I am all about self expression, but man does Danny Gibson’s hair grow back fast. It seems like the much-improved guard has a different design in his hair almost every game. I couldn’t quite tell what he was rocking last night, but as best I could tell on Friday, he had a stencil of himself etched into his head. And to top that off, a star etched into the head of the stencil. That’s dedication to a craft. Just when you assume that the kid has run out of geometric designs, he comes strong with the silhouette. We’ve already seen the state of Texas this year, so who knows what will be next. I vote for a portrait of Anderson Varejao, where Andy’s hair actually wraps around Danny’s head.
Mack Attack 2.0
Not much has been made of the most recent NFL Draft for the Browns. And when most fans do discuss it, it is usually either in regard to what the Browns could have had, or the perceptively God awful selections that were Brian Robiskie and David Veikune in the second round. However, few rookies are garnering as much work with their respective starting units as rookie center Alex Mack. Things started off a bit rocky, but Mack has improved drastically over the course of the year frequently finding himself at the second level of the opposing defense. One thing was obvious when Mack was in college: he plays to the whistle. And this hasn’t changed at all. He may not be as sexy of a name as Clay Matthews or Michael Oher, but Mack has not disappointed this fan whatsoever.
One of the Tribe’s forecasted offseason acquisitions is slated to be a right-handed first baseman. For many years, the Indians have rolled with a platoon at first base. From the days of Ben Broussard to the more recent Ryan Garko, few first basemen donning Wahoo on their hats get full time gigs at first. But given the move of Matt LaPorta – one of the top prospects, obtained for CC Sabathia – to first base, I was hoping that the slugger would get full-time at-bats. I realize that he may need some time to get back into playing shape following surgery, but in a rebuilding year, I would fully hope that LaPorta gets all of the at-bats possible. We definitely do not need another Dellucci-type clogging up playing time, that’s for sure.
Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan is easily my favorite of the “new” coaches to stand on the sidelines for the Browns. He’s intense, he yells at opposing players, and has a killer beard. But his quotes late last week about his coaching drew my interest when he said, “Not too many people are going to be better than me.” Look, I think Rob is a great addition to this team, but to say that not many others are better than he is may be a bit of a reach. Perhaps if he meant “of people currently not employed at any level of football,” we may reach some sort of middle ground. But when your defense gives up nearly 40 points the Detroit Lions, we have a small issue. I just hope he can get the pieces in place going forward – assuming he is here going forward – that can help him show us how good he truly is.
The Nike Bowl
This year’s Rose Bowl is bound to be a good one. Oregon has pretty much cruised through their season after losing the opening night tip against Boise State. Ohio State has sputtered a bit, but just not as much as the rest of the Big Ten. Many think that the Ducks are going to rout the Buckeyes, but Vegas currently has it as a 3.5-point spread. Regardless of the outcome, the real winner will be Nike; chief apparel designer for both schools. Oregon rolls out a new uniform almost every game, Ohio State tried something a bit different this year. Nike has already distributed Rose Bowl t-shirts for both teams and will likely have their swoosh displayed as often as possible between now and kickoff on New Year’s Day. Just don’t ask the OSU uniform curmudgeons what they think about the “throwbacks.”
She’s a Ten
Speaking of spreads, the Browns are only 10-point underdogs against the arguably banged-up Steelers tomorrow night. Admittedly, the Steelers are not giving as much due to their losing streak coupled with their injuries, the weather and being on the road. They’re simply not playing as well right now as they were at almost any point last season, or even earlier this year. But a month ago, what would you have pegged this spread at? I’d say at least 15 – which is an absolute TON at home. It could be a trap game for those betting based on the last few games of each team, or it could be an actual representation of the two teams not actually being as far apart as originally perceived. By no means is 10 points a “pick ’em,” but at this point, even minor surprises help Browns fans cope.
Our 12 Days of Christmas feature is probably my favorite group of the year. It’s a time of the year where we can give back to you guys for hanging out with us over the course of the entire calendar and discuss things that pertain to usmore than the actual game of play. Whether it is a story about an autograph, a time when you heckled Marquis Grissom until he threw a ball anywhere near you or even who you would prefer to deliver presents to your home – it’s about us. And that’s pretty darn cool. Not that I think WFNY is the blog to end all blogs, but the community that we have built here is like few others I’ve seen anywhere. And this is all thanks to you guys. I couldn’t ask for a better group of fans with whom we get to share our day-to-day opinions, hopes and collective misery.
Milk Was a Bad Choice
Finally, we have a line from Anchorman. But why? Derek Anderson, that’s why. Did anyone catch his beard this past week when the camera panned to him on the sidelines? He’s an exact replica of Ron Burgundy, post-firing from the Channel 4 News Team. He looks like he hasn’t shaved in months, just burrowed in a basement somewhere reminiscing about the days of old. Those days where he managed to complete passes to his team, score touchdowns and actually win games. Those days. Now he just puts on the full-length Browns coat and hangs out with the guy who makes sure the seat heaters are working. Except this time around, I don’t picture anyone playing the Champ Kind roll, reeling Derek back into prominence. Son of a bee sting.