You are here. Your very presence communicates something important.
We are alike, you and I.
For this is Memorial Day weekend, a weekend where practically no football
news of any import happens. We know that, but we are still here.
Yes, most people go about their business, oblivious to the deep despair
within the heart of a Browns news junkie. They will discuss the Indians futility
and the wonder of the Cavaliers stumbling into the first pick in the draft, but
will remain uncomprehending of the void left in the heart of true football
fanatic. They do not know that this sunny weekend is, in fact, the dark
winter of NFL news.
Steve McNair tried to fill the vacuum by
being amazingly stupid, but the Titans aren't even in our division anymore,
so that hardly helps.
We are Browns fans, though. We've had worse. We've had three-years of
Modell-inflicted suspended animation. Those of us of a certain age remember the
deep quiet moment after Brian Sipe threw an ill-fated pass. We remember how
quiet we and our friends got after Jeremiah Castille grabbed Earnest Byner's
fumble. This is just the yearly cycle. This ain't nuthin.
We know, for example, that it is a brief six weeks before training camp
opens. Once that happens, we are on a roller coaster ride that takes us into
2004. In just a couple of weeks, the Browns have a mini-camp, which they may
actually let the press attend, and that may be able to hold us through that
This is actually a very busy time for yours truly, as I scramble to do the
things that I don't have time for between July and April. There's a lot going on
to present a deeper perspective on the Browns history, for example, and it was
high time to try to spruce up the Rantatorium forum. Buggy web gizmo code
doesn't just write itself, ya know.
Regardless of this unfortunate moment in time, there is still Browns news to
be found, and some of it is off of the 'net, thanks to the off-season
disinterest of webmasters of local media sites. Here's what I was able to dig
- One somewhat under-appreciated resource continues to be
Repository. Steve Doerschuck and Todd Porter continue to provide solid
coverage not only during the year, but also during the off-season. One reason
I like the Rep is their coverage of activities at the Pro Football Hall of
Fame. There are a series of articles in the Rep today about the Hall of Fame,
and in particular an article about Bill Willis and Browns-player-turned-bad
Chuck Noll. These Browns players from Paul Brown's glory years are legends,
and the Canton Rep does Browns fans a great service by talking to them when
they're at the Hall of Fame.
- Kalvin Pearson continues to do meritorious service in NFL Europe, while
the other Browns-allocated players are having a tougher time getting traction.
With the addition of two new quarterbacks in the draft, Pearson will have to
make a strong impression in training camp.
- Hal Lebovitz, not on the web per usual, mentions that Andra Davis recently
got hitched and that Phil Dawson and his wife, Shannon, recently became
parents again. Let's hope the sleep-deprived crankiness that Dawson will feel
adds another 10 yards to his kick-offs next season.
- Jeff Schudel, whose column is not on the web, either, discusses the Browns
options with Lee Suggs. As we mentioned on these pages several weeks ago, the
Physically-Unable-to-Perform list might be an appropriate option for Suggs,
since it gives the team flexibility regarding when to bring Suggs back and can
keep him off the roster until Davis feels he's ready to go.
- Writing in the Lake County News-Herald, Schudel also has some very nice
analysis about an element of how the Browns are changing that is missed by the
media's fascination with quarterbacks. While Kelly Holcomb and Tim Couch duel
to become this year's starter, it's clear that Butch Davis is transforming the
Browns into a team that can run the ball. The draft selections of Jeff Faine
and Suggs provide more evidence of his intent. Suggs, Schudel notes in
particular, is remarkably effective in short-yardage and goal-line situations.
- I don't subscribe to the Plain Dealer or any local papers other than the News-Herald, so
if any local visitors see anything in those fishwraps that didn't make it onto
the web, feel free to toss it onto the tipline.
That's pretty much it for today, and tomorrow will be even more of a
challenge. Thanks for hanging out with us, and let me know if you hear anything
of interest to Browns fans!
Do you feel that email replies, like wine, get better the longer they have had to
age? Are you willing to risk mind-splitting headaches in deciphering responses
which quickly go off into inexplicable tangents? Then - help avoid yardwork for another fifteen minutes and keep me off the streets during these football-free days!
And, now, it gets down to this... the darkest weekend of the football news junkie's year. While most people happily go about their business this Holiday weekend, Browns fans will be heard to mutter things like "It's another @%%&*# six weeks until training camp opens...". Yet, deep within the folds of the local fishwraps, news can be found. It is there, it must just be rooted out, and brought forth.