August 15, 2014

WFNY Podcast – 2013-01-15 – Craig and DP talk NHL lockout, LeBron James and Rob Chudzinski

WFNY Podcast LogoThe NHL lockout is over so Craig checked in with former WFNY man DP to compare the NHL lockout to the NBA and NFL lockouts. We also discussed a wide variety of other topics including LeBron’s impending opt out and free agency watch in 2014. We also discussed the Chud hire and how little past performance can “win the argument” at predicting whether he is going to do a good job or not.

  • First of all we crowned TD the king of deep fried chicken sandwiches
  • The NHL lockout and how it compares to the NFL / NBA lockouts
  • Who won and how long will peace last?
  • What does it mean for the BlueJackets?
  • The LeBron free agency rumors
  • The impact of LeBron’s exit on every other Cleveland sports story
  • Sports business model compared to music
  • Ben Folds and the rich, famous rockstar aberration
  • How do you spell cannon?
  • Thad Lewis and if the Browns new staff could find any way to use him. [Read more...]

Week 14: The Browns Will Win If…

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. It’s finally “December cold” outside, the Browns are playing the top team in the AFC on a short week, and frankly I just can’t see too many scenarios in which the Browns even keep tonight’s game in Pittspuke close. But, we are not bandwagoners, here. We write, no matter the outlook.

brownssteelers
Pittsburgh is 11th in the league in yards per game on offense at 368 yards per, and they’re ninth in passing. What? These are not your father’s Steelers on offense. In fact, they actually haven’t been scoring a ton throughout the season (just over 22 points per game), but they haven’t had to. Why not? Well, they ARE your father’s Steelers on defense. First in the league in yardage allowed. Second in passing yards allowed. Seventh in rushing yards allowed. Fourth in points allowed. In other words, if you’ve been watching the Browns’ offense, it’s going to be a rough, rough night. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

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Week 13: The Browns Will Win If…

We’re starting to get to the point in the season where I’m “writing out the string” in these opening paragraphs. I have no more wit (if I ever had any to begin with, that is). No more sauce. I look at this game as the Browns being a lamb led to slaughter. I have memories of my friend with whom I share my tickets saying, “This sucks. Ready to go?” in the early third quarter of last year’s finale against the Steelers. I’m expecting that kind of taste in my mouth this Sunday, too.

brownsravens
It’s tricky. Baltimore is averaging only two more yards rushing per game than the Browns are. The Ravens are 13th in the league in passing yards per game. So, where does my fear above come from? Well, the rub is that Baltimore is third in the league defending the run, whereas the Browns are 29th. Gads. Both teams are top-five against the pass in terms of yards. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

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Week 12: The Browns Will Win If…

[burp] The Browns are sitting here after Thanksgiving at 4-6; not great, but not terrible. Certainly right around where I expected them to be. This week’s matchup gives them a chance at opening-day redemption. If I were Pat Shurmur and Dick Jauron, I’d have an animated GIF of that play where the defense didn’t get lined up cycling endlessly on every available screen in the building. But, that’s just me. Pass the gravy!

brownsbengals
The Bengals took the momentum of that opening day win and built a 6-3 record before falling to the Ravens last Sunday. Cincy’s been getting it done with a modest offense (18th in the league in yards/game) led by rookie QB Andy Dalton and rookie WR AJ Green. Both are nicked up for this game, which may help the Browns’ defense. Speaking of, that is where this game will be won or lost. Both teams are in the top-six in yards allowed per game, with the Browns slightly edging the Bengals. It could be another interesting battle. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If… [Read more...]

Week 11: The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns found a new way to lose a game this past week, botching a 22-yard field goal in crunch time to drop an ugly one to the Rams. Coming to town this week are the Jacksonville Jaguars, whom the Browns are playing for the third straight season.

brownsjags

The Jags, much like the Browns, are sitting at 3-6, but one of those wins came against the dreadful Colts last Sunday. The Jags had lost six of seven (a strange 12-7 MNF win over the Ravens) before their win last Sunday. This game looks to be ugly; the Browns are actually *better* on offense in terms of yards/game than are the Jags. The Browns sit at 294.1 yards (30th), and the Jags are at 243.6 (32nd). Ugh. The difference? The Jags are 11th in the league in running the ball. So, there that is. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Week 10: The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns are coming off a thorough drubbing from which surgeons are still trying to extract the ball from down their throats where the Texans systematically ran it. The competition level gets a little lighter with St. Louis this week, and clearly there will be some, “Hey, you! I know you! I know you!” going on between Pat Shurmur and his former team.

brownsrams

St. Louis is down there with the Browns in terms of overall offense. They’re 23rd in the league with 314.1 yards per game. They are, however, slightly better on the run, at 18th in the league. The Browns’ defense got gashed on the ground, and will be without TJ Ward. Yikes. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Week 9: The Browns Will Win If…

First and foremost, can anyone out there run the ball? The Browns need you. Strap on your pads. Conversely, the Texans are coming into this game with a finally-healthy-looking Arian Foster. Gack. The Browns’ defense continue to struggle against the run–and apparently throws to the tackle-eligible–but is also still keeping the team in games long enough to illustrate that their offense if just garbage. Progress?

brownstexans

The Texans are seventh in the league in yards per game, and are scoring almost 26 points per game. It’s going to hinge on the Browns’ defense’s ability to keep them in check. Houston is also fourth in the league in rushing yards per game. D’oh! Cleveland is catching a possible break with WR Andre Johnson questionable with a bum hamstring, but even still they have their work cut out for them. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Week 8: The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns are 3-3. How is that possible? After a game against Seattle that set offensive football (and I do mean offensive! [rim shot]) back 40 years, the Browns will find their task much tougher this week as they travel to the left coast to play the red hot 49ers. Maybe Jim Harbaugh will cause Pat Shurmur to finally snap and go Jim Schwartz stark raving mad afterward.

browns49ers

The Browns’ offense has become a liability. The Browns’ special teams have become a liability. Awesome, because the 49ers are second-best in the league on defense in terms of points-allowed per game, and have one of the best ST coordinators (Brad Seely, remember him?) in the game. The 49ers’ offense actually is worse than the Browns’ in terms of yards per game, but they are strong running the ball (131.5 yards per game, which is 6th in the NFL). The Browns’ defense is coming off of a great performance in shutting down the Seahawks dreadful attack. It will not be so easy this week.

Oh, and that guy Braylon Edwards… remember him? He’s on this 49ers team. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Week 7: The Browns Will Win If…

It’s almost starting to feel like game days are the respite from the craziness that is swirling around the Browns these days. Between the offense and the Peyton Hillis contract and the general malaise of Browns fans, it’s been an interesting couple of weeks. Well, Game Day is Game Day, so here’s hoping the Browns can tune out some of the distractions. The Seattle Seahawks come to town,

brownsseahawks

The  Browns might be catching a bit of a break, as the Seahawks’ offense is actually worse on paper than is Cleveland’s and Tavaris Jackson may not play with a pec injury (hellooooo, Charlie Whitehurst!). However, the reigning NFC West [gulp] Champs are coming in off of their bye week. They’ve been averaging just 288 yards per game on offense, good for 30th in the league. They only average 83 yards per game on the ground, which should help the Browns defense a little. End of the day, the teams are 26th and 27th in the league in points per game, with Seattle at 18.8 and Cleveland at 18.2. This could be a snoozefest. The Browns have the edge on the stat-sheet defensively, giving up 45 fewer yards per game, and roughly one point less per game (23.4 to 24.4). So, where rubber meets road on the scoreboard, these two clubs appear to be pretty evenly matched. Feel the excitement! Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Week 6: The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns are back, after their bye week, and are sitting at .500. They’ve hopefully gotten the putrid taste of giving up big play after big play to the Titans out of their mouths, but face an equally tough challenge this Sunday as they head out to The Black Hole to face the resurgent Raiders. I remember a plucky young football team who was sitting on the precipice of something good when their owner named Al unexpectedly passed away. That team put a sweet patch on their uniforms, and made a surprise run to the playoffs. Hard to believe it was almost 10 years ago; these Raiders appear poised to do something similar.

brownsraiders

This is going to sound more callous than I intend, but the Browns draw a short straw this week in heading to Oakland for the first Raiders’ home game after Al Davis’s passing. I expect an emotional team and crowd, and it’s going to mean the Browns are going to have to be that much better to beat Oakland in their house this Sunday. Oakland sits at 3-2, and is getting it done with the running game. They are currently second in the NFL with 161.8 yards per game on the ground, whereas the Browns are 25th in the league at stopping the run (124.5 yards allowed per game). Their passing attack is a little less stellar, sitting at 22nd in the league with 219.8 yards per game; the Browns counter with a solid pass defense which is fourth in the league (195.5 yards allowed per game). Defensively, the Raiders struggle a bit more, allowing almost 425 yards a game: 124.5 on the ground (25th) and 299.6 through the air (29th). The Browns’ offense has to come to play on Sunday to exploit those numbers. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Week 4: The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns are above .500! What’s that? Their opponents to date are a combined 1-8, and that one win came against the Browns? I say it again: don’t harsh my buzz. I personally didn’t think these Browns were destined for greatness, so it’s kind of a nice surprise to see them showing that they are, in fact, NOT the worst team in the league. They’re building something for the future, and the early returns are promising. The past two years’ first- and second-round picks are all contributing. When was the last time you could honestly say that?

brownstitans

Likewise, not much was expected of the Titans this year, and they are surprising a lot of people with how well they’ve played, especially largely without Chris Johnson contributing like he has in years-past. Offensively, these have been the bizarro-Titans through the first three weeks: they’re seventh overall in the league with over 300 yards per game, and are literally last in the league in rushing yards per game, with just under 52 yards per game. However, it should be pointed out that the Titans are losing their biggest receiving threat with Kenny Britt down to a knee injury. Defensively, they’re as good as ever thus far, limiting opposing offenses to 261 total yards per game (172 passing, 89 rushing). That does not bode well for the Browns’ offense. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Week 3: The Browns Will Win If…

The Browns are in the win column, hooray! What’s that? The Colts are dreadful? Don’t harsh my buzz. The important thing is that the Browns *should* have won that game, and they did. And, they did it with defense, for the most part. They never let the Colts get into the end zone until the end, which was a death-by-a-thousand-cuts time bleeding drive. Granted, I thought back to that 2001 Bears game which ended up being an overtime loss, but I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been constantly dumped on your entire sports life by a team/franchise.

brownsdolphins

I copy/pasted last year’s post code into this one, and I can’t bring myself to take this line out: “First and foremost, how angry does that Dolphin look? I mean, man. I thought Snowflake in Ace Ventura was a nice, happy dolphin. As Lenny in The Simpsons once said, they’re the clowns of the sea! I digress…” The Dolphins are 0-2, but they have played two pretty decent teams in New England and Houston. They’ve put up pretty solid numbers offensively, averaging 271.5 yards through the air and 125.5 yards on the ground. Their problem has been defense: in their two games they’ve allowed 967 yards in offense to their opponents. So, the question will be: can the Browns keep up offensively? The weather looks to be lousy today and tomorrow, but should clear up on Sunday. If that changes, it will be interesting to see how it affects the game. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If…

Da Clip Show: Back to Back Champs And Mike Sarbaugh Is AWESOME Edition – 9/20/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.

Yeah, so… how ’bout those Columbus Clippers? I’ve picked against them five straight times (both series last season, AAA National Championship last season, both series this season) and they’ve proven me wrong five straight times. Now, I’m a superstitious sports fan who believes in the all-swaying power of mojo, so you have to know I don’t view this as a coincidence. At any rate, after dropping Game 1 to Lehigh Valley, Columbus roared back to take the next three–including the final two on the road–to capture a second straight Governor’s Cup. They square off tonight against PCL Champ Omaha in the AAA National Championship in Albuquerque, NM.

This Week: 3-1
Playoff Results: Beat Lehigh Valley 3-1 to win the Governor’s Cup (IL Champions)

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Pop the Champagne! Clippers Beat Lehigh Valley 4-1 to Take Second Straight Governor’s Cup

Governor’s Cup Finals – Game 4
Clippers 4, Iron Pigs 1 – (box)
COL wins series, 3-1

The Clippers dropped Game 1 of the Governor’s Cup Finals at home, but true to form they rallied and capped three straight wins with a 4-1 triumph over Lehigh Valley tonight to take their second straight Governor’s Cup. This also means a chance for Columbus to defend their AAA National Championship against the champs of the Pacific Coast League. The game will be played on September 20 in Albuquerque. No word on the hot dogs just yet…

Paolo Espino got the start, and was solid–much like teammates Mitch Talbot and Joe Martinez the prior two games. The Clippers cap a stellar playoff run in which they went 6-1 over Durham and Lehigh Valley to claim another title. Columbus outscored the Iron Pigs 14-4 in the final three games to take the crown.

For manager Mike Sarbaugh, this is now five league championships in his nine years of managing in the Tribe’s system. He’s won at all levels, and has won titles in Akron (1) and Columbus (2) in each of the past three seasons. If I might editorialize, I’d say it’s time Mr. Sarbaugh got a promotion, especially considering that his most recent two titles have come after having the majority of his talent pilfered to Cleveland each of the past two summers.

I’m too many beers in to write a recap of this game, but I’ll have more on Tuesday in my Clippers time slot about this season, and about Sarbaugh. Suffice it to say, the Clippers are Champs once again!

Week 2: The Browns Will Win If…

After stalling out on the runway, the Browns’ 2011 season gets another shot to get airborne this Sunday in Indianapolis, where the Colts are in an unfamiliar place: Peyton-less. Who’d have ever thought the Browns would have the edge in the “Peyton” column of the stat-sheet when going in to play the Colts??

brownscolts

Well, if you watched a lot of football last weekend, this might appear to be two of the worst week 1 teams squaring off. The Colts struggled through Kerry Collins’ Indy debut, and the Browns looked abysmal in the first quarter, decent in the second, and confused in the third and fourth. Beaten by a brain fart on defense, the Browns will look to avenge that slip-up against a Colts team that couldn’t even barely move the ball against Houston. Conversely, the Texans scored almost at will against the Colts’ defense, and that defense is missing captain Gary Brackett. Could there be some room to work for Colt, Peyton, and company? Let’s hope so. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If… [Read more...]

Clippers Drop Game 1 of the Finals to Iron Pigs 5-2

Governor’s Cup Finals – Game 1
Iron Pigs 5, Clippers 2 (box)
LHV leads series 1-0

After a solid appearance in Game 1 of the first round, the Clippers went back to their “ace” to try to take the first game of the Governor’s Cup Championship. After holding Durham to no runs in his first round start, Zach McAllister was unable to bring that same stuff to his start last night.

Lehigh Valley jumped on him early to take a 4-0 lead, and Scott Mathieson was good enough to slow down the Clippers’ bats. Brandon Moss provided the Iron Pigs’ big blow in the first inning, and Columbus never recovered. McAllister was able to get the lead-off man to pop out, but after that the Iron Pigs got singles from Scott Podsednik and Kevin Frandsen to bring Moss to the dish.

Moss mashed a McAllister pitch to deep center, and just like that it was 3-0 Lehigh Valley.

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Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – Playoffs Edition 9/13/11

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.

The Clippers kick off the Governor’s Cup Finals series tonight at home again Lehigh Valley, after completing a first-round sweep over the Durham Bulls this past Friday night. The Clippers looked unstoppable against Durham, out-scoring the Bulls by a collective 16-5 in the three game sweep. Their starters were lights-out; their offense was clutch; they shut down the Bulls’ stars on offense. In short, it was a complete domination. And, to me, it defied all logic. But, we’ll get to that in a moment.

This Week: 3-0
Playoff Results: Beat Durham 3-0 to advance to the Governor’s Cup Finals

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Week 1: The Browns Will Win If…

It’s finally here! The Browns are ready to kick off the regular season, and the Cincinnati Bengals come calling. Here we have Pat Shurmur’s first regular season game as a head coach; on the other side, it’s Andy Dalton’s first game as an NFL quarterback. Welcome to the league, Ginger!

brownsbengals
On paper, the Bengals look to be in for a season of struggles, and given the fact that they’re starting a rookie at quarterback–on the road–this game seems like it’s there for the Browns’ taking. The Browns’ offense looked efficient at times during the pre-season, but struggled in Philly against a solid defense. Conversely, the Browns’ defense was a bit rough, though as the pre-season wore on guys like Phil Taylor became more noticeable. Call this a measuring stick for Cleveland: how “on the way up” are they? Beating the Bengals would help to define that a bit. Without further ado…

The Browns Will Win If… [Read more...]

Clippers Bats Whip Bulls 8-3 to Take a 2-0 Series Lead

IL Playoffs Round 1 – Game 2
Clippers 8, Bulls 3 (box)
COL leads series 2-0

Unlike Game 1, this time out both offenses established themselves early. By the end of the first inning, a combination of five runs–two more than had scored in the entire game–were in and on the scoreboard. But, it was the Clippers’ bats who would carry the day. Columbus starter–and former Durham Bull–Mitch Talbot got the chance to beat his former team, and was good enough after the first inning to give him team time to stretch their legs. And stretch they did.

Chad Huffman again led the offensive assault, with three hits in five trips, including a double and his second home run in as many games of the series. Huffman drove in two and also scored twice as well as the Clippers rocked former Tribe draft pick Chris Archer to the tune of five runs in 5.2 innings. Tim Fedroff, Travis Buck, Beau Mills, Juan Diaz, and Argenis Reyes all had two hits each as well, as the Clippers plated eight runs on 14 hits. They were especially potent with two outs, scoring all of their runs with two outs. [Read more...]

Clippers Shut Down Bulls 3-0 Behind Solid Pitching from McAllister, Bullpen

IL Playoffs Round 1 – Game 1
Clippers 3, Bulls 0 (box)
COL leads series 1-0

Often in a baseball playoff series, Game 1 is all about “strength versus strength” – the teams usually each send their best pitchers to the mound, and the offenses are feeling each other out. Bulls’ starter Matt Moore hadn’t lost a start since being promoted from AA in July, so it looked like the Clippers–even with their best starter in Zach McAllister toeing the rubber–would have their work cut out for them.

Well, Moore was good; the difference is that McAllister was great, at least for six innings. And, the Clippers’ bullpen was exceptional. Columbus got enough offense from the middle of the order, and pushed past the Bulls for a 1-0 series lead. OF Chad Huffman led the bats with a home run, a double, and two of the three RBI on the night. Beau Mills drove in the third run, and that was more than enough for the Columbus pitchers. [Read more...]