Friday, February 29, 2008

I know absolutely nothing.

The Browns just signed free agent QB, Derek Anderson. Huh ?

I guess my post a couple of hours ago was pretty stupid. So, does this mean that the Browns will really sit out the first day of the draft, or will Savage trade Anderson to a team for something other than the league mandated 1st and 3rd ? If Anderson signed a three-year deal for reasonable money, that contract would probably make him more attractive to another team than having to actually negotiate a new contract that would top the one the Browns offered. Under a free agent scenario, the new team would have almost no leverage. A trade after the Browns have secured Anderson to a three year deal would take away almost all of Anderson's leverage against the new team. I guess that means that the Browns still could trade Anderson.

The other two scenarios are : 1) the Browns could trade Brady Quinn; or 2) they could keep two QB's and see what happens.

Since my earlier post appears to be dead wrong, maybe I'll just stop writing and let the Rhino figure it out.

Savage is off to the races, and the Quinn era begins.

Yesterday, Phil Savage added a pretty tough defensive tackle to the Browns. He traded a precious 2nd round pick to Green Bay for Corey Williams.

First, let's see what they gave up. Right now, the Browns don't have a 1st due to the trade with the Cowboys last year that netted Brady Quinn. So, the 2nd, which would have been 56th overall, was the Browns' highest pick. That means the Browns won't pick until 87th. Plus, Williams was wearing Green Bay's franchise tag. That means the Browns have to give him a multi-year deal. I suspect that will cost the team something like $15-20 Million in guaranteed dough and a total contract in the $40-50 Million range. That's just rank speculation by me, but suffice to say, he's gonna cost the Pumpkin Heads a lot of cash, some of which will count against this year's cap.

Now, what did they get? Williams was a sixth round pick in the 2004 draft. Obviously, he exceeded draft order expectations. He'll be 28 when the season begins. He's listed as 6'4" and 313 lbs. He's been a legitimate sack threat, dropping the opposing QB 7 times in each of the last two years. He's okay against the run, but overall, he's a strong defender and immediately upgrades the Browns' line.

Here's the skinny. Derek Anderson turned down the Browns' three year offer. That probably means that some team wants him and is willing to give him some big dough. So, Savage gave him a $2.5 Million tender. Another team can outbid the Browns, but if they do, they'll owe the Browns a 1st and a 3rd round pick.

Originally, there was some thought that the Packers would simply cut Williams, rather than give him a lot of money. But, it appears that Savage was hovering over this one like a hungry vulture. He struck and the deal was made just after midnight, and by now, we all know Savage likes playing without a net. So, he must have thought that Williams was worth sitting on the sidelines for the first day of the draft.

Or, it could be that Savage is a really smart guy. Savage loves the draft. He had to be counting on getting extra picks for Anderson when he made the deal.

You can book it: February 29, 2008, the real beginning of the Brady Quinn era. Say a novena.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sometimes, it all comes down to this.

For lots of men, sports and breasts have long been a staple of everyday life. Now, they've been joined, for better or worse, in baseball's serial embarrassment about steroids and human growth hormones.

It seems another "liar," who apparently must be "misremembering" has provided more information that would undercut some of The Rocket's most vehement denials to Congress. For those who were lucky enough not to watch our elected officials stumble through a few hours of questions to a couple of scoundrels, Brian McNamee, Clemens former buddy, trainer, and now, chief accuser, told Congress that the first time Clemens talked to him about steroids was at a party at Jose Canseco's house. Among other things that McNamee said to bolster his credibility on that point was to describe how Mrs. The Rocket and Mrs. Canseco compared the results of their respective breast enhancements surgeries. The Clemens legal team triumphantly produced a receipt from a golf course from the same day and argued that that proved Clemens never attended the party. Well, the proverbial other shoe looks like it's ready to drop. Apparently, another major leaguer told Congress that Clemens often talked about the incident when the two baseball wives were comparing their store-bought knockers.

News leaked earlier in the week that Henry Waxman, the Democratic chair of the committee that conducted the hearings, was going to issue a letter to the Department of Justice calling for a perjury investigation.

This has to be a bitter pill for Mr. The Rocket---perhaps undone by two pairs of boobs.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Best Sports News of the Day

Sorry Cavs. Nice deal, but you just got topped.

Three Team, 10 Player Deal

Okay, here it is.


C Ben Wallace
F Wally Szczerbiak
F Joe Smith
G Delonte West


G Larry Hughes
F Drew Gooden
F Cedric Simmons


G Chris Duhon
F Ira Newble
F Donyell Marshall

Like I said, I'm no expert, but I like getting Delonte West and somebody who can shoot like Szczerbiak. The addition by subtraction aspect of the deal is kind of appealing to me as well.

Cavs Blockbuster?

The Cleveland sports blogosphere is abuzz this morning with Cavs' trade rumors. That's because at halftime of last night's game against the Pacers, Brian Windhorst dropped this little bombshell in his blog:

"Folks, I have not watched a second of the first half as I pursue some hot trade rumors with the Cavs. They are being very active and are in talks over a blockbuster that has not been reported yet. It does not involve Mike Miller. More to come later."

Windhorst later added that this was a trade that would "change the dynamic somewhat" of how the Cavs play, but would "not directly affect the way LeBron plays." He also said that the Cavs were trying to get a first round pick to go with the deal, and that this was the potential hold up with it.

With that to go on, the Internet lit up like a Christmas tree. When he first heard of the rumor, our first stop for Cavs news, Ben Cox, thought the Cavs were once again after Michael Redd, or perhaps Vince Carter or Ron Artest. After Windhorst updated his report, Ben changed his guess to "God damn it," who must be a D-League player or something, because I couldn't find him on any NBA roster.

Windhorst added to the intrigue with an appearance on WKNR, where he reportedly said that the blockbuster is a one-for-one deal, and did not involve a player who previously had been linked to the Cavs in trade speculation.

The guys over at the Cavalier Attitude blog appear to have settled on Z as the Cavalier most likely to be involved in this deal. While noting the possibility of a deal with the Nets for Vince Carter, they think that if Z is in the mix, the deal would most likely involve a Western Conference team. That raises a number of intriguing possibilities, which you can read about on the Cavalier Attitude site.

One poster over at Cavalier Attitude suggested that "a league source" (uh-huh) told him that the trade involves Josh Howard for Z. I find that one hard to believe, but it is true that the Mavs are in the market for a center. The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Dallas is looking for another big man in an effort to keep pace with the rest of the elite teams in the West, several of which have added size to their rosters in the last couple of weeks.

Anyway, all this speculation guarantees that productivity levels in corporate Cleveland will reach all time lows today, as fans spend most of the time refreshing their browsers to see if Danny Ferry is finally able to pull the trigger on a blockbuster. We'll know by 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Awesome Prank

Spring training has just started, but it's doubtful that anybody is going to top the prank that the entire Phillies organization just pulled on pitcher Kyle Kendrick. My brother Jason tipped me off to this one. Thanks, bro. Enjoy.

The Ghost is the Real Deal

My pal Vinny's got to be jumping for joy again this morning. That's because his Youngstown paisan, middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik, showed the world last night that last year's dramatic victory over Jermain Taylor was no fluke.

While last night's fight didn't have the drama of the earlier bout, Pavlik turned in another solid performance, scoring a unanimous 12 round decision over Taylor. In the eyes of most observers, the outcome wasn't close. True to his reputation, Taylor appeared to tire in the later rounds, and didn't appear to win a single round after the third.

One of the most depressing things that I've witnessed during my life as a sports fan has been the slow decline of boxing, and its replacement by the back alley barbarism of "sports" like the UFC. I grew up in the 1970s, and while boxing wasn't at its most popular point back then in terms of fan appeal, it may have been at its all time best in terms of quality. In the heavyweight ranks, you had not just the great Ali, but also worthy adversaries like Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Ken Norton, Ernie Shavers, Jimmy Ellis and Jerry Quarry. Among the lower weight classes, you had guys like Bob Foster, Carlos Monzon, Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran and Ray Leonard. The talent was deep, and it was spread throughout almost every weight class.

Big fights were enormous events, not merely pay-per-view greed grabs. Sure, you might not have been able to watch the big fight live without paying through the nose for it, but you'd see it on Wide World of Sports the very next week, and you could bet your bottom dollar that you'd have Howard Cosell right there to capture the all the drama. I know that Cosell remains a controversial figure, but the plain truth is that there was never a better ringside announcer than Howard Cosell. Want proof? Check this out. It is Foreman v. Frazier, and may just be Cosell's finest performance (Down goes Frazier! Down goes Frazier!).

Kelly Pavlik may not be able to restore boxing to its former glory, but he reminds us that it is the primal sport, and that at its best, it has the power to captivate us more than just about any other kind of athletic event.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fascinating Pro Bowl Trivia

Did you know that the combination of orange helmets and red pants has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory mice?

Did you know that the officiating team for the Pro Bowl is appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate? Okay, not really.

Did you know that someone actually took the time to write recaps of every Pro Bowl game ever played and post them on the Internet? That sounds like an activity out of a book called "1001 Things to Do When You're Sentenced to Life Without Parole."

Did you know that if you were watching the Pro Bowl and your house was picked up by a tornado and deposited on a wicked witch, and if you took the pair of ruby slippers that she was wearing, put them on, tapped them together three times and said "there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home," absolutely nothing interesting would happen?

Did you know that Chinese physicians have conducted open heart surgery using only the Pro Bowl telecast as an anesthetic?

Did you know that even with six Cleveland Browns in the Pro Bowl, the game is still unwatchable?

Did you know that with all that, watching the Pro Bowl was still more enjoyable than watching the Cavs play the Nuggets?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Stand by your man.

This is just getting better and better.

Clemens spent the other day walking around the Congressional offices yukkin' it up with and autographing balls for our elected representatives---you know, the same guys who are going to decide in a week if Clemens committed perjury.

Meanwhile, his old pal and erstwhile physician, trainer and chief sycophant, dropped a couple of beautiful nuggets on Clemens. As the Rhino pointed out, in a move reminiscent of Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp, McNamee rolled out some used syringes, gauze and a beer can that his mouthpieces claim will prove his claims.

But, the real bon mot was when McNamee testified that, at Roger's insistence, he also injected Debbie Clemens (that's Mrs. Rocket) with HGH to help her prepare for a swimsuit photo shoot. That's nice. That's really nice.

I suspect Koby's shittin' his pants right about now.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Apologies to Leigh Bodden

Last September, in the course of one of my most deranged Browns rants, I sniped at Leigh Bodden for his supposedly anti-social behavior in getting arrested at Hopkins. As you've probably heard by now, Bodden was acquitted of all charges yesterday -- or maybe a better word is "vindicated."

Based on media reports about what transpired at Bodden's trial, it appears that our friend Peter Friedman (his is the second comment to that deranged post) had it right all along when he said that Bodden was arrested for "Driving While Black." So, I sincerely apologize to Leigh Bodden, even though I admit that the odds that he gives a shit about that apology -- or what I said in the first place -- are pretty long.

I also salute him. Faced with an opportunity to avoid trial by accepting what's known as "diversion," Bodden stood his ground and took his chances with a jury. That took some guts, because aside from the discipline that the NFL would have handed out to him if he had been found guilty, the judicial system would have undoubtedly thrown the book at him for having the temerity to exercise his right to a jury trial.

All-Star Sleazefest 2008

With the latest twists and turns in the Roger Clemens and Spygate sagas, I think it's just possible that pro sports are approaching near record levels of sleaze. No, nobody's fixed a championship lately -- that hasn't happened in baseball since the Black Sox, and in football, you've got to go way all the way back to Super Bowl XL before you can find a game where the fix was in.

Nevertheless, Major League Baseball and the NFL are both going through some tough times. Baseball is dealing with the fallout of one of the greatest scandals in its history. Thanks to MLB's decision to look the other way for more than a decade, every record set during the last 15 years will be subject to a mental asterisk among baseball fans. Not only that, but the holder of the game's most hallowed record is under indictment for perjury, and the greatest right handed pitcher of all time is potentially walking the exact same perjury plank. Meanwhile, over in the NFL, the greatest football coach of his generation and the team of the decade have already had their reputations tarnished by a cheating scandal, and are now facing the prospect of having their greatest achievements tarnished by new -- and potentially far worse -- cheating allegations.

To make matters worse, the always helpful United States Congress is getting into the act: Roger Clemens will star in an upcoming Capitol Hill media circus, while the man who gave us the single bullet theory, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, has decided to poke his nose under the NFL's skirts. Several internet sites have offered an intriguing explanation for Specter's sudden interest in the NFL 's dirty laundry - - Comcast's PAC is listed the second largest contributor to Specter's election campaigns, but in actuality, their financial support of the Distinguished Gentleman is probably quite a bit more extensive than that. Comcast, as you probably know, is the nation's largest cable television company, and along with most of the cable industry, is currently engaged in a death struggle with the NFL over the NFL Network.

In terms of pure theater, I've got to give the nod to The Rocket and his "damn the torpedoes" approach over the always cautious and well-advised suits at the NFL. Personally, I think Clemens is probably guilty, but I also think that Clemens is absolutely convinced that if he proclaims his innocence loudly enough, he'll eventually prevail. In any event, the he said/he said between McNamee and him ought to make for an excellent show -- particularly now that it looks like the proverbial blue dress may have just turned up.

Meanwhile, over on Park Avenue, the NFL is reacting to Specter in its usual slick, corporate way. But the powers that be there can't be too thrilled about the prospects of the league's premier franchise getting dragged through the mud. Oh, and the legal stakes are potentially quite high for the Patriots as well, thanks to something called the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which made it a federal crime to swipe trade secrets. Some are already speculating that a criminal investigation may be in the offing. There are a lot of issues with trying to apply this statute to the Patriots' alleged taping antics, but let's face it, when was the last time that slowed down an ambitious federal prosecutor for more than a nanosecond?

Sure, these are the worst of times when it comes to the integrity of professional sports. Fortunately for the NFL and MLB, while some pundits may bemoan the moral state of sports and what it says about our society, most fans are so jaded that all that these scandals really mean is that they've just found another way to be entertained by their favorite sports during the most boring stretch of the year's sporting calendar. In the 1970s, the TV networks tried to get through this stretch with stupid events like The Superstars, but who needs that when you've got a show like this one? Pass me some popcorn, I'm fixin' to sit down and watch the All-Star Sleazefest until March Madness starts.

Monday, February 04, 2008

When Bad Things Happen to Bad People

Aside from a championship victory by a Cleveland team, I can't imagine any sporting event coming close to providing me with the sheer joy that New England's defeat by the New York Giants provided me with yesterday. I always thought that someday, karma would catch up with Bill Belichick, and yesterday, it not only caught him, it sacked him for a huge loss.

I was thrilled by the Giants comeback. I was enthralled by the final sack of the game, in which Tom Brady was nearly planted like a tulip bulb by Jay Alford. I was delighted when I saw Brady's final heave fall incomplete.

But what made the moment complete for me was watching that reprehensible little man slither off the field with one second left on the clock, too absorbed with the impact of this game on his legacy to have the common decency to stay until the bitter end. It was so in character for the slimy little dirtbag, who now knows that whatever else he accomplishes, he'll never be mentioned in the same breath as coaches like Walsh, Lombardi and Knoll, who never lost a Super Bowl. Even better, his once in a lifetime Patriot team just went from The Greatest Team Ever to a bitter footnote alongside the 1942 Chicago Bears.

Live with it, Bill. I hope last night haunts you forever.

I've despised Bill Belichick for almost 15 years, ever since he deliberately tanked the Cleveland Browns 1993 season and then tried to pretend that he didn't. That one move showed anyone who was paying attention that it was all about Bill, and his massive, out of control ego. If that alone didn't convince everyone that Belichick was a dirt bag, the shenanigans he pulled to maneuver out of the Jets job and into the Pats job should have. But Bill's a great coach (although the most recent allegations against him may ultimately make you wonder just how great), and that allows people to overlook what a despicable person he is. But for the record, there's ample evidence that Bill's an egomaniac, that he's dishonest, and that he cheats -- in football and, allegedly, in more important areas of life. And now, finally, he lost.

And I rejoice.

"Bill Belichick is a classless turd."

I think I read that somewhere a long time ago. But, it kinda fits his in- game performance last night. With .01 left on the official game clock, Bill hurried across the field for a quick hug to Tom Coughlin and then headed into the tunnel and ignominy. His troops, coachless, headed out for one last play. Then it was over. The ubiquitous Super Bowl confetti rained down. Lots of players thanked God. A few hugged their wives and kids. And then Joe Buck started yammering about something...for a long time. I don't know what the hell he was saying. But, I suspect I wasn't the only one who wasn't listening to him. I was enjoying the moment too much.

Tony Soprano once said, "Revenge is like serving cold cuts." Last night it was. Super Bowl party attendees all over the world (except one guy) got to guffaw their asses off while jamming giant subs in their mouths and as "perfection" went out the window.

The good people of Cleveland have always known that Bill was a miserable, humorless prick. No. Let's go further. Most people here have always known him for a massive dick-head.

This year, the rest of the country found out that he's also a cheat. Roger Goodell fined him a half -million bucks. Sure, there some small feeling of pleasure knowing that the little man had to fork over some dough, but that wasn't enough (Then again, there could be more.).

Bill was unrepentant. He still smirked. He still ran up the score against outmatched opponents. He still spoke to everyone else like he was the smartest man in the world. Unfortunately, he kept winning. He rolled into the Super Bowl undefeated.

Then it all came crashing down.

He doesn't get to be known as the coach of an undefeated Super Bowl champion. He'll forever be known as...well, Bill.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I'm Not Going to Your Super Bowl Party

Thank you for inviting me to your Super Bowl party, but I'm not going. Nothing personal; I just hate Super Bowl parties.

I hate everything about them. I hate hearing you talk about your new HD TV. (It just reminds me that I could be at home watching the game on my new HD TV).

I hate your brother-in-law from Pittsburgh who insists on wearing his Terry Bradshaw jersey and talking about how great the Steelers were, are and always will be. (Yeah, yeah, yeah... tell it to the Jaguars, pal).

I hate the Vegas Guy, who's got a bet on everything from the coin flip to the time the post game show ends and pontificates about the fine points of what you can bet on, like I give a shit.

I hate the NFL expert whose watched every game all season long on NFL Sunday Ticket, spends four hours a day on and can name the entire punting unit of the Miami Dolphins. Dude, I have a sports blog and even I think you should get a life.

I hate the guy who loves Belichick and swears the Browns never would've moved if they hadn't fired him. (I briefly want to walk him through the time line so he can see how screwed up he is, but decide that would require too much effort). I hate the kid who spilled the dip all over the coffee table. I hate the other kid who stole my seat when I went to take a leak.

I hate that all your beer is Bud Light. I hate that Vegas Guy appears to have polished off the entire 12 pack of Labatts that I brought.

I hate the table full of yentas in the kitchen who don't pay attention to the game but spend four and a half hours getting smashed on box wine and cackling so loud you can't hear yourself think, and who interrupt their revelry only long enough to wander in aimlessly five times a quarter to ask what the score is. Sorry ladies, but you've just switched me from "undecided" to "Obama."

I hate that I'll end up wearing more nachos than I've eaten (and I'll have eaten a lot of nachos).

I hate the people who critique the ads. I hate the people who want to watch the halftime show instead of changing the channel.

But I love the fact that I won't be hating any of that this year. Because this year, I'll be sitting on my couch munching my delicious meatball sub while drinking my own beer.

You may say I'm an antisocial jerk, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the Super Bowl party tradition will be done.