Before I get started today, I wanted to thank all of our patrons at Patreon. They keep our site going in these times where advertising revenue is hard to come by. If you ever wanted to support the site financially, now is as good a time as any. The Browns drive the most traffic to the site and it’s not a very Brownsy time of year since free agency has died down and the draft won’t be the team’s Super Bowl this year. So consider going to Patreon.com/WFNY just to help out. We try and do some things for our patrons, but it’s really just a nice way for people to give us a few bucks for what we do here and on the podcast. Now, on with the sports talk…
I was in Indianapolis for part of my kids’ Spring Break this year and I had a few articles of Cleveland Browns clothing that I wore as we hit museums and restaurants. I had people — Browns fans and a surprising number of non-Cleveland-Browns-Fans — stop me to make comments about the team. People are legitimately intrigued by the Browns and what they’ve done. They are the talk of the league in a good way, but we’re still in this magical period where the Browns are considered a non-threat.
A couple of Colts fans referenced maybe playing the Browns in the playoffs this year, but it was all in service of taking down the old guard. People are tired of the Steelers and Patriots, so the Browns as a playoff team (conceptually,) are a breath of fresh air. It’s nice to be a Browns fan right now, but when was the last time you were able to say that? Also, here’s hoping that it eventually turns from being nice to being loathed like Pats and Steelers fans because that comes with lots of winning.
I had a chance to watch After Life on Netflix over the break as well. I am a Ricky Gervais fan. I’m one of those fans of The Office that took to the British version via DVDs before they created the American version of The Office. I don’t want to get into debating which version of the show is better. I’m simply laying out how big a Ricky Gervais fan I am. His acting is always in service of his writing and creation. When Gervais is performing in a role on a show or movie that he wrote and directed, it’s Ricky at his best. After Life is one of the best things he’s ever done.
After Life is the story of Gervais’ character Tony, who has already lost his wife to cancer as the show opens. We only get to know this wife via home movies and the video clips she filmed of herself talking to Tony as she was dying in the hospital. Tony is a bitter, angry, man who has taken the bad hand he was dealt and used it as an excuse to tell it like it is, at least in his mind, no matter who he destroys with his invective. He takes on bad people and good people alike. As the show progresses, Tony realizes that he can’t keep going this way, and I won’t spoil any more of his journey from the beginning of the show to the end.
This is wonderful television all the way around. It was dark comedy, high drama, controversial, and presented Gervais’ Tony as an anti-hero that you never were able to abandon completely as a lost cause. I recommend it highly.
Now that baseball is finally here, we don’t have to spend any more time talking about the Dolans’ disastrous off-season. I just felt like this was a good way to finish off the conversation. Regardless of what’s true, or necessary, or how much or little you care about Bill Simmons, the fact that Paul Dolan’s interviews finally made it to the Ringer podcast network says more than a little bit. I am not saying that Bill Simmons’ take on this is correct or important or anything, but his platform is big and many baseball stories never make it to the Boston-focused feed. The Dolan comments were so awful, however, that they came up in conversation. Paul Dolan made himself and his team the laughing stock of baseball at least for a few seconds. That’s undeniably bad.
Dolan turned the Indians into a laughing stock nationally this week. That’s undeniable. Ouch.
— Craig Lyndall (@WFNYCraig) March 28, 2019