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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. []