Kolonich/Kanicki Exchange: On Betting, Browns and Blogs.

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Dave Kolonich over at Reboot and I get together from time to time to exchange to opinions.  Here’s part one of a recent such session.  (Re-posted from Dave’s site.)

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Let’s skip the clever intro and get to the point:  Kolonich and Kanicki have some things to talk about.  If you don’t know Kanicki, shame on you.

1. Is Lobsterfest Over Already at 603brown.com?

KANICKI:  Ho ho ho, oh no.  It’s been a great and good thing to participate in and host Cheddar Bay.

For example:  I’ve bet Auburn the last five times they’ve played (5-0). That means that since the Arkansas game on 11/2, I’ve got to watch a team of no-names become good, then known, and by the time of the BCS game the arc will have played through to the inevitable:  “Nick Marshall is over-rated; I’m so sick of Tre Mason.”

Ditto that on Bowling Green but on a smaller, yet still rewarding, scale.

Meanwhile the Browns have been on a perfectly opposite trajectory.  11/3 was the Ravens win and hope still flickered.  But the bed-shitting in Cincy after their bye week followed by a two horrific homes losses and last week and …1

So then the typical Browns fan might turn his attention to Columbus but it turns out that team really was overrated and it’s really for the best that they didn’t wind up facing FSU.  Would’ve be just a terribly ugly thing.

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In short, I’ve had a satisfying season of football and it’s largely due to Cheddar Bay forcing me to look outside of Ohio.  It’s really a great exercise.  War Damn Eagle.  (And also Ay-Ziggy-Zoomba.)

2. What About the Great Hibernation Going on at Reboot? 

KOLONICH:  First, let me say thank you for the Cheddar Bay invite.

Second, let me say: 22 dollars!!!!????  Gambling doesn’t exactly fit my cheap guy ethos.

Speaking of sleeping, I snored right through that gambling re-hash.  Gambling stories are even worse than hearing about some guy’s fantasy football team.  Well, maybe not that bad.

Anyway, I totally get the whole “enjoyment outside of NE Ohio” aspect of sports.  I’ve long ago traded Browns’ Super Bowl visions for consistently watchable football.  And part of the reason of Reboot’s extended siesta (outside of the whole having a crazy busy real life/not getting paid to do this) is that it’s hard to find worthwhile material to write about these days.

Although they’ve taken rather original routes to get there, the Browns are yet again a 4-12 or 5-11 team – albeit with a few more interesting players.  But there’s only so many times you can describe Brandon Weeden’s oblivious nature, a wholly impotent offensive line and a defense that continually crumbles in the late stages of games.

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Outside of that, you have those who cover these “same old Browns.”  And if you’ve read my stuff for years, you’ll already know I’ve about exhausted the “sportswriters are pointless” meme.

Speaking of….

3. What Has Happened to Cleveland Sports Blogs?

KANICKI:  Not to be trolling/smug/smarmy/self-pimping/pompous/vain/antagonistic or full of myself… but it IS the Year of Indifference.

I’m not the best to ask because I read you, Frowns, and WFNY.   My read is that the Browns have lost Frowns and you.  Not lost-lost, but what is there to say that hasn’t already been said?  I think we three write when we have something to say and ideally, something to say that hasn’t been said over and over.   So we three go hungry for now.  Plus Frowns has got non-Brownsie things occupying his time.

As for WFNY, I will say I read them to the exclusion of cle-dot-com and even Grossi.  They do their thing but their mission is different.  But I have noticed that their comment section seems softer.  Not soft/mellow, soft/as-a-grape.  When Craig Lyndall is getting grief in his comment section for being too negative… I mean.

Bad as the blogs may be, can you imagine what the sports radio must be?  Oof.

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KOLONICH:  To me, a good blog should be a critical eye that the mainstream paper can’t/is no longer allowed to be.  Or at the least – blogs shouldn’t try to be a micro cleveland.com.  Yet, since the local paper now exclusively serves as the PR wing of the team, it’s harder than ever for a blog to find a distinctive voice – outside of the “refs cost us the game.”

Add in the reality that:

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I love Japan.

  1. Most “bloggers” want to eventually become “reporters”, and/or actually get paid to write about football in some capacity.
  2. This requires some level of access to the team.
  3. Getting and maintaining access in 2013 means you can’t have original thoughts say something negative about the team.
  4. Everyone is neutered.
  5. We come full circle.

What’s sad is that the reality of actually playing a sports reporter is kind of pointless.  I gained access and quickly realized that everything players and coaches say in person is just as useless as what you read and see online.  Trying to create a story around sterile player dribblings can be nauseating.  Maybe’s that the reason Tom Reed always looks comatose.

That all being said, there are still some worthwhile sites out there.  I go to Dawgs by Nature for the nuts and bolts and I like DraftBrowns – but only when my attention span allows me to read 2,000 words that include the phrase “loose hips.”

WFNY has never made any sense to me.  I know I’m supposed to like it and buy a T-shirt or whatever, but I just don’t get it.  As for Frowns, I think it’s unfair when people try to cram the site into the “Browns’ blog” box.  It’s a forum for our society and not supposed to be an easy stroll.  I can’t count the number the times I’ve read something there and felt either pissed or depressed.

Sports talk radio?  I’ll see your “oof” and add an “ugh.”

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[Part two of this is baking.  When you’ve got gold like this you need to make it last…] [About the pics, I’ve been looking for an opening, any opening, to use Attack on Titan as a metaphor for being a Cleveland sports fan and today I took it.]

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  1. well buddy, there’s a #CheddarBay College Bowl pool that just started up and for the bargain price of $22 you can avoid the balance of the this year’s Browns depression.  We’d love to have you. [back]
  • Nick

    Nice work guys.

    SI did a nice piece on Josh Gordon linked below FYI.

    http://mmqb.si.com/2013/12/13/josh-gordon-cleveland-browns-record/

  • NeedsFoodBadly

    To be clear, Kolonich’s responsible for the Attack on Titan stuff? Because reading it alongside Browns stuff is surreal as all hell, but yeah, it does feel totally appropriate too.

    • haha, no i dropped the AoT bombs which DK did enjoy.

  • GRRustlers

    Sometimes I think if not for Cheddar Bay I would really hate football. Don’t get me wrong I’ll be watching the Browns tomorrow but it almost feels like my duty now more than any sense of enjoyment.

    I hop around on the Cleveland sports blogs but I think we have reached this point where everyone seems to have run out of words. What more can you really say about the Browns? I will always be a baseball and an Indians fan first but I just have not found anything enjoyable other than Fangraphs. As far as the Cavs I mean we can talk about them but at the end of the day who gives a shit. It’s the NBA.

    The most enjoyable part of the Cleveland sports blogs will be to see how everyone reacts to this Browns draft and offseason…because the year of indifference is almost over. It’s time to do something other than shiny scoreboards.

    • Dave Kolonich

      Agreed – particularly on the last point. The draft is going to be (as usual) hyper-inflated, But the expectations pinned to next April by everyone (including the front office) is going to be immense.

  • disqus_e18LRwJm0A

    There’s actually nothing original about the route the Browns are taking to their 5-11 record this year. What was unique was Mangini’s first year, where they were terrible for the first 12 games then came on strong. Every other season of the past six had the same formula — a bad start, a little surge, a surprising win, some talk about how the playoffs were attainable, a heartbreaking loss, and a depressing last month.

    • Dave Kolonich

      Original as viewed through the T-Rich “tanking” talk, then suddenly the Browns were a playoff contender, then terrible again, then a playoff contender once more and now it’s Josh Gordon and not much else. In other years, the format was consistent by late October.

      • disqus_e18LRwJm0A

        Actually, in both 2012 and 2010 there were supposedly serious discussions in December about how the Browns could win out and make the playoffs with an 8-8 or 9-7 record. People always forget about this foolishness after it happens, but it does happen nonetheless. The Richardson trade was a bit unusual, admittedly, but everything else you mention — including early talks of tanking, sudden playoff contender status, and the emergence of a potentially star player — is pretty S.O.P.

        • Dave Kolonich

          Agreed that the results are the same. I would similarly contend that it took most people a longer time to figure out this time around.

    • this is a groundbreaking observation that speaks to the fallacy of postponing-urgency-to-win-now in favor of the hoarding-resources-for-a-stronger-future strategy. how many fucking times does this have to fail before someone calls bullshit?

      the buying into of five year plans is the most clevelandest thing there is.

      • Bluedog93

        Three teams in the AFC North had losing records, drafted their current quarterback with a pick outside the top 10, and made the playoffs the very next year.

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