HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!
The only major news we've seen over the last 24 hours has to do with team injuries, which don't qualify as "devastating", but are starting add up for the Browns like they do for most teams.
Every day, I get a couple lists of NFL transactions emailed to me, along with news articles from around the NFL. The Browns are conspicuously absent from most of them, and I look around the league and see teams scrambling to fill gaping roster holes (the Ravens added old Brown Amon Gordon just yesterday, for example, after they lost DT Trevor Pryce).
So, if you're counting things to be thankful for this year, the team's luck with injuries might be some to put at the very bottom of the list. Unless you're Romeo Crennel, in which case it should go closer to the top.
But that's luck is not infinite and may be taking a turn for the worse.
Both Kevin Shaffer and Ethan Kelley were held out of practice yesterday, although RAC wouldn't say anything than that they were day-to-day. If either misses, it will represent a significant problem.
UPDATE: Shaffer participated in practice on Thursday, but Kelley did not. Click here to download Thursday's injury report from the Muni Lot.
The news of the day also covered Eric Wright, although the team didn't reveal much and the beat writers don't really seem to have a sense of how long he'll be out. Props again to Ace Davis for breaking the story on Eric Wright yesterday, which is subtly referenced in some of the dead-tree stories this morning.
Here are the major stories of the day from the OBR Newswire (rss), broken down by category for easy consumption.
Trib-Chron Trib-Chron(2) News-Herald Official Site Chron-Tel Chron-Tel(2) PD ABJ
Looking Forward: Browns-Texans
Fox Sports Houston Chronicle PD ABJ Canton Rep
Looking Back: Browns-Ratbirds
ABJ ESPN LOL "Blog"
BROWNS TO WEAR THROWBACKS ON SUNDAY
From the Browns PR Department: The Cleveland Browns will wear the uniforms from the 1957-59 seasons when they battle the Houston Texans this Sunday, Nov. 25 at Cleveland Browns Stadium. The uniform features the following changes:
• Three-inch brown player numbers on both sides of the helmet (used from 1957-60).
• Includes the removal of the current two brown stripes running on either side of the white stripe down the middle of the helmet. The single white stripe was used in that manner from 1952, when the Browns went from all-white helmets minus any striping, to orange helmets until 1960, when the two brown stripes were added.
• The return of a thinner brown stripe, surrounded by the two orange stipes, running the length of the side of the white pants.
• There will be no numbers on the shoulder of the brown jerseys.
• Instead of solid brown socks, the Browns will go back to the brown white-orange-white-orange-white-brown color striping
OUT OF THE BLOGOSPHERE
The OBR News-o-Rama continues to climb the charts among sports blogs on Myspace. We're now at #61 for Tuesday's entries, after hitting the list in the low 80s a few days ago and just starting about a week back. It's been a lot of fun watching the blog grow so fast. Thanks for spreading the word, Myspacers, and let me know how I can improve this blog!
Here's the OBR Myspace page if you want to visit us there. The OBR is also featured on http://sports.myspace.com.
The Barking Lot Podcast - Muni Lot
The Company Cribbs Keeps - Ace Davis
Browns Know How to Crank Dat - Dawg-Pound.net
In Cribbs We Trust - Most Valuable Network
Brownie Bites - Cleveland Sports Authority
ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WEB
You loved the original, and now you'll love this as well! Presenting Son of Greed-Off 2007! Here's more on fans getting screwed out of tonight's game, as well as my rant on the subject from yesterday.
Mike Williams, who was tossed around as a potential WR free agent pickup for the Browns, who still need a reliable third receiver, found his way onto the Tennessee Titans. For now.
Butch Davis has made a positive enough impression in North Carolina that the school has extended his contract through the 2014 season. That's some job security, right there. That's a good thing to have... Scout and the OBR have extended my contract through tomorrow at noon, so I'm rockin' as well.
COMPLETELY UNREQUESTED AND OFF-TOPIC
I've gone on record as stating that a lot of blogs seem to me like they're written more for the author and not the audience. I've encountered some really out-of-control egobloggers in the last year, and I tend to avoid linking them.
I'm guilty of the same thing at times, though, so I'll occasionally screw up this blog by writing about things that probably interest me more than most folks just checking in for Browns news. Two of these interests are computer software and movies.
So, here goes. Anyone who just cares about Browns news can tune out now, safely, as I tread into areas that I know less well, such as talking about movies.
I went out and saw an early evening showing of The Mist yesterday. It was a lightly attended early evening show at the new Atlas Cinema in Mentor. I read the Stephan King novella a long time ago, and knew basically what to expect. This review contains some minor spoilers.
I can't say I really "enjoyed" the film, as it's not the sort of movie that leaves you with a smile on your face, but it delivers scares and a few ideas that resonate after leaving the theatre.
The Mist does a nice job of moving it's characters into what seems an inescapable situation quickly, and there's one terrific performance: Toby Jones as Ollie, the seemingly meek store worker. Director Frank Darabont has an obvious love for the horror genre (there's a nice tribute to The Thing early on), and The Mist contains it's share of jolt scares and a few moments of true mind-bending horror. My eldest daughter, a horror movie fan, went with me and we both jumped a few times. There's quite a bit of effective gore, which might slow you down if you go to dinner afterwards.
For me, The Mist echoed like Alien in the way it deals with it's subject matter, some of its themes, the solid cast of character actors, and the way that the action is trapped within a confined space (a grocery store, in this case). Alien is, for my money, the best horror film of all time, so this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
If you're going to see a movie like this, part of the thrill is seeing the monsters. The design of the film's beasties comes nowhere close to what Ridley Scott and H.R. Giger did in their 1979 film, although Darabont leaves some of them safely shrouded in shadow and, of all things, mist. When seen in full view, a few seem mostly reminiscent of Outer Limits. There's also a moment near the end of both King's book and the movie where it establishes a genuine Lovecraftian vibe. There are some dodgy special effects at a couple of points which take you out of the film, briefly.
Some of the critters are very effective, however. At about three-quarters of the way through, there's a scene in the pharmacy next door to the "Foodland" is particularly horrifying and will stick with me for a while.
Philosophically, the movie expresses a very cynical view of human nature. If you're looking for any positives about the human race to take away from the film, you can at least be assured that those behind it are convinced that humans probably taste pretty good. A number get eaten, and the monsters really seem to enjoy them. That's about the most positive human trait expressed over the two hours.
The actual ending (changed from the book) finishes off the film with a brutal sucker punch that will generate some conversation after the credits roll.
On another note, as someone who is going through a religious conversion and spending some time studying the Bible, I expected to be irritated by the character of Mrs. Carmody, an Old Testament bible thumper who goes completely over-the-top as the film progresses. Marcia Gay Harden's portrayal is balanced a bit by giving the character some motivation, and making it clear that it's more her personal vanity than belief in God that creates the biggest conflicts.
I'd give it a "B", thanks mostly to the competence of director Frank Darabont, the speed at which it moves, and some very good supporting performances.