July 28, 2014

Browns fan politely declines Joe Haden’s offer of Super Bowl tickets

Cleveland Browns Pro-Bowl CB Joe Haden is a fan favorite for sure, and it’s not very hard to figure out why. Since day 1 of his arrival in Cleveland he has embraced and city, the fans, the team, and the culture of the area. He also does things like this:

Haden’s caption on the photo reads:

This is how you know Cleveland browns fans are SERIOUS!!! I called and offered Rhett Super Bowl tickets and a first class flight and he politely declined.#bleedOrangeandBrown

Overall, this is just a pretty cool story. A nice move by Haden to offer the tickets and flight, and you have to appreciate the unwavering loyalty of a fan who has the guts (or maybe stupidity, depending on your point of view) to turn them down to wait for his beloved Browns to be there. He may be waiting for quite some time, but if the Browns should happen to make it in his lifetime, it will certainly be all the more sweet.

EDIT: For those wondering who the fan is, Rhett Wennes is the Browns fan responsible for many of the end zone signs you see, including the infamous TO sign that Eagles WR Terrell Owens once ripped down and the Edwards Butterfingers sign.

[Related: WFNY Roundtable: Talking Browns and Offensive Coordinators]

WFNY Roundtable: Talking Browns and Offensive Coordinators

WFNY_roundtableThe Cleveland Browns finally found their new head coach, but now the search for Offensive Coordinator is in full swing. We look at the search and how it might impact free agency decisions. Check out the conversation below: [Read more...]

Cavs vs Pelicans Behind The Box Score: Are We There Yet?

BtBS PelicansAre we there yet? Have we hit rock bottom? Are we at the point of inevitable change? Is this season over yet?

The Cavaliers scored 29 points in the first quarter for the second straight game….and for the second straight game they followed that up with a whole lot of nothing. The Cavaliers offense is an absolute nightmare. And when things go bad on offense, they stop playing defense. And when you don’t play offense or defense you get crushed at home in consecutive games.

The Cavaliers went 1-4 on their homestretch after their successful west coast road trip, which is really the most Cavaliers thing ever. I’m not sure what else there really is to say, other than this is a really, really, really bad basketball team and we’re stuck with them for 3 more months. Buckle up! [Read more...]

Report: Browns select Mike Pettine as coach, working on contract today

According to Bleacher Report Browns columnist and local sports personality Will Burge, the Cleveland Browns have selected Buffalo Bills’ defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to be the new head coach of the Browns. Burge began a sequence of Tweets early Thursday morning with all the details:

 

 

 

Pettine, who was a linebackers coach for the Ravens before serving terms as defensive coordinator for the Jets and Bills, is 47 years old and this would be his first head coaching gig. While little may be known about Pettine among many Browns fans, Pettine seems to be well thought of in New York and Buffalo as well as by coaches and analysts throughout the NFL. The question remains, of course, whether he will be able to succeed where Rob Chudzinski failed and last longer than 11 months on the job.

Cavs vs Bulls Behind the Box Score–A Broken Team with No Solution

BtBS Bulls

The Cleveland Cavaliers endured their 5 game road trip and came back with a 3-2 record. It seemed like a real positive….a sign that perhaps this team was finally starting to figure things out and turn their season around.

Coming back home for a 5 game home stand against 5 very beatable teams, this was supposed to be the time the Cavaliers took control of their season and got themselves back into serious playoff contention.

That was the theory, but none of it was true. The Cavaliers once again showed their true colors in the first two games of this home stand. It’s time to face reality. This is a bad basketball team. Poorly constructed, poorly coached, and consistently giving poor effort. The stark contrast between the Cavs and the Bulls is palpable. The Bulls, who lost Derrick Rose to injury, just traded the heart and soul of their team to Cleveland, and were without Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich…all they’ve done is continue to play tough defense, give great effort, and have won 6 of 8 since trading Deng and 12 of their last 16 overall. That’s what a basketball team with heart and determination does. [Read more...]

WFNY Roundtable: Handicapping the Browns’ coaching search

WFNY_roundtable

With the rumor, speculation, hysteria, and paranoia regarding the Cleveland Browns search for a head coach ramping up, we decided to look at a few of the issues surrounding all the noise. Check out the conversation below:
[Read more...]

The WFNY Sportsman of 2013: Terry Francona

Terry Francona had much to celebrate in 2013 (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfel)

Terry Francona had much to celebrate in 2013
(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfel)

Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year is an annual must-read. Given that the national recognition rarely has anything to do with the teams or individuals whom we cover, WFNY writers have been giving their nominees for our own Sportsman of the Year. After an internal vote, WFNY is pleased to announce the winner of the inaugural WFNY Sportsman of the Year award.

[Read more...]

My Cleveland Sportsman of 2013: Kyrie Irving

DSC_0389

No other athlete put Cleveland on the map like Kyrie Irving
(Scott Sargent/WFNY)

Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year is an annual must-read. Given that the national recognition rarely has anything to do with the teams or individuals whom we cover. In turn, WFNY will soon announce its choice for 2013′s Cleveland Sportsman of the Year. Here’s one of the nominations for that honor by an WFNY writer.
[Read more...]

The Dude, Michael, and Joey…who loved bowling

Browns Lebowski

“The Dude abides”

The Big Lebowski is one of the greatest movies of all time. Sometimes when life has you down, all you can do is try to laugh about it. With the Browns coaching search seemingly devolving into chaos once again, I thought it might be fun to intertwine some of my favorite quotes from the movie and paraphrase them through the context of the recent events.

The writing was on the wall. From the moment news started leaking out that the Cleveland Browns were going to fire first-year head coach Rob Chudzinski, the word that fans should look for Josh McDaniels to be the prime target of the team was almost immediate.

It wasn’t long before whispers began trickling through that former Detroit Lions coach Jim Schwartz was expected to be the Browns’ next defensive coordinator, as long as the new coach didn’t veto the move. If the Browns were high enough on Schwartz to hire him before a coach, it would make sense to look for a coach who specifically wouldn’t object. And what kind of coach wouldn’t object? How about a coach from the Belichick tree who shares the same agent as Schwartz and Browns GM Mike Lombardi?

“Oh yeah, how’d the interview go?”
”Went alright. Dude’s candidate got a little dinged up.”
”Walter, we didn’t make the f—ing hire, man! He didn’t get, the f—ing money and we’re not gonna – not gonna –“
”We’re not gonna hire that poor candidate.” [Read more...]

Cavs vs 76ers Behind The Box Score: A Relaxing Blowout

CJ Miles vs 76ersThey say box scores don’t tell the whole story. Behind The Box Score is a new series where from time to time we will attempt to look behind the box score and tell more of the complete story of what happened in the game.

The Cavaliers may not have had newly acquired Luol Deng yet Tuesday night against the 76ers, but they definitely didn’t need him on this night. CJ Miles put on a shooting display and the team offense was clicking in all aspects. The Cavs jumped out to 36-20 lead after the 1st quarter and they never looked back, cruising to a refreshing 111-93 win.

The Cavaliers are expected to have Deng on Friday in Utah as they kick off a 5 game road trip. This game against the Sixers is a great way to head out on the road and adding a player like Deng should give the team a nice boost.

Now let’s get into the numbers… [Read more...]

Cavs trade for Deng a win for the present, but a question for the future

Luol Deng

While many of us were sound asleep on Monday night, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager Chris Grant was still hard at work. Glasses on, Grant was looking to capitalize on the flexibility he gave the team in structuring Andrew Bynum’s contract in a way that not only protected the team, but also served as a valuable trade item should Bynum not work out in Cleveland.

Needless to say, Andrew Bynum didn’t work out. So late Monday night, Grant finally found the trade partner he was looking for in the Chicago Bulls. At 12:54 am, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert officially welcomed Luol Deng to the team via Twitter.

[Read more...]

Cavs vs Magic Behind The Box Score: Undefeated in 2014!

They say box scores don’t tell the whole story. Behind The Box Score is a new series where from time to time we will attempt to look behind the box score and tell more of the complete story of what happened in the game.

Anderson Varejao vs MagicThere are ugly games in the NBA. Teams have ugly wins. Then you have whatever this game was. With Kyrie Irving sitting out with a bruised left knee, the Cavaliers played one of the worst basketball games I have ever seen. Thankfully, they played the Orlando Magic.

There’s not a whole lot to say about the first 3.9 quarters of this game. Both teams took turns trying to out-lose each other, but in the final minute of the game, the Magic appeared to have a comfortable 79-70 lead. In the final minute, all kinds of crazy would break out.

Dion Waiters got things started by hitting a pair of FTs. After an Arron Afflalo miss, Jarrett Jack was fouled on a three-point attempt and would make all 3 free throws. Orlando would then get called for a 5 second violation trying to inbound the ball. Dion would make layup to bring the Cavs within two at 79-77 with 10 seconds left. The Cavs fouled E’Twaun Moore to send him to the line with 9 seconds left. Moore would miss both free throws and on the 2nd miss, the Magic knocked the ball out of bounds to give the ball back to the Cavs. Dion then completed a nice drive to the basket to tie the game with 0.6 seconds left and the game would go to overtime.

In overtime, the Magic could only manage 2 points, going scoreless over the final 3:19 of the game, and the Cavaliers pulled away to come up with an unexpected 87-81 win. For most of this game it felt like the Cavaliers were hitting rock bottom. It was offensive to the game of basketball, and it really said a lot about the construction of this team outside of Kyrie Irving. But credit to guys like Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Matthew Dellavedova, and Dion Waiters who all made huge plays at different points and found a way to come up with a win.

Now let’s get into the mostly ugly numbers… [Read more...]

WFNY Roundtable: The Firing of Rob Chudzinski

WFNY_roundtableWith the Cleveland Browns firing head coach Rob Chudzinski after just one season, it was only naturally that the writers at WFNY would want to discuss this topic in one of our roundtables. Check out the conversation below: [Read more...]

The Return of Mike Brown — WFNY Top 10 Cleveland Sports Stories of 2013: No. 3

If you thought that 2012 was one crazy year in the world of Cleveland Sports, 2013 proved that there is rarely a dull moment. There were good times and bad, hirings and firings, wins and losses, and appearances in postseasons and courtrooms. As the year comes to a close, like we have done the last five years, WFNY will take a look at what we view to be the ten biggest sports stories to grace our local sports scene over the last 12 months. Each day through the rest of the year, we will be counting down from ten to one. Do enjoy.

Dan Gilbert Mike Brown

It was an unseasonably warm Cleveland evening on April 15, 2013. Naturally the opposing team’s nickname was the Heat. Within the  balmy circumstances there was a level of discomfort or unease for everyone in the building and watching on TV that night.

The Miami Heat came into The Q to play the Cleveland Cavaliers with absolutely nothing on the line for either team. The Heat wouldn’t even bother with dressing LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Mario Chalmers, Udonis Haslem, or Shane Battier. Juwan Howard was making his first start in three years for goodness sake. And yet with 13 seconds left in the game, there was Norris Cole standing at the free throw line with the Heat up by one point. [Read more...]

WFNY Roundtable: Barkevious Mingo and Expectations

WFNY_roundtable
 
Here at WFNY, some of our best post ideas come from our daily email conversations. In the spirit of openness, we wanted our readers to get a sample of what one of these banter sessions look like. Craig sparked an idea about Barkevious Mingo and whether or not he has met our expectations. Normally these conversations take place via email, but for this Roundtable we decided to try a new service called ReplyAll.me. The roundtable discussion takes place below:

[Read more...]

Cavs vs Blazers Behind The Box Score: Heartbreaker at The Q

Damian LillardThis will be one of those games that you remember. It’s one of those games where it’s hard to know whether to feel encouraged by the effort of the Cavaliers, or to feel crushed by the loss.

The Blazers lit up with some great shooting in the 2nd half, taking a late lead that looked insurmountable. But Kyrie Irving breathed some life back into the team by scoring nine points in 61 seconds off two three balls and an And-One, bringing the Cavs within two of the Blazers. After getting a big stop and a rebound, Kyrie drove to the lane, drawing a triple team. Irving made a great pass back to a cutting Anderson Varejao who tied the game with seven seconds left.

But then it was Damian Lillard time. Just two nights after hitting a game winner in overtime against the Pistons, Lillard went to his spot and nailed a crushing 30-footer with 0.4 seconds left. Kyrie tried to get off a 33-footer at the buzzer, but his shot just missed and the Blazers left The Q with a hard fought win.

That makes two games in a row the Cavaliers have gone toe-to-toe with a couple of the NBA’s absolute best teams, only to come up just short in the fourth quarter. It’s frustrating to be so close to winning these games only to come up empty handed, but it’s also extremely encouraging to see this team continue growing, showing better effort night in and night out, and just generally getting better. Hopefully these games eventually turn into some big wins.

Now lets get into the numbers: [Read more...]

Cavs vs Knicks Behind The Box Score: The Return of Kyrie Irving

BtBS KnicksThey say box scores don’t tell the whole story. Behind The Box Score is a new series where from time to time we will attempt to look behind the box score and tell more of the complete story of what happened in the game.

Basketball is a game of runs. That was certainly the case in this game. The Cavaliers jumped out to an early 18-point lead, but in the 2nd quarter the Knicks came all the way back. In previous seasons the Cavaliers might have folded up, but in this game the team dug in and pushed the lead back to 18 in the second half. The Knicks would close to within 13 again in the fourth quarter, but Kyrie Irving went back to work and the Cavaliers put the Knicks away for good.

For Kyrie, this game was hopefully a breakout game for him. After struggling for most of this season, Kyrie found himself facing one of his favorite teams to play, and he took advantage. He looked aggressive early, attacking the rim, pushing the tempo and looking to keep the offense engaged. This was one of his better games on defense as well. Hopefully this isn’t a one night exception, but instead the start of Kyrie’s return to  All-Star form.

The Cavs have been an up and down team this year, but they find themselves now winners in four of their last five games and have really played pretty solid basketball in five of the last seven. It’s probably no coincidence that five of the last seven games have been at home, and sure, the Knicks are a struggling basketball team right now. But the Cavs still deserve credit for fighting to turn this season around. If they can ever figure out how to bring the same effort on the road, things will really start to turn around.  [Read more...]

Cavaliers reach the quarter season mark with more questions than answers

kyrie_brownAs the Cavaliers get set to take on the New York Knicks Tuesday night at The Q, Cleveland currently sits with a 7-13 record at the 20-game point of the season. For all intents and purposes, the 20-game mark represents the first quarter of the season. It’s an important milestone because it’s typically the point in the season when you can begin to define what a team is or isn’t. It’s the point in the season in which you can’t really apply the “it’s still early” mantra.

That could be bad news for the Cavaliers, kings of the statutes of patience and learning. But in the case of the Cavaliers, “it’s still early” actually still applies. It’s not early in the season, but it’s early in the team’s development. That doesn’t mean everything is going to be fine and the Cavaliers are still on the path to an eventual contending team. It just means that’s it’s still a little too soon to place too much value on results. As disappointing as this season has been, the team as a whole is still improved over last season, and that’s really the most important thing. [Read more...]

Is the Cavaliers’ Win Streak a Mirage or the Start of Something Different?

cavs_nuggets13“Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years.” – LL Cool J

On Wednesday night, as the Cleveland Cavaliers were working on putting away the Denver Nuggets for the first win streak of the season, Cavs fans on Twitter began to rejoice. With good reason, too. After the miserable month of November for the Cavaliers, the team was coming off back-to-back home wins against playoff teams.

Perhaps some got a little carried away in their exuberance. Austin Carr called the win “the shot heard ‘round the league”. Others seemed to be channeling their inner Walter Sobchak in proclaiming “our f***ing troubles are over, Dude”. Of course, in the case of Walter and the Dude in The Big Lebowski, their troubles were actually really only just beginning. But what about the Cavaliers? What are we to make of their November troubles?

A two game win streak isn’t the kind of thing most teams celebrate. It’s certainly not something I expected to see Cavs fans celebrating in early December. But that’s the kind of season it has been. Predictable in its unpredictability. And amongst the mounting frustration and anguish of media, fans, coaches, and players, answers kept seemingly growing only in their elusiveness.

After the Cavaliers let a late lead in New Orleans slip away to the Pelicans, followed up by the San Antonio embarrassment the next night, there really seemed to be a sense that everything was slipping away. It was the moment the players had to unite as one and collectively take a hard look at themselves in the mirror. The fate of the season seemingly standing of the edge of a precipice, unclear which way it would go. Would the players give in and let everything fall off the edge? [Read more...]

Cavs vs Wizards Behind The Box Score: Too Little, Too Late…Again

BtBS WizardsThey say box scores don’t tell the whole story. Behind The Box Score is a new series where from time to time we will attempt to look behind the box score and tell more of the complete story of what happened in the game.

For the 2nd time in this young NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers attempted a furious late game comeback. And for the 2nd time, they fell short in the end. In this one, the Cavaliers appeared well on their way to a 30 point home loss to the Washington Wizards. But undrafted free agent rookie Matthew Dellavedova used his effort to spark some life in the Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving began taking over.

With 6:35 left in the 3rd quarter, John Wall hit a shot to put the Wizards up 73-46. Mike Brown called a timeout and made wholesale substitutions, bringing in Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters, Matthew Dellavedova, Anderson Varejao, and Henry Sims. That unit began chipping away at the Wizards’ lead. In the 4th quarter Kyrie Irving came back in and began scoring and attacking and the Cavaliers would climb all the way back to within 4 points at 90-86 with 1:39 left in the game.

The Cavs defense got a big stop on the ensuing Wizards possession, but Earl Clark was called for a brutal loose ball foul that negated the Cavaliers rebound and gave Marcin Gortat a pair of free throws. This was followed up by a Dion Waiters travelling violation and with that the comeback lost steam and the Cavaliers eventually fell 98-91. [Read more...]