Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Better to be lucky than good

Sometimes in sports it’s better to be lucky than good. Too often, the Browns have been neither, both on the field and on draft day.

We were reminded of that when we read an article by Bob Labriola at about how Pittsburgh – thanks to the Browns, of course – landed Hall of Fame cornerback Rod Woodson in the 1987 draft.

The Steelers owned the 10th overall pick in the draft because of their 6-10 record in 1986. The Browns had finished 12-4 and ended the season, of course, with the overtime loss to Denver in the the AFC Championship game.

On draft day, the Browns traded Chip Banks to the San Diego Chargers for the fifth pick of the first round. Since Banks was an outside linebacker, the Browns could have selected Penn State’s Shane Conlan, the highest-rated linebacker in the draft. But coach Marty Schottenheimer out-thought himself, and Cleveland used the fifth overall pick on Duke linebacker Mike Junkin.

Of course they did.

As the rest of the picks fell into place – the Cardinals whiffed by selecting quarterback Kelly Stouffer at No. 6 – Woodson fell to the Steelers.

So remember this story the next time you read that the Steelers win because the Rooneys do things “the right way.” Sometimes it just comes down to dumb luck. (h/t James Walker at ESPN)


We were understandably excited when we read that Liverpool plans to invest in some “top players” over the summer as the Reds continue on improving the club.

“There will be movement, that’s for sure,” Damien Comolli, the club’s director of football, told The Guardian. “We are very attractive for a lot of players because of what we did in January and a game like that [the 3-1 defeat of Manchester United] is fantastic publicity for us around the world. Since the day after I was getting phone calls from agents telling me that their player would love to come and that we are going to compete next year if we get it right. We are attractive to a lot of top players and we want to bring top players to this club.”

Despite the prospect of another season apart from the European elite, Comolli believes the club’s profile and the ambition of Fenway Sports Group will produce substantial investment this summer.

And then we saw this in The Wall Street Journal:

Basketball star LeBron James is joining forces with renowned hedge-fund manager John Henry and veteran Hollywood producer Tom Werner in a deal that brings together one of the biggest stars in sports and two of the world’s most renowned teams.

The deal between Mr. James and Fenway Sports Group will give Mr. James a minority interest in the soccer club Liverpool, which FSG owns. FSG, which also owns the Boston Red Sox, is partnering with Mr. James’s sports-marketing firm, LRMR Branding & Marketing to become the exclusive world-wide representative for Mr. James.

The deal marks the first time that a professional athlete at the top of his game has taken an ownership interest in a team with the size and reach of Liverpool, which is one of the most popular and powerful sports teams in the world.

Mr. James said he was “humbled” by the deal and looked forward to donning a red Liverpool jersey and visiting Anfield, the team’s legendary stadium.

According to Deloitte’s 2010 Football Money League report, Liverpool is the world’s eighth-biggest soccer team by revenue, with $320 million in revenue during the 2009-10 season. Liverpool and Manchester United have won 18 top division championships, the most among English teams, and both are wildly popular in Asia, where Liverpool will tour this summer.

“Eighteen championships,” Mr. James said. “I see myself trying to do the same things they have.”

Well that’s just great. We finally get over James leaving the Cavs and now he’s back in our sporting lives.

And forget about 18 championships – would it have killed James to give just one to Cleveland?


Just say no to Hate the Heat parties.


Dejan Stanković scored a sick goal for Inter Milan in its Champions League game against Schalke.


We obviously think Cleveland’s a great place, but sometimes we’re disappointed.

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