Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Cleveland Browns: Living on Lists

The list of injured Brownies is growing faster than a sidewalk smoke snake. The team has now placed receiver Joe Jurevicius on the PUP list (physically unable to perform) and former boy band singer Kevin Kasper on the IR (injured reserve).

But it doesn't stop there. The following players have been placed on an assortment of other "lists", most of which should have no affect on actual playing time:

Braylon Edwards: PUCS List -- Physically Unable to Not Look Cool in a Three-Piece Suit

Shaun Rogers: PUSOY List -- Physically Unable to Mix in a Salad or Yogurt Every Once in a While

Kolomona Kapanui: VUNPO List-- Verbally Unable to Have Name Correctly Pronounced by Ohioans

Romeo Crennel: FUPA Reserve List

Derek Anderson: EUCGS List -- Emotionally Unable to Care About Anything his Girlfriend Ever Has to Say

Phil Dawson: PUiP List -- Physically Unable to Use an iPhone

Donte Stallworth: CUGIGA List-- Culturally Unable to 'Get Into' the Latest Season of Grey's Anatomy

Brady Quinn: Fragile Face Reserve List

Dave Zastudil: UCFA List -- Unable to Convince his Father He's a Real Athlete

Steve Heiden: MUSP List -- Mentally Unable to Solve a Level Three Sudoku Puzzle in Less Than 20 Minutes

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grady Sizemore's 30/30 Club Acceptance Letter

Last night Cleveland center fielder Grady Sizemore became the 32nd MLB player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season. The feat has not only solidified Sizemore's elite status as a player but its also earned him a spot in baseball's ever mysterious "30/30 Club." The club, which boasts a list of talented players such as Barry Bonds and Preston Wilson, has been an historic question mark in baseball culture ever since its formation in 1922.

Below is the official "3o/30 Club" form letter Grady Sizemore found in his locker after last night's game:

Dear Mr. Sizemore:

On behalf of Major League Baseball I would like to officially welcome you as the newest member of the 30/30 Club. Your balance of power and speed on the baseball field is most impressive and we are excited to induct you into our exclusive fraternity.

Over the next few weeks you will be receiving additional literature regarding club policies and procedures. During this early stage you will also be paid a visit in the late hours of the night by an anonymous masked 30/30 member. He will quietly enter your home, find you in your sleep, and brand your naked body with the "30/30" marking. And please, for the sake of your own safety, please do not put up any sort of struggle during this process. Until then I would like to take some time to briefly share with you what you can expect from the club and what we will expect from you as a member.

It's evident by your play on the field that you're a highly disciplined and focused person. As a member of the 30/30 Club we demand that same type of attitude and behavior at all times. You are now expected, Mr. Sizemore, to carry on and promote the ideals of 30/30 from this day forward, on and off the baseball diamond.

Firstly, you must be fully aware of the etiquette required when in the presence of a fellow 30/30 Club member. When entering a room, if another 30/30 member is spotted, you must greet him (before anyone else) with the customary "30 Hug Salute" (30 consecutive frontal hugs in a row). If you are to either explain or perform the "30 Hug Salute" to a non-member then let it be known -- there will be serious consequences and physical repercussions. Upon your first offense you will loose the fingernail of your index finger. A repeat violation will result in the repossession of your home and family.

Secondly, you are now required to attend monthly off season winter club meetings. These sessions will be held the third Thursday of every month at an undisclosed location (usually Jeff Bagwell's house). During these meetings you will have a chance to hear your fellow club members speak as well as raise any issues you feel pertinent. Upon arriving to the meeting location you will be stripped of all your clothing (in order to bare the mark of "30/30"). Once checked in you will be given a plate of 30 hard boiled eggs and 30 glasses of orange juice to eat and drink during the meeting. No member of the club will be permitted to leave the premises until each has finished all of their eggs and juice.

Finally, the 30/30 Club will begin to automatically deduct portions of your salary to pay for official club dues. These payments, around 9% of your annual income, will go primarily towards the future purchase of a small Pacific Island off the coast of the Philippines. The island, to be named "Thirty", will soon be exclusively inhabited by members of baseball's 30/30 Club. Once there, we will construct our own shelter, hunt for our own food, and set up our own laws and government. Only then will men of wonder like you and me begin to live the kind of lives we deserve. Note -- a smaller portion of your dues will go towards food and for Dante Bichette.

As stated above, more information will follow. We are excited and proud to welcome you to the 30/30 Club and look forward to your company.

--Forem the triginta meus frater--


Barry Larkin
Chief Operating Officer of The 30/30 Club

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dr. Quinn: Medicine Backup

Browns quarterback Derek Anderson is scheduled to miss the rest of the preseason with a mild concussion. Though the injury is only minor, backup QB Brady Quinn waste no time using Anderson's concussion as a stepping stone to slide into the starting spot.

Berea, Ohio -- 8AM -- Browns Training Facility

Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson sits near his locker reading a playbook and taking notes. Brady Quinn, holding a handful of papers, enters the room.

Quinn: What's up Derek, how you doing? How's your head?

Anderson (looking down at playbook): Hi Brady, it's feeling alright.

Quinn: Hey, what you reading? Anything I should be looking at?

Anderson: No, this is stuff for the starting QB.

Quinn mumbles under his breath.

Anderson (looks up): What was that?

Quinn (ruffling papers): Nothing. Hey, so I was doing a little research on concussions at WebMD this morning and thought I'd share it with you.

Anderson: Can we do it later? I really have to hit the gym before I meet with Coach Chudzinski this afternoon.

Quinn: Well hold on, this won't take long.

Anderson (still looking down at playbook): Alright, what's up?

Quinn (glancing over papers): Ok, I assessed your injury, matched it up online -- and the four most common symptoms I'm concerned about are loss of memory, confusion, blurred vision and nausea and vomiting.

Anderson (looks up to Brady): Well then I think I'm alright then, I haven't had any of those. It was a mild concussion Brady -- really just a glorified headache.

Quinn abruptly runs out of the locker room. Confused, Anderson goes back to his notes.

3 minutes later...

Quinn approaches Anderson with the same handful of WebMD printouts.

Quinn: Good morning Derek, how's your head?

Anderson: Hey -- where'd you run off to?

Quinn: What are you talking about? I just got here -- just now.

Anderson: No, you were just telling me about all those symptoms for a concussion and -- nevermind.

Quinn: Oh no, this is not good. (looks at printouts) Sounds like a combination of confusion and slight amnesia. Hey, do you feel like you might throw up?

Anderson keeps looking at his clipboard, ignoring Brady.

Quinn: Oh man -- listen, I've been doing a bunch of research on concussions, I think we need to talk. You might be way worse than I though.

Anderson: We already did Brady, I'm done discussing this. I'm fine.

Quinn: Derek, look at me. When did this supposed conversation take place?

Anderson: 2 minutes ago, before you ran away.

Quinn: Derek, look at me. When did this supposed conversation take place?

Anderson: Huh? I just told you. Are we done now?

Quinn: Derek, look at me. When did this supposed conversation take place?

Anderson: What the hell is going on here Brady?

Quinn: Wow, this is bad, I don't even know what you're babbling about right now. I'm going to let Coach Crennel know about this right away.

Anderson: Stop! I'm fine, I've already been checked out by the team doctor.

Quinn: You've already been "pecked by the leam tocker?" What does that even mean?

Quinn pulls out a blank white note card.

Quinn: Derek, look at this card. Can you tell me what number is written on it?

Anderson: There's nothing on it, it's blank.

Quinn: What!? (writes something down on a notepad) I thought you might say it's blurry -- but man, you don't see anything? This is not good.

Anderson: Hey, what are you writing?

Quinn again runs out of the room without warning. Anderson goes back to his playbook.

4 minutes later...

Quinn re-enters holding a towel covered in vomit.

Quinn: Alright, I think I got most of it. You see anymore?

Anderson: Anymore what?

Quinn: Your puke! You just hurled up a few pounds of semi-digested -- (smells towel) I'm guessing Hot Pockets and Count Chocula. You are not well man, your concussion must be progressing.

Anderson stares at Quinn.

Quinn: Oh come on, don't tell me you already forgot?

Anderson: Where did you even get the vomit on that rag? That is just weird man.

Quinn: I got it from your insides. Geez, I'm going to have to go all the way to Randy Lerner with this. I think you have a trip to the IR in your future. Maybe I should be looking at that playbook instead of you. With the way your acting, this will be my team in no time.

Anderson stands up and begins to walk out of locker room.

Quinn: Hey, where you going?

Anderson: Away from you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Rolling Byrd Gathers No Moss

Indians pitcher Paul Byrd was traded to the Boston Red Sox today for a player to be named later.

Goodbye "Byrd Man," you will be missed (kind of). And no matter who this "player to be named later" turns out to be, I am sure of one thing, he will not have a cooler sounding animal name than you. Unless, of course, his name is like Tommy Panther or something.

Below is a farewell video to Paul Byrd:

The Cleveland Browns Fan Code of Conduct

The NFL recently implemented a fan code of conduct aimed to curb unruly behavior that "detracts from the gameday experience." The new code officially puts a ban on things like foul or abusive language, harassing opposing team's fans, and throwing objects onto the field.

Besides adhering to the broad league laws, each individual team has the option of adding their own provisions where they see fit. Below are the additional "fan rules" the Cleveland Browns will employ for the 2008 season:

--Fans who insist on wearing a Tim Couch or Charlie Frye jersey to the stadium are required to manually adjust the print on the clothing from Couch to "ouch" and Frye to "Frye'd."

--Enthusiastic fans are allowed to high five strangers only if said stranger is of age and consenting. Before the hand slap takes place both parties must sign a wavier and agree on the speed and force of their arm movement (waivers can be found at any stadium information booth and at all area Cleveland Browns team shops).

--If a spontaneous "Here we go Brownies" chant erupts amongst a group of fans you are in close proximity to, you are allowed to ignore and remain silent during the "woof, woof" section up to four times. Upon the fifth you will be escorted from the stadium.

--Ponytails (on men), in any form, are now banned from Cleveland Browns Stadium.

--If you are able to swallow your own vomit without considerable drippage, you will be awarded with a raffle ticket. At the end of the game your ticket will be entered into a drawing where you will have the opportunity to win an official Cleveland Browns refrigerator magnet.

--Fans are not permitted to remove their shirts at any point during the season until temperatures reach below 20 degrees.

--During the game, each fan is allotted a strict 3 minutes to publicly discuss any of the developments regarding their fantasy football team. Last call for bragging about your running backs and recent waiver transactions will be 8 minutes into the 4th quarter.

--If during your visit to Cleveland Browns Stadium you should encounter "Big Dawg" John Thompson, please refrain from looking him directly in the eyes. If you find yourself in a situation where you must speak to him, stare down to the tops of your feet, cross your arms behind your back, and begin every sentence with "Mr. Dawg sir."

Friday, August 8, 2008

Brett Favre Introduced as NY Jet (in Cleveland)

Brett Favre: "I truly believe things happen for a reason and I want to let everyone know just how excited I am to be sitting here today. I mean, look around folks, this is Cleveland -- this is football Americana. Jim Brown, Otto Graham, Lou Groza. Ben Gay. Having the chance to come to a place like Cleveland -- with all their football history -- and officially become a New York Jet is something really special. I remember once meeting Bernie Kosar back in 1992 and him telling me, 'kid, if you wanna play football the right way, in front of the right people, you gotta be in Cleveland. You gotta be a Brown. And if you can't do that, at least try to get there for a press conference where you're introduced on another team or something.' At the time I thought Bernie was high, but I have to say, I get it now. To have the opportunity to sit here Cleveland, Ohio and become a member of the New York Jets is something I will tell my grandchildren about."

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rejected Nicknames for the 2008 Men's Basketball Team

Over the past few weeks you may have noticed something peculiar in the headlines regarding the U.S. men's basketball team -- they've dropped the "Dream Team" nickname commonly attached (it was so 1990's) and replaced it with the more suitable "Redeem Team." The transition to the new moniker was not as brisk as one might think however. LeBron and company endured a series of long and painful team meetings, discussing an array of possible nicknames. Below are a few of the suggestions Team USA tossed around that didn't make the cut:

The Scream Team (suggested by Tayshaun Prince): "After every free throw we hit all five men on the court scream their lungs out for a full 3 seconds. It will totally freak out some of those smaller countries like Angola."

The Sour Cream Team (suggested by LeBron James): "We'll all wear bright white suits during press conferences and at photo shoots. And for games we can bleach our hair and paint our finger nails white -- it will be hot."

The Seam Team (suggested by Dwayne Wade): "Listen, I just learned how to do a French seam by hand and can totally teach you guys the basics. We could customize the stitching on our jerseys in no time."

The Per Diem Team (suggested by Michael Redd): "We'll cut each fan in attendance a five dollar check and tell 'em to go out and 'buy something nice for themselves.'"

The Self Esteem Team (suggested by Jason Kidd): "If we tell ourselves we are worthy of gold at least 3 times a day then I don't see any reason why we can't achieve it."

The Laser Beam Team (suggested by Chris Bosh): "My cousin knows a guy who knows a guy who knows a place where you can get an operation done to have a laser beam dispenser implanted into your finger. It's supposedly pretty painless"

The Morphine Team (suggested by Deron Williams): "All I know is that taking hard fouls in the paint wouldn't hurt nearly as much."

The Fraudulent Credit Card Scheme Team (suggested by Kobe Byrant): "I've actually been looking into this for a while now and figure -- why not make it a team effort. Social Security numbers are floating around out there just asking to be stolen."

Friday, August 1, 2008

Mark Shapiro: Trade Deadline Prankster

For whatever reason the July 31st trading deadline tends to bring out the jokster in Cleveland Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro. Below are some of the prank phone calls he placed to other GM's over the past few days:

Call to Los Angeles Dodgers GM Ned Colletti:

Colletti: Hello, this is Ned.

Shapiro: Ned! You got 5 seconds! Grady Sizemore for Andrew Jones, straight up!

Colletti: Uh, is this Mark?

Shapiro: 3, 2, 1. (hangs up phone)

Call to Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams:

Williams: Hello.

Shapiro (talking in deep voice): Why hello Mr. Williams, this is the Atlanta Braves General Manager John Schuerholz. How are you today sir?

Williams: Huh?

Shapiro: I wanted to know if you were interested in trading Jermaine Dye to my organization in exchange for a 1998 Honda Accord and a one year paid subscription to Netflix?

Williams: Dammit, is this you again Shaprio? I thought I told you to leave me alone.

Shapiro: Ahahahahaha!

(Shapiro hangs up phone)

Call to Oakland Athletics GM Billy Beane:

(towards the end of a 90 minute discussion)

Shapiro: So let me run this one by you one more time Bill. Paul Byrd, Franklin Gutierrez, and Rafael Perez for Huston Street and a player to be named later. Sound good?

Beane: It does. I think this is something we could defiantly hammer out Mark.

Shapiro: Fantastic. But one more thing, you of course know I've been talking about baseball cards the whole time, right?

Beane: What?

Shapiro: Hahahahahaha!

Beane: Oh come on!

(Shapiro hangs up phone)

Call to New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman:

Shapiro: Brian -- listen, I have a deal for you that's unlike anything you've ever been offered. It's a one for one and I think you're going to love it.

Cashman: I'm listening.

Shapiro: Alright, I'm proposing you trade... me for you, you for me. A GM for GM trade blockbuster. I'll move to New York and take over your duties for the Yankees and you come to Cleveland to do the same. But it doesn't stop there -- we'll also swap wives, families and wear each other's clothes. What do you say?

Cashman: You've got serious problems Mark.