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Dream Draft and (Un)wiser Times for the Cavs: While We’re Waiting

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A most glorious Thursday, Cleveland. How is everything? Are you taking care of yourself? Did you do that one thing you’ve been meaning to do? How did that important life decision go? You should call your mother — she misses you. Don’t worry, I’m going to check in on the Great Cavaliers January Freakout of 2017, but while we’re waiting how about a little Browns talk, eh?

Given that I’ve squandered my allotted nerd points on Big Lebowski quotes, pub trivia, and math, I can’t be an NFL Draft guru without the risk of becoming totally invisible to women. Plus, I think most of the draft speculation is very silly; but yet again so are sports. As such, I have few discernible draft opinions other than “don’t trade up to take a 29-year-old Weasley brother” and “don’t draft a quarterback with a semi-regular cocaine habit.”

But I do like and appreciate the banter of others (such as the great debate of DeShaun Watson), and every once-in-a-while inspiration strikes for myself. This opinion crept on me suddenly and without warning, while I was taking out the trash or clipping my fingernails or something else mundane. The opinion washed over me unexpectedly, and I remember being aroused and surprised by the earnestness with which it was felt; I thought I was sufficiently fatalistic to only know with any certainty that the Browns would screw up whatever they did in the draft.

The opinion was as follows (and is hardly unique). Part 1: I want the Browns to take Myles Garrett at No. 1. Garrett appears to be as close to a sure thing available in the draft, I feel like the Browns haven’t had a perceivable pass rush since Clay Matthews the Elder, and I think Garrett would be fun to watch. Part 2: If available,1 I want them to take Malik Hooker. I’d even be willing to trade up to get Hooker at a substantial cost. As a self-appointed connoisseur of secondary play, Malik Hooker has the best and the most viscerally instinctive ball skills I’ve ever seen of a college player (but again, I’m no draftophile), I’ve experienced firsthand the torment a game-changing safety like Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu can cause opposing fanbases, and I think he’d be fun to watch.

What I’m getting at is that I want players that I think would be fun to watch, because I want the Browns to be fun to watch, because — believe it or not — I’m not a masochist. I think Garrett and Hooker would be dare-I-say fun or even exhilarating to watch. I apologize for interrupting more sophisticated draft chatter on this outlet and others for this opinion from a draft philistine, but it came to me with such clarity of vision and conviction — and I’m so convinced that either Garrett or Hooker or both will be generational talents — that I felt compelled to share it. I will now cease all NFL Draft conversation until May. Back to the fart jokes.

Your Calvin and Hobbes strip of the day. I don’t know about y’all, but it’s one of these weeks for me.

Bill Watterson

And now for the random 90s song of the day. As someone who clings to classic rock as my first musical love even as rock’s “essential” status in the monoculture fades, it makes sense that I would have a great fondness for the Black Crowes: a Nineties band that sounds like it’s from the Seventies and still seems meaningful in the Twenty-Teens (when they’re touring and not hating each other).

The Black Crowes have received recognition in t90sSotD before, but one of the lyrics from “Wiser Time” stuck with me as I was contemplating the Great Cavaliers January Freakout of 2017. Sunday’s loss to the Spurs was encouraging, but bad. The loss to the Pelicans on Monday was bad, and Wednesday’s loss to the Kings was very bad. But this Cavs team can also be good, even great. (See, e.g., the NBA Finals and the Christmas Day win against the Warriors). But they’re deeply flawed, top-heavy, and not always operating at maximum capacity. They’re not bad every day, and they’re great every day. That’s who they are, and it’s who they’ve been to varying degrees for years.

The chorus from “Wiser Time” captures the inconsistency and potential for both goodness and badness of this Cavaliers team, while lending me a certain serenity to the Cavs’ ongoing reality.

On a good day, I know it ain’t every day
We can part the sea
And on a bad day, I know it ain’t every day
Glory beyond our reach

Right now, glory (whatever that means) feels beyond the reach of the Cavaliers. But on a good day, this Cavs team can still part the sea (or at least oncoming double teams). But we know it ain’t every day. How many good days will be in the playoffs remains to be seen — but the last two seasons have had plenty. Are the Cavs (or we) wiser for the time? Who knows.

The clip below is a jammed-out version of “Wiser Time” from Chicago in 2013 (the video quality is poor, but the sound is good), including a keys solo from Adam MacDougall, light face-melting guitar solos from Jackie Greene and Rich Robinson, and some explosively triumphant vocals from frontman Chris Robinson. It’s a good tune for zoning out while doing some work, or just drowning out some of the less pleasant noise we’re inundated with via our devices these days.

  1. I don’t think he will be. []

  • mgbode
  • RGB
  • mgbode

    They could never afford to pay college athletes 🙂

  • NankirPhelge

    Michigan is paying three ASSISTANT coaches more than a million bucks each. Unbelievable.

    And they’re taking the team to Rome, as in Italy, for a week of spring practice.

    Maybe they jacked up the tuition to pay for all this stuff.

  • RGB

    The trip to Italy is a middle finger to the $EC that pushed the NCAA into banning his future spring training trips.
    Michigan still has staff salaries less than the buckeyes. UM is #13 in the nation for staff salaries.

  • mgbode

    They are making tons and tons of money from the football team, it is self-sufficient.

  • mgbode

    No doubt.

    And, UM will catch up to the Saban-way of staffing gigantic staffs soon enough, which will push them into the top few.

  • RGB

    Saban is the king of loopholes. (While trying to close other peoples loopholes…) His staff of “consultants” is brilliant. I mean, who hires Steve Sarkesian just to analyze film?
    And his use of ex-NFL players in his practice squads is also “legal”.

  • Garry_Owen

    Look at Kyle – trying to have “fun” with sports.

    I love these Calvin and Hobbes strips. Reminds me of how much I loved them back in the day. Need to find the old books packed away in the basement somewhere. That said, this particular one fills me with grief, now that I’m on the other side of that issue, with a son that “tries” to get out of bed everyday. I’m inching ever closer to “full drill sergeant.” I’ve already incorporated the lights on and loud command voice. The trash can getting thrown against the wall is next. “Trying.” You better believe it’s trying.

  • Garry_Owen

    The trip to Italy is also weird. Really, really weird.

  • mgbode

    Right before he goes to bed, fill a glass of ice water (mostly ice). Ask him what happens to ice when left sitting overnight as you place it on the counter. Remark that the ice will indeed melt, but the water will be bitterly cold. Then, as you tuck him in for the night, mention that if he’s not up by O-X hundred, then that bitterly cold cup of water shall be dumped upon his head. See what happens.

  • Natedawg86

    Harballs wants to get on a beach with the team in banana hammocks

  • mgbode

    They didn’t think they could beat USC, but they wanted to play a game in the Coliseum.

  • Garry_Owen

    I like it. Very drill sergeanty. My only fear is repercussions. From the household Commander. For pouring water all over dry bedding. Because, I WILL do it. But I’m sure it will only happen once.

  • RGB

    Yep. But, if he went to Italy last year instead of Florida, these trips wouldn’t be banned. 😉

  • Garry_Owen

    Anyone listen to Steve Gorman’s sports radio show? Pretty good, for a Black Crowes drummer (and Detroit/Michigan fan).

  • Garry_Owen

    But would still be weird. Really, really weird.

  • mgbode

    Have rope & clothespins ready to go up immediately afterwards so that it does not have to interfere with any daily laundry activities in the household. Should satisfy the commander’s demands. Not that..well, let’s say…I should stop now.

  • RGB

    He was the drive time show here for a while, but got replaced with Jay Mohr.

  • Garry_Owen

    Same here. He got moved to later, when I’m not driving anymore. Disappointing, because it was the only sports talk show I can handle.

  • NankirPhelge

    Okay, but this is unnecessarily extravagant. The athletic department is still part of the university, not an autonomous entity (at least it shouldn’t be). It would be nice if the athletic department stopped acting like royalty and spread more of the wealth around. This goes for all schools, not just UM.

    Yeah, I know, get real. Got it.

  • CBiscuit

    I think you’re being too hard on Jimmy H. There’s nothing weird about it. Harbaugh took his team out for a group body hair-waxing session and bought everyone matching blue and yellow striped speedos. Yes, that might SEEM weird at first, but in the context that they’re all going to ride around Italy on Vespas shirtless with speedos on, it’s not all that weird is it?

  • CBiscuit

    Maybe they’ve been betting on the Buckeyes for the Big Game for the past 5 years?

  • tigersbrowns2

    i think most of us could handle ending-up with Garrett & Hooker.

  • Harv

    that would be my fav first round scenario. Would instantly create the first team identity in 25 years and with Gregg Williams would immediately make division games competitive. And a residue of that would be saving everyone’s jobs long enough to try and create something positive. The draft matters.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi HARV … hope all is well in your little part of paradise.

  • mgbode
  • RGB

    Hey, my fan loyalty is one thing. The effectiveness of my cash investments is another. 😉

  • CBiscuit

    Smart man! And I mean, once we get you fitted in a scarlet and gray sweater vest, you’ll look proper and all too.

  • CBiscuit

    Dammit…come here. I said everyone is skins in this scrimmage!

  • Harv

    we’re still on the right side of the grass, and WFNY is clicking on all cylinders. What’s not to like.

  • RGB
  • nj0

    My one opinion about evaluating players for the draft: people focus on a player’s strengths too much and dismiss or downplay weaknesses. One flaw, if it’s the right one, will negate any number of positives. I think teams should spend more time finding reasons to not draft a player rather than reasons to take him. If I was a scout, I’d always ask – if all our negative assessments of this guy are correct, what kind of a player will he be?

    Examples (negative comments from NFL.com’s scouting):
    Erving- “Susceptible to bull rush.”
    Mingo- “looks almost too lean to handle the physicality of NFL linemen”

  • Saggy

    as a strength coach I look at that weight room and drooooooool. WOW.

    as a former student-athlete (non-football) I look at that weight room and say, “where’s my book money? You’ve got $50million for a gym but I gotta still pay for my books?”

  • Saggy

    One thing that always stayed with me was something Grambling’s Eddie Robinson always said as he clanged the pots and pans at 4:45am: “Feet on the floor.” Once your feet are on the floor, you’re up.

    Of course, my son is in the top bunk so it’s a little harder…

  • Saggy

    Not driving? Playing the par-3’s now, eh?

  • Saggy

    Totally fine. As I said – I think they could trade down and get Allen, Hooker, and another few picks. That’s my dream scenario.

  • Saggy

    Babe Ruth – too fat