Clearing the decks, TEN topics.

SNL_0808_Coffee_Talk_EST

“The Partridge Family were neither partridges, nor a family. Discuss.”

I’ve got a case of blogger’s malaise.  Happens.  Happened to Kolonich.  Kinda happened to Frowns although:

  1. His pace of quality blogging at his peak was unsustainable and,
  2. Seems like his real job took off.

Me?  I’m paying attention and there are many items that could be a blog post and just haven’t got me spun up enough.  I have hot-take fatigue.

But maybe you’re still fresh.  So below is a list of subjects that are or have been on the plate lately.

Talk amongst yourselves.

I’d like to see if anyone wants to take one of these on for a guest post or if there’s enough critical mass on any of these to merit a full post.

1. Cut Josh Gordon?

2. What’s next for Dowell Loggains? Board op for Northwest Arkansas’ best sports talk radio?

3. An unequivocal “Manziel is a bust” take.

4. Keep the suits away from football guys both in off-site boondoggles and especially in draft rooms.

5412124_orig

Top 5 pick this year. INFINITE CEILING.

5. Cardale Jones offers several angles:

  • Football god,
  • YUNO go pro,
  • Get outta here with your mid-round draft grade rating Mr. Amateur-Film-Study Guy,
  • Hey Cardale, about that prospective entourage of yours…1

6. Programming Cleveland radio (although Vince took this one on and I’m mainly in accord).2

7. The widely reported epic outfall from #LOSSOFCONTINUITY!!! caused by dropping a back-biting assistant coach and firing a moron from your staff.

smith-jr-12815-us-news-getty-ftr_147ljec3z8knq1jo0izulpe77d

Who thought Shumpert was the key and JR Smith just a salary dump? **raises hand**

8. JR Smith, JR Smith, JR Smith.

9. The Browns to chase those Franklin County Steelers fans through pathetic training camp move.

10. And of course the dont-change-the-uniforms cry in the dark is still out there and it ain’t writing itself but I have a lede:

… greedy NFL owners with toady MBAs consulting millennial-oriented focus groups to corrupt one of the precious few remaining threads linking to our forebears in order to sell jerseys to hipsters in coastal growth markets?  I mean it’s one thing when national marketing ignores flyover country but when your hometown team kicks you in the nuts with a trifecta of ticket price increase, training camp move to ‘wealthy Ohio,’ and discarding a uniform with continuity that only the Packers, Cowboys, Chiefs, Bears, Giants**, Raiders can match because,,, I don’t know,,, there’s a d-bag on the fence between buying a Bucs or Browns jersey?  Fuck off.  Just. fuck. off Alec Scheiner.  But hey, ‘the guy spoke at the SLOAN CONFERENCE!’  I don’t know why I don’t dig Alec Scheiner, but I don’t.  Don’t trust him and believe he’s more in Jimmy’s ear than any football guys and believe he thinks he’s a player because, Bill Simmons.  It’s irrational and a maybe bit parochial (since he’s not FROM HERE) but I see him as a problem.

For me, it’s probably the uniform piece that’s gumming things up because how many windmills can one person tilt at after all?  If the idea of getting a mascot for The Dawg Pound from a dog pound didn’t get traction,34 I’m kinda like ‘why bother’ on the uniform question.  You only got carpetbaggers coming in and changing the uniforms because they want those Columbus Steelers’ fans.  Repeat:  They are marketing to Cbus Steelers fans over guys like you and me.  No biggie.  “The NFL is a business” say a 100 Darren Rovells as if that’s a valid reason and I’m just a naïve idealist.

Branding!!  Marketing!!  ... but then also, LOSING, and thus the gear doesn't sell.  Seems simple...

Branding!! Marketing!! … but then also, LOSING, and thus the gear doesn’t sell. Seems simple…

Don’t want no Darren-Rovell-esque talk on my blog but if we’re going there, Rovell and his clones should bear in mind that it’s generally more cost effective to protect your existing customer base and the risk of alienating loyal fans to chase frontrunner types is a fools errand.  (So says a million 1992 Raiders’ Starter Jackets.)  The Maras, Rooneys, McCaskeys are also in this “business” and manage to respect their tradition and their long-time fans.  So no, I reject that grasping for every last dollar while participating in a private cartel with name-your-price TV revenue is ok or ethical or moral.  If you think it is, then enjoy your TD-commercial-kickoff-commercial and may I also point out that it will be YOU who pays for those obscene TV contracts in the form of cable bill bumps?  That the wrongness of all this needs to be verbalized in even a blog like this because it hasn’t been through any other major media outlet… it’s simply depressing and it makes me cranky and I wish to be less so.

See there?  It turns out I did have a take.


I’m just spitballing so let me know if you want to bite off one of these subjects, if you’ve got something on your mind that isn’t getting air play, or just kick the above subjects around down below.

11.  Late add, bonus topic:  “Lennon or McCartney.”  I actually have a spreadsheet comparing who wrote what and was pretty surprised at the balance.


  1. And yet, I’m one who didn’t know what the Ginn Academy was and I’m one who looked it up and now do know,, so mission accomplished with that presser I guess. [back]
  2. My first pass on this went:  Carman and friends kicking things off; Lima and Fox mid-day; AtoZ afternoon drive;  Hooley/Jerod at 6; and if Goldhammer is on my station at all he’s pulling a midnight to six shift. [back]
  3. It’s not too late to do right and here’s a shelter-dog female Mastiff named Sassy who can keep that doofy-named “Swagger” company. [back]
  4. How dumb is that Swagger name now? [back]

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  • Henry Brown

    We’ll have to see how different the new uniforms are, but they’ve changed it in small ways throughout the years. The Steelers and a couple of the other teams you mentioned have changed them quite a bit

  • zarathustra

    Jesus…how did I miss the Lennon/McCartney addition. I’ve wavered back and forth through the years. I’ll always be a George guy anyway.
    If comparing say the top ten songs of each it is a coin flip, but if you go deeper it is all Paul in my opinion.
    Now if we get into post-Beatles it gets muddy as John remained good and Paul was decidedly not.

    • humboldt

      Given your handle, you might enjoy this article in The Atlantic last year, which examined the creative process with Lennon/McCartney using Nietzsche’s concept of Apollo and Dionysus:
      http://www.theatlantic.com/features/archive/2014/06/the-power-of-two/372289/

      I learned to play guitar by strumming Beatles songs, and they remain an indispensable part of my life. Have been studying their harmonies more closely in the past year, and it is simply remarkable how they complemented one another and blended so seamlessly. Sheer brilliance…and yes, George wasn’t so bad himself 🙂

      If pressed, I’ll say Lennon is my favorite Beatle. Actually, this reminds me of a fascinating documentary I saw a few months ago, where a radio DJ interviewed 500+ musicians over a decade and posed the question “Lennon or McCartney”. The range of responses is fascinating, although I believe Lennon ultimately wins more votes. Many people filibuster and simply refuse to answer, and indeed, the very question itself is a bit of a koan https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSwUzM_nTGM

      • ahaahaha,, i am in the process of learning guitar by strumming beatles songs. how and why did i not start this 40 years ago? it’s awesome! check my current roster — schecter, gretsch, martin (all cheapy used buys) with a peavey tube amp. if i actually get good i am going to be the biggest guitar hoarder.

        • humboldt

          Those are gorgeous guitars. Man. Makes me want to go home and be with mine, haha.

          I found learning how to play using the Beatles oeuvre was the best possible incentive because of how exhilarating it was to strum something approximating one of their songs. Still can remember the thrill of learning the simple 3-chord Twist and Shout, and then the epiphany I had when I realized that same progression was the foundation for Here Comes the Sun.

          Glad you’ve found your way to the guitar, Mike. Keep at it, and enjoy its many gifts.

          If I may introduce a similarly penetrating corollary to Lennon vs McCartney, what would your top 3 Beatles songs be?

          Mine have a habit of rotating, but right now I’d say:
          Don’t Let Me Down
          This Boy

          Strawberry Fields

          • zarathustra

            If I responded with my top 3 even next week it might be far different, but here’s the 5 that I have now in no order:

            Across the universe
            Blackbird
            Golden Slumbers/Carry that Weight (really kind of one song in my mind)
            Yellow Submarine
            strawberry fields

          • 1. From that superb Atlantic article, this is perfect: “John needed Paul’s attention to detail and persistence,” Cynthia Lennon, John’s first wife, said. “Paul needed John’s anarchic, lateral thinking.”

            2. Random thought: Lennon’s You Cant Do That could never be written much less released today due to its unvarnished ugly controlling mindset toward his (I guess) girlfriend;;; but You Cant Do That evolves into one of the most honest songs ever, Jealous Guy, which also wouldn’t get past our current cultural self-censoring impulses.

            3. In My Life //Here There Everywhere //and I’ll throw in Her Majesty because it’s both perfect and reflects how insanely gifted they were that things like that just flowed to them with seeming ease.

            4. Don’t see This Boy on too many lists but Lennon’s screaming bridge with George/Paul harmony is just. so. money. Go to the 1:00 mark. http://youtu.be/O_vqE2hBWkg

      • zarathustra

        Great article. Thanks!

  • mgbode

    going through the list.

    (1) Cutting Gordon is more a win for him than us. We hold hostage his ability to make real $$$ as he is still on his rookie contract. Like JAX w/ Blackmon, there is no reason to cut him (yet).

    (2) Mr. Loggains is currently serving his punishment by being forced to attempt to coach the uncoachable Jay Cutler in Chicago.

    (3) Redemption stories are great. Improbably, near impossible redemption stories are the best.

    (4) The coaches, FO, and suits need to figure stuff out together. That is how all of the best organizations work.

    (5) Cardale Jones is going to be the most picked apart prospect in recent memory. The one thing that Jameis Winston and Johnny Manziel had going for them was that the media spent so much time dissecting their off field failures and wrongdoings that they ignored much of their on field regression. Cardale Jones will not be afforded as much leeway if he even wins the starting job (I believe he will win the starting job).

    (6) Radio still exists?

    (7) Agreed on the categorizations of the outgoing coaches, but they were still hired by the team just a year ago after hiring/firing an entire coaching staff the year prior. That constant churn is a failure moreso than any 1 specific instance.

    (8) Who doesn’t love a JR Smith who is behaving?

    (9) eh

    (10) I will wait until we actually see the uniforms in April/May before pounding my fists. However, I am trying to develop a nice callous on the underside of my hands just in case we go the Tampa re-design route.

    (11) I choose Lennon & McCartney working together and pushing each other to higher success.

    • you’re 100% right, the ‘lennon or mccartney’ question is a false premise,, i cant think either wouldve have been as great without the other. one of the most productive rivalries in history.

      re the suits, i see no reason for any input from business types on football decisions. winning is good business and achieving that goal is only hindered if there’s even a subliminal insinuation that jersey sales or social media presence should be a factor in personnel acquisition.

      on unis, i smell something like the lions or vikes (or dolphins) and why we want to follow those franchises’ templates is beyond me.

      • mgbode

        I took suits to include Haslam and, for better or for worse, there are precious few NFL teams whose owners do not directly affect how things flow. the better ones are there just to help dissolve arguments / setup infrastructure and are not actually making the calls themselves though. I hope that Scheiner isn’t making an argument for a draft pick as that’d be a bad setup.

  • Trying very hard to remain optimistic about the upcoming uniform change, but the closer we get the more I fear what Jimmy Haslam and Alec Scheiner will allow the manufacturer to cook up. At this point I’m hoping for something close to what the Dolphins did – some “updates” but mostly OK – and fearing that they will be more akin to the Bucaneers.

    As for Manziel … I was confident the Browns were wiping the slate clean and we’re going to spend the off-season and draft looking hard at getting a real QB on the roster, but now with the hiring of Kevin O’Connell as QB coach I’m not sure what to think.

    • while it’s good for johnny to be in rehab i guess, even a dried-out focused studying johnny is still gonna be a significantly undersized nfl qb…

  • Warburton MacKinnon

    I can want to have something to say about your topics,but I am done at least till next season talking about JF,and Gordon he is either gone or we can wait a year to bitch about him some more.Then you went and had content about the uniforms…and truth be told the only sport I follow is football,and in that sport almost exclusively the Browns,now all that being said.
    What I am thinking of and might want to talk about would be the craptastic officiating in the Super Bowl,why taking the ball out of the back of your own end zone is not a safety anymore,how the last offensive play by Seattle wasn’t some sort of interference(the CB knocked the Seahawk reciever to the out of the way prior to the interception),how a Seattle player was ejected for the scrum at the end,but no one was even penalized on NE’s side(they were only tearing off players helmets all game)……Oh yeah and one last thing why the NFL could possibly let the Pats win this year…..I mean if they wanted us not to talk about the problems in the NFL and the many mistakes by officials in the playoffs, and wanted deflate gate to go away,this was not the way to go. Perhaps the NFL just wants coverage 24-7,365 days a year(bonus question how much will they sine Lynch for pushing the camera after the game).

    • Beeej

      1. Wasn’t interference because the receiver was in the 5 yard “do whatever you feel like” zone.
      2. After the huge issue/non-issue with deflate gate it will be interesting to see where NE ends up with regards to plays per fumble stat.
      3. There is no reason to mention Gordon and Jamboogie until the start of training camp.

      • zarathustra
      • Beeej

        As soon as I hit “post” the Johnny in rehab stories showed up. There are 15 different stories on Yahoo’s homepage all saying, “Johnny entered rehab, we have no other details, the family asked for privacy.”

  • Nick

    I wouldn’t cut Josh Gordon. He has no impact on the immediate future of the team and Pettine/Farmer will plan to move forward without him. When the NFL reinstates him next year, the Browns can assess if he got his head on straight. Why not give a 23 year old who broke NFL records in his 2nd season (!!!!) another chance?

    I don’t know shit about NFL locker rooms so I’m likely misguided. But, cutting the rights to the most talented player on the club seems like a dumb thing to do. Even if he was part of the problem this year. We should trust in the culture that Pettine is establishing to fix future problems
    like what we saw this year.

    Gordon makes bad decisions and likes pot and alcohol too much. People in the NFL have gotten away with far worse and had great careers.

    The most Cleveland thing to do is cut him now so he gets picked up and by the Ravens or Pats next year and magically changes and dominates the league for the next 5 years. Its reason enough to not cut him so just browns fans don’t have to consider this happening.

    Banner had a deal in place in 2013, and it was stopped. When the Browns killing the deal, they decided the risk/reward was too great and they had to see this through, and that includes not bailing on him right now.

    • i dunno. braylon was really talented too. but if you have a habit of dogging it and losing focus it can lead to ints (drive killer end of half vs bills) and key drops (game losing 3rd down non-convert vs colts).

      i’d also say he doesn’t so much have a weed or booze issue as he has an addiction issue and has had it since high school. it seems a little foolish to think that after:

      1. being passed over by his top choices mich-ucla-tamu in high school recruiting (straight josh wouldve had his pick of any school) then,
      2. getting suspended at baylor (weed/asleep in taco bell) then;
      3. getting kicked from baylor (weed/ failed test while suspended) then,
      3a. transferring to utah then declaring for NFL and not playing for them — dont know the story on that one, but fishy,
      4. two game suspension in 2013 (drank cough medicine) then,
      5. year suspension reduced to ten games in 2014 (weed/ failed test while in program) then,
      6. year suspension in 2015.

      that now he’ll get the message now on his seventh ‘straighten your shit out’ teachable moment.

      i have to say, for a guy with all that shit on his record,,, for him to come out in his first game back with the jersey out said, ‘I dont get it.’ i caught minor blowback for making a thing about it at the time, but,,, welp.

      net net: team was better without him. so if they do jettison him i don’t think it’s all bad.

  • GRRustlers

    I seem to reach this point around the same time of year when I just can’t bring myself to comment or deeply care about much. Probably a combination of dead part of sports and busy season for me at work but I like this…

    1. Yes. As soon as possible because if he’s not a member of the team he leaves Cleveland and is unable to cause problems with people actually on the team.

    2. Tying Jay Cutler up in the locker room until he vaccinates his damn kids.

    3. Yes…and he gets cut in preseason. Hoyer signs for 3 years. Browns draft Grayson and retain Shaw. Manziel wakes up in Saskatchewan trying to figure out how the hell to get ahead Darian Durant on the depth chart.

    4. Just count the money guys in suits.

    5. Cardale Jones is a moron. There is zero incentive for him to return to school…and save me the get an education bull shit. Pretending the guy would ever actually have to interview for a job in Columbus is almost as insane as pretending that OSU does not accept cash for him to pay for the rest of his degree. Meanwhile the school just keeps printing 12 gauge t-shirts.

    6. Good stuff all around here…feel like I am on an island though because I really like Adam the Bull…him and Fox together are great and the only sports on radio I can even tolerate.

    7. Whatever Pettine wants he should get. These guys all work really hard and I don’t think it’s crazy to think they should actually like each other.

    8. The Cavs basically got Mozgov, Smith, and Shumpert for Dion. This is beyond insane.

    9. I have a slightly different take on this. I think the Browns need to move training camp but the idea of Columbus is insane. I was thinking Boise State. North Dakota State looks like they also have nice facilities. I’m not joking. This team needs to get as far away from Berea as possible and it’s minute by minute breakdown of camp. It’s just not healthy…also if the mere thought of Manziel trying to find a drink in Fargo at 9:30 at night on Hard Knocks does not entertain you…this would be out of the box thinking that would actually help the team come together during camp though. You want to convert Steelers fans in the Columbus area. Win football games. That’s it. Now pay me millions a year and I’ll just tell you I went to Sloan.

    10. I keep telling myself I won’t go crazy about the unis until I see them.

    Final thing that I will add.

    Yesterday my son had a birthday party playing Laser Tag. I had a couple of hours to kill in Fairlawn so Swenson’s was a must. I then decided to walk around Dick’s for a little bit. Tons of Manziel gear on clearance. Tons of OSU and Cavaliers gear. I kept walking around for about 30 minutes and then I realized I could not find a single piece of Indians gear. Nothing. I will always be a baseball fan first and I understand that Cleveland is not a baseball town but this shocked me. The Indians run circles around the other 2 organizations in this town with a stacked deck against them in MLB and have a chance to be really good the next 3-5 years. Nothing…I mean change the damn team name already if you have to just to get gear in the stores. Remember…every 10 year old boy in America buys a Spiders hat. I’ll stop now because nothing gets me more fired up than the media treatment in this town of the Tribe and the constant idiotic Dolan bashing that is based in nothing more than lies and ignorance.

    • i’ll say this much for scheiner: he’d have the spiders gear on shelves two years ago.

      • GRRustlers

        I hope someone at HBO is reading this. Haden and Taylor walk into a bar with special guest and recent NBA Champion J.R. Smith. Twitter would crash that night.

        The worst part about college is that had I known I would be working in an industry in which it is completely unnecessary I would have saved my parents some money. Licensing and continuing education is all I deal with in the Insurance industry and the internal debate as to whether or not CPCU is worth the time or effort. No one has ever even asked about my degree. Granted when you move from the standard to the non-standard market like I did 5 years ago people are just surprised you keep coming to work and actually talking to these lunatics. I could retire this year by writing a book if not for the privacy laws with the stories I hear on a daily basis and the MVR reports that I run. I’m not dismissing college in any way but there are tons of good jobs that just need certification or licensing that could easily be done in apprentice programs or an extension of high school.

        Now if we can find a way to get Alex to move across town and work for the Indians I think we could help 2 Cleveland sports teams.

  • zarathustra

    I get weary just watching it all and occasionally commenting. I can’t imagine what it would be like to continually post on these things.

    1. Yes.

    2. Probably

    3. Still too soon, but we are close in my mind.

    4. Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    5. I think I’ve far exceeded my word limit on the subject. Definitely would have surged up draft boards and been a first round pick though.

    6. Meh.

    7. I’m not so sure. The Ravens can survive changing coordinators every year because they have a quarterback, a terrific head coach, a seasoned front office, and a winning culture. The Browns have none of these things. Continuity would have been good. Kyle Shannahan may be a scheming back-biter, but I wouldn’t say he’s dumb. He has spent his entire life watching winning organizations and after a year with the Browns decided he didn’t like where this thing is going. See point number 4.
    The schedule is likely to be much tougher next year. We might not like it, but if I’m him I would be worrying about job security after next year. It may be venal for him to be so calculating, but he needs to be successful as a coordinator to get a head coaching opportunity and he didn’t think he could be successful here. And remember he knows much more of what is happening in Berea than we ever will. I’m very concerned.

    8. Sure. Why not.

    9. You may be kind of right on this, but I think you might be reading too much into it all.

    10. I think there is a way to tweak the uni’s while still properly honor tradition. And I think there is a way to do so that you might find acceptable. I suspect they will take it too far though and pretty much everyone will pissed.

    • the browns’ “hard 2015 schedule” talking point needs a double-check. yes we have the NFCW and AFCW. but the NFCW was not the juggernaut expected at the start of the season. niners turmoil will continue; cardinals minus palmer are just ok and how will reliable will 53 year old palmer be next year; rams whiffed on another high pick (robinson) and have their usual QB drama malaise. AFCW? new coach and probably QB in denver.. chiefs who knows.. chargers are tough.. raiders on the up.. but it’s with the broncos being blown up i don’t know that it’s a tough division. then we get last place jets and titans (and raiders).

      when the tradition is ‘less is more, substance over style, we’re here to play football’ uni tweaks don’t figure. i thought it was noteworthy that oregon adopted that attitude in the champ game even though it didn’t help. not down with osu’s pro-combat stuff but at least their tweaks zero in on a past champ team. (the black shoulder numbers from 1968 were awesome.) the ubiquitous pimping out of uniforms make the remaining old-school unis ironically the unique ones that actually jump off the page. oh is that another chrome helmet WKU RU Baylor TCU IU MiamiO? more penn state please.

      • zarathustra

        Very fair point re: next year’s schedule. That actually probably my biggest nfl pet peeve. There are always good teams that nosedive and bad teams that surprise. My only counter would be that they aren’t likely to be gift-wrapped an historically awful division (nfc south) and a merely awful division (afc south) so the likelihood remains the schedule will be at least somewhat more difficult.
        Sadly, none of this matters though. Today I discovered that Malcolm Butler was a Mike Lombardi’s find for the pats. This damn thing is bigger than all of us. I only pray that a quality coach like Pettine lands on his feet somewhere in ’16.

        • mgbode

          We only went 4-4 against those 2 awful divisions this past season and 3-5 against the rest of our schedule. And, 5-5 outside our division.

          Unlike Mike, I think Peyton is coming back, but we still could find just 3 wins against the West of the NFC & AFC and be in the same situation as we were this year if we can also beat the Jets and Titans (5-5 outside the division).

          They key, as always, is going to be winning inside the division. Until we start winning 4 games a year instead of losing 4 games a year, we are not going to set ourselves up for any type of sustained success.