April 20, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Reliving the Browns video ‘Masters of the Gridiron’

While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links every day. We’ve been doing it for about four years or so. Denny Mayo used to be much more amusing with his intros, if you recall. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Was born after this video came out, so I had no idea about this ever. My goodness, this is glorious. “In 1985, the Chicago Bears released the iconic “Super Bowl Shuffle” rap video then went on to win an NFL title. The following year, the Cleveland Browns decided they wanted to try to follow suit, but opted to up the ante a little bit. The result? An amazingly bizarre 17-minute live action short film called “Masters of the Gridiron” that features members of the team dressed like He-Man characters fighting ninjas, bears and even an evil lord to capture an elusive ring. Former Browns center Mike Baab starred in the film and his wife, Lolis Garcia-Baab, produced it. They both spoke to For The Win about just how this offbeat piece of NFL history came to be for this week’s edition of Throwback Thursday.” [Chris Strauss/For The Win]

Speaking of odd Browns stories, they have a humongous football game on Sunday. So yeah, that’s pretty rad. “Rarely have the Browns gone into a bye week with any sort of momentum. Rarely have the Browns come back from a bye week with much at stake. But in this whacky rollercoaster of a 2013 Cleveland Browns season, nothing is really rare anymore. The morale around the team is high and the stakes are higher.” [Rob Fisher/Dawg Pound Daily]

If you haven’t yet seen this Anthony Bennett lowlight video, then, well yeah, it’s pretty depressing. Watch at your own peril. [Tom Ley/Deadspin]

Speaking of Bennett, great point here from a post-Minnesota takeaways article. I know Andrew has been yelling about this too. “No. 9: When Bennett rolls to the basket on the pick-and-roll, nobody ever looks for him. Ever. Now some of that is on the rookie who does need to start calling for the ball in that situation. But some of the shots these guys are taking instead are just awful. Looking at you, Earl Clark.” [Brendan Bowers/Stepien Rules]

Here’s an article on the Akron RubberDucks rebranding. You should probably read it. “So why was it done? The fact that the folks in Akron call the move a “new identity” instead of a “re-branding” isn’t just lip service, it turns out. In the fifteen years since I watched the Akron Aeros’ very first game in Canal Park, a lot had gone wrong. The ownership group had stagnated. Attendance was down. A lot of bridges had been burned.” [Anthony Boyer/Let's Go Tribe]

Tremendously fascinating article about MLB position player breakouts at age-25 season. Wonder what data is like for pitchers, a la Corey Kluber? “No matter how you slice the numbers, the numbers go down in the age-26 seasons. At age 26, the players are better than they were before turning 25, but they’re worse than they were at 25, the next season falling roughly in between. It wouldn’t be fair to say that, as a group, they didn’t build off their age-25 success, because they did get meaningfully better. But instead of improving more, the players regressed.” [Jeff Sullivan/FanGraphs]

Really cool chart here showing the similarities between OSU’s and Florida State’s schedules. “The differences? Well, we didn’t spend all off-season discussing how soft Florida State’s schedule was. So, they aren’t getting as much of a stigma as they perhaps should be. The major difference is margin of victory. It doesn’t factor in the formula. But flattening Clemson is certainly factoring in the voters’ minds. The best team Ohio State has beaten by more than 20 is Penn State.” [Ty Duffy/The Big Lead]

The sportsbook odds that at least one of the top four undefeated teams in college football will lose a regular season game: 1/16. [Adam Kramer/Kegs 'n Eggs]

Yeah, these college basketball fouls are gosh darn bothersome. Great pic of Thad Matta, too. “Well, college basketball’s new block/charge and hand-checking rules have bypassed its football brethren as the most havoc-inducing rule changes of the year. In just one week of games, coaches, players, fans and the media are up in arms with the 2.5-hour games and fiftysomething fouls.” [Kyle Rowland/Eleven Warriors]

  • Garry_Owen

    It depresses me to think that there are Browns fans alive that didn’t know about Masters of the Gridiron. This was a significant event in my young life. We had posters of it on our walls. I just assumed it was part of the collective Cleveland consciousness.

  • woofersus

    None of the Cavs big men get fed the ball when rolling after a pick, pretty much ever. They might get it tossed to them 10-12 feet from the basket to hold for an uncomfortably long amount of time while the rest of the team decides who will dribble next, but in general they are ignored while the guys at the perimeter dribble around either looking for an open shot or an opportunity to drive. It’s frustrating, and not really any different from last year. I’m hoping Bynum’s presence will finally demonstrate how to use a length advantage.
    As for the new college rules, I’m all in favor, but the referees need to find some balance. Watching college ball can get boring because of the slow pace and low scoring, but frankly it gets old watching goons go out and assault ballhandlers in the name of defense. How many times did I watch an offensive possession stall for 10-15 seconds while three guys started a slapfight up against the sidelines. The problem is that with any new rule or “point of emphasis” there is a hair trigger on the whistle. A guy brushing your arm with his fingertips does not impede your ability to move or control the ball. Hopefully that will get sorted out with time.