Soulless husk of the Cleveland Browns.

So it’s time to talk Browns football again is it?  Alright let’s dig in because it’s been a meh summer, so thank goodness we can rely on our Brownies to do right by us.

265 jerseys; none made in this country.

265 jerseys; none made in this country.

And by “us,” I of course mean a Franklin County mall rat who can’t hasn’t settled on which new Steelers jersey to purchase with his mom’s credit card since Polomalu is so 2010.  He’d better watch out for Alec Scheiner’s marketing juggernaut because he might get steamrolled.  The Browns want his $300 spend on this year’s Honduran-made Nike Elite jersey because their share of $5,000,000,000/year in television revenue and and 50 million in gate receipts are just not enough.  Gotta confiscate 20 million from all the plutocrats residing in Cuyahoga County for scoreboards and escalators doncha know.  What part of ‘maximizing revenue streams’ don’t you understand?  Once you do understand, then maybe you’ll sign on for the dude-bro-est uniforms in all of the NFL.1

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Nine uniform combinations weren’t enough? Christ.

Good god they’re hideous.


Ok, before we get into the Browns, quick update on why it’s been a meh summer over here.

When last we talked I was bragging on my renaissance as a working class hero in the regional Walmart Distribution Center.  The shit I wrote about the job amounting to getting paid to have a cross-fit trainer kick  your own ass for ten hours a day was for real.  Here’s my first day of work ID badge and eight weeks later:

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But you know how I was complaining about the endless pallets of kitty litter?  Well it happened 2am on a Wednesday morning, did a floor of motor oil and then kitty litter…

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Fresh

Fresh Step cat smirking at me for nights, weeks…

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Surgery Kanick.

… and right away I knew something was off because I could barely walk a flight of stairs.  Later that day, can barely walk across a parking lot and next stop is the ER with a pulse of 30; got admitted with full electrical block.  Now I have a pacemaker (and then a second pacemaker surgery because the first one didn’t stick) and have to lay low while it heals and it all adds up to a low key summer.2

So the Browns and Cheddar Bay3 should offer a welcome respite and a cause for optimism no?

Hahahaha… let’s see.  There’s good news and bad news.


Good news, bad news.

Good news:  the importance of a having transcendent quarterback is vastly overrated.

Fitzpatrick is a top ten QB when not leading Confederate calvary raids.

Fitzpatrick is a top ten QB when not leading Confederate calvary raids on Union supply trains.

Oh a competent quarterback is important.  But a bad quarterback can lose a game for you… just like a bad cornerback or wide receiver or kicker can… and since the QB touches the ball every play, a bad one has a chance to kill you every play.  So he is to be avoided.  But is it THAT important to have a “Franchise” QB at all costs?  Here’s last year’s QBR rating top ten — Romo, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, PManning, Brady, Brees, Luck, Palmer, Fitzpatrick, Wilson.  So is really Fitzpatrick is a top ten, “franchise” QB?  Or did he play behind a great o-line last year and throw to DeAndre Hopkins?  Does Russell Wilson really pass your eye test?  Or does he avoid mistakes in a game plan that features the singularly difficult to defense Marshawn Lynch?

This is a preview so I’m not going to bludgeon this.  My point is that Josh McCown will be FINE.  Every time you hear Rizzo whine, “But Tony, JOSH MCCOWWWWN!!” please remember that he is an idiot and that Cleveland possesses the worst talk radio I have ever heard.  Hoyer would have been fine.  All you really need is to avoid crowning a QB as a franchise savior before he’s done anything.  Or even worse, crowning them after they HAVE done nothing.  Which leads into…

At least we're not locked into this for the rest of the decade.

We’re not locked into this for the rest of the decade.

Good news, (sidebar on QB situation).  I’ll take this a step further.  Our QB situation with the seatwarmer McCown is much better than the Bengals’ having taken on the boat anchor contract of a shitty loser QB whose teammates know will never lead them anywhere but he’s gonna be your shitty QB until 2020.  Did you know Tony Romo is 35 and his 2013 contract goes through 2019?  How would like to be shackled to Jay Cutler?  Cam Newton?  Ryan Tannehill?  The Bears, Panthers, and Dolphins are committed to these borderline stiffs for the next six years!  ELI MANNING WANTS TO BE THE HIGHEST PAID PLAYER IN THE NFL.

We should be grateful to have McCown.  The alternative is to be blowing smoke up each other’s asses that, “This is the year Newton/RG3/Geno/Manuel/_insert “franchise QB name” here_ really figures out the offense!!”  At least there’s no grey area with us and with a bar as low as ours, we’re probably going to get a pleasant surprise.

Bad news,  this here Vince Lombardi quote:

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How hard is it to find a decent running back?  Cripes.

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Browns’ recent running backs, a dramatization.

Alfred Morris played for the pickled zombie of Howard Schnellenberger on footballs teams actually worse than what you’d expect from football teams out of Boca Raton and look at him now.  Meanwhile we take Milli Vanilli third overall.  We get the journeyman reclamation project offended that we drafted and signed rookie RBs.  We outsmart the Ravens by swooping in to snatch the Towson star right from under their noses… and they just draft Lorenzo Taliaferro 44 slots later; he’ll get plenty of touches this year.  And now we’re seriously looking at another name-brand Ravens’ cast off… which reminds me:  we got the bad Jamal Lewis.

Also, apparently the only running back on the roster who can catch a pass is the injured third round rookie.  WHAT??  Crowell and West can’t catch a swing pass?

Why does the execution of basic football plays that everyone has done since Pop Warner always seem such a challenge for my Browns?

Good news, we are ALL IN on the offensive line.

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Erving will make a difference before year is over.

We had a good team last year when we had three studs (Thomas, Bitonio, Mack) on the offensive line.  3-2 after five weeks and one simple third down convert in the fourth quarter of the Ravens game from being 4-1.  The wheels fell off when Mack was injured and they no longer had three studs.  This offseason the Browns went out and invested o-line STUD depth.  It’s pretty awesome.  We here at this site will never not be thrilled with first round picks invested in offensive linemen.

I know Greco has a decent PFF grade but seems to me I’ve seen him get rag-dolled in pass protection.  He’s a good run blocker but was very exposed when Alex Mack was no longer on his hip.  I’m guessing we quite a bit of Cam Erving and it will be a quiet difference maker.

Good news, Farmer/Pettine want to win the line of scrimmage.

tony-rizzo

“C’mon Tony! Josh McCown?” “SAMMY WATKINS!”  Cleveland sports radio analysis.

Grossi wants playmakers and Rizzo CANT BELIEVE WE HAVE JOSH MCCOWN COME ON TONEEE… but playmakers don’t make plays and quarterbacks make turnovers when you lose at the line of scrimmage.  Not only did Farmer invest in Erving but they also went with the highest rated morbidly obese nose tackle in 2014 college ball with an eye toward owning the defensive line of scrimmage.

The good news is that our brain trust are making football picks, not necessarily the splashy picks.  If you want a silver lining from the drafting Manziel fiasco, it is that Haslam’s new beverage in the 2015 draft room must have been a steaming cup of STFU.

Bad news, obesity in athletics is a questionable path to success.

Danny Shelton is fat.  Don’t care how many times announcers tell me about his amazing play count at UW, don’t care about what they say about his motor, is interesting but don’t care that he was dropping into coverage in the first pre-season game.  This here:

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is not sustainable for a long-term player in any professional sports league.

Now I gotta admit he was probably the most impressive Browns player in the first pre-season game.  I’d just like to see if he can play nose tackle at a healthier weight.  I really don’t want my players risking diabetes on my behalf just for another 7-9 season.

Good news, Brian Hartline was champion in two Ohio high school track events in 2005.

hartlinenon.jpg.w300h224

Hurdles.

Bad news is that the events were hurdles (110 and 300 meters).  But he is an honest-to-god track star and that can’t be bad.  Hate to say it, but gotta say it:  if Hartline were black he’d be viewed as more than a possession receiver who runs precision routes.  Gotta look out for those Canton ‘athaletes.’  (Did you know Dustin Fox ran a 4.43 40 with a 43.5″ vertical??)

Bad news, I saw way too much Josh Lenz Thursday and in the Columbus scrimmage.

Are the other receivers that bad?  Out of shape?  Not working as hard?  Why an undrafted Iowa State 24 year old on his fourth team in two years developing so much ‘chemistry’ with our backup QB?  I am afraid it says more about our other receivers than it does about Lenz.

Good news, Marlon Moore.

That is all.  Marlon Moore.  He’s just a baller.  Like Cribbs used to be.  Get him on the field, let him make plays.  I think Pettine will be more willing to feed that coaching instinct than Mangini was.

Bad news, Michael Bowie.

He sucked Thursday.  I know it’s not his fault that I and most everyone reading to post follow the Browns’ transaction wire too closely and are willing to believe every crumb reported… especially when we’ve outsmarted the Seahawks by breaking some unwritten ‘don’t claim an injured guy’ rule.  Welp.  He sucked.  And not just first pre-season game/doesn’t know the offense suck either. S-U-C-K, suck.

Good news, Dansby-Bitonio-Hawkins-Kruger-Gipson-Hughes.

These are solid guys who may or may not make a pro bowl who you build a team around.

Holy christ, Justin Gilbert.

Lookit, when I tout a draft prospect who is fast with long arms and a great vertical it’s because I’m not a scout.  I haven’t spoken to him.  Have not broken down film.  Be assured if I’m considering such a prospect as a top ten overall pick, I’d check all those boxes.  It is hard to believe the Browns did even than minimal level of due diligence on the Gilbert pick.

Everyone talks about passing on Sammy Watkins but actually we traded Anthony Barr and a fifth rounder for Gilbert.  ANTHONY BARR.

Am I calling him a bust?  Ennnnhhh… too early.  But he sure looks it.  Totally lost.  “Fluid hips” don’t mean dick if you’re always – ALWAYS – turning those hips in the wrong direction.  The kid looks lost and worse, he looks the same level of lost as he did in his rookie year.

Good news, Desir.

On the other hand, Pierre Desir is improving.

Good news, Mike Pettine.

No nonsense football coach who knows the game, know players, inspires men.

Bad news, Jim O’Neil.

Why does this defense have no clue on how to stop the run?  His defense needs to get better fast because he doesn’t get to blame the personnel this year.


The predictions.

ff5I’m having a very hard time moving past the apparent whiff that were the two 2014 first round picks.  Honest to God:  just use a fucking dartboard you assholes.  

Come to think of it, here’s your last five first round picks: Gilbert, Manziel, Mingo, Richardson, Weeden.

Can you believe that?  Can you believe that after years of incompetence and after swapping GMs every other year and new scouts and new owners and new coaches and new stadiums… my god, it’s still –>

Gilbert, Manziel, Mingo, Richardson, Weeden.

Seriously, what are the odds of having five first round picks in three years and missing on all of them?  It just doesn’t happen.  Good thing we have new dude-bro unis and a “dog pound” marketing campaign that strains to have any connection to a unique bleacher area in the old stadium and has no connection any actual, you know, dog pounds.4 Good think we have a new logo and wordmark that is bold, as is the new orange which attempts to be more like the Bengals and succeeds.

Gilbert, Manziel, Mingo, Richardson, Weeden.

Good thing the Scheiner regime is sniffing around the beautiful white collar world of higher education and corporate insurance/fastfood/retailing that is Franklin County.  God forbid they should spend any more time than necessary in working class hell holes of northeast Ohio.Gilbert

Gilbert, Manziel, Mingo, Richardson, Weeden.

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How many fucking mascots is enough?

I am salty.  Salty salty salty.  Didn’t realize how salty until I started writing.

Oh look, a superfan not wearing a dog mask or pumpkin actually helping create a unique game experience.

Oh look, a superfan not wearing a dog mask or pumpkin actually helping create a unique game experience.

You had one job.  Don’t fuck up the uniforms.  ALL they had going for them that was cool and durable and meaningful, were the best uniforms in the league.  And they couldn’t not fuck with them.

I went to a game last year.  The tailgates were great.  But what the fuck is that ‘pumpkinhead’ shit?  Another lame superfan gets adopted by the PR machine and now is featured on the scoreboard?5  Another dick character pointing at me and posturing like he’s a tough guy?  A tough guy calling me out?  To what?  To fight?  Is that it?  Do you want to fight me tough guy in a pumpkin or tough dog in a plushy outfit or tough.. elf?

Just any other expansion team in any other stadium.  Thank God we have a full compliment of mascots and LOTS OF ORANGE to remind us where we are.

Gilbert, Manziel, Mingo, Richardson, Weeden … and SWAGGER!!

That damn dog mascot is going to be a running joke.  Swagger.  Never forget what an honest to god shelter dog mascot could have looked like:


The owners of this team recognize you the fan only as revenue streams and they believe that you’re in the bag so their goal is to find new fans.  Those are the fans who need mascots and uniforms with the team name written out in letters because that helmet.  I can hear the consultants in the conference room with Scheiner now, “Our focus groups are confused by the helmet.  There’s no wordmark on it so we need to brand ourselves somewhere else on the uniform.”  A Cleveland guy would say back — he helmet IS the brand.  A Georgetown suit says, “I agree, there was a TED seminar on this very issue in Monterrey.  Or was it Whistler.”

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You know Haslam/Scheiner want to change the name to something ‘doggie,’ right?

And on some level I’ve always known this, but this is the first year I’ve really felt smacked in the face by the reality of it.  What those Sloan douche bags will never get though:  Columbus will be Steelers or Bengals territory as long as the Steelers or Bengals are winning and Columbus will never be totally Browns country as long as Gilbert, Manziel, Mingo, Richardson, Weeden are the first round picks.  Then Scheiner and company will be stuck will all you low-brow Cuyahoga County sin tax paying suckers and they will be chagrined by your declining income metrics and will seek to move to San Antonio as soon as possible.

I mean don’t you get it?  They are dying to get out of Cleveland and Columbus is the best they can do for now.  Columbus is growing; Cleveland is dying.  And the Browns aren’t going to stick around for that.


Dammit, I keep trying to bring this back to a prediction.  I predict I’m not going to care.  They actually are an expansion team now with these uniforms.  I mean:  didn’t we sue Modell to enforce our lease and back down only when the NFL agreed to give us a new team with the same colors?  We fought to prevent the Baltimore Browns.  We fought and won that fight only to have a hillbilly and yuppie commission a Delaware County focus group to tell them what they knew in their bones already — we need three mascots!!


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Never good when your motto is a punch line.

Christ, I can’t do it.  I’m trying to get fired up.  Here…  “Josh McCown to Brian Hartline.”  “Aggressive attacking defense.”  Oh damn, that was two years ago.  “Play like a Browns.”  I got nothing.  I feel nothing.  I don’t think this team has any soul.  A bunch of guys collecting a check.  A bunch of suits spewing shit about ‘giving back to the community’ while taking as much as they can from that community and coveting new wealthier communities.

There will be no Dwayne Bowe renaissance.  Craig Robertson won’t magically master pass coverage.  Terrence West won’t stop doing whatever he does to piss off his coaches.  Our punter will be better but our punt returners gonna do a lot of fair catching.  Dansby will fight but he’ll lose a step.  Taylor will be injured.  Nate Orchard will bust.  Hayes Pullard is this year’s Jamoris Slaughter.  World keep spinning.

But they do have a good offensive line and Pettine is a good man and a good coach, so I’ll say ten wins.  Yeah, because a good offensive line can make you a good team.  (E.g., the mid-70s Cardinals went 10-4, 11-3, 10-4 and it was not because of Jim Hart and Mel Gray.)

I’ll also predict the NFL bubble is about to pop.  We’re entering a serious time in history and overpaying rich people for frivolous distractions is not sustainable.


  1. Just for laffs, I went to Nike’s contract manufacturer site, picked a random apparel maker, googled them and found a report on their labor rights violations.  Took fifteen seconds.  The concept of “Free Trade” becomes the greatest bullshit when American makers are forced to compete against exploited workforces. [back]
  2. IMG_2194Walmart’s treatment of me throughout has been above and beyond.  Everything from a personal call from the plant manager leaving me his cell phone if I needed anything to a Get Well Soon card from my orderfiller crew and a pretty liberal extension of benefits.  I will brook no incivility toward Walmart in my presence. [back]
  3. Cheddar Bay launch coming this week but if you want to get ahead of the game, the 2015 rules/registration page is live. [back]
  4. From their site, dated July 14 2015:  “Currently, the Cleveland City Kennel is at capacity, and is in desperate need of shelters and rescue organizations to step in and save canines in need. Please email beck2_2@yahoo.com for more information.” [back]
  5. At least ‘Big Dawg‘ had a connection to dogs and the whole dog pound marketing gimmick.  Inside the stadium could have been any other stadium. [back]
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  • oxr

    Good lord, man, that is some scary stuff (not the Browns part; that’s just business as usual). Fingers crossed over here for your continued recovery.

  • humboldt

    Mike, glad to hear you survived the scare, but sorry you had to go through two surgeries as I know how disruptive and unsettling it can be. Great to have your critical mind revved back up – your voice has certainly been missed. Also your clever photo captions. The Ryan Fitzpatrick as JEB Stuart picture: amazing.

    Like you, I can’t shake the question of why the new jerseys are so offensive to me? It’s complex.

    In an age of the individual (as political agent with rights, as consumer) we have lost many of the bonds that create solidarity for human beings. We rely on tribal affiliations to keep us connected to meaning and purpose (churches, pro sports, political parties, etc). For many of us, the Browns are one such powerful affiliation that binds us to one another, and to our shared familial/regional history. As you say, it’s why the name/colors were worth fighting for – they remind us that we are part of something bigger than us, and are a rallying symbol of civic pride.

    Alek Scheiner is an almost cartoonish caricature of the modern-day private sector operative whose job is to expand revenue streams and grow grow grow, local traditions, environmental health, and basic human dignity be damned. Certainly, the dalliance with Columbus is about expanding market share, and the manipulation of local politicians to fund renovations using public dollars a most banal evil, but the jersey change feels more visceral and egregious because it represents the total commoditization of a civic good. What has for over 50 years served as a constant unifying symbol for our fan base is now boxed up with all the other endless shit on endless pallets in endless retail stores, waiting to be snapped up by the flat-brimmed hat wearer in Columbus who thinks it looks “fresh”. The alienation from the production line to the consumer is complete. Even the team looks alien in its new kit.

    And I’d still love to know about the focus groups. Who was at the table? What questions were asked? How strongly did our fans feel we needed a new shade of orange? Did they suggest the “Browns” down the leg, and the jersey strips jutting inscrutably into the middle of the jersey? Did a critical mass think we really needed drop shadows on our numbers because it worked so well for the 49ers jerseys a couple decades ago? Did passionate Browns fans advocate decoupling the “Dawg Pound” from the actual bleacher section and making it into a vague branding shibboleth? Did focus groups actually take place? Was it just Phil Knight, Scheiner, and a team of consultants?

    • This is wanted I wanted to say.

      Tribalism is a fact of human nature worthy of more respect, ought to be treated with even some level of sanctity. There’s no law profiting from virtuous human emotions like loyalty and there’s not even a verbalized challenge of its ethics. But, hard to put a finger on it, it feels like there should be.

  • AlvaroEspinoza10

    Odd that a prediction for 10 wins – a onetime Browns occurrence since 1994 – can be so negative. While Scheiner could have (and should have) left the uniforms alone, ultimately they’re not much different. Every team in the NFL maximizes revenue. Just don’t see how new uniforms could cast such a pall over the players and coaches, as you suggest. Players dig shiny uniforms (see: Oregon) and no way Pettine gives a F***. I’m no fan of Scheiner’s foray into the football side, but man get this stuff out of your system and get excited for some football.

    More talent and depth on both lines this year. Depth! What a concept for this franchise. Some bad apples gone (Tate, Gordon, Shanny, Logains). No more Buster Skrine. Pettine with a year under his belt (Pluto’s column from a week back talking about all that went on last camp, holy shit what a circus with Manziel and Gordon. Pettine handled all that shockingly well in hindsight). And here’s to hoping McCown can be as adequate as Hoyer was for the first 11 games last year behind a strong line. One thing he can do is hit the deep ball, and Hoyer missed a wide-open Taylor Gabriel at least once a game last year. Gabriel and Benjamin could have career years, which would be something.

    Worries: Run defense – I’ll believe it when I see it. Dansby/Whitner a year older and slower, Duke Johnson’s hammy, TWest’s head, Crowell’s fumbles, any key injury in the secondary, McCown getting off to bad start in first 4 (easy) games, Scheiner as football man, Jimmy’s trigger finger if team wins 7 or less again.

    I’ll be with a strong CLE contingent at the opener in NYC, anyone else? Our tailgate will be riotous

  • [Im still laughing every time I scroll through and see the Milli Vanilli gif.]

  • Nick

    Mike, sorry to hear about your summer, but glad you are on the path to recovery. Can’t wait for Cheddar obviously. The new uni’s don’t bother me except for the ‘Browns’ down the pants which is really silly. Change is inevitable. Maximize revenue streams should be the tagline of this team. I am optimistic about this year of course and believe 10 wins will be achieved due to Pettine and his focus on division games, an improved QB Room, no sabotaging (Shanny, Hash Gordon), and legitimate impact rookies. Contrast to a year ago, Browns are getting very little national pub and that is perfect.

    • humboldt

      “Change is inevitable.”

      I think the Packers, Raiders, Bears, Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, etc would disagree. Perhaps it’s more correct to say that “marginal change is inevitable; change is inevitable when profit is the only motive”.

  • Dave Kolonich

    I thought I was reaching in predicting 6-10, but you just pulled out a Jim Hart and Mel Gray reference!!

    I know BrownsTwitter and the mouth-breathers love the new uniforms, but the pants and CLEVELAND on the jerseys just SCREAM something Alec Scheiner focus grouped to death. But right, it’s all about cash – which so far Haslam has truly succeeded in doing. Think about it – he’s milked millions out of a last place team.

    I’m not super excited about this year’s prospects, but I do think the Farmer/Pettine combo needs to stick for a few more years. I disagree with Mike’s QB take – Hoyer and McCown can only take you so far and Manziel is CFL-grade. However, I have to again go on the record and state that I feel an impending DOOM is coming………

    Another last place finish – with Thad Lewis starting in December could mean another house cleaning. Watch out for Alec Scheiner running things hand in hand with PEYTON. Oh, and Adam Gase is your new HC!

    Browns Football!!

    • On my first pass on this, I had them with zero wins. ZERO. No soul, no identity (‘Play Like a Brown,’ yeah right). When the organizational’s culture is unvarnished mercantilism, that ‘it’s a business’ attitude seeps out of the front office and infects the locker room. In other words, they can paint ‘Play Like a Brown’ on every damn wall they want to, but everyone in the building KNOWS the real motto is ‘Maximize Revenue Streams.’

      These guys are in Berea to pick up a check; win or lose is incidental. Berea could be Jax could be Nashville could be St. Louis.. no difference. I’m here to get a check and not get injured and do what coach tells me to do. That’s how I _really_ feel. But that seems harsh and a great o-line takes you places.

      Jim Hart was the Matt Cassell of his day. But Coryell came up with an innovation that was effective for a couple years (pass a lot) and of course those Cardinals o-lines had three bonafide studs and a fourth who has an insane mind-fucker (Dobler) and they won 11-12 games in 14 game seasons. Didn’t do dick in the playoffs, but we’d take a playoff appearance no?

      There’s a thread there that I might have to follow.

      • Dave Kolonich

        Haslam doesn’t know a thing about building a football team and the PR is a total clown show, but he’s skilled at cashing in. He’s definitely the anti-Modell here. However, if the lease wasn’t such a sweetheart, don’t think for a second the Browns wouldn’t be part of the Los Angeles bluff with SD, OAK and STL.

        As for the O-Line, is it really that good? Last Thursday’s run game said “not so much.” Greco and Schwartz are replaceable and Mack is coming back from a serious leg injury. For the line to be truly top of the league, Farmer needs to find a right side version of Bitonio…..and fast – Thomas isn’t playing forever.

        And always remember one of my Browns’ expansion credo(es): whenever you think something is a strength, it doesn’t turn out that way:

        http://603brown.com/2015/04/24/the-expansion-era-guide-to-cleveland-browns-drafting/

        • I may have it backward but the RESULT of the investment in o-line talent at the top of the draft is secondary (in my mind) to the FACT of the investment. The fact that they spent two firsts on the line — and both in the center of each line at that — screams a philosophy that we intend to own the LOS.

          That in itself is worth noting and celebrating both for the solid football wisdom it implies and also because not a soul in the huge and growing Cleveland sports media throng and blogosphere have noticed the statement made by drafting a nose tackle and a center in the first round.

          • mgbode

            The year after drafting a starting LG in the early second round, and despite already having perhaps the best LT and C in the NFL (PFF rates them thusly).

      • Petefranklin

        Just a reminder that the Eagles and Giants were perennial 3-11 teams and the skins had the drunkest of drunks as QB during those years.

  • GRRustlers

    Glad you are back and wish you good health going forward. All of this stuff at the end of the day is just a distraction. Take care of yourself.

    Sometimes I feel like I am on an island ripping this team for the uniforms and then I read you and feel better. All of this is just so damn stupid. The NY Yankees are not changing uniforms. That is what the Browns are when it comes to the history of football and if they are so damn stupid to let some marketing idiots change the fucking shade of orange then I’ll just buy some Cavaliers gear.

    I have stolen something from you over the last year when discussing the team at work and with family. It really is all about competent QB play. The Browns were 7-4 last year with it. We could write books about what really happened that final 5 games but Hoyer and Manziel were never going to be on same roster going forward…also fuck Josh Gordon.

    Looking forward to Cheddar Bay as always…

  • jpftribe

    Mike, good to see some action here, especially if that means you are on the recovery road. All the best.

    I had the chance to spend a couple of weeks in Cleveland in July. Glorious weather. Caught two Kluber games. 40 beans for great seats on the first base line. Beers were $7.50, but given the beer dudes have not lost an ounce of entertainment value and they are $14 on a good day in Singapore I wasn’t complaining. Tribe has jettisoned the overpaid FA’s and are playing some good ball with the kids called up hungry for a spot.

    But these Browns, jeesh, I got nothing. Came back home to SE Asia and watched the first 30 minutes of the game….. I…..got….nothing. New unis? Meh. New QB? Meh. New running ‘attack’? Meh. New run defense? Meh.

    I can’t say they are going to move, but it is in the bag that this will just not end well. And the NFL bubble is something that has been going strong for over a decade. After watching BPL, Rugby and cricket overseas, the bloated, commercial laden spectacles that are now ‘normal’ NFL games are quite striking.

    Look forward to the Kurds piece, truly.
    Cheers

  • Mad_Elf

    You are, and forever shall be, my favorite Scribe. Remember to take some ‘you’ time, stop and smell the roses, my man. Even if they, too, are fertilized in Horse Shit.

  • Jim Conboy

    Quite a setback Mike. Good to hear you survived and getting back into the swing of things.
    I’m too old to get too worked up about the uni’s. Marketing departments don’t care about people or traditions. They only exist to keep cranking the dollars.
    My expectations are pretty low. I guess we will find out if Manziel can play or not. I suspect not.
    For me I’ve got the Blue Jays all loaded up for a play-off run – first in 20 years – so that should help get me through Oct.
    Keep the columns coming. I always enjoy your take on things.

    • Thanks. I’ll get into some more Browns stuff and my finger is on the trigger on another Deflategate piece (Why the hell is this being adjudicated for the third time and why doesn’t Gooddell investigate whether the Pats cheated in other games and why is Brady alone being scapegoated when it was a Pats employee who actually tampered with the balls after the referee blessed them?). But you know the piece I want to write is an interview with the two Kurdish refugees from my orderfiller crew. It’s just a story that is not getting told and I don’t want to give it a drive-by.

  • mgbode

    Glad to see you writing and extremely happy to hear that your heart issues have at least been put into a maintenance mode. Sounds frightening man and just happy to hear that you are allright.

    Try to chill on the uni’s. Bad for your heart. Heck, the Browns might be bad for your heart if we don’t get the running game moving too.

    • Here’s why the uniforms matter.

      The smart set on #brownstwitter likes to smirk about Browns history but there was a time within my living memory when the Browns were THE ELITE organization in the NFL. It occurred to me while writing this piece that without the uniforms — the uniforms we held Baltimore hostage for — we are truly nothing more than an expansion team except with a worse record. There’s no common thread back to the old through ownership, management, stadium, coaching. It’s the last piece of connecting tissue to the Browns’ glorious history and in a way to a time and place when Cleveland itself mattered on a national level.

      You live in Austin right? Need I say more about comparative regional growth? Now that Haslam/Scheiner have cut the last piece of connecting tissue it’ll be that much easier to move to Austin. Hell, they even revised our orange a shade closer to UT’s. They’ll be out of Cleveland at the earliest opportunity, mark my words.

      A crucial takeaway from my post is: What part of maximized revenue streams don’t you understand? Right? It’s a throw away line that means little in the abstract but actually means a lot over time.

      • mgbode

        The old shade was closer to the burnt orange set than the new one. In fact, most of my shirts are just a tad faded and look right in line with Longhorn gear.

        They are not moving the team (certainly not to Austin – Longhorn football first, second, and beyond here). Built-in fanbase in nationally shared economic structure means less reason to move. Would any other sport use LA as a mere tease? Or keep a franchise in GB?

        As for the new uni’s, we disagree. I think they kept the traditional look. Really, I do. Colors a bit brighter (and the wording on the legs is dumb and hopefully will be a 1 year fad), but:

        -Stripes on sleeves
        -Helmet pattern
        -Basic look of kit

        Does it matter if it says Browns or Cleveland across the chest? I say no.

        The biggest differences in this kit are:

        -Orange numbers on white jersey (and I actually like it)
        -Brightness of orange (prefer old hue, but not offended by new either)
        -Orange socks w/ white kits (add horizontal brown&white striping at the top and those would tie it together nicely).

        No mono-chromatic looks if I had my way (do not want all-brown or all-orange at all…especially all-orange). So, we’ll see there.

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