Peyton Manning could lead this kind of game-winning drive? It certainly wouldn’t be someone with a silhouette of a Lion on his helmet. No chance.

You thought the Browns could defense a Hail Mary pass on the game’s final play, didn’t you? Who wins on a Hail Mary pass anymore? Better yet, who commits pass interference on a Hail Mary pass? (Hank Poteat, put your hand down.)

You thought all this even though you’re a Cleveland sports fan, didn’t you? You sat and stared in disbelief as Matthew Stafford, that rookie Lions quarterback, threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to fellow rookie tight end Brandon Pettigrew on an untimed down to tie the game didn’t you?  You put your head into your hands and groaned when Jason Hanson nailed the extra point on the final play of the game for a 38-37 Lions victory, didn’t you?

You did all this despite being a Cleveland sports fan and knowing the types of things that befall Cleveland sports fans, didn’t you?

What’s wrong with you?

You should know that only a Cleveland team could disappoint so greatly while falling to 1-9.

You should know that only a Cleveland team could allow the youngest quarterback to throw for a record-setting five touchdowns. Yes, Stafford surpassed Dan Marino and Joe Namath with his last-play touchdown pass.

You should know that only a Cleveland team could erase all the good feelings of Brady Quinn’s breakout four-touchdown, 300-yard game.

You should know that only a Cleveland team could score almost half as many points in one game as it had all season and still not score enough points to win a game.

You should know that only a Cleveland team would do this to you.

Cleveland — we’re not Detroit. Dammit.


Are you ready for some bad football?

November 22, 2009

 

Believe it or not, you won’t be watching the worst game in Cleveland Browns history today when the team hits the road to face the Detroit Lions.

No, sports fans, that game comes later in the year when the Oakland Raiders visit town.

But you can certainly place today’s game in the Top 5 of worst Browns matchups of all time, and that’s without even knowing the outcome. A scientific study conducted by a crack panel of GHCS researchers has determined that today’s game at Ford Field indeed reeks, errr, ranks among the most horrible endurance tests Browns fans have ever faced. We’ve looked at the combined records of each team in all Browns matchups throughout history. We discarded games early in the season, which means the 0-4 vs. 0-4 Browns/Bengals matchup of 1999 and the pathetic 6-3 Browns win over the Bills earlier this year did not make the list.

The 1-8 Browns against the 1-8 Lions. Not only are the Browns just completely awful, they can’t score. Watching them try to creep downfield using a bundle of screen passes and 3-yard outs is like watching folks in a nursing home shuffle down the hall to lunch using their walkers. At least those people get somewhere eventually. The Browns just get to punt over and over again. That is, if one of Brady Quinn’s or Derek Anderson’s passes doesn’t bounce off another Brown and into the hands of a defender. The Browns’ 78 points through nine games have them on pace for the lowest total in NFL history. Meanwhile the Lions have won just one of their last 26 games. That one wasn’t even against the Browns. (Or the Bills, the only team the Browns have beaten since the middle of last season. No wonder they just fired their coach.) At least the Lions can score a little bit, as they average 15.9 points per game. That’s better than six other teams. Their worst-in-the-league defense usually does them in. Teams score nearly 30 points a game against the Lions. You’d think even the Browns could get a touchdown or two in Detroit today.

Yea, you’d think.

You’re better off just thinking you’re about to watch one of the worst games in Cleveland Browns history … even though the actual worst one is coming as a Christmas present. When the Raiders visit on Dec. 27 they could be 2-12 and the Browns could be 1-13. And even if they aren’t, they should be. If the Browns don’t win today there’s no one between now and then that they should beat. Same with the Raiders.

So let’s find out just where today’s matchup ranks in Browns history against their biggest dog games of all time. Here’s the worst matchups in Browns history, with each team’s record heading into the game and the teams’ combined winning percentage:

7. 2008: BENGALS 14, BROWNS 0
Browns: 4-10
Bengtals: 2-11-1
Combined winning percentage: .232

And to think, this game was played less than a year ago. All the promise from 2007 had been thoroughly dashed as the Browns had played four straight games without an offensive touchdown. This became the fifth. There was no end in sight, as this year attests.

Poor Jamal Lewis actually called 2008 his, “worst season ever” after the game. You can call him anything you want, but don’t call him a psychic. He obviously had no idea what lay ahead. Quarterbacks in this game: Ken Dorsey and Bruce Gradkowski for the Browns (four combined interceptions), Ryan Fitzpatrick for the Bengals. You won’t see Fatheads of them on anyone’s bedroom wall.

6.1999: BENGALS 44, BROWNS 28
Browns: 2-11
Bengals: 4-10
Combined winning percentage: .222

Hey, look, the Browns and Bengals stink in Week 15 again! Well, no one could be too upset about any bad matchups in 1999. At least the Browns were back in town. If we knew what we were in for the next 10 years we might not have been so excited.

Some words used by Browns players to describe this game after Corey Dillon ran for 168 yards, the second-highest total in the NFL to that point of the season: “ridiculous” (defensive end Derrick Alexander), “embarrasment” (linebacker Wali Ranier), “ugly” (safety Corey Fuller), and “poor” (linebacker Jamir Miller).

Ten years later and we’re still using the same words after every Browns game.

5. 2004: DOLPHINS 10, BROWNS 7
Browns: 3-11
Dolphins: 3-11
Combined winning percentage: .214

This might not have been the worst matchup by combined winning percentage of all Browns games, but it could very well be a nominee for worst Browns game ever played.

On ESPN’s Sunday Night Football these teams bored the hell out of everyone watching for three hours before Olindo Mare kicked a 51-yard field goal with seven seconds left to win it. It tied the Browns’ longest single-season losing streak in history at nine. One “highlight” — Lee Suggs carried a franchise-high 38 times, beating out Jim Brown’s record by one. Seriously, Lee Suggs has a record over Jim Brown? Here’s someone who didn’t set any records — Browns quarterback Luke McCown. Yes, this guy actually played quarterback for awhile for the Browns.

In typical Browns fashion they couldn’t even take advantage of the loss. The Browns won the next week while the Dolphins lost, giving Miami the second pick of the draft and pushing the Browns to third. The Dolphins took Ronnie Brown while the Browns took Braylon Edwards. But at least the Browns took Charlie Frye in round three!

4. 1990: BROWNS 13, FALCONS 10
Browns: 2-11
Falcons: 3-10
Combined winning percentage: .192

A completely unmemorable game. The Falcons used Scott Campbell and Hugh Millen to play quarterback. The Browns countered with the broken-down remnants of the late-1980s teams. Bernie Kosar, Frank Minnifield, Michael Dean Perry, Reggie Langhorne, Kevin Mack, Ozzie Newsome, Clay Matthews, and Webster Slaughter. But the calendar had turned on that group as the Browns neared their worst record in franchise history up to that time.

3. 1975: BROWNS 17, SAINTS 16
Browns: 1-9
Saints: 2-8
Combined winning percentage: .150

No one was very excited about this game to begin with. Only 44,753 showed up in old Cleveland Municipal Stadium. It lived up to the nonhype by the Browns winning thanks to a missed extra-point thanks to a poor center snap.

At least there was promise for the future as Brian Sipe, Reggie Rucker, and Greg Pruitt were all on the team. Mike Phipps played quarterback over Sipe in this game, but that trio helped lead the Browns to a winning season in 1976. Rest assured that no such turnaround lies ahead for this year’s Browns.

2. 2009: BROWNS @ LIONS
Browns: 1-8
Lions: 1-8
Combined winning percentage: .111

Here it is! Today’s matchup — second-worst all time based on winning percentage of any Browns game. It’s going to hold on to this spot as well even if neither the Browns nor Raiders win a game before their Week 16 matchup two days after Christmas. If the Browns are 1-13 in that game and the Raiders are 2-12, their combined winning percentage will be .115. That game cannot pass this game for worst matchup. It will pass this one for worst game, which is an entirely different story.

Just feel fortunate for all those who live in Northwest Ohio or within 60 miles of Detroit. The game will be blacked out and they can watch the Indianapolis Colts play the Baltimore Ravens.

1. 1999: BROWNS 21, SAINTS 16
Browns: 0-7
Saints: 1-6
combined winning percentage: .077

And here it is, the worst Cleveland Browns matchup of all time. Congratulations to the Saints, who tie the Bengals by making it onto this list twice.

It’s fitting that the Browns would win their worst matchup of all time. This is the one where Tim Couch hit Kevin Johnson with a Hail Mary pass on the last play, giving the new Cleveland Browns their first victory.

The excitement has sure carried over for the next decade, hasn’t it?


Quinn or lose?

November 18, 2009

Congratulations to Brady Quinn on becoming the worst quarterback named Brady or named Quinn to start a game in NFL history.

This is based on the records of all starting quarterbacks who share one of Brady Quinn’s two first (or last names). There’s been only one Brady Quinn to play in the NFL, but there’s been a few guys named either Brady or Quinn who have taken snaps behind center. Our own Brady Quinn is now at the bottom of that illustrious list with a 1-6 career record as a starter. And that one? It took a career-long 56-yard field goal from Phil Dawson with 1:39 to go followed by a miss by Buffalo kicker Rian Lindell in the final seconds to win 29-27 on Monday Night Football last year. And Quinn completed only 38% of his passes for 185 yards in that game.

Yeah, Brady Quinn probably wasn’t the difference.

Who are the other Bradys and the other Quinns that have started at quarterback in the NFL? Glad you asked. One you most certainly know …

  • Tom Brady: 93-27
  • Quinn Gray: 2-2
  • Jonathan Quinn: 1-5
  • Mike Quinn: never started
  • Pat Brady: never started
  • Brady Quinn: 1-6

Tom Brady, you know. He’s the three-time Super Bowl champion and sometimes male model quarterback of the New England Patriots. He’s the best Brady to ever play football and probably the best known Brady who isn’t a member of The Brady Bunch.

Quinn Gray served as a backup for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Kansas City Chiefs from 2005-08. He is now playing for the New York Sentinels of the United Football League. They are 0-4, so maybe he is worse than Brady Quinn. But since Quinn Gray won a couple games for the Jags in 2007, he ranks higher than Brady Quinn on this list.

Jonathan Quinn was the worst Brady or Quinn other than Brady Quinn until Monday night. Coincidentally, he played for the Jags as well. He served as a Jacksonville backup from 1998-2001, going 1-2 as a starter. He did not play for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2002, then started three times for the Chicago Bears in 2004. He lost all three of those games, ending his NFL career. Jonathan Quinn now coaches a high-school football team in the Kansas City area. It made the playoffs. It’s pretty safe to say Brady Quinn will never coach a high-school football team to the playoffs.

Mike Quinn served as a backup quarterback for many teams between 1997 and 2006. He threw a few passes in garbage time for the 1997 Pittsburgh Steelers and 1998 Dallas Cowboys.  He also played in the Canadian Football League before ending his career in 2004. Some might say that Brady Quinn ranks ahead of Mike Quinn since Mike Quinn never even started a game. But Mike Quinn was able to hang around for close to a decade. Will Brady Quinn’s career last that long? Mike Quinn also has a Wikipedia entry nearly as long as Brady Quinn’s, despite throwing only three passes in his NFL career. Advantage, Mike Quinn.

Pat Brady almost doesn’t belong on this list. He was a punter for the Steelers from 1952-54. He also served as a backup quarterback and threw a few passes, but never started a game. He most likely would have lasted longer than three years if not for a torn Achilles’ tendon suffered in the 1955 preseaon. Since Pat Quinn made the Steelers Legends Team, we’ll rank Brady Quinn behind him. Plus, who knows if Brady Quinn can punt. Pat Brady recently passed away at age 83.

With a victory Sunday against the Detroit Lions Brady Quinn can begin move out of last place on the Brady or Quinn quarterback list. But for now, our Brady Quinn is the worst Brady or Quinn of them all..


Dead Mangini walking

November 17, 2009

 

   

The entire world has lambasted New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick for a coaching decision which led to his team’s defeat Sunday night. But it was Browns coach Eric Mangini’s coaching decision in Monday night’s 16-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens which should draw the most derision.

In fact, Mangini’s decision was a fireable offense.You’ve probably heard about it by now, but you might not have heard about it right away. With the game decided, with no one in the stands, with most of the televisions around the Cleveland area turned off and the fans all snug in their beds, Mangini had quarterback Brady Quinn throwing Hail Mary passes with less than 30 seconds to go and his team down 16-0. There was no chance for the Browns to come back. If Bernie Kosar, Jim Brown, and Paul Warfield in their primes all came back for the final minute of the game and the Ravens left the field the Browns would not have come back.

Instead, Quinn threw two deep passes intended for Cribbs out of bounds. Then, with three seconds left, Quinn hit Cribbs with a short pass. Cribbs hit teammate Robert Royal with a lateral. And Ravens defensive end Dwan Edwards hit Cribbs. Hard. Right in the chin.  With the stands empty and the clock at 0:00, Cribbs lay motionless on the ground. Trainers and doctors gathered around him, and soon after just about every Cleveland Brown gathered. With a stretcher and cart brought onto the field alongside Cribbs, the Browns look like they were attending a wake. Their touchdown leader of the past two seasons lay sprawled out on the field, future unknown. 

How can a coach do that? How can a coach make such an awful decision that his team’s best player winds up carted away to the hospital on a meaningless play? Or better yet, how can a coach make such a decision and keep his job?

Tuesday Mangini said he “probably” wouldn’t make that play call again, which for a Belichick disciple is just about the same as pleading guilty to grand larceny. Hey, guess what, Eric — if Randy Lerner had it to do over, he “probably” wouldn’t have hired you. And the way the return of the Browns has gone, we “probably” would never have begged the NFL to give us our team back. When you cause your team’s best player to spend the night in the hospital because of a meaningless play, you best admit your mistakes. It might be the only way to keep your job.  

This being the Browns, though, we’ve seen such a play before. Remember when Kellen Winslow broke his leg in his second game as a Brown while in for an onside kick in a similarly hopeless cause against the Dallas Cowboys in 2004? Remember the flak that former Browns coach Butch Davis caught for that decision?  At least Butch Davis, like Belichick, was trying to win. There was very little chance that the Browns were going to recover that onside kick and win that game. But there was NO chance the Browns were going to win while throwing Hail Mary passes in the final 20 seconds of Monday night’s game.

So what exactly was Mangini’s motivation then? Most likely, ego. He was hoping to avoid a Monday Night Football shutout. How would that look on a resume of a coach trying to find a job next season? If Quinn could connect on a Hail Mary pass, Mangini would be able to say that at least his team didn’t get shut out in front of the entire NFL. Heck, most everyone would even forget about the game. It would be just another awful game in a season full of them.

Now this is the one game that’s going to stick out when we remember Mangini’s (hopefully short) tenure as Browns coach. The final play, with all the Browns gathered around a fallen teammate, will become the symbol of this year’s team.

The Browns appear to have gotten lucky on this one. Cribbs left the hospital in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Maybe he has a concussion, maybe not. Mangini says he’s hopeful Cribbs can play against the Detroit Lions next week. But you can bet there wouldn’t be nearly as many Cleveland Browns gathered round to mourn the firing of the dead Mangini walking.


Say you’ll stay

November 12, 2009

 

lebron_wade

LeBron James has decided he’s answered enough questions about his impending free agency. Moratorium on the free-agency questions, he said, right before the Cavs smashed the Magic all the way through in a 102-93 road victory over the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last season. Well, LeBron, here’s a way for you to put an end to the endless questions – tell everyone you’ve decided to stick with the Cavs.

Do it wearing a Yankees cap, LeBron. Or even a full Yankees uniform, right down to the cleats. It can even be CC Sabathias’s jersey. Before the Cavs’ next home game, bring a mitt and bat, put the bat on your shoulder, and announce that you have decided that you have no intention on leaving Cleveland next season. You’re staying put. Hell, wear a freaking New York Knicks uniform.

Whatever you wear, LeBron, just make it very clear that you will be staying in Cleveland and will be up at midnight of the first day free agents are allowed to sign new contracts next summer. Here’s a thought – invite everyone to Public Square to watch you and Dan Gilbert sign the contract for the longest extension you can possible have. At midnight on the first day of free agency. Invite everyone in Cleveland to watch you sign it. Can you imagine a beautiful summer night in downtown Cleveland with Public Square lit up, television cameras everywhere, all eyes waiting to see LeBron James stick with his hometown team? There would be thousands of people in downtown Cleveland at midnight. You want Cleveland lit up like Las Vegas? Do this, and you’ll have it. East Fourth Street and The Warehouse District will thank you for the extra business this night.

LeBron, you need to do this because you’re starting to sound like someone who thought dating Paris Hilton was a good idea, until you actually, you know, started dating Paris Hilton. Maybe it seemed like a good idea in the summer of 2006 when you only signed a three-year extension. Like you didn’t know the drama that would come along with it, especially this year, now that you have a chance to become a free agent. Hey, Paris Hilton is very pretty. Nice long legs, pretty smile, rich heiress to boot. But even dating Paris Hilton can wear any guy out once you get to the jail sentence, the late nights, the sex tape, the tabloids. Who wouldn’t want to put a moratorium on all of that?

But this is the world you’ve created for yourself, LeBron. You’ve said your options are wide open. You’ve said that you’ve thought about playing for every team in the NBA, at least at some time in your life. (Even the Memphis Grizzlies, LeBron? Really? The Memphis Grizzlies?) You flirted with New York City just last week. You’ve courted Dwyane Wade.  Or he’s courted you. Whatever. You still keep making Cleveland jealous with your puppy dog eyes.

Hey, we understand you’re talked out. It’s old to you but new to the media each time you got to a new town. (After all, you did say you thought about playing for that team at one time, right?) They all think they’re going to get the scoop just by asking you for the 18th kablazillionth. So just put an end to it, LeBron.

Tell everyone that you’re staying in Cleveland.

Tell everyone that your $2 million house that’s about a 20-minute drive from the Cavs’ practice facility is where you want to live.

Tell everyone that your friends are here, your family’s here, your comfort zone’s here, and you can’t imagine playing anywhere else.

Tell everyone that the Cavs have built a winning organization, that you see multiple championship appearances in the future.

Heck, tell everyone that Eric Magnini is one of your favorite people and we should all give him a chance.

That’s all you have to do to get the media hordes off your back. No moratorium needed. They might ask you over and over again why you made the decision, if you’re sure, if you’re really going through with it. Then you can spend your time talking about how happy you are with your current team and how much you love Cleveland. You can build your teammates up by spending the rest of the season telling them how happy you are here.

That’s it, LeBron. One very simple statement: “I’ve decided to stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers after this season.” It would become the greatest quote in the history of the city of Cleveland.

Just do it, LeBron. Just do it.