April 23, 2014

Would you play more golf if it was easier with a 15-inch hole?

I talked about my relationship with the game of golf this morning and how I quit and didn’t miss it. I also talked about how I would like to get out there and try some foot golf which involves melding golf and soccer. Now, I’m reading a story about how some courses are considering steps to get more casual golfers interested in the game. Most significantly, it appears some courses are trying out golf holes that are about the size of a pizza.

Golf has always reveled in its standards and rich tradition. But increasingly a victim of its own image and hidebound ways, golf has lost five million players in the last decade, according to the National Golf Foundation, with 20 percent of the existing 25 million golfers apt to quit in the next few years.

People under 35 have especially spurned the game, saying it takes too long to play, is too difficult to learn and has too many tiresome rules.

I know it’s a gimmick and the traditionalists would hate it, but I think it would be a lot of fun. Just like moving the fences in for baseball increased homers, imagine how many chip-ins casual golfers could get with giant holes? Sure, it would render many traditional handicaps meaningless, but I can’t imagine a lot of serious country clubs would take this thing on anyway.

But seriously, for beer leagues? This sounds awesome. Ultimately, I wasn’t enjoying golf anymore because it did take a long time. It wasn’t really relaxing. I felt like I had better things to do. I was roundly mocked by the serious golfers when I would say that I preferred playing nine holes.

So you tell me. Do you like the idea of changing the game? Would it get you to play more rounds? Would it bring any of you fellow quitters back into the fold?

Would Browns trade down to draft Derek Carr?

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I lust for the day when the Cleveland Browns draft rumors won’t involve first round quarterbacks. In order for that to be the case, the Browns will have to find one, probably in the first round. So, the only question is where in the first round? As the Browns are set to host Carr in Cleveland this week, Pro Football Talk suggests maybe Ray Farmer and the Browns could take a page out of the Ravens’ book.

They could trade down from No. 4 and draft Carr in the teens, like the Ravens did when acquiring Joe Flacco six years ago. This would give the Browns an extra pick or two as the latest new coaching staff tries to put together a team that fits the new schemes and systems.

One of my biggest complaints about the Browns — as I’ve stated time and again — is that under Mike Holmgren, they seemed to constantly lose the “poker game” aspects of the NFL draft. The Browns went and got guys they wanted, which is good, but they seemed to pay steep prices. I’m really hoping that the Browns stop losing the poker game under Ray Farmer.

Maybe that includes confidently trading down, gaining more assets and still getting a player they covet. Now, whether or not they should be coveting Derek Carr is another conversation…

[Related: "Growing sentiment" that Browns nab Carr at No. 4]

Photo: Cary Edmondson/USA Today Sports

Waiting for the 2014 NFL draft, Gilbert Arenas’ cash, Metroparks foot golf, and Game of Thrones… While We’re Waiting

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Your regularly scheduled Tuesday writer Andrew couldn’t be with us this week, so I volunteered to cover his WWW today.

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nfldraftI can’t stand how long we’re waiting for the 2014 NFL Draft. Consider that if it was this time last year we’d be two days out from the NFL draft. Seeing as the NFL are attention blanks that insist on dominating as much of the calendar year as possible1 we’re still a few weeks out as we wait for May 8th.

That would be alright too, if we weren’t being subjected to fake news every day. As Joe Lull pointed out over the weekend on 92.3 the Fan, as mock drafts get made and re-made, reporters say things about how guys are dropping and rising on draft boards as if they’re being publicly traded like stocks. Meanwhile for all anyone knows, the draft boards are 99.9% set right this second. In fact, I’m almost positive that’s the case.

Just because the NFL decided to move the draft back doesn’t mean that NFL teams smoothed out the scheduling of their off-season. Maybe they can get a few more things done that they wouldn’t have been able to do last year, but to think that scouting departments and general managers aren’t as prepared for the draft today as they were this same day last year seems ludicrous. You know what that likely means? The draft board is basically set.

So unless we’re talking about trade rumors involving teams moving up and down, don’t bother me with your last-minute draft rumors. Unless a guy tears his ACL or discovers a career-threatening injury, don’t talk to me about guys rising and falling on the draft board. Unless Johnny Manziel requires Tommy John surgery or gets himself busted by the cops for something serious, the NFL draft is basically set.

Now if the Browns want to trade up or trade down, I’m all ears…

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Gilbert Arenas is one of the top-paid “athletes.” I don’t dislike Gilbert Arenas. He never played for the Cavs, but he always seemed like a decent enough guy. Sure, there was a gun incident, but the man formerly known as Agent Zero explained that one… kind of. The point is that I liked the way he played the game of basketball. The other point – and the reason I put “athletes” in quotation marks – is that Arenas is one of the top-paid and yet he is no longer playing.

The Orlando Magic will pay Gilbert Arenas $22.3 million this season, even though he has not played for the team since the 2010-11 season.

Arenas hasn’t played for any team since April 2012, and yet he is still the third-highest-paid player in the NBA and the 30th-highest-paid athlete in the world, according to ESPN the Magazine.

Arenas was cut loose via the NBA’s amnesty clause. Even though the term “amnesty” makes sense because we’re talking about amnesty from the salary cap implications, it still seems like a misnomer when a team is paying a player more than $20 million in a season that’s two years removed from his last appearance with that team.

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Foot Golf is here in Cleveland and I want to play badly. I gave up golf when my first son was born about four years ago. I didn’t have to give it up, but I hadn’t really enjoyed my time on the course much recently anyway, so it made sense for me to quit. I had a whole host of other hobbies from this very website to music and other stuff, so it just made sense. I haven’t had this burning desire to get back into it either, but now that someone’s combined soccer with golf right here in Cleveland’s own Metroparks, I’m kind of interested again.

So far, if you want to play foot golf it’s really affordable. 

Mastick Woods: $10 (general), $7.50 (ages 17 and under and 60 and older). Info: 19990 Puritas Ave., Cleveland, 216-267-5626.

Shawnee Hills: $9 (general), $6.50 (ages 17 and under and 60 and older). Info: 18753 Egbert Road, Bedford, 440-232-7184.

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gothronesJust when I thought I was out… (of Game of Thrones) they pull me back in. Game of Thrones was one of the TV shows that I just up and quit watching. File it away with Boardwalk Empire in the list of shows that just rubbed me the wrong way and I quit watching altogether.

Now, you can also file it away with Breaking Bad as a show that I quit and then picked back up and started to like. After re-watching the first four episodes of the series, I remembered why we didn’t like the show. It’s got a lot of characters and the learning curve is a little bit steep as you get to know the Game of Thrones world. Some of those early episodes were kind of boring too.

What I found though is that my wife and I probably gave up an episode or two too soon. By episode five, six and seven, the show was hitting its stride. I originally said that the show’s excessive sex and nudity were more distraction than a necessary plot tool. I still kind of feel that way, but now that we’re into the meat of the first season storyline, it seems worthwhile to gloss over a few of the minor warts.

So that’s it. We’re back in. It feels luxurious too knowing there are so many episodes waiting to be watched. It feels like entertainment dollars in the bank. I’ll be sure to keep up with the show and give periodic updates. It’ll be old news to you GoT die-hards, but that’s O.K.

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That’s all from me for this Tuesday. I’ll be doing this again on Friday when I can say “Have a nice weekend.” So today, I’ll finish by saying enjoy your Taco Tuesday!

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Footnotes:

  1. Love you NFL! []

Video: Kid hits home run while being intentionally walked

I’m going to submit this video as evidence as to why MLB should never consider doing away with the intentional walk. (Not really.)

By the way, my favorite part of this video? Who is working audio production in little league baseball? Playing “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” while the kid rounds the bases? I don’t know whether I’m impressed or horrified.

Also, I’ve got to say in all seriousness I ended up feeling really badly for the pitcher. I know those parents were having tons of fun with it, but it was at a kid’s expense. Yes, kids need to learn how to lose and lose with grace, but that might not necessarily have to include having a kid hit a homer while being intentionally walked. I mean, really, he was attempting to walk the bases loaded anyway.

I’m getting soft in my old age. I’ll be against keeping score in no time, I’m sure. (Again. Not really.)

Hat tip to the Redditors.

Watching Bartolo Colon in the batter’s box is America’s new favorite pastime

Bartolo Colon is still pitching in the Majors. This year, he’s pitching for the Mets in the National League and the Internet at-large is enjoying the heck out of his plate appearances. This one, in particular, is fun because the rotund former Tribe pitcher swings wildly and loses his helmet.

Feel that breeze!

Video: Remember that time Ricky Davis shot on the wrong basket trying to get a triple double?

I was conversing with some friends on Facebook this morning and one of my friends was doubting the authenticity of Ice Cube’s lyrics. He was questioning whether or not Cube truly “messed around” and got a triple double. Of course, that led me to think about Ricky Davis who “messed around” in his attempt to gain a triple double. That led me to YouTube where I found the clip.

The modern world is amazing. Enjoy this Ricky Davis Cleveland Cavaliers greatest hit. Make sure you stick around for Jerry Sloan’s thoughts on Ricky Davis’ antics.

Terrell Pryor to be cut or traded by Raiders

Terrelle Pryor Ohio State Sugar Bowl

Former Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Terrell Pryor didn’t have an awful year last year, but he apparently isn’t going to be a part of the future in Oakland. It certainly sounds like if you’re a bettor that you should probably assume he’ll get cut.

It seems unlikely that anyone would trade for Pryor when the word is out that he’s about to be cut. Then again, he did show flashes of promise last season, and he’s only due a salary of $750,000 this year, so it’s possible that some team might think he’s worth a seventh-round pick.

I certainly don’t think this is the kind of thing that the Browns should pursue, but you never know where Ray Farmer and company might think to look for a backup to replace Jason Campbell and Brandon Weeden. Terrell Pryor might not excite Browns fans, but in a field that includes Rex Grossman, it’s probably not the worst idea ever.

Pryor’s highlights from last year were mostly plays he made running the ball, but he did have two games where he had a QB rating over 100. He also had two games with over 100 yards rushing.

2014 NFL Draft: Browns interested in Andre Williams from Boston College

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You never really know where this kind of info comes from, or even what it means when it’s reported that a team has “interest” in a player. That being said, Aaron Wilson (@RavensInsider) indicates that the Browns are among the teams that are interested in Boston College running back Andre Williams.

The punishing Doak Walker Award winner set the Boston College single-season record with 2,177 rushing yards last season. He was a consensus All-American and rushed for 18 touchdowns last season…

Wiliams has drawn second-round to third-round grades.

It’s even harder to try and project out past the first part of the first round of the draft if you can even successfully do that. It’s especially difficult in a year where there’s seemingly no clear cut number one pick for the Texans. So, to go on down and look at a prospect who is vaguely projected between the second and third rounds is tough.

Still, I am fully interested and in favor of all this talk about the Browns and their renewed commitment to the running game. It wasn’t necessarily their fault a year ago when Trent Richardson faltered out of the gate and Dion Lewis got hurt before the season even started. Still, it’s nice to know that a year after suffering through the dying breaths of Willis McGahee that the Cleveland Browns might just commit to the running game again.

That commitment will include former Bengals fullback Chris Pressley, Ben Tate, and hopefully a prospect from the draft.

2014 NFL Draft, Manziel vs. Bridgewater, Kipnis tossed, and Madden ratings… While We’re Waiting

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Jason Kipnis gets tossed and makes lip-readers blush.  The Tribe lost yesterday, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some fireworks. Jason Kipnis must have used some language that the umpire found inappropriate.

Kipnis’ account sounds tame.

Said the Indians second baseman: “I didn’t think I showed him up. I didn’t try to stand there. I’m not here to show the guy up. I was just walking away and I told him that the first pitch changed the entire at-bat and you don’t need to be helping a guy like that out. Obviously, I used a couple words to express [myself], but that’s the full sense of what I said.”

But, whatever he actually did say, it looked like this when the umpire emphatically tossed him from the game.

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Johnny Manziel is coming to work out in Cleveland this weekend. I know I’m a bit of a broken record on this, but please please please let the Browns find a good reason to draft this kid. Please let him tell you everything you need to know that says his attitude, skills and potential equal what the Browns are looking for as the next dominant starting NFL quarterback. Please let it be so. I don’t know enough to say that’s the case, but if it worked out that way and he’s available and has the ability to translate his wildly entertaining college skills into success on the next stage it will be so good for all of us.

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There’s something about Teddy Bridgewater that makes me unsure of him. He didn’t play the best competition in the country, but that’s not it. It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Teddy had a good career with Louisville. He appears to be a even-keeled, smart kid. I think I finally figured it out. I think Teddy Bridgewater is an introvert. I think he’s a little on the meek side and those things are probably what’s stuck out to me as something that will keep him from being a dominant player at QB at the next level. Maybe I’m totally wrong, but it just seems to me that he might not be capable of being the kind of leader I imagine succeeding in an NFL huddle. Maybe that’s just his YouTube interviews with the media and he relates better to his teammates, but it gives me pause.

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“What do you mean the Browns’ defense is rated at 78?! It should be at least an 82!” Travis Benjamin is fast, but he doesn’t think he’s fast enough… in Madden. Rick told us recently that the Madden people were in Cleveland getting data on Browns players for the latest version of the franchise football video game. Well, there’s a follow-up on the Browns official webpage. Travis Benjamin is among some Browns players who think they should have higher ratings. Apparently the 98 that the game’s designers gave him for his “speed” rating wasn’t perfectly high enough for his tastes.

“I should be the fastest guy in the game,” exclaimed Benjamin, who was tabbed with a 98 speed rating in last year’s version of the game. After hearing the power Moore has, Benjamin even tweeted him to convince the producer his case. Benjamin plays the game several times a week online with teammates Phil Taylor, Greg Little and Dion Lewis.

I love this fun little story about video games and NFL players. If their giant contracts and larger-than-life personas distance themselves from fans, this is the exact kind of thing that brings them closer together. I can remember year after year with my own (sometimes delusional) hopes for the Browns fueling outrage when I’d look at a Brady Quinn, Colt McCoy or even a Brandon Weeden player rating and wish it was higher.

Let’s hope they get Johnny Football’s rating appropriately high after he becomes the next Browns quarterback. Can you imagine scrambling all over your TV with him? (I know. I’m a broken record… errr… faltering MP3 player?)

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Coming of age as a rock fan… On Monday night I went to see that band I told you about last week, Mansions. They played at the Grog Shop and it was a really great show, but something funny happened that I wanted to tell you about.

In November I drove all the way to Pittsburgh to see the same band headline a show. Because it was in a small club, I was able to buy some of the band’s merch and also meet them. That’s one of the things I love most about small clubs and meeting the bands that generally play there. They are real regular people and very nice to meet before or after they play.

Anyway, fast forward to this past Monday and I was in the Grog Shop and it occurred to me just how much older I was than everyone else there. I was surrounded by kids who had their hands stamped as being under 21 years old. As I was waiting for the music to start, it occurred to me that many of these kids must have been born in the mid to late 90′s when I was well on my way to finishing high school. That’s mildly depressing, but whatever. I was at a rock show and loving it at age 35. No biggie, right?

Well, after the show, I went over to say hello to the band before leaving and Christopher Browder, the lead singer, recognized me. “Hey! I remember you! You were in Pittsburgh!” Now, that kind of floored me. Out of all the people that he has met since being on tour in 2013-14, he remembered me. We’re talking about a band that has played more than 25 shows in the past 30 days alone. And trust me when I tell you that he really did remember me. He wasn’t just putting it on, I’m quite sure.

But it doesn’t make sense to me that anyone would remember me. I’m a really plain-looking kind of guy. I don’t have a lot of defining characteristics that make me stick out. I have no piercings or tattoos or wild hair. When I go to rock shows I wear jeans, t-shirts, maybe a nondescript sweatshirt or hoodie.

And then it hit me. I do stick out. You know what the one defining characteristic of me is in that setting? I’m old. In my mind I’m still just like the same guy I was in my mid twenties, but that’s not what my increasing number of grey hairs broadcast to the world.

Ah well. What’re you going to do, stop living?  Well, someday, yes, but not anytime soon.

Have a nice weekend everyone.

2013-14 Cleveland Cavaliers and the #seasonofhuh – WFNY Podcast – 2014-04-17

WFNY Podcast LogoI got Ben Cox to come on the podcast to discuss the 2014 Cleveland Cavaliers. He dubbed it the season of huh.

From the Cavaliers drafting Anthony Bennett, to hiring Mike Brown, to firing Chris Grant to Matthew Dellevedova being the Cavs’ best rookie this year.

It was one for the ages.

Make sure you go read Ben’s post at WFNY on the topic.

Check out this episode!

MLB’s new catch interpretation is begging to be exploited

I got into an argument over MLB’s new (old?) interpretation of what is a catch when Elliot Johnson “caught” a fly ball, took two steps, came up against the outfield wall and then dropped the ball as he attempted to throw the ball into the infield. It wasn’t ruled an out because the “definition of a catch” apparently includes a transfer, even for an outfielder who has taken multiple steps with the ball secured in his glove. It was a civil conversation with Sirius XM’s Mike Ferrin, but he and I had to agree to disagree on the topic. Then I brought up this question, which I haven’t seen an answer to just yet.

Here’s the rule from the actual rulebook.Catch Rule

I wasn’t smart enough to take the argument to the next logical step, but thankfully Dave Cameron at FanGraphs is. While Cameron agrees while that the rule interpretation makes loads of sense at second base, the issue isn’t quite so clear when it comes to outfielders. The money passage from Cameron says it all.

At this point, it shouldn’t be too hard to spot the problem with using the same definition of a catch in the outfield as it is at second base; the drop at second base has no real impact on the runner’s decision making. The batter is sprinting down the first base line to try and beat out the double play, and probably will rarely even know the ball is dropped on the double play attempt. The runner going into second base is almost always sliding into the bag, and the dropped transfer does not result in the ball rolling far enough away for an advancement to third base. Until the play is over and the runners find out who is safe and who is out, they don’t really care too much about what the fielders are doing.

That is absolutely not true with runners and outfielders, however; the decision of whether to advance or return to base is entirely dependent on whether the outfielder is ruled to have safely caught the ball. Runners are taught to get enough of a lead off the base to maximize their potential advancement in case the ball is not caught while still retaining their ability to return to their previous base if it is. When the ball enters the glove, the runner returns to their prior base in order to avoid a potential double play. Only now, the ball entering the glove is no longer the determining factor of whether or not the catch was made; that is now the ball moving from the glove to the hand.

Enter Elliot Johnson. I never thought I’d have much opportunity to write that prior to the start of the Indians season. But if a catch determination isn’t made until the transfer of the ball to the throwing hand and Elliot Johnson’s two steps before maintaining possession of the ball into the outfield wall aren’t enough, then to quote the Indians, “What if?”

What if Johnson hits the wall and instead of looking to throw starts sprinting toward the infield where the runners are assuming it’s a catch. As he’s running in, he “bobbles” the ball on transfer thus rendering the “catch” not a catch at all. It’s an extreme example, but you kind of open yourself up to it, don’t you? As FanGraphs points out, this opens the game up to the exact thing that the infield fly rule was designed to eliminate.

2014 NFL Draft, re-upping Brian Hoyer, Mike Evans over Sammy Watkins and C.J. Mosely – WFNY Podcast – 2014-04-15

WFNY Podcast LogoThe fake Jim Kanicki or the real Mike Burgermeister joined me to talk through some Browns topics.

We talked about the 2014 NFL draft, specifically who the Browns should take at #4. Mike Evans vs. Sammy Watkins and talking about three studs on the offensive line.

Finally, we talked a bit about NFL draft cliches.


Check out this episode!

Calling out the worst of all NFL draft clichés

2012 NFL Draft

Leading up to an NFL draft, there are a lot of hackneyed conversations that will drive a fan absolutely crazy. It seems that some fans want to rely on simplistic rules to simplify the NFL draft for themselves. It’s a coping mechanism to help deal with the fact that most fans have do not possess nearly enough information to truly decide what their team needs or how they should build for the future. It’s not an indictment of fans to not know, but it is an indictment for fans who pretend like they do.

Know what, exactly? It’s infuriating this time of year, but how many fans do you come across — at the bar, calling sports talk radio or on Twitter — who think of themselves as the only one qualified to run the war room of their favorite football team? Imagine every nugget of their “wisdom” being delivered with a confident, smug smile that says, “I just know I’m right.” Instead of looking at each team like a complex system that needs lots of different pieces, we get a lot of vague, simplistic misconceptions. And with that, here are my least favorite draft clichés.

[Read more...]

The Browns could have been trading with the Jets in Draft Day movie

Draft DayI’m not spoiling Draft Day when I say that it involves some wheeling and dealing for draft picks in and around the NFL Draft. I’m also not spoiling anything when I say that the Seattle Seahawks were the trade partner with Kevin Costner and the Browns regarding a presumed number one draft pick quarterback. What I found out today, though, is that originally the Browns were supposed to be fictionally trading with the New York Jets instead of the Seattle Seahawks.

“They were having something of a quarterback dispute, and the team said that this is just going to incite our fans a little more to criticize us, even though it’s all fictional,” director Ivan Reitman said.

So let me get this straight. The team that continually gets booed live and in person every single year no matter who they draft has a thin skin about how a fictional movie about the NFL draft could impact real world criticism of their team? Seems a little bit thin-skinned for a group of professionals who work in the NFL.

Then again, I don’t know what I’d be like if I had to go through this kind of reaction every time I did anything at my job. See how Radio City Music Hall reacted to the Jets trading up with the Browns and subsequently drafting Mark Sanchez.

Gotta love the Mike Mayock quote on the broadcast too. “We don’t yet know what they (the Jets) gave up to get here, but I’m pretty much willing to bet ultimately it’s going to be worth it.” Well, the Browns just signed Alex Mack to a new deal and the Jets cut Mark Sanchez. What do you think now Mr. Mayock?

Some Friday @sportsyelling about the Indians, Cavs, Browns and Pittsburgh – WFNY Podcast – 2014-04-11

WFNY Podcast LogoI really enjoyed my first podcast with @sportsyelling, so I asked her to come back and she said yes.

We talked about Lonnie Chisenhall and his paternity leave, the Cleveland Indians early results, the Browns and if they should do Hard Knocks, the Cavaliers and whether you’d rather have a hockey team and lots lots more.


Check out this episode!

Mack is back as Browns match Jaguars offer

So, you remember that whole Alex Mack contract situation? You see the Browns used the “transition tag” which means…

Oh never mind. I’m not going back through all this again. Alex Mack is back. He’ll be back for at least two years and probably three. He’ll be the highest paid center too at $42 million over five years. If you want to know any more, search our archives.

Pic: Check out a Pokemon-themed Cleveland Cavaliers logo

Cleveland Gravelers Pokemon Logo

I know nothing about Pokemon, but this Cavaliers logo actually looks kind of nice.

I embedded the whole gallery below so you can scroll through the rest.

Your move, Browns – Alex Mack signs Jacksonville offer sheet

Who else would report it, but Adam Schefter? Alex Mack’s deal has reportedly been signed and it’s all pretty straight-forward.

So the Browns are on the clock even before the NFL draft. I have no idea how long they’ll take, but I think this is probably a pretty palatable deal if they were true to their word they wanted him back. It gives Mack a good amount of guaranteed money and also the right level of flexibility for a guy who was drafted by Mangini under Randy Lerner before coming up for renewal under Jimmy Haslam and Ray Farmer. Think of it this way, to keep it in perspective. Alex Mack was in the building at the same (very short) time as George Kokinis.

This is certainly far from as bad a deal as what many Browns expected. It also continues to show how silly Mack’s agent was when he said he thought he could create a deal that the Browns would have difficulty signing. The Browns aren’t guaranteed to sign this deal, of course, but it’s not the team killer anyone would have imagined in light of the agent’s posturing.

Hopefully shortly, we can just put this to bed.

Also see TD’s excellent work on new Cleveland Browns receiver Nate Burleson.

Draft Day, Hawk Harrelson, Alex Mack, Super Tall High School Kid and Mansions live at the Grog Shop… While We’re Waiting

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I set a Google Calendar reminder so that I wouldn’t forget to do WWW this week. Let’s hope that works from here on out. Now on with the WWW.

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I saw Draft Day last night, and here are my initial thoughts. Don’t worry. I will save you any and all spoilers. This isn’t a great achievement in cinema, but sports movies and summer popcorn flicks don’t have to be. This movie would be a full on failure if it was about any other topic but sports. Sports movies always have a special license and leeway because they’re about a topic that many of us are already pre-disposed to enjoy. Even still, Draft Day isn’t a great sports movie. It’s alright. Here in Cleveland because it’s about our team it’s like a B+. In the rest of the country where it’s not about other NFL fans’ teams it’s a C-.

There were a few jokes and light moments that mostly fell flat. Some of the quirky characters that were supposed to provide relief, really didn’t achieve it. I thought Denis Leary was probably the best part and even with my criticisms, every Browns fan should see it and will probably enjoy it. Come on. It’s about the NFL draft. That’s our annual Super Bowl, you know other than that real Super Bowl that other teams seem to compete for on occasion.

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Finally, we can talk about the Cleveland Indians and race and it has nothing to do with Chief Wahoo. As Deadspin pointed out in their post with video, White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson had some pretty interesting things to say about the Tribe’s reliever, C.C. Lee after he entered the game last night.

After Lee threw a “nasty slider,” Harrelson called it a “typical Asian motion” before tagging it with, “Deception involved.”

Can you imagine either the Indians’ radio or TV crews saying anything like that? Yes, Tom Hamilton was in the spotlight after a brush back pitch at Nick Swisher by Aroldis Chapman last year, but it’s hard to imagine just the same.

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Of course the talk of the day here in Cleveland will be Alex Mack. It might be too much talk for the topic. Andy Baskin has been quite level-headed on the topic on 92.3 the Fan. His sentiments have included that as soon as this reaches its conclusion nobody will talk about it anymore and he’s exactly right. NFL center is one of those positions that nobody knows anything about unless the guy is tossing the ball over his QB’s head all the time or committing penalties. Nearly nobody I know would know whether Alex Mack had a good season or not without the benefit of Pro Football Focus.

On top of all that, we need to remember what we don’t know. The Browns were all set to pay Mack just over $10 million for 2014 with the transition tag. The deal makes Alex Mack the league’s top paid center. That can be misleading though. There are so many different variables at play here. Most notably, the salary cap has grown and is expected to continue to grow. So, while $18 million is always going to be $18 million, it shrinks in impact on the team as the salary cap increases.

We’ll just have to wait and see whether the Browns decide to match the deal or not. Only they know via their longer range projections whether this is a good idea for them. Only they know their own confidence level in replacing Alex Mack if he were to depart. Even the most plugged in Browns fans with extensive cap knowledge can go so far as to say if it’s a “good” idea or not.

I think my preference would still be for the Browns to bring Mack back, but absent that extra layer of intel, that preference isn’t worth a whole lot. My preferences are also based on the fact that I have no idea whether John Greco can play center at a fraction of the price or not. I suspect the Browns have a better feeling for that matter, among others.

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It might not seem fair, but it makes for a heck of a YouTube highlight video. I bring you the 7’5″ tall high school player highlight mix tape including sweet croakies to hold on his glasses. He’s everything that State Farm wanted their stupid commercial to be with Chris Paul, except the guy with glasses is awkward and plays basketball.

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Last, but certainly not least, I’m really excited to go see Mansions again live next week. This time instead of road-tripping to Pittsburgh I get to see them play live and in the comfortable confines of the Grog Shop. They are opening up for La Dispute, who are also sure to be good. Still, I’m only in that door because of Mansions. Here’s my favorite song from their newest album Doom Loop. It’s a live version.

Have a really nice weekend everyone and stay tuned for a podcast with @sportsyelling that I’ll be recording soon!

Peter Pattakos talks about Chief Wahoo and the Cleveland Sin Tax – WFNY Podcast – 2014-04-09

WFNY Podcast LogoWhen will Cleveland sports be about sports again? Well, for right now, there’s a lot of interest in issues off the field. I had a chance to catch up with Peter Pattakos of Cleveland Frowns on both the Cleveland Sin tax issue as well as the Chief Wahoo situation.

You can find Peter at his website or on Twitter.