Writer’s Block Roundtable on the boring Browns and Indians playoff race


It isn’t always easy to populate the pages of WFNY. Sometimes there’s just not a lot of things to say. So, I decided to devote a roundtable to just that. The Writer’s Block Roundtable.

Craig: So how’s everyone’s day going? The Indians lost. The Browns ruined another week of sports talk radio. Cleveland sports fans have been turning on each other whether it’s over Brandon Weeden, Indians attendance or any other reason they can think to verbally and virtually stab each other. So, anyone seen any good movies?

I saw a really great concert this week by Sigur Ros after the Browns game. I talked about it with Scott Raab, but the contrast of the two really shook me a little bit. It put my four hours in front of the TV during a Sunday with good weather in a lot of perspective. The fact that I’m going to be in Virginia Beach this weekend about 100 yards from the ocean has me honestly thinking if maybe I can just watch the Browns game on the NFL mobile app some point later seeing as it only takes about 30 minutes to watch a condensed football game.
So what are you guys thinking about today?
Jacob: I’m off to San Francisco tonight for a week, so I’m in a similar boat? I’ll be staying for most of the week with my opponent in fantasy football this week, which is a fact I just realized yesterday. Fantasy football is always on my mind, so my Sundays are almost always spent watching TV, whether the Browns suck the life out of it or not.

Besides that, the Tribe, man. Still very much in it. Odds remain over 50 percent from every site. They’re ridiculously good against the really bad teams — so even if they lose this series 1-2 to the Royals, they’ve still got a legit shot to pull this thing off. Which sounded crazy only a few weeks ago. So that’s got me excited as well.
Andrew: I’ve been thinking about a Maya Angelou quote. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” I don’t like the Cleveland Browns, but I can’t do anything to change them. So maybe I need to change my attitude? It’s not fun being a Browns fan anymore. I am a broken fan. I’m not angry, I’m not sad, I’m not impatient. I’m just lethargic. They are literally sucking the life out of me.

I mean, what else can be done differently? What can the Browns change that they haven’t tried before? How many QBs can one franchise possibly have before finding an actual franchise QB? I don’t have any more opinions, thoughts, answers. I’m numb, and I hate feeling this way.

So I agree, Craig, I’ve been thinking there are better ways to spend a Sunday than putting up with this franchise. But I’ll keep doing. I want to still be around if/when things ever actually change. And I’m talking about real change.

Rick: I’m grocery shopping for a dinner with friends we have every Tuesday night. Though I don’t think that it is what you were looking for. Tuesday night we have friends over for dinner and games. I will say that watching the Browns game over has been extremely un-entertaining this week.
Scott: I’ve spent the last two days largely cleaning my office. I have a tendency to keep really random things and found a few front pages that I’ve held on to as well as Brian Windhorst’s game recap after Game 5 against Boston.

We obviously appreciate Brian for his reporting chops, but his lede in this recap couldn’t have been better, even with hindsight at our disposal. “Late at night when the demons come, whether it is just during the summer or perhaps for years beyond, they will be of what happened Tuesday night.”
These last few weeks of Browns football have only put these “demons” into further perspective. I really fear that the Indians will fall just short, adding even more misery to the pile. That said, I’ll be cheating them on every pitch. Playoffs would be a really, really nice change of pace. 
Andrew: That’s amazing. Man I miss Windhorst. But what are the Browns’ demons? Modell moving the team? Al Lerner bringing them back? Mike Holmgren? Brandon Weeden? Pat Shurmur? Derek Anderson? William Green’s girlfriend? Maybe all of them?I don’t know it’s different now….why it feels like we’ve reached some kind of tipping point. I think it’s just because we all so desperately hoped things would be different. And yet the most disheartening thing of all is just how very depressingly similar things still are. The ghost of Pat Shurmur lives with this team. The worst kind of demon, if you will.
Jacob: Relevant: This Indians season is Cleveland’s first pro sports season of .500+ since LeBron was on the Cavs. Jon tweeted this the other day. ‘Twas the longest such streak in city history. Finally over! Woooooo. Mediocrity is ours!
Rick: And that’s a chunk of why I am depressed right now. The Indians can’t beat good teams. I have no confidence in them at all in the playoffs even if they get there.
Craig: What’s funny is that I think the sky’s the limit should they make it to the playoffs. We’ve seen so many goofy things in the MLB playoffs. I still believe in my soul that this team has under-performed offensively for most of the season. True they could play even worse if they got into the playoffs due to the pressure. Or they might finally play loose because they’ve got nothing to lose. I mean, I wouldn’t bet on it, of course, but it feels possible for whatever reason.
Jacob: Agreed so much, Craig. That’s always the point: I don’t care how pretty the regular season was; the goal is just to get in the playoffs. From there, anything is possible. Even with the wild card setup.
Ben: if I’m not working, I usually just watch the Browns at home (unless it’s nice and I decide to go disc golfing. This becomes more and more likely each week as the Browns stink and nice days are fewer and far between), but this last week I went to my friends house who has the Sunday ticket. 8 games on one screen, er wall. On one hand, it was nice to have other games on to distract from the Browns’ offense, but on the other hand, I got to, in real time, see how far behind Weeden is from the rest of the starting QBs in the NFL. The contrast was, um, stark.
Any of the commentariat have writer’s block?

  • MrCleaveland

    Well, wasn’t THAT a breath of stale air. But I don’t blame you guys. I feel the same way.

    I just calculated that our three sports teams have now amassed a total of 136 consecutive seasons without a championship.

    Oh well, it’s a really nice day today. Gonna go outside and enjoy some of it.

  • Harv 21

    Wow, you guys are all arm and arm with me as I definitely approach the cliff of the Browns’ tipping point into stubborn apathy. That means no training camp fever, better happier Sundays and an Entertain Us, Jester! attitude.

    Here’s the Brown’s demon moment: Al Lerner wins a bidding war and is given a harsh deadline. He needs some advice, good sound advice, to pick his executive, the guy to create the football version of MBNA. For some reason, from all the 8 x 10 glamour shots strewn on his desk, he keeps pulling and staring at the one of Carmen Policy. Think if someone else – really, anybody- had better rouge, a more fetching look. There’d be a real GM, soon enough a real coach. Stability and improvement would mean that when Al gets sick and passes Randy’s not left to nod and agree with each last thing whispered in his ear if it he thinks it means he doesn’t have to be in Cleveland and deal with this. Because this is what Mommy wants, not him. So he lurches from name to name, concept to concept, the football czar to the GM-Coach joint vision, back to the Czar, then to Czar lite with oversight. It’s Policy, with the background in cap space, not football ops, with the self-congratulatory smirkiness and ineptitude. It’s Policy with the tail and horns.

    Re the Indians: hey, we have a ton of experience in scoring few runs, we’re MADE for the playoiffs. But we may also be ripe to have our feeble bats get feebler and to have our infielders start chucking the ball hither and yon, a lot like 2005 when the playoffs were all but sewn up entering the last few series and the ol’ sphincters got muy tight.


    And interestingly enough, that final week slide in 2005 started with…

    …wait for it…

    …a series on the road in Kansas City.

  • mgbode

    honestly, I’m not worried about making the playoffs. I think it’ll come down to the last day, but 2/3 of TB, Texas, Cleveland will make it IMO and I think we’ve got a very good chance at it.

    the issue is what happens once we get there. but, anything goes at that point. as long as we are talking history, this team reminds me of a certain team that went on quite an October run:

    tons of versatility, speed, a manager willing to utilize all of it. and hey, check out who their 5th starter was that year. somebody we might recognize. Mickey Callaway.