April 17, 2014

Peyton Manning, Bernie Kosar and the Ends of Eras

The realization has finally sunk in with my wife that the Peyton Manning era is basically over for Colts fans. There are still hints of a chance as long as Peyton Manning hasn’t had his contract terminated, but I haven’t come across anyone who thinks there is any other outcome other than the Colts cutting Manning loose before having to pay $28 million.

Anything is possible, of course, just like my dreams on nights when I have an active lottery ticket in my possession. I also understand full well how hard it is to say goodbye to good things, but my response to my wife’s statement that this is the end of an era was, “At least you had an era.”

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Peyton Manning Sweepstakes Heating Up

A few weeks ago, Adam Schefter spawned a couple of days of talk about the Browns and Peyton Manning with mere speculation that the Browns could be a suitor should Manning get cut before he is owed a $28 million roster bonus in March.  It has been mostly quiet on the Peyton Manning front since then as Indianapolis has shaken things up by hiring GM Ryan Grigson, firing Jim Caldwell, and interviewing head coaching candidates, possibly even former Buckeye Jim Tressel.  It is not so quiet anymore.

Yesterday teams seemingly started using the media as a mouthpiece to express interest in a player that they are certainly not legally allowed to speak with or about.  The Dolphins got out first with a report in the Miami Herald.  That report pulled a double whammy by also mentioning Packers backup Matt Flynn, who also isn’t available yet.  That makes some sense since Miami just hired former Packers offensive coordinator Joe Philbin to be their new head coach.  With all the talk started, the Cardinals didn’t want to be on the sidelines. [Read more...]

Josh Cribbs’ Future With the Browns

Don’t look now, but one of the signature players for the Cleveland Browns over the last few years is about to enter a contract year in 2012.  It sure says a lot about the Browns that Cribbs – a special teams phenom – has been a signature player for fans of this team over the years.  No disrespect to Josh Cribbs, of course.  He earned his stripes helping the team beat Pittsburgh with one of the most phenomenal individual days in most living Browns fans’ memories.  He ran for 87 yards and returned punts and kicks like a man absolutely possessed.  As has been the case for so long with Josh Cribbs in Cleveland, he summed it up pretty well too.  On beating Pittsburgh that fateful day in 2009…

”It means everything,” Browns do-it-all wide receiver Josh Cribbs said. ”There are a lot of Steelers fans around the city so I hope people go to work and kick those Steelers fans.”

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Jason Whitlock Nails the NFL Labor Dispute

Sometimes you read an opinion column and it attacks you personally in a strange way.  It isn’t because you disagree with it, but because it feels so much like someone completed your own thesis.  It is like they were living inside your brain and then found a way to summarize all the things you had been thinking before you figured out how to turn it into one cohesive point.  That’s how I feel after reading Jason Whitlock’s article about the NFL labor situation.

Whitlock talks about the Packers and how their victory is a repudiation of the worst parts of the NFL players association.  He speaks of Green Bay GM Ted Thompson eschewing expensive stars like Randy Moss and Brett Favre, but that is only a prelude to Whitlock’s home run.

“They don’t want to share half of their revenue with people they don’t believe have the necessary character to collectively act in a way that allows them to economically grow the game at a rapid pace.” [Read more...]

LeBron James Admits to Brett Favre Similarities

For quite some time, many in the media have compared LeBron James to Brett Favre when it comes to public relations and sheer desire to constantly be among the headlines within their respective sports. 

Following James’ latest comments, it appears that the two have come full circle as the two-time MVP places himself within similar company.

“Brett [had] great years here in Green Bay,” James told the Wisconsin media.

“Any time a great competitor like that leaves, no one wants to see that, but they’ve done a great job of regrouping with Aaron Rodgers and I believe that Cleveland will do the same.”

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Former Indians Pitcher Tom Candiotti Featured in ESPN Exposé on Athlete Infidelity

When one thinks of athlete infidelity, Tiger Woods, Brett Favre and Tony Parker will come to the forefront of the mind given the last 12 months of ill-cast spotlight.  But after reading Elizabeth Merrill and Amy K. Nelson’s latest piece in ESPN.com’s “Outside the Lines” section, we get an athlete name that would not top many lists when it comes to such a topic: former Cleveland Indians pitcher Tom Candiotti.

But it may not be what you think.  While the Candy Man had one heck of a knuckleball, he did not have a heram of mistresses or a monumental sexting scandal from which to hang his red-billed hat.  Instead, it is he and his second wife Donna, who was interviewed for the piece, discussed the “athlete code” to which they were bound, to not tell other wives what they would see on road trips. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Free Agency Guide, Windy’s Future, and Defending Sweet Lou

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

“Things will never be the same, not because the internet hates LeBron [James], but because the time is upon us. The Great Free Agent Derby of 2010 is here and we are now living in its awful, exalted midst. Sooner, and with higher levels of entropy, than we had ever expected.

If you can’t tell, I am deeply troubled by all of this. It’s not just that I don’t want to spend the next two months quivering over this storyline, however worthy it may be; I’ve already dealt with them for the better part of two years, albeit not under such heightened circumstances. I’m sick of it already, except now it makes my hair stand on end. What I need is a coping guide on how to get through the plague-like panic and darkness. Therefore, I have constructed for myself a Handy Guide for Getting Through the Free Agency Firestorm.” [Shoals/NBA FanHouse]

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Willie McGinest Could Return…

Cleveland+Browns+v+Pittsburgh+Steelers+9ZzfsirUESyl…Just not to the Cleveland Browns.

He didn’t play last season and rookie center Alex Mack took his jersey number, but former Browns outside linebacker Willie McGinest – now 39-years old -  is entertaining the idea of coming back to the NFL if given the right situation.  McGinest, in a report from the Boston Herald, has yet to turn in his retirement papers despite taking a year off of the field.

“I took the time this year to heal and train and get stronger and get better,” said McGinest.  “You never know – I definitely want to do some commentating.  I’m going to weigh my options and see what happens.”

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Jim Schwartz: Eric Mangini’s Latest Burnt Bridge

Eric Mangini VaderSpygate will forever go down as the bill where the former assistant coach turned head coach fires off at his former boss.  Eric Mangini came up under Bill Belechick, and then opted to throw him right under the bus with alleged use of recording equipment during game situations.  And since that went so well, Mangini has opted to turn his focus towards current Lions coach Jim Schwartz – a coach Mangini worked with in the 1990s. [Read more...]

NFL News: Eric Mangini Now Has More Investigations than Games Coached (Updated)

Vikings Browns FootballOnly one week of actual play and Browns head coach Eric Mangini appears to be facing his second investigation since joining the team. 

The latest stems from his alleged failure to list Brett Favre on the injury report during their collective time with the Jets with Favre claiming he should not have played.  While many felt tht the Jets could be penalized for this issue though their head coach had since been relieved of his duties, an ESPN report claims the contrary.

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While We’re Waiting… Garcia Released, Browns Depth Chart, and Shooting Stars Review

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

jeff-garcia-browns

Checking in with Jeff Garcia: “In matter of months, veteran quarterback Jeff Garcia went from pronouncing himself a contender for the Raiders’ starting job to an Oakland afterthought. Garcia fell victim to his age (39) by sustaining a series of nagging injuries that forced him to miss the bulk of training camp snaps, but he appeared ready to accept a backup role. Instead, his Raiders career ended before it really starting. Oakland released Garcia on Saturday, along with 21 other players to reach the 53-man NFL roster limit.” [Nancy Gay/NFL FanHouse

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While We’re Waiting… Shaq’s Mobility, An MLB Playoff Preview, and Jamal Lewis’ 30th Birthday

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

shaq-vs-3We give a [darn] about the drama that you do bring, I’m just trying to change the color on your mood ring: “So far, Shaq has shown the shooting touch that encourages opponents to use the ”Hack-a-Shaq” tactic, along with, in the Williams’ exercise, diminished mobility that makes him possibly more vulnerable than incumbent center Zydrunas Ilgauskas against the high pick-and-roll.  Shaq’s show might be a disturbing peek into the future, physically. Philosophically, the Cavaliers’ attempt to win the NBA championship will depend on O’Neal’s willingness to renounce the very premise of “Shaq Vs,” which is that he has no limits and is more than “just a basketball player.” [Bill Livingston/Plain Dealer]

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Browns to Open Up Season Against Brett Favre

favre-sports-illustrated-vikingsIt isn’t every day that a Cleveland Browns home opener is on the national radar.  But thanks to Brett Favre’s unwillingness to just give up already, he will likely man the Minnesota Vikings on opening day.

In what seemed to have been a tailspin over the last 24 hours, we heard rumors from Fox’s Jay Glazer that ultimately resulted in Favre getting a GPS unit imbedded into his skull where we can follow his flights and pen strokes.  We now get word that the reported two-year deal with the Vikings (that will likely end up just like the “two-year deal” with the Jets) will net Favre $12 million.  It will also net football fans outside of Minnesota a giant headache, that likely wont end until this time next season.

The gunslinger will get to test his arm against the not-so frightening defense of the Browns on week one.  Favre is coming off of a span of games that saw him throw 10 interceptions in the final six weeks.  In fact, there were only three games last season in which Favre did not throw a pick.   

The Browns, on the other hand, not only look to break their string of consecutive week 1 losses, but they get to do so in front of a media circus headed by none other than Brett Favre.  The spread leading into the game was Vikings (-3).  We’ll have to see if this changes now that the cagey veteran is back under center.

While We’re Waiting… Romeo Crennel’s Future, Kevin Mack’s Role, and More NBA Playoffs

While We’re Waiting aims to be the round-up of the recent WFNY-esque information for your morning viewing. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

Romeo Crennel

Romeo Crennel is stepping back and taking a big-picture view. For the first time since 1981, he won’t be coaching in the NFL, and the former Patriots defensive coordinator acknowledged he’s not sure how he’ll handle it. [...]  Crennel’s decision to sit out isn’t due to a lack of interest from teams. [...]  But health, primarily, dictated Crennel’s course of action. He had hip replacement surgery in February – a month after he was fired as head coach in Cleveland – and decided that he’d focus solely on rehab. That meant that the only coaching opportunity he’d seriously consider was returning to the Browns in a different role.  “I felt like if I was able to stay in Cleveland, it wouldn’t have been a major transition, because you kind of know what’s going on and the guys you’re working with know what to expect, but it didn’t work out that way,” said Crennel, who guided the Browns for four seasons.” [Mike Reiss/Boston Globe]

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Madden Curse: Troy Polamalu to Grace Cover of Madden 2010

polamalu-madden-2010

Good move for Pittsburgh?  Just ask Brett Favre last season.  Or Mike Vick in 2004.  Or Shaun Alexander in 2007.  Vince Young in 2008…

Hey, at this point, I’ll take any sort of advantage over the Steelers – even if it may be mythical and video game-related.

(h/t to Chris Littman for the picture)

A Moratorium Call on the Cleveland Browns

big-dogOK, I know this site is dedicated to ALL Cleveland sports, and in trying to bring you the most updated information all day, every day, it behooves us to go across all sporting lines.

Look at what is going on with our Cavaliers and Indians right now. Last night, the best team in the NBA, YOUR Cleveland Cavaliers, set a franchise record with their 58th win of the season. They look more and more everyday like the lock #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and if they can keep up this tremendous pace, could have home court advantage throughout the NBA Finals.

Lebron James playing at an MVP level, leading his team to a preposterous 33-1 home court record. Danny Ferry has put together the best supporting cast of his tenure (the Mo Williams for Damon Jones trade was GENIUS) and their depth is the envy of the NBA. The wine and gold seem to be on a mission. [Read more...]

NFL Rumors: Brett Favre to Cleveland?

SPORT NFL FOOTBALLWell, not officially as a player, but the invite is there as a mentor.

In a recent interview with the New York Daily News, Browns head coach Eric Mangini discussed several different issues ranging from last year’s Jets meltdown, all the way to what he plans on doing with his new team.  If you’re one that think that Mangini did not get along with his former quarterback, guess again.

“He might come out to training camp to visit,” Mangini said. “Maybe I will have him do the show team or just hang out.” [...]

“I don’t think it would be anything formal,” Mangini said. “It’s not like we are hiring him to run the scout team. I don’t think he would be interested in that. He would be more like a visitor. An open invite.”

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NFL Trade Rumors: Derek Anderson to the Jets?

While Eric Mangini and the Cleveland Browns have been quoted in saying that there is no concrete starter at the quarterback position for 2009, smart money says that the team will likely turn to their quarterback of the future in Brady Quinn sooner than later.  However, even if Quinn does get the nod this season, sooner is still too late considering that Phil Savage gave Derek Anderson a three-year $24.5 million contract just last off-season.

Couple the competition and salary with the fact that Anderson is due a roster bonus this spring, and the time to move D.A. was obviously last year when he was coming off of a Pro Bowl season.  With his value considerably lower today than it was pre-Honalulu, Browns fans are itching to see what their team may be able to receive in return for good old No. 3. 

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Brett Favre- Just Say No

favrerodgers2.jpgLook I’m a Cleveland fan, and so as the saying goes, I don’t have a dog in this fight. (Oh, sorry Atlanta fans…) But this whole Brett Favre thing is just ridiculous.

I’m watching Chris Carter make a fool out of himself on ESPN. I’m a Buckeye fan, so I have nothing but love for you Chris, but what you said about Brett Favre makes no sense. Carter said that Favre made a mistake by announcing his decision to retire too early. He said in March your body is beat up and you aren’t thinking right about whether or not you want to play again. He said Favre should have waited until after the draft to make up his mind.

Yeah. Like every year since 2005. That way the Packers could go through free agency and the draft without knowing if they were going with Favre or Rodgers. That’s a brilliant plan Chris. Works out real well…for Brett Favre. [Read more...]

Oh Internet, please use your powers for good…

This week’s ‘Best of the Web’ will be somewhat brief. As always, we start with a review of stories from WFNY (that’s what all the cool kids call WaitingForNextYear.)

The Cavaliers played bookend games against the Bulls this week, winning the first one, and losing the last. In between was LeBron’s 50 point gem in the Garden. If you missed ‘the dunk’ over Luol Deng in that first Chicago game, here you go. Don’t say I never gave you anything.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RDwkLIHKYCs[/youtube]

Posts-a-plenty about the Browns this week, including a fresh perspective of the Derek Anderson contract via Ben Roethlisberger comparison. The somewhat embarrassingly popular Shaun Rogers piece. Scott shared thoughts on seldom used Travis Wilson. We speculated on potential moves yet to be made. And finally Rock wrote an extensive piece on Browns owner Randy Lerner that you have to make time to read.

Football in March? Scott witnessed it, and swears it was almost like the real thing! [Read more...]