Friday, November 27, 2009

10 Things I Think
1. The Browns won't beat the Bengals Sunday, but they'll make it interesting.

2. The University of Cincinnati's football team is very good, but I'm not sure its played a strong defense yet. If Pittsburgh provides it next week, look out.

3.Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, even if the three NFL games that day are all uninspiring.

4. If I hear Steve Beuerlein say a player "does a great job" one more time...

5. V's first four episodes made for compelling television. What I liked most about it was that it didn't resort to grotesque scenes, and still got the point across.

6. Bob Dylan's video for Must Be Santa has to be seen to be believed.

7. Tiger Woods "minor car accident" doesn't seem so minor. I mean, if someone had to use a golf club to smash in a window to remove him from his car, I think it was a bit more than a scratch. The tough thing is the insurance. He may need to play a few more tournaments next year to cover it.

8. Behind Closed Doors by Charlie Rich is perhaps the best recording of the 1970s that I've heard.

9. Chuck is back in January, and I am as excited as I can be about a fictional TV show.

10. Good to see BG beat Toledo again.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Some people are feeling pretty dramatic
Tony Grossi called it "one of the franchise's all-time giveaways."

I heard someone on TV say something similar. Yes, the Browns 38-37 loss to the Lions was pathetic, frustrating, irritating, annoying,and just plain bad.

But one of the worst for the franchise? Come on.

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and assume we are separating the original Browns (back when the losses hurt so bad they had names), and just focus on the last 10 years, because in reality, this organization was born in 1999. Any connection between the two is sentimental and in some ways artificial.

I can think of five losses that were worse than this.

1. Dwayne Rudd, 2002: That year alone was odd. Rudd kicked it off by throwing his helmet when he thought the game's final play was over. He thought he'd sacked the Chiefs' Trent Green. He hadn't. The play continued, Rudd was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Kansas City kicked a field goal on an un-timed down, a field goal only made possible by 15 yards Rudd gave with his helmet.

2. That Chicago game, 2001: The Browns somehow lost a 21-7 lead in the final 1:30 of the fourth quarter at Soldier Field. Tim Couch threw a pick-6 to the Bears Mike Brown in overtime. If the Browns had won that game, they'd have been 5-2. Instead, they finished 7-9. Butch Davis' magic ended with that game.

3. That Pittsburgh playoff game, 2002: Kelly Holcomb played like Brian Sipe and the Browns led the Steelers, 24-7, before choking it away. Cleveland led by two scores with less than five minutes left, but lost.

4. That Pittsburgh regular season game, 2002: Phil Dawson misses a kick at Heinz Field in overtime that would have won it. Minutes later the Steelers attempt a kick to win the game, and it gets blocked. But the kick stays behind the line of scrimmage, and it wasn't fourth down. Re-kick. This time, Pittsburgh converts.

5. Raiders, in Oakland, 2007. I actually SAW Phil Dawson's game-winning field goal go through the uprights as time expired. But then-Raiders coach Lane Kiffin called a timeout just before the kick went off. Dawson's re-try was blocked and the Browns lost.

These losses all hurt more, I think, because the Browns were in somewhat competitive seasons when they happened. So what if the Browns won this game? Do they suddenly turn into a decent franchise? It hurt, but we've seen worse.

General thoughts on the game:

-Coach Eric Mangini's decision to pass on third and five with two minutes left made little sense to begin with. But to bring Brady Quinn out in shotgun formation, with no backs to even telegraph a run, was insane.

It's the type of playcall you make when you're a winning football team. The Browns are not that, so playing it safe was the best bet. Run Jamal Lewis, run the clock to 1:20 and punt. Leave Detroit with no timeouts and 70 or 80 yards to win.

It was a loser call for a loser team.

- The interference call was correct. Abe Elam should know that you just can't push a receiver out of bounds with the ball in the error.

- Mangini's timeout after the penalty? If given the choice of a chaotic defense against a backup quarterback who had no time to warm up, and a gritty (if injured) QB against a set defense, I pick the former. This is another case of the Browns coaching staff out-thinking itself.

- Mangini probably is done after the season. I don't blame him. I blame the owner that hired him and gave him enough power to make Alexander blush.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

For one day... I'm caught up
To celebrate, here's 10 things I think:

1. It's safe to say that I have disagreed with just about everything President Obama has done. I didn't vote for him though, so I can't say I'm shocked by just how liberal he is.

2. After this health care thing, I am done listening to anyone trying to tell me the Republican party needs to be more moderate. President Obama promised change, but it's same old, with just about everyone going party line on the bill that will define the first half of his presidency. If moderate means spending, then that's the last thing the party (or the country) needs.

3. Not a fan of Sarah Palin. I always will defend her against people who hate her rather than dislike her politics. But she quit on her state. The Democrats would love to see her get the nomination in 2012.

4. I didn't want a reset last year on the Browns. I thought there was too much talent to blow up the roster. Well, Mangini is doing the best job of destroying a Cleveland franchise since Ted Stepian.

5. The Browns should at least call Rich McKay.

6. Why is Rush Limbaugh not allowed to own a team, but Keith Olbermann is allowed to ramble for an hour on the league's biggest program every week?

7. I don't like Limbaugh either, but it's a double standard.

8. Great to see Sandy Alomar back home.

9. If Jim Tressel ever leaves Ohio State, Buckeye fans (even the ones who criticize him) will realize exactly what they lost in about 15 seconds.

10. Chuck is coming back in January. V is my favorite show on right now, though.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Week 9
KC 21 @ JAC 24
Taking Kansas City: (C), Aaron, Andy, Curtis
Taking Jacksonville: Zach, Vivek, Nihar, Joel

ARI 41 @ CHI 21
Taking Arizona: Zach, Nihar, Joel, Andy
Taking Chicago: Vivek, (C), Aaron, Curtis

HOU 17 @ IND 20
Taking Houston: Joel
Taking Indy: Zach, Vivek,(C), Aaron, Nihar, Andy, Curtis

BAL 7 @ CIN 17
Taking Baltimore: Zach, (C), Aaron, Nihar, Joel, Curtis
Taking Cincy: Vivek, Andy,

WAS 17 @ ATL 31
Taking Washington: (C), Aaron, Curtis
Taking Atlanta: Zach, Vivek, Nihar, Joel, Andy

MIA 17 @ NE 27
Taking Miami: Aaron, (C), Curtis
Taking New England: Zach, Vivek, Nihar, Joel, Andy

GB 28 @ TB 38
Taking Green Bay: Zach, Vivek, Nihar, Joel, Andy
Taking Tampa Bay: Aaron, (C), Curtis

CAR 20 @ NO 30
Taking Carolina: (C), Aaron, Curtis
Taking New Orleans: Zach, Vivek, Nihar, Joel, Andy

DET 20 @ SEA 32
Taking Detroit: Joel
Taking Seattle: Zach, Vivek, Aaron, (C), Nihar, Andy, Curtis

SD 21 @ NYG 20
Taking San Diego: Aaron, (C),Joel, Andy, Curtis
Taking New York: Zach, Vivek, Nihar,

TEN 34 @ SF 27
Taking Tennessee: Zach, Nihar, Andy
Taking SF: Vivek,(C), Aaron, Joel, Curtis

DAL 20 @ PHI 16
Taking Dallas: Vivek, Andy
Taking Philadelphia: Zach, Aaron, (C), Nihar, Joel, Curtis

PIT 28 @ DEN 10
Taking Pittsburgh: Zach, Vivek, Nihar, Andy
Taking Denver: Aaron, (C), Joel, Curtis


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week 10
Chicago at San Francisco
Taking Chicago: Curtis, Nihar
Taking San Francisco: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Vivek, Joel, (C), Andy,

New Orleans at St. Louis
Taking New Orleans: Zach, Aaron, Curtis, Phil, Joel, Vivek, Nihar, (C), Andy

Tampa Bay at Miami
Taking Tampa Bay: (C), Andy
Taking Miami: Zach, Aaron, Curtis, Phil, Joel, Vivek, Nihar

Detroit at Minnesota
Taking Detroit: (C), Andy
Taking Minnesota: Zach, Aaron, Curtis, Phil, Joel, Vivek, Nihar

Jacksonville at NY Jets
Taking Jax: Joel, Vivek, Andy, (C)
Taking New York: Zach, Aaron, Curtis, Phil, Nihar

Buffalo at Tennessee
Taking Tennessee: Zach, Aaron, Curtis, Phil, Joel, Nihar, Vivek, (C), Andy

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
Taking Cincy: Aaron, Vivek, Andy, (C)
Taking Pittsburgh: Zach, Curtis, Phil, Joel, Nihar

Denver at Washington
Taking Denver: Zach, Aaron, Curtis, Phil, Joel, Vivek, Nihar
Taking Washington: (C), Andy

Atlanta at Carolina
Taking Atlanta: Zach, Aaron, Curtis, Phil, Vivek, Nihar
Taking Carolina: Joel, Andy, (C)

Kansas City at Oakland
Taking Kansas City: Aaron, Joel, Vivek, Nihar
Taking Oakland: Zach, Curtis, Phil, Andy, (C)

Seattle at Arizona 4:15 PM
Taking Seattle Vivek, Andy (C)
Taking Arizona: Zach, Aaron, Curtis, Nihar, Phil, Joel

Dallas at Green Bay
Taking Dallas: Zach, Curtis, Phil, Joel, Vivek, Nihar
Taking Green Bay: Aaron, Andy, (C)

Philadelphia at San Diego
Taking Philadelphia: Aaron, Curtis, Nihar, (C), Andy
Taking San Diego: Zach, Phil, Joel, Vivek,

New England at Indianapolis
Taking New England: Zach, Phil, Vivek, Nihar
Taking Indy: Aaron, Curtis, Joel, (C), Andy

Baltimore at Cleveland
Taking Baltimore: Aaron, Zach, Curtis, Phil, Vivek, Nihar
Taking Cleveland: Joel, (C), Andy


Friday, November 06, 2009

Thoughts on the Browns, Mangini
Eric Mangini has been failing in Cleveland because he's not winning. It's as simple as that.

So, that's why I'm not a fan of Mangini right now. The fact that he comes across as paranoid and overprotective doesn't bother me. Great coaches can be that way. But Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick win.

Aside from the 1-7 record the Browns take into the bye week, the only other thing that makes me angry about the Mangini era is that week in and week out, we are talking about trades, firings and conspiracies. We are rarely talking actual football, because there has been so little of it.

Mangini's job was not to do anything but figure out a way to win football games. Failing that, he at least needed his team to be competitive. If all that failed, he needed to at least beat the Steelers.

He's gone 0 for 3. But the Browns are no longer about players. The Browns are about Eric Mangini and an owner who seems unable to ever get it right.

Josh Cribbs, Phil Dawson, Joe Thomas and maybe Shaun Rogers. If the ship was sinking, those would be the four to save. Of course, the team isn't a ship approaching an iceberg. It is the iceberg. Cold, slow moving and barely getting anywhere.

Mangini will be fired, of course. ANOTHER new guy with ANOTHER process that will take ANOTHER five years will come in. Then he will be fired after three years and the process starts over.

It's more fun to ponder this question.

If the 2009 Browns played the 1987 strike Browns (the Tans), who would lose?

I think Jeff Christianson would outplay Derek Anderson.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Panel, week 8
Houston at Buffalo 1:00 PM
Taking Houston: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel, Nihar
Taking Buffalo: Curtis, Vivek, (C)

Cleveland at Chicago 1:00 PM
Taking Chicago: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Vivek, (C), Nihar

Seattle at Dallas 1:00 PM
Taking Seattle: Curtis, Vivek, (C)
Taking Dallas: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel, Nihar

St. Louis at Detroit 1:00 PM
Taking St. Louis: Zach, Curtis, Vivek, (C), Nihar
Taking Detroit: Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel

Denver at Baltimore 1:00 PM
Taking Baltimore: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Vivek, (C), Nihar

San Francisco at Indianapolis 1:00 PM
Taking San Francisco: Andy, (C), Curtis, Vivek
Taking Indianapolis: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Joel, Nihar

Miami at NY Jets 1:00 PM
Taking Miami: Aaron, Andy, Joel
Taking New York: Zach, Phil, Curtis, Vivek (C), Nihar

NY Giants at Philadelphia 1:00 PM
Taking New York: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Andy, Nihar
Taking Philadelphia: Curtis, Vivek, (C), Joel

Jacksonville at Tennessee 4:05 PM
Taking Jacksonville: Aaron, Andy, Phil, Curtis, Vivek, (C), Joel
Taking Tennessee: Zach, Nihar

Oakland at San Diego 4:05 PM
Taking San Diego: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Vivek (C), Nihar

Carolina at Arizona 4:15
Taking Arizona: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Vivek, (C), Nihar

Minnesota at Green Bay 4:15 PM
Taking Green Bay: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Vivek, (C), Nihar

MON, 8:30 p.m.
Atlanta at New Orleans 8:30 PM
Taking New Orleans: Zach, Aaron, Phil, Andy, Joel, Curtis, Vivek, (C), Nihar