Podcast, WWW

It’s impossible to be a Browns-first Cleveland sports fan right now: While We’re Waiting

Happy Friday everyone! Thanks for hanging with us this week. We appreciate your continued support, which is kind of easy nowadays. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be commended for visiting on a daily basis. It’s just to say when you have teams like the Indians and Cavaliers going the way they’re going, it’s easier for all of us to put the energy into reading, writing, and otherwise conversing about Cleveland sports.

Just wanted to give a shout-out to all the new Patreon people as well. It’s been great to see so many people join up to support the site and the podcast. I wanted to tell you guys about a Patreon level today that I think is a really great value and that’s the Podcast Sponsor level. For $75 per month, if you have a business in the Cleveland area or would otherwise like to sell to people from this region, we’ve got a really attractive demographic. We can be super-creative and customize the advertising experience better than other places, so hit me up and let me know if that would be of interest.

Is this a podcast or a post? Trick question! It’s both!

If you’d rather listen to this post, I covered it in the latest WFNY Podcast.

Who wants to be a Browns-first fan anyway?

I used to be a Browns-first kind of person without any difficulty. With a gun to my head, I probably would still identify that way today, but mostly out of habit. You know, like smoking? I’m not sure if I really believe it deep down. As the Indians take their first series of the year in dramatic grand-slam fashion and as LeBron James mesmerizes even in his team’s regular season boredom, it’s really hard even to pretend to care about the NFL draft. The Browns have the first overall pick, and a bajillion other picks in the top 100 and they only break into the top three by default.1

I used to say quite seriously that I thought the Browns might be the first to turn it around after LeBron left Cleveland. It seemed to me if you were betting on the outcome between the Indians, Cavaliers, and Browns that you should at least bet on the team with no financial constraints in the league with the most parity. While it would have been fun to bet on Dan Gilbert’s bank vault, I just couldn’t do it. Before LeBron returned, it was impossible to consider that the Cavaliers could build a super-team that could compete with the others that seemed to be assembled like a Marvel comic. Whether or not I believed the Dolans were actually cheap, the drafts weren’t enough to bolster the meat of the team. How quickly things change.

Here we are a few short years later, and the Indians are looking to get back to the World Series with a boosted roster including Edwin Encarnacion and maybe even Michael Brantley. In any given series they can claim to have the best starting pitcher and best reliever with a straight face. That’s the power of Corey Kluber and Andrew Miller.

The Cavaliers are limping to the finish of a grueling regular season, but they’ve replaced the likes of Matthew Dellavedova, Timofey Mozgov, Sasha Kaun, and Dahntay Jones with Kyle Korver, Deron Williams, Derrick Williams, and Larry Sanders. They also get to enter any series with the argument that they have the best three players, including against Golden State.

The Browns’ off-season has been kind of nice with a bolstered offensive line, but the real headline is that they took on the worst quarterback signing in the history of the NFL because they could get a second-round pick for Brock Osweiler. In pre-draft chatter, they indirectly maligned the top of their QB depth chart – Cody Kessler – when they indicated they preferred prospects at the position be taller than he is at 6-foot 1-inches. The team that I used to bank on as the first to turn it around currently has bottom five prospects at the position that most sports fans would argue is the most important in all of the American professional sports.

Thankfully this “Browns-first” fan isn’t even all that stressed about it. I would never have considered that I could be this happy as a sports fan with my favorite team in such an awful state. None of this post is to dwell on the Browns as much as it is to appreciate the hell out of everything else.

I was at the Cavaliers game against the 76ers last week and during that game it occurred to me how lethargic the crowd was during the player announcements. It’s been a long season for fans too. But if you could ever place these moments in the proper perspective of history, you’d never justify a tepid reaction for a team that includes LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. We’ll all get up and go crazy on opening day when the Indians are announced, but it too will fade. We’ll get into the grind of the MLB regular season. But try and think about it when you’re watching a noon businessman’s special on a getaway day sometime in May or June and Edwin Encarnacion is sitting in the lineup between Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez with Danny Salazar as your third starter.

Despite the Browns, these are the good days, and I don’t want to forget it.

Travelers on Netflix is pretty good

I have grown to hate twists for the sake of twists, but I still love them when they’re presented in an honest manner. While I’m not going to try and tell you that this show is the next Lost or anything, I have to recommend Travelers as a solid casual watch that’s mildly addicting.

Many centuries into the future, the Earth’s population has dwindled to almost nothing — but the survivors have discovered the key to time travel. Desperate to save humanity, a group enters the 21st century on a mission to avert disaster.

  1. I might even put Stipe Miocic above the Browns right now with his impending title defense in May. []

  • RGB

    20 days until the draft.

  • jpftribe

    For your snowy Friday “it’s baseball season” listening pleasure.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbxtYqA6ypM

  • RGB

    For me, baseball season starts when the draft is over and the Cavs’ season is over.

  • Harv

    ok, this is my gun-to-the-head desert island music choice but, pray tell, what’s the connection? Or maybe it’s just Friday.

  • scripty

    Kind of Blue is considered a seminal album in music history and it’s deep haunting jazz themes universally apply to the abyss of Browns fandom.

  • jpftribe

    And there’s no one but Myles, er um, Miles.

  • Harv

    ” … these are the good days, and I don’t want to forget it.” Amen, brother. A baseball roster like the ’17 Tribe is once every few decades, even though some who were children in the ’90s seem to think it should be the norm. This is skilled drafting mixed with some happy market circumstance, division rival downturn and a HOF manager in his prime eschewing big markets for our little sleepy town. And, talk about sheer luck bestowed upon the Gunds, a generational NBA star in late prime dragging a previously moribund organization to the Finals again and again just because he happened to be born here.

    There’s still no objective sign that the New Browns possess any semblance of good ownership, front office competence or luck. There’s no reason to be excited about the draft until the team shows it has a clue how to use it for its designed purpose: to not suck for two consecutive decades. Grade the draft? I’ll withhold judgement about whether anything has possibly changed until we see the latest FO thought bubbles playing against competition at full speed. Then we’ll get our first inkling – without waiting 2 years – of whether players can play, of whether cap guys can teach themselves to evaluate amateur talent. Until then, the Browns aren’t exactly dead to me but just a sort of casual interest. Like the dude who for 19 years has promised to pay back the money he borrowed and every spring says “I’m getting my tax refund and coming right over.” Yeah, great, whatever. If the doorbell rings while I’m watching the Cavs or Tribe maybe I’ll get up.

  • mgbode

    it’s really hard even to pretend to care about the NFL draft.

    How this reads to me as I finish up today’s draft piece

    http://33.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m3ezaevxIA1qg39ewo1_500.gif

  • mgbode

    YES!

  • jpftribe

    You missed a helluva series this week then, my friend.

  • Harv

    ah. Damn my spelling anality.

  • Hopwin
  • RGB

    I didn’t say I didn’t watch.
    Until the Cavs and draft are done, the Tribe has my interest. Afterwards they have my attention.

  • CBiscuit

    “I used to say quite seriously that I thought the Browns might be the first to turn it around after LeBron left Cleveland.”

    It’s ok. We’ve all said some pretty ridiculous things on this forum over the years. So this can only mean one thing based on your post…that the Browns will win it all this year.

  • jpftribe

    As I read the tweet on Labbe discussing QB development with MKC, I thought……
    http://i352.photobucket.com/albums/r323/jpftribe/GIFs/spic.jpg

  • BeverlyMiller111

    Start taking home $150 on daily basis in your leisure time by doing routines derived from this employer I run into on-line… Check it out, and jump start attaining new income from today!>>>……… http://kbcn.eu/VgvEqf

  • JNeids

    I think BeverlyMiller111 is stalking you.

  • mgbode

    But, will the snow melt in time for the Home Opener?

  • JNeids

    I have tickets to the Tribe game next Saturday 4/15. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of the NBA playoff schedule as I also have tickets to the Cavs game 1. Thankfully the Indians play at 4:05 so it could make for a fun double header if the Cavs play later that night.

  • Garry_Owen

    “judgement”

    Damn your spelling anality.

    (Just playing. I know typos happen. My Quality Control gene is mutating.)

  • Hopwin
  • mgbode

    boom

  • CBiscuit

    Dang….a swing of the QC baton on poor Harv’s kneecaps! QC policing is in full stage orange-reddish lately. And in all fairness, everyone outside of our profession seems to misspell that word.

  • Garry_Owen

    In complete fairness, “judgment” and “jurisdiction” are two words that I rarely type correctly the first time around. That errant “e” far too often shows up in the former, and the latter almost always shows up on my screen as “jurisdication.” I’m sure it’s my keyboard, or word processor, or something.

    Harv clearly did not deserve it, but it was just too meaty of a fastball of irony. I could not check swing.

  • Harv

    how dare you apologize – I love it. Cross referencing multiple comments to hoist a fellow smart ass QC member on his own petard ain’t nothing if not asthmatic breathing nerd fun.

    What’s weird is I’ve misspelled that word for 30 years. Just one of those “looks right” things in my head. Also, Stephanies and Jennifers are the same person, always, says my mind.

  • Garry_Owen
  • CBiscuit

    Umm dude. Sorry, I know I was acting as your WFNY ACLU rep, but I think the expression is “foist.” (ducks and creeps away)

  • Hopwin

    Clearly both these kids failed their common core math. 4×4 is really 3.987.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-BJ3J6Z-Eh0c/VD3Xpev2cjI/AAAAAAAAAJA/O6swvVXlRVk/s1600/LongMultiplication.png

  • Harv

    actually, not.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petard
    (snorts mit snot, may eventually wipe off glasses if reminded).

  • Garry_Owen
  • CBiscuit

    Oh come on. I just wanted to be pedantic too! You’re no fun….just play along.

  • CBiscuit
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