August 1, 2014

Can the Browns rivalry with the Steelers ever return?

brownssteelersstripingBill Polian said that he and Tony Dungy had an understanding that he could get his team up to play with just a little bit more intensity just a few times per year. It makes sense. Football players are human and their effort is likely to be somewhat consistent to their abilities most of the time with a little bit of fluctuation up or down. To think that you can get a team up to play at maximum level every single Sunday is unrealistic. Will Rob Chudzinski be able to do that this weekend with his team? Is there any way to make a modern NFL player feel a rivalry the same way fans have been raised to respect it? I’m not so sure.

Of course it helps that the Steelers are a divisional opponent. Competing in the division is important to any NFL player simply because it is the easiest gateway to the NFL playoffs. If you can’t handle your business against the guys who are all scheduled twice per season, year-in and year-out, how are you ever going to make meaningful strides toward winning a Super Bowl? Even then though, does that put the Steelers on any different level for players on the Cleveland Browns roster than when they play Baltimore or Cincinnati? [Read more...]

Hanford Dixon talks about the origin of the Dawg Pound in “Day of the Dawg”

In addition to his admission that the Browns had a bounty system during Dixon’s days in Cleveland (like every other team), Hanford Dixon played an integral role in developing the Dawg Pound. In his new book, Day of the Dawg, Hanford explains how it all started-

“Think of the QB like he’s a cat, and you’re a dog. The dog needs to catch the cat.”

We lined up for another play.

”He’s the cat, you’re the dog. Don’t let him get away,” I shouted as I retreated to my right cornerback position. Then to help them remember, I let out a few barks. We ran the play, and then before the next play, I let out a few more barks. Pretty soon, it was a matter of routine. It was to let the linemen know they were like dogs, and they were to catch the cat.

Fans regularly attend preseason practice there at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio, about a half-hour’s drive east of Cleveland. One of the first things I noticed after my arrival in Cleveland in 1981 was how crazy and obsessive Cleveland Browns fans are. Yes, other teams have very strong and loyal fan bases across the country, but here in Cleveland the fans are just sheer nuts. The Browns dominated the local sports scene. They had dominated the NFL in the 1950s, and because of the many lean years by the Cleveland Indians and, later on, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland was a football city first and foremost.

It didn’t take long for the fans attending practice to start barking as well. We’d line up for a play, I’d let out a few barks and the fans, sometimes thousands in attendance, began barking too. This kept on going and going throughout the couple of weeks that practices were open to the public.

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Hanford Dixon: Browns had a “bounty” system

In his recently released book, former Cleveland Browns defensive back Hanford Dixon — affectionately known as the “Top Dawg” — says that the mid-80s team had a players only bounty system that rewarded members for hard hits.

“The object wasn’t to maim or cause serious injury, but to knock (an opponent) out of the game,” writes Dixon. “These pools would be maybe a couple of hundred bucks, not really that much money.”

The operation in question did not include the coaching staff. Bill Livingston of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, while discussing the book in his most recent column, stated that if of Sam Rutigliano, Marty Schottenheimer and Bud Carson were aware of the bounty pools but turned the other cheek, they had “plenty of company” as the whole league was “looking the other way” when it came to player injuries.

This, of course, all comes in the wake of the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal that has claimed headlines throughout the course of the entire season, leading to suspensions, reversals, and nearly as much finger-pointing as was seen a year ago during the labor-based lockout.

[Related: Cleveland Browns Film Room: Game 8, 3rd and 1]

(Source: Cleveland.com)

 

WFNY Roundtable: Dawg Days Over?

The ‘Dawg Pound’ became such in the mid 80′s as the fans and defensive players created an identity together. Lead by two young cornerbacks, Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield, the defense was tough to move the ball on (unless you were John Elway). This identity, of course,  stuck with Browns fans long after Dixon, Minnifield and teammate Felix Wright were gone.

Now there is a new corps in the secondary that shows some promise. Eric Wright, Joe Haden and TJ Ward are young defensive backs that could well be the cornerstones of the Browns defense for years to come. With these similarities to the original ‘Dawg Defense,’ I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before fans try to brand this new group with the old mark.

Today’s round table question: Is it time for fans (and ownership) to let the team create it’s own identity and stop trying to force the ‘Dawg’ imagery on new players?

Craig: I know it won’t be popular to say, but it is time to move on. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Delonte West Video Freestyles – KFC, McDonald’s and Chipotle

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.

delonte-kfc-video-screen 

I was directed to this video late last night and it may just be the best Delonte video yet.  It is amazing that all it takes is a near 20-minute wait in a KFC parking lot and you get this jackpot of a freestyle.  Nothing is off limits.  KFC, McDonalds, Chipotle… All covered with the help of Do or Die Twista and Lil’ Boosie.  Embedding the video would not exactly jive with our guidelines, but if you do not mind a little colorful language do yourself a favor and catch these seven minutes of YouTube gold. The image is also a direct link.  Do Enjoy. [YouTube]

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