Thursday, December 29, 2011


Tommy C in Minority Report
I've never thought of myself of a dreamer. At least not in the sense of having dreams that I remember or are stunning or significant.

Last night however, I had a doozy. It was so bizarrely random that I can't make much sense of it. The beginning of the dream was me in some room somewhere about to meet Sheryl Crow. I remember feeling grouchy because for whatever reason, I didn't actually get to meet her.

Then cut to some horrible dive apartment building from some apocalyptic movie. I was in a bad area but seemed blissfully unaware. I had a sense of dread, but was unable to share it with my dream self. I was walking in and out of these seedy buildings and I ended up in a dank quickie mart type of place. There I met some girl that was what I thought to be a meth addict.

My new "friend" was trying to make sauerkraut out of one of the canned hams that David Letterman used to challenge an audience member to eat. I offered to show her how to make the sauerkraut out of her canned ham. She kept looking around as if she were giving me some cue to run for it.

I then ended up in some apartment that reminded me of Minority Report when Tom Cruise woke up after he got his eyeballs swapped out.

When I woke up, the only thought going through my head was that I should avoid the New Year's Eve party I was invited to.

So...there you have it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shame On You Mike Holmgren

Colt coming to. AP
The Colt McCoy Concussion Conundrum continues. Colt McCoy was cracked in the head on December 8th and he *still* isn't clear to play.

Let me tell you now, that makes me angry. Very, very angry.

I'm not upset at Colt, let's make that clear. The kid is doing the best that he can.

I'm frustrated however with Coach Pat Shurmur. Whenever he is asked about the hit or anything to do with the medical follow up, he is a mumbling, bumbling fool.  He is either a callous and uncaring man or galactically stupid. He is in over his head and being angry with him is like being angry with the puppy that piddled in the corner.

Which brings me to Mike Holmgren. I am angry with Mike Holmgren. This guy knows better. He was brought on to the Browns to provide stability. The team was going to learn from his wisdom and championship experience. He was supposed to be the leader.

When Holmgren came on board, and even when he putted by me in his golf cart at training camp, I was rooting for him. For the love of all that's holy, Browns fans are sick of losing. We want to win. We want someone that can show us what a champion looks like. It has been far to.long in Cleveland for anyone to remember.

The fact that Holmgren claimed that he didn't see the crushing hit on McCoy is ridiculous. How no one on the sidelines, no coaches or trainers saw it is a problem. A hippopotamus sized problem. A hippopotamus in a tutu dancing an Irish jig in the middle of the living room kind of problem.

What was he doing besides watching the game? Was he in a suite? I can tell you, if he had been, there had to be at least 3 or 4 tvs around him. Didn't anyone poke him and say, "holy crap your boy just got his clock cleaned"? No reporter, bystander or cookie cart lady said anything? How is that even possible? The guy didn't see his quarterback on the ground?

Holmgren is no spring chicken. He has been around the NFL long enough to know that hit on McCoy could have been career ending. The kid has three conclusions under his belt already. From here on, each one becomes more serious. Ex-Colts player Ben Utecht is 30 and is already suffering from frightening memory loss. He had 5 concussions in his career.

There is no way that Holmgren took the Cleveland job thinking it was going to be a day at the beach. Turns out the Big Show is nothing but a Big Disappointment.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Zydrunas Ilgauskas

This past week, NBA player Chris Paul set off chat about ring chasing. He finally got his wish and the New Orleans Hornets traded him to the Los Angeles Clippers. He now wants to be a winner and thinks that the only way to get that is through LA.

Craig over at WFNY posted his thoughts about the situation here, which I recommend reading.

Here in Cleveland, we know a little about ring chasing. We had two players leave the Cavaliers to the Miami Heat, and one was welcomed home to thunderous cheers and the other is lucky he hasn't gotten a car battery chucked at his head.

I'm of course talking about Zydrunas Ilgauskas and LeBron James. These are two very different men that illicit very different responses when they return to the Q. This weekend I was at a Cavs scrimmage game and when Z popped his head out, the crowd cheered louder than for any player on the court. Heck, I was strong arming my Cavs ticket rep to get an autograph for me. I promise you that the reaction for LeBron would have been the polar opposite.

But, why?

Why is it that I'm ok with Z chasing behind LeBron to Miami in a quest for a ring but LeBron and his race makes the vein in my forehead pop out?

I think it comes down to attitude and intent. LeBron promised and swore he would bring a championship to Cleveland. The self-proclaimed king made us believe. That is until he didn't want to win in Cleveland anymore. Conspiracy theories abound, but a popular one is that LeBron tanked game 5 so he could go off and play with his buddies in Miami. Whether he purposely tanked the game or just forgot that he was supposed to shoot with his right hand, I don't know.

What I do know is that when LeBron left, he had no intention of returning. He didn't want to leave a legacy in Cleveland. If we are honest with ourselves, LeBron very easily could have had a statue outside of the Q. Fans making pilgrimages to take their pictures with the once mighty king. When LeBron left Cleveland, it was like the coyote rammed a stick of dynamite in his rear. He didn't care about the fans. When LeBron left, LeBron did what LeBron wanted to do for LeBron. He left the city of Cleveland to witness the chalky dust in his wake.

Z, well, Z in my mind is a different story.  I'm not happy he left for the Heat. But, I couldn't begrudge the man for chasing what was his last shot for a championship. LeBron and the Heat looked like an easy score. Z was honest about that. He was gracious and grateful to the fans of Cleveland. He even talked about returning to the city.

I guess that is really the difference. That is why Z's number 11 with be retired to a packed house of Cavs fans and LeBron's number never will.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Colt McCoy - To Play Or Not To Play?

After watching the Browns play on Thursday night, losing to the dreaded evil Pittsburgh Steelers, I am once again angry.

I am angry about losing.

I am angry about losing to Pittsburgh.

I am angry that Colt McCoy was put back into the game after receiving a devastating helmet to face mask hit by James Harrison after being on the sidelines for only two plays. I understand that football is a rough sport and guys are going to get hurt. But what Coach Shurmur did was irresponsible and idiotic.

This past year, the NFL started to take concussions seriously after being pulled in front of Congress and being whacked with a lawsuit by over 120 former NFL players. The players were claiming that NFL was not doing enough to protect them from and inform them about the potential brain injuries they could suffer from concussions. The players were claiming that the NFL didn't care enough about their safety. I don't know if that was true or not, but after seeing the game on Thursday night, I firmly believe that Coach Shurmur doesn't care about player safety...that or he is painfully ignorant.

Shurmur claims that McCoy told him that he was OK and wanted to get back into the game. Shurmur took him at his word and put him in. It doesn't take any medical knowledge to look at McCoy after the hit and see he got his bell rung. His eyes were glassy and he looked out of it. That is what I could tell from my couch in Cleveland. How the training staff on the field didn't see that, I don't know. I'm sure that like math, their jobs are hard. Trying to determine if a player is fit to go back or not. The pressure of trying to win a game. Trying to win a game against Pittsburgh.

In April, a news story circulated that players were sandbagging their concussion tests so that they could play. Even the future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning admitted he has tanked the tests so he could play.

With the weight of this game and the season on his 25 year old shoulders, did it not occur to the trainers that McCoy might want to compete so badly that he would say anything to get back into the game? 

The training staff are professionals. I understand that, but can they truly properly diagnose a concussion in the course of two plays? Not to sound crass, but the Browns were not playing in the SuperBowl. For crying out loud, it wasn't a playoff game. Was it worth the risk of Colt McCoy's career for this one game?
AP Photo