Friday, September 26, 2008

Getting Dirty with the Browns

At 0-3, it's safe to say the 2008 Cleveland Browns are securing a reputation as a lowly gang of football losers. But it now appears these losers have a new identity brewing amongst NFL teams -- that of total badass cheap shot taking thugs.

First there was Adam Jones of the Cowboys accusing Browns DB Nick Sorenson of grabbing and squeezing his privates after a punt return. And now this past week the Baltimore Ravens are claiming Browns defenders violently (and purposely) gauged the eyes of RB Willis McGahee.

And as these stories of brutish behavior surface it appears more and more teams are coming out against the Browns' dirty play. Several of Cleveland's opponents from the 2007 season are now sharing stories of alleged cheap shots. Below are accounts of some of these instances:

October 7th vs. New England Patriots: New England lineman allege center Hank Fraley pasted small razor blades and pieces of glass onto the palms of his gloves in order to rip and tear the arm flesh of Patriot defenders.

November 4th vs. Seattle Seahawks: Several Seahawk receivers have accused Browns cornerbacks Leigh Bodden and Brandon McDonald of sipping Tabasco sauce before crucial 3rd down plays and then spitting the liquid into their faces as the ball is snapped.

November 11th vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger claims Browns linebacker Kamerion Wimbley delivered what he refers to as "the ultimate late hit." The Steelers QB says that well after the game had ended, while he was showering back in the lockers, Wimbley -- in full padding and uniform -- delivered a shoulder-to-back tackle. Roethlisberger commented, "then after we both hit the wet ground he just popped up as though we were still on the field, did a little celebratory shimmy over my naked body, and ran away. To me, that's just not how you're suppose to play the game of football."

December 16th vs. Buffalo Bills: The Browns, who apparently received advanced DVD copies of the hit television show Lost, had no qualms using their advanced knowledge of the series as a strategical tactic. Bills QB Trent Edwards states, "while we were in our huddle, players from Cleveland would spontaneous yell out secrets and vital plot points (from Lost) at us. As the game worn on it became almost impossible to get my guys to focus. Does Jack and Kate's relationship really begin to fall apart in the flash forwards? Are Sayid and the Others actually able to free Ben from the mercenaries? This is all the guys were thinking about out on the field. We didn't know if the Browns were telling the truth or not but after a while it really didn't matter. The whole thing was a big time cheap shot in my book."

December 23rd vs. Cincinnati Bengals: It's been reported that at least 3 unidentified Browns players made prank phone calls, during the game, to the mothers of several Bengals players informing them that their son 'has just been involved in a serious car accident.' While this didn't technically affect the game on the field, it is no doubt a total dick move.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Most Awkward Elevator Ride in Cleveland Browns History

Berea, OH -- Cleveland Browns Training Facility/Complex -- Mid-Afternoon

A glum Derek Anderson stands alone in an elevator when the doors open to reveal a smiling Brady Quinn joking with a couple of teammates. Quinn, holding the current Browns playbook, enters the elevator and notices Anderson. His smile fades.

Quinn (hesitant): Hey.

Anderson (looking straight ahead): Hey.

Quinn: I can just catch the next one if--

Anderson: No, its fine. Where you heading?

Quinn: Top floor.

Anderson: Top floor? To see Coach Crennel?

Quinn: Yeah.

Anderson: What for?

Quinn: Some meeting with him and Scherer (quarterbacks coach).

Anderson: Huh? Why don't I know about this?


Quinn (noticing no other floors are lit): Where you getting off?

Anderson: Nowhere. I'm just riding -- trying to clear my head.

Silence. Quinn looks at his watch.

Anderson: So, how were my--I mean your-- snaps in practice today?

Quinn: Um, they were good -- I felt pretty sharp out there.

Anderson: Yeah, I bet you did.

Silence. Quinn scratches his forehead.

Quinn: You get a haircut?

Anderson: Man, I wish Notre Dame had like an 8-year football program. That way you'd still be there.


Anderson: I didn't mean that, I'm sorry.

Quinn: It's cool.

Silence. Quinn touches the brail below the "2" elevator button.

Quinn: Hey man, the first three games aren't entirely on your shoulders -- I just want you to know that.

Anderson: Who said they were?


Quinn: Boy, this sure is a slow elevator.


Elevator doors open. 3rd string quarterback Ken Dorsey is standing on the other side and blankly stares at both Quinn and Anderson.

Dorsey: I'll catch the next one.

Quinn: No, come on in, there's plenty--

Dorsey runs away and the doors shut.

Quinn: Hey, you see The Dark Knight yet? It was pretty awesome.

Anderson: We played three tough teams -- with three top-notch defenses. You really think you could have done better?

Silence. Quinn begins to whistle the theme song to "Step By Step."

Elevator doors open to top floor and Quinn steps out into hallway.

Anderson: Hey Brady.

Quinn turns around.

Quinn: Yeah?

Anderson: Just promise me one thing.

Quinn: What's that?

Anderson: Give me your word that every Sunday you'll do everything in your power to take care of my men.

Quinn: You know I will.

The doors begin to close. Anderson slumps his head down and throws up an open hand into the air. Doors shut.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You...Dave Burba

International man of wonder, Dave Burba, was recently featured in a "Where are they now?" piece for The standout nugget of info that emerges from the story is definitely this:

"(Burba) recently finished filming his acting debut in an upcoming movie..."

What? Burba's going to be a movie star? Wow, I don't even know where to begin. First off -- genius casting for whatever role in whatever kind of movie this is. I mean, really, what took this long to put Burba in front of a camera anyway? I guarantee you in two years Hollywood producers will be kicking themselves for overlooking Burba in favor of Clooney, Pitt or McConaughey.

So I guess the real question here is just what kind of acting role could possibly be grand enough for Dave Burba? I honestly can't imagine him NOT portraying someone along the lines Genghis Khan, George Washington, or a 100-foot tall alien robot who can kill people just by thinking about it. Any part not on par with those would just be an insult.

The anticipation for this movie's release is already beginning to eat away at my consciousness. The only thing keeping me from total self-destruction is knowing that next year's Oscar for Best Actor is already secured.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cooking with Shaun Rogers

Hi, Shaun Rogers here. When I'm not devouring quarterbacks on the field, you can usually find me devouring delicious meals in the kitchen. However, what many of you probably don't know is that I personally prepare and cook almost all of the food I eat.

Today I'd like to share an old family recipe with you I cook up and serve quite often. It's easy, fun, and as you'll see, fairly well-balanced. It's called "4 Layers to the Sun" and it's a lasagna dish.

4 Layers to the Sun

Step 1: First, you want to begin with the base of the dish -- the sauce. In my travels, I've come to find that if you prepare a good sauce, everything else will usually fall in line. For "4 Layers" you want to mix two 4 cans of tomato paste with a one pound of ground beef, one pound of smoked ham, 1/2 pound of sausage, 1/2 pound of turkey breast, 1/3 pound of pork, 1/3 pound of venison, and 12 strips of boiled bacon.

Step 2: In a separate bowl melt 2 sticks of salted butter and mix in chopped onions, celery, carrots, broccoli, red peppers, green peppers, eggplant, mangos and garlic. Combine the meat sauce with the butter and veggies and let simmer on low heat for one hour.

Step 3: Carefully add your lasagna noodles into 4 cups of boiling water. For a extra punch I like to splash in a couple tablespoons of Mountain Dew to the boiling water.

Step 4: Lay your bottom noodle into a well greased (I use ranch dressing) 8x12 pan.

Step 5: Ok, it's time for layer one! I like to think of my lasagna as structurally sound -- which is why my base layer is filled with 3 Texas T-bone steaks. When laying the steaks in, you may have to put on your best "jig-saw puzzle hat" for rearranging. When the T-bones are in there nice and snug, cover them with a generous stack of fried onion rings and a half bottle of A-1 steak sauce. Finally, pour on a nice coating of your simmering meat sauce.

Step 6: The next section is what I like to call the "rise and shine layer." Why? It's primarily breakfast foods. Start with 6 pieces of french toast arranged on top of a fresh noodle. Then set down a thin blanket of Canadian bacon followed by 8 over-easy eggs. Top with 2 cups of Trix cereal and a helping of fresh maple syrup. Cover with meat sauce and lie down next noodle.

Step 7: For the third layer you'll want to prepare your taste buds for a 'journey under the sea.' Begin by spooning and spreading out 2 cans of dolphin unsafe tuna. Place 2-3 (depending on their size) soft-shell blue crabs atop the tuna and cover with 8oz of tartar sauce. Lastly, top with 1/2 pound of minced Humpback whale blubber (which you should be able to find on the Internet). Cover with meat sauce and lie down next noodle.

Step 8: The final layer in "4 Layers to the Sun" is aimed to satisfy your sweet tooth. Begin by lining the naked noodle with 14 Swiss Cake Rolls. Next you will need the bottoms of 20-30 Snickers bars (use a cheese cutter to slice off the underbelly, just before the peanuts) and stack the nougat slivers in neat rows. Follow that with a thick layer of New York cheesecake filling followed with a coating of jet-puffed marshmallows. Drizzle with Hersey's chocolate syrup, secure top noodle, and empty your remaining meat sauce onto the lasagna.

Step 9: Sprinkle dish with handfuls of mozzarella, pepperjack, Colby, Swiss, muenster, cheddar, provolone, brie, feta, parmigiana, and nacho cheese.

Step 10: Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 3 hours.

Step 11: Grab a spork and enjoy! "4 Layers to the Sun" feeds 1-1 and 1/2 people and is best served with a tall glass of Diet Pepsi.

Indians 2009 Schedule

At this point, the only thing a fan of the Cleveland Indians really has to look forward to is next year. Well, next year just got a little bit closer this week as Major League Baseball released the 2009 schedule. Below are some of the highlights:

--The Indians begin the season on April 6th with a 3 game series against the Rangers in Texas.

--The home opener at Insurance Company Field is April 10th with the Toronto Blue Jays.

--April 16th, the Tribe will play the very first game against the NY Yankees at their new stadium in the Bronx. This will be a great chance for the Indians to usher in a new losing era of Yankee baseball.

--The Atlanta Braves will pay a visit to Cleveland during the weekend of June 21st -- but not to play baseball, just to hang out.

--Because of a scheduling typo that Major League Baseball cannot fix, 2 of the Indians August "day" games will be played at 1:05AM rather than 1:05PM.

--May 25 will be "Fan Unappreciation Day." Vendors will only dispense 2 dollar bills and Canadian coins as change, the PA system will produce a constant hiss of feedback, and the jumbotron will display a giant middle finger all game long.

--During the weekend series of August 21-23, Indians players will wear retro home jerseys from the year 2006.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

5 Things Not to Watch For In Cleveland vs. Pittsburgh


The Browns face the hated Steelers this Sunday night in Cleveland and the whole world will be watching. By now you know the story -- the injuries, the matchups, the 9 straight losses to Pittsburgh -- it's going to be statement game for the Browns (whatever that means) one way or the other. So, with that said, here are 5 things NOT to look out for at Cleveland Browns Stadium on Sunday night. Remember, these are all meaningless questions/thoughts to pay absolutely no attention to:

1. Will every (or any) Derek Anderson interception be followed by a reaction shot of backup QB Brady Quinn?

2. With one more sack, linebacker Kamerion Wimbley reaches a career total of 17 -- putting him 183 behind all-time leader Bruce Smith.

3. If down big, late in the game, how will the Browns defense respond to Ben Roethlisberger taking a knee?

4. Will 3rd string QB Ken Dorsey even bother to carry a helmet out onto the sidelines?

5. If/when Josh Cribbs has a decent kick return, who will be the first broadcaster to exclaim, "this is Josh's Cribb!"?

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Are You Serious, He'll Shake You Like Jell-O"

Move over 87Hizzetfield -- the Cleveland sports Internet music scene just got an upgrade. Earlier this week a LeBron superfan, who calls himself "lebronjames750", released the following music video, appropriately titled "LeBron James Song."

Some quick thoughts:

--The first 11 seconds of this video are by far my favorite part. From now on I plan to enter every music filled room with those exact moves -- especially the Mermaid-ish backstroke diddy.

--2 identical wine colored jerseys? My theory -- he put the jersey on his Christmas list and both his Grandmas bought one. After opening the second he just figured, "shit, you can't have too many LBJ shirts."

--The posters in his "cross-over garage" (at :36) are very peculiar. Near the left of the frame, you will find a white sign with a drawing of a hoop and ball (the ball is twice the size of the hoop) that simply reads "SCORE." Really? Score? Maybe it's some kind of "meta" observation on modern athletics -- I mean, "score" is the object of all sports after all.

--If lebronjames750 is right -- and LeBron James' does indeed fire off a gun on the court this season -- I really hope he shoots Kirk Heinrich.

--At first, the finger snapping near the end caught me off guard. However, after several viewings I must admit, it's a nice touch. Very "Fiddler on the Roof."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Hands Make the Man

There are at least a dozen reasons why the Browns lost their first game of the season to the Cowboys this Sunday. The defense failed to pressure Tony Romo, the secondary couldn't keep up with T.O., and Derek Anderson never got into any kind of passing rhythm. Buried in the losing mix, however, is Braylon Edwards' 3 (some will argue 4) dropped passes.

No one took the loss more personal than Braylon Edwards -- and no one took the blame any harder than the hands of Braylon Edwards...from Braylon Edwards. Confused? Me too. Below is an account of the conversation Edwards' had with his very own hands after the game.

Sunday -- 10:30 PM -- The Home of Braylon Edwards

Alone, Braylon stands in his kitchen, staring down at his hands -- palm side up -- in utter disappointment.

Edwards: Alright guys, it's time to have a talk. Now, Mike (left hand), Spike (right hand), you know we wouldn't be having this discussion if it wasn't 100 percent necessary. But he fact is -- this afternoon was a complete joke -- the two of you made Braylon Edwards look like a total butt turkey on national TV and I'm having a hard time even looking at you right now. It was probably the most embarrassed I've ever been in my entire life. Now, usually when Braylon has a bad game, the blame is shared all around. I make a point to never single out you -- or Xavier and William (legs), Roberto and Reginald (feet), and Nicolas and Sebastian (eyes). However, today is an exception. You guys really let me down. It was like we'd never even worked together before -- like you were attached to this body just hours before kickoff. I mean, what were you thinking? Why would you want to do this to me after all I've done for you guys? When did the two of you get together and decide to give up on the game? You are Mike and Spike -- you are part of a team, a winning team. Along with the others you help make up the greatest receiving specimen on earth: Braylon Jamel Edwards. You will not fail me again!

(Edwards turns the gas burner on his stove top to 'high').

I am only doing this because I love you. I am only doing this because I want to see you succeed. If Xavier or Sebastian ever sabotaged Braylon's performance as badly as you did this afternoon, they would get the exact same treatment. Alright, hold on my babies...

(Edwards places both his hands over the stove top flames and lets out a monstrous scream. After 3 seconds of burning he pulls away).

(grimacing) I hope you've learned your lesson. I look forward to working with you again next week because I know the two of you are winners and I can't think of anyone else on the planet I would rather have attached to my arms. Alright, its time for you guys to sleep now. Goodnight Mike. Goodnight Spike.

(Edwards slips his hands into a pair of winter gloves filled with hand lotion).

Saturday, September 6, 2008

5 Things Not to Watch For In Cleveland vs. Dallas


The Cleveland Browns kickoff their season this Sunday with a match against the visiting Dallas Cowboys. At this point in the week most fans know exactly what to anticipate in the game as far as matchups, gameplay, and potential injuries. With that said I'd like to share with you 5 things NOT to look out for this Sunday in Cleveland. Remember, these are all unimportant questions/thoughts to pay absolutely no attention to:

1. Will special teams player Ryan Pontbriand see any early action -- and if so, how will he respond?

2. What kind of Browns cap will injured receiver Joe Jurevicius be wearing on the sidelines? Maybe this one?

3. Will Cleveland announcer Jimmy Donovan mention the Super Bowl ring Bernie Kosar won in Dallas at any point during his broadcast?

4. Will a number 8 receiver finally step up for the Browns?

5. If Coach Romeo Crennel is forced to challenge a play will he toss his red flag underhand or overhand?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Travis Hafner's Fantasy Football Team

With his time away from major league baseball, Cleveland DH Travis Hafner has apparently taken up a new hobby -- fantasy football. However, by the looks his recent draft it appears Pronk has taken the "fantasy" concept a bit too literal. Below is Hafner's "team":

QB: Joe Montana
RB: The T-1000
RB: R. Lee Ermey
WR: An African Cheetah with surgically attached human hands
WR: Lucy Lawless
TE: Tony the Tiger
W/R: Criss Angel
K: Jackie Chan
DEF: Kimbo Slice, Boba Fett, and 9 separate clones of the "Kool-Aid Man"

QB: Randy Johnson
RB: Matthew McConaughey
RB: Eddie Van Halen
WR: Manute Bol
WR: Braylon Edwards
WR: A Hummingbird, who has been exposed to toxic waste, and grown 150 times its original size
TE: Evan (from MTV's Real World/Road Rules Challenge)

HEAD COACH: Maury Povich
TEAM OWNER: Scrooge McDuck

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Hey, the New Guy is Kind of Small"

Cleveland outfielder Shin-Soo Choo attempts a fist bump with the Tribe's newest relief pitcher, Rich Rundles. Rundles was one of six players called from the minors on Tuesday. He previously pitched at AA Akron and in the deep woods of the west side Metroparks. "I'm just really excited to finally get here. My family was able to sit in the stands this afternoon and that meant a lot to me," Rundles said after the game.

It Isn't Easy Being Gay(lord)

Earlier this week Cleveland pitcher Cliff Lee became MLB's first 20 game winner of the season. He also became the first Indian to accomplish the feat since 1974, when Gaylord Perry went 21-13. Perry (and his ego) now finds himself speaking with members of the media for the first time in a long time (the last being when The New York Times did a piece on the social implications of the "spitball"). And as he discusses Lee's outstanding year, it is becoming evident Perry himself is very aware of just how long it took Cleveland to produce another 20 game winner.

Which brings us to this quote from Perry:

"I've been answering questions about 20 wins for 34 years," Perry drawled in his Southern twang last week, "so I'm glad it's somebody else's turn."

When I first read this all I could think was, "really Gaylord? This has actually been a problem for you? For the past 34 years people have really been demanding you answer questions about winning 20 games for a baseball team?

Then I did a bit more research and discovered ole' Gay isn't fibbing. Here are just a few of the many instances where Perry has been forced to endure questions about being the last pitcher to win 20 games for Cleveland. Let's just hope Cliff Lee isn't haunted by the same torture in the coming years.

10/18/1978 -- San Diego, CA

On his way home from dinner Perry is pulled over for running a stop sign. The police officer approaches Perry and asks to see his driver's license.

Police Officer (looking at license): Okay Mr. Perry, do you know why I pulled you over?

Perry: I guess I may have missed the stop sign back there. I'm sorry officer, it won't happen again.

Police Officer: Alright, I'll let you go with a warning this time, just be careful.

The police officer begins to walk away. After a few steps, he quickly turns back to Perry's car window.

Police Officer: One last thing -- you think anyone in Cleveland has a shot at winning 20 games within the next 5 years?

Perry: Ugh.

4/28/99 -- Honolulu, HI
Perry and his girlfriend Samantha enjoy a romantic 2-week vacation in Hawaii. While having sexual intercourse in their hotel room, Samantha abruptly rolls off Perry without warning and begins to blankly stare at the ceiling.

Perry: Sam, what's wrong?

Samantha: Its Bartolo Colon.

: Bartolo Colon, what about him?

Samantha: Do you think he could actually do it? (looks into Perry's eyes) Do you think he could win 20 games this season?

Perry: Come on baby, not again. I thought we said we wouldn't talk about this while in Hawaii.

3/19/02 -- Greenville, NC
Perry browses the computer printers at an area Best Buy. He approaches a 16-year-old employee working the floor.

Perry: Excuse me, can you help me decide between any of these printers?

Employee (turning around to look at Perry): Yeah, I--hold on. Aren't you Gaylord Perry?

Perry: Yeah.

Employee: Man, this is incredible. Listen Mr. Perry, I have been waiting my whole life to ask you one question. May I?

Perry: Okay.

Employee: Do you think it's the influx in bullpen usage or more a product of the steroid era as the main reason Cleveland hasn't had a 20 game winner?

Perry: Geez, I don't know kid. You're like 14 -- why are you even able to ask that question?

8/18/07 -- Williamston, NC
Perry sits at his breakfast nook to feast on a stack of syrup drenched waffles. As he cuts into his first bite Perry notices something peculiar in the food. He takes a closer examination and discovers there's a hole forming at the base of the waffles. The hole then takes the shape of a human mouth and begins to speak in a deep raspy voice.

Waffles: Why? Why Gaylord? Why hasn't anyone but you been able to win 20 games for the Tribe since the 1970's?

Perry (petrified): I-I-I don't-

Waffles (upset): Answer me! Why is this happening?

Perry then abruptly wakes up in his bed during the middle of the night. It had all been a terrible, all too real nightmare -- his third that week.

Zero Becomes One

He did it! The drought is over! Victor Martinez hit his first home run of the season! It's time to celebrate!

Take it away "lady who kind of looks like Rosie O'Donnell"...

No word yet on what the Indians plan to do with the ball. Rumor has it Eric Wedge wants to inscribe it with "9/2/08" and then chuck it at Martinez's face as a way of saying "thanks for nothing."