Friday, April 27, 2012

Is Age A Factor For Brandon Weeden?

Getty Images
Brandon Weeden was selected as the Browns in the first round of the draft, presumably to take the place of Colt McCoy. The biggest beef that fans have had about Weeden is his age. People are moaning and groaning about  how he has a limited shelf life. He only has so many good years fans are whining.

Ok fans, let's have a little reality check.

Come with me down memory lane to see the Browns quarterbacks since their triumphant return in 1999.

1999 Ty Detmer

Tim Couch 1999-2003   


Doug Pederson 2000

Spergon Wynn 2000 - Yes, the Browns selected him over Tom Brady. Yes, *that* Tom Brady.

Kelly Holcomb 2001-2004

Jeff Garcia 2004

Luke McCown 2004

Trent Dilfer 2005


Charlie Frye 2005-2007


Whew. Derek Anderson 2006-2009,  Brady Quinn 2008-2009, Ken Dorsey 2008

Bruce Gradkowski 2008


Jake Delhomme 2010

Seneca Wallace 2010-2011


Colt McCoy 2010-?

The life of a Browns quarterback has been extremely limited. If Weeden can give us even 5 good years, I'll take it. Fans need to stop acting like the next Browns qb has to be the second coming of Bernie Kosar or the world will end.

Weeden has great potential. I think he is leaps and bounds above Colt, and let's face it, if you thought he was going to come back after that concussion, you got hit harder than he did.

What I like best about Weeden (besides his size, arm strength, accuracy) is the fact that he is a fierce competitor. He knows what it means to be a professional athlete. He wants to win.

Best of all, he was damn happy to be picked by the Browns. 

We will see in the fall.

Now, can we get back to our first place Cleveland Indians?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

100 Awesome Things - #92 Savage Chickens

So true chicken, so very true.
One of the best things about the internet is that it gives everyone a voice. If you have an idea that you want to share something with the world, nothing is in your way.

7 years ago, Doug Savage, after what he says was one two many migraines, started drawing cartoons on sticky notes and posting them on his blog. Much to his surprise, people were excited about his  little chicken cartoons. 

Savages' cast of characters, primarily chickens, are posted daily at Savage Chickens or you can sign up for daily emails of the yellow post it cartoons. While I am not a fan of adding to my already clogged email, this one is worth it.

In a word, Savage Chickens are awesome!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Who Has Klout In Cleveland?

Hello Cleveland.
The Indianapolis Star published an article today uncovering what athlete in Indianapolis had the most social media influence, so of course I wondered how Cleveland stacked up.

The Star looked at Klout and the scores of Indy athletes, so for fun I did the same. Before we go any further, let's chat about Klout. 
  
From the Klout website - The Klout Score measures influence based on your ability to drive action. Every time you create content or engage you influence others.
Some people love Klout (like me for the perks) and some people loathe it. We can debate it another time, so just for fun, let's see which one of our players is top dog.

The last thing that I would like to add is that I love all of our guys and they represent us well. I'm grateful that they open their lives just enough to us so we can peak in and check out their rims.Being a lifelong Cleveland fan, I openly admit I am giddy with excitement when a player shares something about the game or how much they love the fans.

I also freely admit, I am waiting for the day to run into Josh Cribbs at Applebees and he invites me to share some riblets with him and then Joe Haden picks up the check.

Ahem...

*drum roll please*

@BooBysWorld1
The Cleveland athlete with the highest Klout score at 68, is one Mr. Daniel Gibson, affectionately known as Booby or Mr. Keyshea Cole (just kidding).  Since September of 2010, he has tweeted over 6,000 nuggets of wisdom, photos or videos.

Gibson has almost 130,000 followers and likes to his daily life with fans. He posts a few uplifting snippets and likes to drop in some tweets about God.  Gibson also interacts with fans, which is important, especially in Cleveland.

@kyrieirving

Not to be left in the dust, Cavs' rookie Kyrie Irving has the second greatest number of any Cavs player at 65. Kyrie started the twitter thing in June 2011 and is a more selective tweeter at almost 1,800 tweets.  Almost 159,000 fans follow him, and they are treated to pictures of his swag and of his friends.  Kyrie is fun to follow because you can see how excited he is to be a rookie in the NBA...and a Cavs player.

@joshcribbs16
Barely coming in second place for all the Cleveland athletes is Josh Cribbs. Josh has a Klout score of 67, and there isn't a significant difference between Josh and Booby. Josh has been chatting with fans on Twitter since July of 2009, and has shared all areas of his life.

In my humble opinion, Josh is the most fan friendly, accessible Cleveland athlete on Twitter. He has contests for fans sending them autographed pictures and cards for trivia contests. He shares his vacations, cars and family through photos. He even tweets when he is going to be at Applebees. 

I think all 109,000 of his followers will tell you he represents the city of Cleveland well and is a hoot to tweet with.

@joehaden23
Joe Haden scored a respectable 60 from Klout. Tweeting since February 2010, Joe is a fan's dream. Not only does he tweet his shoes and Browns stuff with his 82,000 followers, he takes an interest in them and is engage. Just like Josh, Joe has a connection with fans. And it is more than just tweets to him.

Joe can be seen at Cavs games and all around the city, supporting Cleveland. He has easily won the admiration of Cleveland fans with his sincere cheers of the city. Joe embraces Twitter and his followers, that can't help but make you smile.

@thejk_kid
The Indians had another close run for top Klout dog.  Jason Kipnis has a score of 62, and showers his 23,500 followers with retweets galore. The best part about Jason is he will directly address the fans in one tweet and then tweet an inside joke to another Indian. For a guy that has been on Twitter a little more than a year, he is getting the hang of it.

@chrisperez54
Last, but never least is the guy with an arm like a f***ing cannon, as he tweets. Perez's score is 61 and he has earned it every bit as he is the only guy on the list to be fined for a tweet. Chris mainly tweets his song of the day and back and forth with 35,500 fans. Chris has a great relationship with the Tribe fans, even when they go over the edge about a lost game. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

PostSecret at CSU


PostSecret is one of the reasons I love the internet.  

Frank Warren, who has been called the most trusted man in the world, started PostSecret in 2004 as an art project.  He walked the streets of Washington, DC, handing people blank post cards and asking them to anonymously mail their secrets to him. Yes, it sounded kooky.

But then something amazing happened with the postcards...people did. People started to send funny ones and sad ones. Lonely secrets and heart breaking secrets. 

Perfect strangers shared with Frank via postcard times that they stopped themselves from committing suicide, or the aftermath of someone that did kill themselves. One of his first powerful secrets was a postcard of a hole in a bedroom door. It was from when the person's mother tried to break it down to continue beating them. Frank said after he posted that card on his blog, he received busted door after busted door, each with the sentiment that they weren't alone.

Whew.

The most popular secret is "I pee in the shower" to which I say, "eeew."  But beyond that the themes are much more real. Apologizes of past wrongs, things that someone never had the courage or chance to say.

At Cleveland State, Frank shared some of the secrets form his books, and explained how he started the project. At the end, there was time for some of the audience members to share.

Wow.

The first young lady shared something like she once peed on her boyfriend. Ha ha. The next girl, in a breaking voice punctuated by deep breaths and tears, told the crowd how another girl at CSU went up to her and told her to kill herself and get it over with.  One after another, these kids shared with the crowd in the only safe place they have seen, secrets of rape and molestation and abuse and almost suicides. 

It broke my heart to hear one after another after another. It was bad enough that tragedy happens to people, but it is worse when they feel as though they must hold it locked inside. 

These secret sharers all were looking for the same thing...someone to listen. You never know who needs it.

Here are a few sample secrets and you can check out new ones every Sunday on PostSecret.com:












Do you want to participate? Send Frank a postcard with your secret:










100 Awesome Things - #93 Free Meter

I love being downtown. 

I love the city and the excitement that comes with it.

I do not love parking meters. In fact, I hate them. However, since I hate parking lots more than meters, I settle for the less of two evils. 

In some cities, if you park at a broken meter, your time is free, which is incredibly awesome. But, I am not in your city, so please check for your big wigs before you hit up the broken space.

Just as awesome though, is getting back to your car with no ticket, while there are tickets on cars all around you. I adore the good soul that will feed the meter for you, their nickle saving you donating $30 to the man.

My personal favorite thing though, is pulling in to a spot to find the exact amount of time you need for your errand already in the meter.

Ahh...that is a good one for sure.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Justin Blackmon - Just Say No

Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden.
Looking at this picture I am almost...almost...swayed into believing that the Browns should draft Blackmon at #4 and then trade up to snag Weeden where ever else. The idea is to take the dynamic duo from Oklahoma State *together*, the  star quarterback and his star receiver.

That idea becomes a bad one when you hear Blackmon talk about Cleveland. Let's just put aside whether or not Blackmon can play. I admit that Blackmon has the potential to be a solid receiver down the line. And I also admit that he can just as easily turn into Braylon Edwards in the attitude department.

I already had my mind made up that I thought Blackmon was a chucklehead. There are some red flags on his character waving around and we don't need that.

Then I heard him speak.

This week Blackmon made the sports talk rounds and he called into a local Cleveland sports talk station, and his fate was sealed in my mind. The hosts asked him what he thought about Cleveland and he giggled a little and spoke in generalities. He didn't thank Coach Shurmur for the visit. Blackmon could have just as easily been talking about visiting Dairy Queen as he was visiting a professional football training facility.

The hosts then asked him about playing for Colt McCoy and God as my witness, he giggled.

Before anyone starts hopping around on their pogo stick of righteousness - whining about Blackmon being 22 and young, just stop. The guy is coming from a major football program and if you think for a second university media relations hasn't worked with him, you are out of your mind. I'm sure he has people working with him now getting ready for the draft. So for him to not even acknowledge anyone he spoke to in Cleveland is a slam. 

We get it, you don't want to be here. Be a professional and be grateful for the position you are in. Say thank you. Some folks will disagree with me and say that character doesn't matter, but I say it does. Character is why we welcome guys like Z back, but boo ferociously at LeFoolio.

Cleveland needs players that want to be a part of the community, not giggle at it.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

100 Awesome Things - #94 Cracking Your Knuckles

Famous knuckle cracker Charlie Sheen
You are either a knuckle cracker or a yeller at the knuckle cracker. Personally, I am a knuckle cracker.

The first time I ever did and grossed out a teacher, I think I was hooked. And to be honest, it is pretty darn satisfying when you have that loud cracking sound.

For the record, when you "crack" your knuckles, you aren't really cracking anything, you are basically popping fluid bubbles around your joints. 

Awesome. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Browns Pick At #4 Is...

Tom Heckert, Joe Haden and Mike Holmgren. AP Photo/Mark Duncan
It seems like I have heard about the Browns draft picks and strategy since October. With the draft a week away, I am going to throw my two cents in for what play maker the Browns should take with their #4 pick. 

Before I get into that though, there has been troubling rumors about the Browns trading down to accumulate more picks. My response to that is an unequivocal NO.  No. No. No. No. No. 

The Browns need to stop being draft horders and quit with the cutsey "I'm smarter than you attitude". Look where that got us...no RG III. We have 13 picks for crying out loud. Barely half of those guys will even make it through training camp. We need to be smart and take the best available players. We have so many holes right now, that the Browns need to be thoughtful about each guy. Ahem. So barring the Browns pulling some ridiculous stunt, I think that there are 4 players that would make the most sense for the Browns. I am only going to look at the Browns' #4 pick because I think after that, everything else planned really goes flying out the window.

Heaven knows the Browns need a great receiver. Part of the problem with McCoy and most other Browns quarterbacks is that they have not had any weapons. No one to throw or hand off to results in a flattened quarterback. More on quarterbacks later.

Oklahoma State Receiver Justin Blackmon
Justin Blackmon, a fourth year junior at Oklahoma State has busted all sorts of NCAA and Oklahoma State records. He broke Larry Fitzgerald's record for sophomores. He has been compared to Dez Bryant, both on and off the field. 

I have concerns about Blackmon's character and off the field antics. He has already been popped for a DUI and more troubling, after the Fiesta Bowl, he passed on taking the team chartered plane home and instead went directly to Vegas. When it came time for the Combine, he put in an average workout and opted not to participate in some of the challenges, raising red flags for the NFL scouts that he wasn't prepared. 

To me, Blackmon is going to end up a knucklehead just like Braylon Edwards, and look where that got us kids. Oh yeah, and there was that little thing about him not wanting to play in Cleveland.

I vote pass on Blackmon.

Speaking of passing, the Browns have once again created a quarterback controversy in going after RG III. The Browns have put it out there that McCoy is not their guy. I sadly, agree. I hope I am wrong, but I don't think McCoy and his noodle arm have what it takes to be a franchise quarterback. With that being said though, he really hasn't had the chance. 

I don't want to take a quarterback with our first pick, but there are two names being bounced about.

Texas A&M Quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Ryan Tannehill seems to be high on many Browns fans lists, but I say stay away. Far, far away. He is athletic but a green quarterback. We are talking Kermit kind of green. 

The kid has only had 19 starts as a college qb, and I'm not willing to waste our pick on him. I'm not saying the Tannehill can't make it in the league, but we need guys that can contribute *now* not in a year or two.  I think he has the ability to be a franchise type of guy, but not yet. He still has a lot left to develop in his skills, and tick tock we can't wait.

No thank you.
Oklahoma State Quarterback Brandon Weeden.

If I had to take a quarterback, I would pick OSU's Brandon Weeden over Tanehill. I like the fact that he is a little bit of an older guy, he was a professional baseball player before college, so he has the knucklehead junk out of his brain already.

I'm ok if the Browns want to take Weeden as a second round pick, but not at #4.
Once again, the Browns need a franchise guy, and I'm not entirely sold on him yet.

So, thanks, but nope.

Alabama Running Back Trent Richardson
Now we finally make it to my pick. My head will explode if the Browns don't take Trent Richardson from Alabama with their #4 pick.

Yes, he is a running back. Yes, the Browns are running the West Coast Offense. So were the Seahawks when they grabbed Shaun Alexander.

With the release of Peyton Hillis, the Browns have given themselves yet another giant hole to fill. Richardson can plug the hole nicely. His workout ethic has been impressive and he has the ability to break tackles and bust through the line. 

Not only does he have the skill for the position, he has the character. I'm tired of chuckleheads that waste everyone's time. He has already shown himself to be a guy of character (taking the girl to prom was a bonus) and he could be a contributor to the community. Look and Joe Haden and Josh Cribbs - those guys have embraced the city, and there is something to be said for that.

What I can say is that I'm tired of waiting for next year. 

This draft is for next years to come. Let's get it right. 

The Browns Can Learn From Jack Hannahan

Jack Hannahan having words with Jonathan Sanchez.
This weekend, Tribe third baseman Jack Hannahan was ejected from the game for rushing the mound  in a bench clearing move after Shin-Shoo Choo was hit by a pitch. 

Last year, the same pitcher beaned Choo and shattered his thumb, bouncing him on to the disabled list for six weeks. Ouch. 

Hannahan thought Choo was being purposely hit and ran out to stand up for his team mate. 

While I don't like to see players ejected for fighting, I admit, it warmed my heart a little. Hannahan didn't want to see Choo hurt and wanted to defend him. To me, that shows something about the team as a whole. You don't hear about infighting with the Indians. Everything that I have heard is that there is a great vibe in the locker room. In the long run, that can only help win games. 

The reaction that Hannahan had was what I wanted to see the Browns rage with after Colt McCoy got his clock cleaned by James Harrison. I wanted to see Browns players in a sea of flags after that hit.

Either the Browns need to study Hannahan's intensity or he needs to enter the draft.

Well, as long as we don't take him at 4...that is reserved for Trent Richardson.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

100 Awesome Things - #95 Teaching a Kid Something


As a general rule, I'm not a fan of kids...that is why I have kittens.  Anyway, I have a few friends that have kids that, while I will never admit it outside of this forum, are pretty adorable.

If I do have to hang out with kids, the most awesome thing to do is to teach them something new. My heart still swells with pride when I think about the night I taught my little niecelets the alternate Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer song (you know...where he had a very shiny nose... LIKE A LIGHT BULB! Ha.).  My aunt is still furious with me. Ok, I admit, I taught it to them right before the little family pageant, but trust me, it was much funnier my way. 

Recently, I visited with a friend of mine and her little girls had no idea what a noogie was. I was flabbergasted. So, as a responsible adult, I showed these sweet, funny, intelligent little girls what a noogie was. 

Over and over.

Their giggles and pleadings for more was hilarious. I hope their mom and dad still thinks it is funny when they try it out at school.

Pretty awesome.

DWade = DFoolio?

D'oh! (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
This week Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen were asked if professional athletes should be paid to play in the Olympics. Both said yes. Ray Allen I don't pay much attention to because he isn't going to get the invite. 

Wade, however, is a different story. He is a professional at the peak of his career and has already played for the USA team.  In case you missed it, here is what he said:

"It’s a lot of things you do for the Olympics — a lot of jerseys you sell. We play the whole summer. I do think guys should be compensated. Just like I think college players should be compensated as well. Unfortunately, it’s not there. But I think it should be something, you know, there for it. "
*walks out to get my soapbox*

*looks around and walks back to get a bigger soapbox*

Before I go down this path, I need to make it clear that prior to this Olympic mess, I really could give a fuzzy rat's rear about Wade. Yes, he plays with LeFoolio in Mihammy, but whatever, he was just another ball player to me.

But now...now I am fired up, hence the larger soapbox. Let's be crystal clear, I don't believe for a second that Nike (the company that makes the Olympic jerseys by the way) isn't going to flip Wade extra cash if he goes to the Olympics or is a medal winner. Athletes have accelerators in their contracts.  If he *cough cough* were to get a ring, he would get more money. If he goes to the playoffs, more moohla. If he doesn't then bad on him, everyone else does.

For him to be whining about jersey sales, from a company that already pays him over $12 million a year to rep, is disgusting.

Even more offensive is his diva attitude, snubbing his nose to the men and women that have dedicated their lives to playing for the honor of their country. The family that takes on extra jobs and drives hours for their son to have 4 am practice time on the ice, the gymnasts that sacrifice every waking hour for a chance to stand on the podium to hear the National Anthem, what about them? 

So Wade, a guy who is paid tens of millions of dollars deserves to be paid while the wrestlers, archers and volleyball players are hosting pancake breakfasts and spaghetti dinners just to pay their training bill aren't?  Wade knows that by going to London for the Olympics, he can increase his brand, hell, he could even have a club appearance fundraiser to pay for the entire rowing team.

Wade seems to have missed the memo that the competitors in the Olympics are playing for their country. The athletes are joined together in a common goal to win for the USA. It should be an honor to play for your country, a rare privilege.

In his defense, Wade later backtracked and said he didn't mean it and said that "I do not want to be paid to go to the Olympics."  Right...then why did he said he deserved to be?

I hope coach Mike Krzyzewski cuts wade, making room for a player that deserves to be there.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

100 Awesome Things - #96 Day Drinking

My Goose Island 312 at a Cubbies game on some dude's roof.
Day drinking is one of those rare enjoyable holdovers from college. 

Before we move on, I'm not talking about the hiding a fifth of mad dog in your desk drawer that you sneak out to do shots in the company bathroom with kind of day drinking. It also isn't the kind of day drinking that ends up with vomit in your shoes.

I'm talking about a vacation day, a weekend, or a *cough cough* sick day that is set aside for fun. The best are full of sunshine and good friends, some adult beverages and maybe a little baseball. 

I suggest giving it a try if you haven't in awhile.

And then going home for a nap. But napping is a whole separate post.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

100 Awesome Things - #97 Unsolicited Good Advice



When you are looking for it, good advice is hard to find. 

When you aren't looking for it, there is no shortage of well-meaning folks that have the perfect path for you to follow to get your life back on track if you would only listen.  It can be the nosy lady at the grocery store commenting on your shopping cart filled with tater tots and dino nuggets or the guy at the bar that thinks women would be hot if they took off their glasses and didn't talk. 

Everyone has a gold nugget of truth that could be life changing. 

Or not.

But every now and again, some one from out of the blue will come up to you and say something that is accidentally meaningful. A random person makes a comment that answers the question that has kept you awake for a week. It is usually something simple, but perfect.

Here is an example..

I was in the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin. My arms were filled with knickknacks and shirts and glasses and toucan salt and pepper shakers and chocolates. I remember being ridiculously hot and sweating, and just as I dropped a bag of Guinness caramels all over the floor a young man came over and helped me scoop them up. He was an employee and he had one of those weird mesh bag things and started to take the remaining things out of my arms carefully, like a boozy Jenga game.

I thanked him for his help, babbling a bit I'm sure and he said it was no problem, just his job.

As we walked over to the registers, I again thanked him, telling him how lucky I was he was there and that I was grateful that I didn't cause some sort of international incident with my clumsiness. He smiled at me and said, "hope comes from unexpected places," and walked away.

Huh.

For some reason, that stuck with me. A simple statement that I have remembered from years ago. When things look dark and gloomy, I think about that, wondering where the next glimmer of hope will shine from.  

Stone upon stone upon fallen stone. On a random wall at the Guinness Factory.