Scott Raab profiles Mike Pettine, underwater MP3 players, and Michael Cera… While We’re Waiting

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What’s up everybody? It’s Friday and I’m on for WWW. Hope it’s one of the good ones. We never know when we write these, by the way. I’ve discussed this with Andrew and the rest of the crew and it’s a mystery to us which ones are going to draw commentary and which ones will draw flies.

Oh well.

Scott Raab’s feature on Mike Pettine in Esquire

Scott talked a bit about this on the podcast while he was in the process of trying to hit his deadline. I wanted to make sure we highlight it here on WFNY, because it’s really excellent work. That’s no surprise, of course, but it’s also really great to see a more insider perspective on the Browns’ new head coach Mike Pettine.

“Look, I know that I have zero credibility. The Browns right now have zero credibility—not just with the national media but with the local. ‘Here we go again—another head coach with a plan’—that’s fine. I’m willing for people to be critical of us. There is no benefit of the doubt here. None. Because we have no credibility.”

Pettine says this with neither anger nor resignation, but with matter-of-fact ferocity. I like this about him—like it quite a bit. Chudzinski was a lug and a fall guy, and the guy before him was a cipher, and the one before him was frankly nuts. Mike Pettine has more brass in his balls and steel in his spine than all three of ’em combined, forged thirty miles north of Philly, in Doylestown, where his father—Mike Sr.—built from scratch a football empire and a no-shit legend over his thirty-three years as head coach at Central Bucks High School West.

It feels a little bit different than the last few coaches and front offices in Berea. I’m sure I’ve said that at one point or another with them all too, but Pettine’s bit about credibility is a different level. Even as other coaches and General Managers or team Presidents have given lip service to these ideas, they weren’t stated without the P.R. sheen. Mike Pettine – almost refreshingly – doesn’t have the sheen.

The Browns’ new one-cut and run offense…

One thing I’ve been saying consistently about the Browns this training camp is that they’re committed to running the football. I know that’s a huge relief for Browns fans everywhere after having huge questions in the Browns’ running attack since Peyton Hillis got strep throat. While the Browns didn’t set the world on fire in their opening game against the Lions, if you watch the runs again, you see there are a lot of positive plays there. A commitment to it over the course of a 60-minute game should yield some bigger plays that will demoralize opposing defenses. (Hopefully.)

Product revew: Finis Neptune Underwater MP3 Player

Living in the future is pretty splendid sometimes. Most of you know from following along that about four years ago I went from sedentary to a bit of a workout freakfinis Neptune. That included swimming laps at a local pool, but it was really tough to not get bored with the feelings of isolation that underwater exercise brings. I found the Neptune on Amazon and knew that I had to give it a try. For the most part, it is absolutely awesome.

It’s a weird thing, but the Neptune uses “bone conduction” audio technology. The two speakers actually don’t sit on top of the ears. They attach to the sides of the goggles and rest just in front of the ears. The sound travels through your cheekbone directly into the inner ear. The process description is much stranger than it actually sounds. It works really well.

finis underwater

This is not me. :-)

My only real complaints with the Neptune is that they haven’t programmed the actual MP3 player very well. It’s very picky about MP3 meta data and how it organizes files. If you copy an album by a band, it would seem reasonable to assume that the Neptune would naturally figure out the right order if the order is set properly in the metadata. Neptune has issues with it though. I think I figured out the work-around with a lot of trial and error. If you look at the data, a track will be marked 1, or 2, or 3 of 12, for example. Well, I discovered that if the data field is filled with the “of 12” data that the Neptune won’t put the songs in the correct order. Weird.

Anyway, don’t want to let little complaints like that taint an otherwise great review. The Neptune Underwater MP3 Player is a great help to me and my swim workouts. It makes it easy to go for those extra five laps when I’m distracted by great music, rather than counting laps and strokes as I fight boredom.

See the Neptune product page at Amazon for more if you want.

And now for a weird musical recommendation to end the week…

It’s true that last night I went to see Katy Perry live at The Q. I’m writing this before I see that show, so I am not here to review it, but let’s just say that those concert tickets are proof I’m in a weird spot with music in my life right now. So, why fight it? I was listening to another wacky thing yesterday and I was shocked how much I enjoyed listening to it. Michael Cera, the actor, released an album of lo-fi music and it’s exactly what you’d expect from Cera. And it’s also pretty good. I mean it’s not Katy Perry selling out basketball arenas, but it’s a fun, artistic, musical jaunt by an actor. You don’t get to say that often.

Thanks for reading everything this week, guys. Have a great weekend!

  • boomhauertjs

    I’m glad Pettine realizes the Browns have zero credibility. I hope the whole organization realizes it too, especially after the condescending attitudes of the last two regimes (Banner and Holmgren particularly).

  • MrCleaveland

    I really like Pettine’s personality. He behaves and speaks as it he’s very secure and confident in himself without being arrogant.

    You know, the law of averages says we have to hit on the right coach sooner or later. Maybe this is the guy.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    I really enjoyed Michael Cera’s album, thanks for posting it. I rolled my eyes yesterday when I read that he had released some music, but this is a very pleasant, relaxing album.

  • Toddyus

    Loving the Michael Cera tracks. Can’t stop listening to them…

  • Natedawg86

    The Browns’ new one-cut and run offense…
    I noticed that the RBs were hitting holes harder. I liked West because he made a move and went. No dancing around. I am glad if the coaches are harping on this. Too many times, ahem richardson, has the running back juked his way to a 5 yd loss or 1 yd gain. Hit the holes hard, see what happens.

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Yup – you don’t see any dancing, just a constant effort to move forward.

    Wow, does that second OL look terrible. Would love to see what West can do with some push up front.

  • Garry_Owen

    Interesting. I didn’t see that with West. In fact, I saw him on more than one occassion hesitate just a bit too long before hitting the hole. It’s not dancing, and I think he’ll improve with reps, but I was actually a little disappointed (very little – by and large, I’m excited about what he brings).

  • maxfnmloans

    Craig said “taint” heheheheheh (yup, Im that immature, thank God)

    The more Pettine talks, the more I like him. And I’ve been on board with him since they first announced him as a candidate and I read up on his backstory. Just like with a player who has “it”, I think the same goes for coaches. For a HC it’s not just X’s and O’s but how you relate to the players and the media. None of this seems to big or intimidating for Petting. He seems very comfortable in his own skin. he’s not trying to prove or fake anything to uphold some higher ideal. He does things the way he does them because he has seen them work at various levels over the course of years.

    The only test left is how he handles game day and decisions under pressure. Provided he is able to handle that (I have no reason to think otherwise) then…well…I dont want to jinx anything.

  • Harv 21

    Every time I tire of Raab’s bombastic radio shtick I read one of his long pieces and regain my awe.

    Now if someone would just do him a professional favor by burning his effing ’64 ticket stub. Hard to understand how someone who holds himself to such high writing standards can’t stop himself from doing that, every single piece or podcast about Cleveland sports.

  • BenRM

    I dig that Michael Cera tune.


    I always enjoy the irony (and I’m sure it’s not lost on a smart and well-traveled writer like Scott) that Raab never passes up a chance to pimp out his book that has “whore” in the title.

    I’ve always wondered if he does it on purpose because of this, and if he snickers on the inside whenever he does.

  • nj0

    I wonder how much his persona has to do with being a high school coach. Seems like the best teachers I had in high school had a similar demeanor – a cool confidence with this aura of “but don’t get me mad”. While college players and pro are pretty macho guys, it’s not the same as being the alpha pack master in the Lord of the Flies world that is high school.

  • nj0

    I placed Raab in the “do not bother with” file because of that sensationalistic, vitriolic title.


    For the record, I’ve never read the book, and largely have no opinion either way about Raab. I just know that he has almost never done a podcast with Craig without mentioning the book, and he managed to slip it into this article about Mike Pettine (!) of all places.

    It’s like he’s decided to go all in on that title. The lover of irony in me certainly gets a kick out of it. Other than that, though, I’ve paid the book itself no mind.

  • humboldt

    I watched Bitonio blocking on those running plays and must say I’m impressed (and this isn’t even uptick bait for mgbode)

  • mgbode
  • mgbode

    Tate wasn’t doing it against Detroit, but he also does what you mention. It’s not necessarily a bad thing as long as it’s brief and followed by full force dedication to that choice. I like to think it’s the RB reading that the block is in-progress rather than actual hesitation, but we’ll see.

  • Harv 21

    The book is marvelous, really great gonzo style writing. But at this point you can only read it for the writing; the content is so 2010 if you live here.

  • humboldt

    Aw, thanks :). He looks so sturdy and competent out there – night and day from Shaun Lauvao of the past couple seasons. I guess we’ll get a chance for a side-by-side comparison on Monday night, won’t we?

  • nj0

    Maybe it’s just my memory, but I remember Willie Green being the opposite. Never waiting, just running full bore into a heap of humanity then falling down.

  • mgbode

    and amazingly he is millions of dollars cheaper on the cap too. I am positively giddy that it looks like we will actually be able to run up the middle this year (and, a good part of that is how much better Greco looks as well).

  • RGB

    I want to see Crowell on Monday…unless they are trying to hide him, too.

  • Natedawg86

    I like his start and stop ability. He makes one move laterally and then his other moves are as he is moving down the field. I think he going to be pretty good….but it is CLE.

  • Garry_Owen

    Don’t know much about Scott Raab or his writing, but saying that Cleveland fans are “throbbing with lust” and then comparing them to “swollen gonads waiting to explode”? Really? I mean, notwithstanding the questionable exhibition of anatomical and physiological knowledge, and understanding that this was written for the lowest common denominator of Esquire, was that really necessary? Not only is it rather unprofessional (from the “Whore of Akron” writer), but it’s also pretty juvenile and frankly disgusting. Nothing in the long article makes me want to return to his writing as much as that makes me want to avoid it.

  • Andrew Schnitkey

    I agree with Harv. I would STRONGLY recommend the book to anyone. I’m still hoping to re-read it this summer before basketball starts.

  • mgbode

    Crowell and Shaw either have been terrible in practice or we are attempting to hide them on the PS. I don’t expect to see either.

  • mgbode

    there are those that love that particular style of writing, and then there are the rest of us. to each their own, I suppose.

  • nj0

    Readers of Harlequin novels?

  • mgbode


    and googling it, I see that apparently you were referring to raunchy romance novels, but now I really want to see how that came about. how did a term for court jesters become the name for raunchy romance?

  • Garry_Owen

    Believe it was just the name of the first publisher that specialized in that genre.

  • Woods

    That is an excellent description of my high school English literature teacher at Ignatius in the early 80’s – Mister Kyle.

  • Woods

    Harlequin romance novels have as much to do with court jesters as the Chippendale dancers have to do with furniture.

  • mgbode

    okay. just sort of strange how that ended up.