Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Browns investing wisely in McCoy’s future

The Browns took another step toward ensuring Colt McCoy’s future when they signed quarterback Seneca Wallace to a three-year deal worth $9 million plus incentives.

While Wallace talked about wanting to be a starter next season, it’s clear that the Browns (i.e. team president Mike Holmgren) convinced Wallace that staying in Cleveland is the best place for the eight-year pro.

The key here is the Browns aren’t looking for Wallace to be a starter, but someone who can accelerate McCoy’s learning curve so the Browns can find out sooner, rather than later, if McCoy has what it takes to be a starting quarterback in the NFL.

Since Wallace doesn’t have the talent to be a starting quarterback in the league, he’s had to work harder and study more to try and find an edge, and obviously something is working as he’s made it this far. Having him around gives the Browns another voice experienced in the West Coast offense who can work with McCoy every day – and nothing bad can come from that.

While we wouldn’t want Wallace to be the Browns starting quarterback, as we learned last year having a capable backup is a good thing. If McCoy goes down early in a game, or misses a game with an injury, Wallace can hold his own for a game or a half – it’s not like the team has to rely on Todd Philcox or Spurgeon Wynn here.

More than anything else, the Browns have to find out what they have at quarterback with McCoy. And resigning Wallace moves them one step closer to putting the puzzle together.

Oh, the Browns also resigned linebacker D’Qwell Jackson to a one-year deal.

Jackson has missed 26 games over the past two seasons with injuries.


Indians pitcher Mitch Talbot doesn’t want to hear about the team being too young or too poor to compete in the American League.

“Same thing we heard in Tampa,” Talbot told The Plain Dealer after making his first start of spring training against the Texas Rangers. “Enough of this. Young? I don’t care. Let’s go win.”

If nothing else, we like the kid’s moxie.


While watching the Kent State-Akron game, we saw a commercial for ESPN Film’s upcoming documentary on The Fab 5 from Michigan.

We can’t believe its been 20 years since Chris Webber, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose, Juwan Howard and Ray Jackson were college freshmen.

While that makes us feel old, there’s no way we’re missing this one when it airs on March 13.


Finally, Brian Phillips at Slate has a great read on Parity vs. Greatness: The Most Important Debate in Sports.

Phillips writes that:

We don’t usually think about sports in these terms, but a league is a design problem—an aesthetic problem, really. A professional sports league has to balance distinct and often contradictory priorities, and how it does so helps to determine, before a player sends a single ball moving through space, the sort of experience it will offer fans.

One reason people like to watch team sports is to witness intensely competitive games—contests between evenly matched opponents in which the outcome hangs in doubt. Another is to watch extraordinarily gifted players play the game at the highest level. If you engineer a league to have an even distribution of talent—tightly regulating player movement, enforcing spending limits, funneling cash and talent to the weakest teams—then you encourage close games. But because the best players are spread out across more teams, you discourage fantastic displays of skill.

Phillips makes some interesting points. And as Cleveland fans, we face that question more now than ever.

When the Indians had an All-Star at every position (or so it seemed) in the mid- to late-’90s, we wanted greatness. But the economics of baseball changed and now the Indians can’t compete.

When the Cavs had LeBron, we wanted greatness; now we long for the team to be relevant again.

As for the Browns, all we really have is enduring hope. There really isn’t anything else.

Greatness or parity?

Which would you choose?

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