Friday, October 30, 2009

PROTEST The Monday Night Game

Fed up with losing, Browns fans organize protest at Nov. 16 game

Associated Press

BEREA, Ohio -- One of the most loyal Dawg Pounders is done barking about the sad state of his beloved Cleveland Browns. It's time to bite.

Mark Duncan / Associated Press
Mike Randall, also known as "Dawg Pound Mike," is heading a Nov. 16 protest aimed at showing fans' displeasure with the Browns.

Lifelong Browns fan and season-ticket holder Mike Randall, aka "Dawg Pound Mike," is encouraging other Cleveland fans to stay away from their seats for the opening kickoff of the Browns' Nov. 16 home game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Sickened by the nearly constant losing since the NFL team's return in 1999, Randall hopes the sight of empty seats for the start of the nationally televised Monday night game will send a loud message to Browns owner Randy Lerner and other club officials that fans have had enough.

"We're tired of losing," said Randall, 39. "We're tired of the booing, of seeing fans leave in the fourth quarter. There are fans who have had tickets for 30 years who are turning their seats in because they can't take it anymore. So many fans are fed up."

Randall and his friend, Tony Schafer, decided to go ahead with plans for the protest following last Sunday's 31-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. As they walked out of the stadium, they heard fans grumbling about how they're wasting their Sundays and money on an inferior product that seems to be getting worse.

Their hope is that fans stay outside the stadium, on concourses or in the restrooms, for the start of the game.

The Akron Beacon-Journal first reported the protest, which Randall and Schafer announced on their Web site,

"We don't want to see fans with bags on their heads or booing," Randall said. "We love the Browns and will do anything to support them. But we're not being heard. Our goal is to say to the Browns' organization, 'Hey, listen to your fans.'"

Under first-year coach Eric Mangini, the Browns are 1-6 this season and have scored just four offensive touchdowns in 81 possessions. Cleveland's defense is the league's worst.

Since coming back as an expansion team 10 years ago, the Browns are 55-113 with one playoff appearance and appear to be on their way to their eighth season of double-digit losses since 1999.

Lerner is aware of the response and said in an e-mail that he understand the fans' frustration.

"On the grounds of frustration and irritation with performance, then that's the medicine I (we) are going to take, and I accept that," Lerner said. "The goal this year was to rebuild the culture at the Browns. We felt at the end of last year that we lacked any overall philosophy, approach or direction regarding recruiting, drafting, coaching, preparation or training. As a result, each season was feeling like starting over and 4-12 following 10-6 felt painfully not all that surprising."

Lerner added that the team remains open to feedback and support to help the Browns improve.

"We won't become entrenched or stubborn and despite my allergy to be more conspicuous, I do remain eager to seek help and guidance from any and all corners," he said.

Randall, who sits in the front row of the Dawg Pound, the notoriously rowdy bleacher section, doesn't know where to assess blame for the Browns' misery. He has met Lerner and appreciates the ultra-private owner's attempts to turn around the franchise. He knows Mangini needs time, and Randall wishes general manager George Kokinis would let fans in on the team's intentions.

"We have no one who talks to the fans," Randall said. "Randy isn't out front. The GM is invisible, and Mangini has said this was going to be a process and that things would improve. Well, nothing has improved."

Randall said there is no energy in the crowd at home games and that fans are still being told to sit down in their seats or risk ejection. He has spoken to Browns officials about reconnecting to the team's past, but he has met mostly with resistance.

"There's nothing in the stadium that even shows the eight championships we did win," Randall said. "This team has lost generations of fans."

During last week's game, Randall said a young fan approached him and asked, "Will we ever win?"

Lerner recently brought in former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar to serve as a consultant to the team. Although Kosar's role with the team hasn't been clearly defined, Randall sees the addition as a positive.

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"I love it," Randall said. "Bernie is an offensive mastermind, and I think Randy is seeing we need to bring some of the former guys back. It's a good first step."

When Art Modell took his NFL franchise to Baltimore in 1995, Browns fans fought to regain their team. Randall was one of the fans who helped jam the league's fax machines and carried thousands of signatures to meetings, hoping pro football would return to Cleveland.

It worked, and Randall, who wears something shaded in Cleveland's brown and orange colors every day, is hoping this protest helps the Browns return to winning.

"We did this as a positive," he said. "We want to send a statement that the status quo cannot go on."

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Some Interesting Media Clippings

Many interesting articles I found online:

Time for Browns to Admit Mistake, Fire Mangini <-- agreed

Sabathia and Lee Shine, Shapiro Watches <-- gut wrenching for us fans

Central Preview: Championship or Bust for Cavs <-- probably true

Grading the NFL's worst: The Browns <--depressing... the fan grade was low I thought. We're angry, yes. But still good fans.

Acta Spells out his Goals for Tribe <-- I'm surprisingly happy for this move... let's see how it plays out

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cavs Offseason Recap

The Cavaliers' season is just a few days away! With that being said, let's take a look at how the 2009 version of Cleveland's best team was formed:

Cleveland Cavaliers 2009 Offseason

C: Shaquille O’Neal, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Darnell Jackson
PF: Anderson Varejao, J.J. Hickson, Leon Powe
SF: Lebron James, Jamario Moon, Jawad Williams
SG: Anthony Parker, Delonte West, Danny Green
PG: Mo Williams, Daniel Gibson, Coby Carl

Overseas rights: Christian Eyenga, Emir Preldzic, Ejike Ugboaja, Sasha Kaun

Free Agents

Wally Szczerbiak, unrestricted
Lorenzen Wright, unrestricted
Joe Smith, unrestricted, signed with ATL, 1 year vet min
Zydrunas Ilgauskas (player option), activated option for 1-year, $11.5 mil
Anderson Varejao, unrestricted, re-signed to 6-year $50 mil deal


Free Agency:

G/F Anthony Parker, TOR, signed to 2-year $6 mil deal
F Jamario Moon, MIA, signed to 3-year $9 mil deal
F/C Leon Powe, BOS, signed to 2-year, $1.8 mil deal


C Shaquille O’Neal, from PHO, 1 year remaining on contract
G/F Emir Preldzic, rights from PHO, overseas in Turkey

NBA Draft

1st Round (30): G/F Christian Eyenga, signed 3-year contract in Spain
2nd Round (46): G/F Danny Green, signed to 2-year $1.2 mil deal

*from Chicago

Training Camp Invitees

F/C Rob Kurz, waived
C Darryl Watkins, waived
G Coby Karl
G Andre Barrett, waived
C Luke Nevill, waived
G Russell Robinson, waived



G Tarence Kinsey, signed overseas in Turkey


G/F Sasha Pavlovic, PHO, released by PHO, signed by MIN
F/C Ben Wallace, PHO, released by PHO, signed by DET
2010 2nd Round Pick, PHO

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hughes: Lebron Will Stay

A former teammate of Lebron James, one Cleveland fans know well and who knows New York well, believes #23 will remain in northeast Ohio when his contract expires this summer.

New York Knicks' Larry Hughes believes LeBron James will stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers

BY Frank Isola

Thursday, October 15th 2009, 4:00 AM
Larry Hughes understands that the chances of him returning to the Knicks next season are slim to none. Unfortunately, the same may be true of one Hughes' best friends as well.

Hughes reiterated Wednesday that he believes LeBron James, the Knicks' primary free agent target, will re-sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers when James becomes a free agent next summer.

"I still feel that way," Hughes said following the Knicks' practice in Greenburgh, N.Y. "He's got a good opportunity to win there. And I know a lot of people talk about him playing in a big market, but he just wants to win a ring. It's not about playing in a big market."

Hughes speaks regularly to his former teammate with the Cavs and maintains that James is content with the direction of the club. Hughes was with Cleveland when James reached his first NBA Finals in 2007. After the Cavs were eliminated by Orlando in the Eastern Conference Finals last May, the club acquired Shaquille O'Neal, Anthony Parker, Leon Powe and Jamario Moon.

Like LeBron, Hughes will also become a free agent next summer, but his future and present for that matter remain unsettled. Hughes is versatile enough to play three positions, but with the Knicks committed to their younger players - Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, Nate Robinson and Toney Douglas - and with Mike D'Antoni committed to using a shorter rotation, Hughes could be the odd man out.

"Well, I expect to be playing," Hughes says. "But it's the coach's decision to make. But I'll do whatever the team needs."

Hughes doesn't think of himself as an older player. He's only 30, but Hughes is entering his 12th NBA season, and the wear and tear is catching up to him. He's lost some of his athleticism, and his durability is a question. Hughes has appeared in 70 or more games once in the last seven years.

Nor does he get much of a grace period with fans. Hughes was booed in his first game last season after being acquired from Chicago and he heard the same derisive cries in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's preseason loss to Philadelphia. Hughes missed all eight shots he attempted against the Sixers, but his teammates weren't much better.

David Lee was 2-for-8, Jared Jeffries and Chris Duhon both shot 2-for-7 and Gallinari was 1-for-6. But only Jeffries and Hughes heard boos.

D'Antoni has two weeks to figure out which eight or nine players will become part of the rotation. If Douglas, the rookie point guard, struggles, Hughes could find himself on the court on opening night chasing after Dwyane Wade. His experience and toughness could be valuable assets for a young team hoping to reach the playoffs.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another Fan's Attempt to Convince #23

Not the prettiest of sites, but the attempt is there: to convince Lebron James to stay in Cleveland. Check it out, sign the petition and make your voice heard!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Quick Liftoffs: 10-7-09

Changes Abroad in Cleveland

Times are changing in the City of Cleveland, and this past week has certainly highlighted that.

-Eric Wedge coached his last game with the Cleveland Indians on Sunday, a loss to the Red Sox completing a 4 game sweep. Wedge finished his Indians career with just two winning seasons and one AL Central Title in eight seasons. His 561 wins were the fifth most in club history and his 573 losses were the third most. Only Lou Boudreau, Mike Hargrove and Tris Speaker coached more games for the Cleveland Indians thank Wedge's 1,134. I'll always appreciate Wedge's role as the Manager of the Year in our 2007 ALCS run and in general for bringing this team out of the darkness. I wish him the best as I'm sure his managerial career is just beginning.

-Braylon Edwards was traded from the Browns to the New York Jets today, ending a five year saga that had its ups and downs since the club drafted Edwards #3 overall in 2005. You know the drama. From the rookie year injury, to the best season by a WR in club history, to the trade rumors and drama on and off the field the last two years, Edwards has seen it all with the Browns. In just four seasons worth of games, Edwards caught 28 TD passes, 7th in team history, 22 of which from Derek Anderson, the 6th best QB-WR duo the Browns have ever seen. Edwards caught a pass in 61 straight games, the second most in team history and posted 11 100 yard games, T-4th all-time. I was always a BE fan but kind of see why this move needed to be made. I just don't know why we waited until his value was this low to move him.

-Shaq made his debut a winning one for the Wine and Gold. He posted 6 points, 3 boards and a blocked shot in the Cavs' preseason opener vs. Charlotte. I'm looking for big things from the big man.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Was Eric Wedge a Scapegoat?

Here's what the nation had to say...

Browns All-2000s Team (Part 2)

The Pass Catchers

Kevin Johnson: KJ was the Browns best wide receiver from 1999-2002 and one of the only Dwight Clark draft picks to have any success. Johnsn caught 84 balls for 1,097 and 9 TDs in 2001. His most famous catch as a Brown was the 1999 Hail Mary catch from Tim Couch to get the expansion Browns' first win in New Orleans. He is 4th on the Browns all-time receptions list with 315. He caught a pass in 73 consecutive games, the 2nd longest streak even for Cleveland. Tim Couch to KJ was one of the best combinations in Browns history. They combined for 19 scores.

Braylon Edwards: One of the most explosive players the Browns have ever had, Braylon set almost every Browns single-season receiving record in 2007 when he had 80 grabs for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns. Edwards has been criticized for his drops, but there is no question that when he has the ball delivered to him accurately, he will go up and get it and make a play. None of the others Browns WRs of this decade remotely compare to this talent.

Kellen Winslow: Love him or hate him, K2 is the best tight end we have seen since Ozzie Newsome. Winslow caught a Browns record 82 passes in 2007, for 1,106 yards, arguable the best season by a tight end in team history. Despite his subpar blocking, Winslow was a threat over the middle and down the field, and won a lot of games for the Browns from 2006-2008. One wonders what his career could have been if Butch Davis didn't put him on the hands team in 2004 and if he didn't ride his crotch rocket in 2005.

Up Next: the Big Boys up Front