July 31, 2014

A Thank You from WFNY

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We have long joked about the veritable cemetery of websites, or “blogs”, that has grown exponentially since the summer of 2010. Ask anyone who has opposed the advent or proliferation of web-based properties over the years, and—after some dullard comment about basements and underwear—they would likely point to the fact that anyone can start a blog. This claim is unequivocally true. Anyone with access to the Internet and the wherewithal to land on a Blogspot or WordPress page could, with a few minutes of their time, start a blog. But that point, the moment in time where your URL is officially live, is simply the beginning. The doors may be open for business, but only through dedication, hard work and a little bit of luck will you find people willing to walk through them. And getting them to come back for more? That’s a whole new ball game.

By now, you may or may not have noticed the slight, more colorful change to our sidebar. Gone is the “Vote for WFNY” advertisement; replacing it is the word that WFNY has officially been named the Best Sports Blog and Best Podcast in Cleveland for 2014 by the kind folks over at Cleveland Scene Magazine. This isn’t our first “Best of” award, and it (hopefully) won’t be the last, but I would be lying if I said that it wasn’t the most important.

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Matthews *and* Manziel? While We’re Waiting…

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Mock City, USA. With the NFL Draft just a few weeks away, the frequency of the ever-popular mock draft is going to pick up—immensely. One of my favorites thus far, if only from a Cleveland Browns standpoint, comes from Rotoworld’s Evan Silva. Silva hedges his bets throughout, saying that he “doesn’t pretend to know what will happen at the draft,” but then has the Browns landing Johnny Manziel…at No. 26. This, after they select Jake Matthews (hey, if we couldn’t land Clay, we may as well get his cousin, right?) at No. 4. Then in the second round, he has the Browns landing Marquise Lee from USC, a player who many had in the top 10 of the 2014 Draft as recent as a season ago.

Don’t get me wrong, this would be an absolute haul. I also give it about Bluto Blutarsky’s shot at happening1. For starters, I still see Manziel going in the top eight. Secondly, if he doesn’t, he’ll get scooped up in the late teens or early 20s by a team willing to take a gamble—the Browns would get jumped. This said, as big of a Manziel fans as I am, I’m totally fine with Matthews. As WFNY commenter Jim Kanicki said best in his latest podcast, you can’t go wrong with the bloodlines.

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The NBA Playoffs will only serve to be frustrating for Cavalier fans. So many quality games, so many quality players—many of whom were selected after various Cavaliers and are doing really, really good things for their team. Watching guys like Kemba Walker (20 points, five boards, six assists) and Damian Lillard (31 points, nine rebounds and five assists) do big things for their respective teams is great for them, but just so maddening for anyone who is a fan of Cleveland. Charlotte is in the playoffs largely because of the gamble they made on Al Jefferson and Portland is stacked, so the apples we’re comparing aren’t exactly the same. But it’s very difficult to watch a team like the Bobcats—who is where they are despite a complete failure in drafting Bismack Biyombo before Walker—knowing that the Cavs could’ve been playing postseason basketball if not for such a horrid, horrid start to the season.

Some bonus Cavs coverage comes in the way of Jason Lloyd, who pegs Andrew Bynum as the common denominator of failure for 2013-14. Check it out.

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On a good note regarding the Cavaliers, WFNY’s Ben Cox (Writer of the Year), Jacob Rosen (Best Written Cavaliers Article of the Year, “Everything we know about the Cavaliers and Analytics“), and Joe Mastrantoni (Up and Coming Writer of the Year) for cleaning up at Stepien Rules’ 2013-14 STEPY Awards. I’m proud to know that WFNY houses some of the best Cavalier writers on the planet. Do I wish they had the chance to utilize their skills on a competitive franchise? You bet your sweet ass. That said, covering a losing team for an entire season is even tougher, and these guys deserve all the credit they receive.

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While the Tribe is struggling a bit out of the gate, Let’s Go Tribe takes a look at the players the Indians chose not to re-sign. Raise your hand if you’re a Tribe fan and knew that Ubaldo Jiménez’ ERA is north of seven.

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It didn’t take long for Clint Frazier to get the call. The Tribe’s red rocket is officially a member of the Lake County Captains. Frazier made his 2014 debut going 1-for-5, scoring a run and had a RBI as well as the team ended its losing streak, winning 6-3 and are now 5-9 on the year. Last year Frazier played 44 games in the Arizona Rookie League hitting .297, with 32 runs scored, 11 doubles, five triples, five homeruns and 28 runs batted in.

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Spoiler-free Mad Men thoughts: Sally Draper episodes have become exponentially better than non-Sally Draper episodes.

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Cochella thoughts: Welcome back, OutKast.

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And just because: Paul Pierce, falling down.

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Footnotes:

  1. Zero. Point. Zero. []

Support the Cause: WFNY nominated for Best Cleveland Sports Blog, Best Cleveland Podcast

The ever-kind folks at Cleveland Scene Magazine have rolled out their “Best of” for 2014 and have included WFNY as nominees for Best Cleveland Sports Blog as well as Best Cleveland Podcast.

We don’t ask for much around these parts, but if you could kindly head over to CleveScene.com (you can do so by clicking on the image to the right, or by clicking here) and throw us a vote or two, it would be greatly appreciated. You don’t need our sales pitch—we’ve been doing this here blogging thing for six years strong. I hope that our tireless coverage, writing and podcasting speak for itself. We hope you appreciate us as much as we do you.

On behalf of all of us at WFNY, I thank you in advance. Cheers!

While We’re Waiting: Welcome to the new WWW

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We’ve been going through some changes here at WFNY in recent weeks. The latest change is to the format of While We’re Waiting. First, you might notice that I’m not Rick Grayshock. Rick deserves a ton of credit for suffering through WWW for so many years. Some might think it was an easy post to do, just throwing some links together. But it was so much more involved than that—carefully curating tips sent to us, pouring through every last nook and cranny of Twitter for any and every last interesting bit of info to share.

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WFNY Roundtable – Reactions to the end of Banner and Lombardi

WFNY_roundtableNever a dull day in the life of covering Cleveland sports. With the news of Banner and Lombardi’s era coming to an abrupt end, we naturally had to have a quick roundtable discussion at WFNY to give our impressions and reactions to the news. Check out the conversation below: [Read more...]

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...]

WFNY Roundtable: Handicapping the Browns’ coaching search

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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:
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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.

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So, about all of these changes at WFNY…

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We’ve received your emails, read your comments and scanned your tweets. Things around these parts look a bit different lately and change can be a scary thing. As we have over the past five years, we here at WFNY strive to not only bring you as much quality content we can on a day-to-day basis, but do so in a manner which not only keeps in line with the ever-changing web-based landscape, but ensures that you, dear reader, are provided with the best in-game experience possible. While we can’t do much in the way of dollar drafts and new scoreboards, we can ensure you that our pages will never be covered in snow when you log in every morning.

So why the changes? What’s different? Who are you guys and what’d you do with my WFNY? Let’s start at the top, shall we?

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WFNY Roundtable: Barkevious Mingo and Expectations

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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:

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Grantland’s Andrew Sharp pays two-day visit to ‘Believeland’

Grantland’s Andrew Sharp may have just made himself a Clevelander for life.

The do-it-all staff editor, who proclaims his affinity for the Washington Wizards and writes about all sorts of usually whimsical topics at Grantland, paid a visit to Cleveland this week. He said he received an out-of-the-blue invite from a college friend with one ticket to both Wednesday’s Indians game and Thursday’s Browns game. So he did it.

Copied below are two highlights from Sharp’s fantastic article titled “A Field Trip to Believeland“, which is making the rounds among Cleveland fans. Please do give it a full read. It’s an incredibly accurate description of what our shared WaitingForNextYear mentality is all about.

After the end of Wednesday’s Indians loss…

We left the stadium looking forward to some good ol’ fashioned sports fan belligerence in the streets, but instead it was pretty much dead silent. No anger — not even depression, really. At this point Cleveland fans are familiar enough with the stages of grief that I think they just skip right to acceptance.

About how Cleveland fans stay upbeat…

Losing sucks, but most people in this city have a pretty good sense of humor about it. They can complain about everything, but then laugh about it. And win or lose, sports still give everyone a great excuse to get excited about something, ditch work early, show up, and throw a gigantic party.

And man, the final paragraph just gives me goosebumps for being so proud of being a Cleveland fan. Kudos, Andrew Sharp, you’ve won over our hearts.

[Related: Despite the loss, this was a game Cleveland needed]

Tuesday’s best tweets about the Indians AL Wild Card game

With the Indians hosting the Tampa Bay Rays tonight at Progressive Field, I thought it was worthwhile to parse through all of the best pictures on Twitter on Tuesday to share with you on the site. Here, without further bantering, are my favorite 13 best tweets (almost all pictures) from all separate accounts during the day on Tuesday, all about prepping for today’s big AL Wild Card showdown.

This should be a nice bonus! Don’t forget about these, tweeps. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… New Nike Buckeyes uniforms?

“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.

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These might be the uniforms we see at the Horshoe this season: “Columbus-based Ohio State retailer The Buckeye Room posted this photo of a “New twill Nike Limited” Ohio State home football jersey featuring quarterback Braxton Miller’s No. 5. The jersey, which features seven embroidered Buckeye Leafs on the collar – one for each of the school’s seven national championships (or Heisman Trophies) – will set you back $120.” [Eleven Warriors] [Read more...]

The Diff: Cleveland futility, NBA Draft and Indians streak

The Diff is your weekly Wednesday WFNY look into the amazing world of sports statistics. For a complete log of articles, click this link. Last week, The Diff provided an update on the various top Cleveland Indians prospects. This week, I’m covering three varying Cleveland sports topics.

The Diff

WFNY Mentality

Back in September, I wrote a lengthy article about the worst three-season stretches in Cleveland sports history. The formula was simple: I looked at the longest continuous stretches of last-place finishes for the Cavaliers, Indians and Browns, when all three were active. Barely, by just 2 games over Minnesota, the 2012 Indians stopped a city-record three consecutive last-place streak from occurring. But how do things stack up in using a different approach to Cleveland sports futility? [Read more...]

WFNY Presents Cleveland Sports Blog Night at Canal Park

It’s back. For the fifth year, WFNY and the Akron Aeros are hosting a Cleveland Sports Blog get together at Canal Park. Mark your calendars for Thursday, July 11th.

As always, we have picked a ‘Thirsty Thursday’ night at the game, meaning select cold beverages (aka cheap beer and soda) are just $1.00. These events are always a great time. We’ve met a ton of great people through them, and we want to meet even more. Chat up your favorite WFNY writers, mix and mingle with other great writers and put a face to the name and avatar from the comments.

Tickets are just $6. We have a section reserved, so make sure you follow the ticket instructions.

[RSVP on Facebook - Share with your friends]

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2013 NBA draft and trade scenarios with Scott on 92.3 the Fan

Our very own Scott was on with Joe Lull of 92.3 The Fan early this morning. They chatted about the latest NBA talk, including the Cavaliers’ options with the No. 1 pick and some of the high-profile trade rumors going out on in the Twitter world.

Take a listen and kudos to Scott for being up and talkative at 8:20 a.m. on a Saturday.

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Cleveland Browns hit reset button on media relations

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Chuck Klosterman’s Grantland expose was just the tip of the iceberg. For years, perhaps shrouded by arrogance and pomp, the Cleveland Browns – yes, that awful football team – have nearly been just as awful at media relations.

For one, maybe it wasn’t the true fault of Neal Gulkis. I want to give any person the benefit of the doubt. And I certainly never enjoy cheering for any person losing their job. But with the Browns announcing on Friday that they’re letting go of Gulkis, maybe, just maybe, this new era, this new front office and this new team can truly begin their regional makeover. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Norv Turner’s impact in Cleveland

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.

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Nice look at Norv’s past success: “The greatest organizational acquisition of the Cleveland Browns over the past twelve months has been that of their new offensive coordinator Norv Turner. Yes, Turner only reached the postseason 4 times in 15 years as an NFL head coach, with the Washington Redskins, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers. Of all the head coaches in NFL history with a losing record in their respective careers, Turner has coached the most games. As a head coach, he has been criticized for lacking motivational and emotional leadership skills, exhibiting poor clock management, and being responsible for a series of poor drafts, most notably over his last several years in San Diego. However, his credentials as an offensive coordinator are impeccable.” [Kyle Flippin/Sporting Charts] [Read more...]

WFNY T-shirt giveaway and NFL Draft link roundup

It’s Draft Day in Cleveland. So we at WaitingForNextYear know there’s a lot going on out there. That’s why we’re back with one final draft post — as a T-shirt contest and to recap all the talk over the past week. Enjoy and thanks for being the best readers.

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WFNY Draft Day T-Shirt Contest:

Only one entry permissible per household. A single comment will be selected randomly by the WFNY staff. All entries must be submitted by 7:59 p.m. Thursday, April 25. Winner will receive their choice of T-shirt from the WFNY collection at GV Art and Design.

In order to qualify, please copy and paste both of the questions, along with your answers:
1) Who do you think the Cleveland Browns will select in the first round?
2) What has been your favorite NFL Draft post at WFNY recently? [Read more...]

WFNY Curates: Top Albums of All Time

WFNY Podcast LogoIn the latest of our episodes discussing music, Craig and Andrew decided to take some time to talk about our favorite albums of all time. As always, these are just our own personal picks and not so much a declaration of the universal best albums of all time. With that in mind, we thus implore you guys to leave us some comments with your personal favorite albums of all time. We hope you enjoy.

Craig’s Top Ten (In no particular order):

  1. Radiohead – “OK Computer”
  2. Mineral – “End Serenade”
  3. Acid Bath – “When the Kite String Pops”
  4. Pearl Jam – “Ten”
  5. Death Cab For Cutie – “Transatlanticism”
  6. Nine Inch Nails – “The Downward Spiral”
  7. Tool – “Undertow”
  8. Pink Floyd – “Dark Side of the Moon”
  9. Smashing Pumpkins – “Siamese Dream”
  10. Sigur Ros – ( )

Andrew’s Top Ten (In somewhat of an order)

  1. Pearl Jam – “YIELD”
  2. Titus Andronicus – “The Monitor”
  3. Radiohead – “Kid A”
  4. Nine Inch Nails – “The Fragile”
  5. Soundgarden – “Down On The Upside”
  6. Rancid – “…And Out Come The Wolves”
  7. Dead Confederate – “Wrecking Ball”
  8. Weezer – “Pinkerton”
  9. The Thermals – “The Body, The Blood, The Machine”
  10. Drive-By Truckers – “The Dirty South”

Last 5 Out:

  1. Refused – “The Shape of Punk To Come”
  2. The Stooges – “Funhouse”
  3. Queens of the Stone Age – “Songs for the Deaf”
  4. PJ Harvey – “Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea”
  5. Jerry Cantrell – “Degradation Trip Volumes 1&2″

 

 

 

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