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In Cleveland, hope dies last

Archive for the category “Las Vegas”

Grading the Browns Quarterbacks

Now that the Browns’ 2010 season is in the books, we thought we’d jump on the grading bandwagon and hand out grades to selected positions on the team.

Today we’ll start with the quarterbacks. Rather than just assign an arbitrary letter grade to Colt McCoy, Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace, we’re going to try and see how they match up against what was statistically an average NFL quarterback this season.

Thirty-two quarterbacks played enough this year to qualify for the NFL rankings – from Tom Brady at the top to Jimmy Clausen, who narrowly beat out old friend Derek Anderson as the worst quarterback in the league.

For the 2010 season, the average NFL quarterback completed 61.5 percent of his passes (282-for-458) for 3,265 yards, 7.13 yards per attempt, 21 touchdowns and 12.5 interceptions.

If we project McCoy’s statistics over a full season, he would have completed 60.8 of his passes (270-for-444), with 3,152 yards, 7.1 yards per attempt, 12 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Those numbers would have put him right in the middle of the pack, although his touchdowns were a bit low and his interceptions a bit high. McCoy’s yardage would have put him ahead of Matt Cassell and Michael Vick, and just right behind Jay Cutler and Mark Sanchez. And his yards per attempt were more than a yard better than highly-touted rookie Sam Bradford.

Not bad for a rookie quarterback who was not expected to play this season. A grade of C+ with promise for next year seems right.

Seneca Wallace showed us what he is this year – a capable backup who can fill in on a short-term basis without really harming the team.

Statistically he’s below average when it comes to yards (1,388) and touchdowns (8), but he doesn’t turn the ball over (a projected 4 interceptions) and completes an above-average percentage of his passes (63.4 percent).

We feel OK with giving Wallace a C and are comfortable having him return next year in a back-up role.

That brings us to Delhomme. Again, he came as advertised, completing an above average percentage of his passes (62.4) but was below average in yards (2,790), touchdowns (6) and interceptions (22).

We’ll give Delhomme some extra credit for the work he did helping McCoy this season which brings his grade to a C.

We’re not sure how valid our “analysis” is as they are just numbers; they don’t take into account any intangibles, the support of the running game, play calling or the talent void at the wide receiver position.

But they do confirm what we saw this year on the field: McCoy has shown enough that we want to see more; Wallace is capable as a back-up who won’t kill the team if he has to play in short stretches; and Delhomme is a veteran who is more valuable on the practice field during the week than on the field on Sundays.

The Browns quarterbacks pretty much were what we thought they would be back in July: certainly not Pro Bowlers by any stretch, but far from being the worse collection of quarterbacks in the league (that would be the Arizona Cardinals in case you were wondering).


It has apparently been a good NFL season for Las Vegas.


No matter how bad it gets in Brownstown, we can always be thankful we’re not in Cincinnati.


And speaking of things to be thankful for, the Browns were never in consideration for Jim Harbaugh.


Finally, ex-Indians Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven were elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame today.

Sundays in Vegas

What’s not to like about Las Vegas?

You have gambling, cheap drinks, great restaurants, gambling, nice hotels, great weather, cheap drinks, Cirque du Soleil, pools and did I mention gambling?

Probably the best part of Vegas, however, is the sports book on an NFL Sunday.

You arrive early to get a good spot for the day for the crew. Settling into a comfy chair with a cup of coffee and the morning paper, the casino around you slowly comes alive – well, more alive as Las Vegas never sleeps.

ESPN’s Gameday is on the big screens as you study the games and spreads for the day. As you pick, cross out, and then repick your 1 o’clock games and parlays, the room starts to fill up with fans wearing jerseys of their favorite teams.

After placing your bets, you grab some food and settle in for the early games as cocktail waitresses start circulating the large room. The hum and vibe rises as the multiple TV screens switch over to the early games for kick off.

Following the early games is a brief window to get up, walk around and check in with anyone in your group not at the sports book. Then it’s time to settle back in for the late afternoon games.

Once the late games finish, you have a window of time to walk outside for the first time in 10 hours, grab a quick bite of dinner and then review how the day went before placing the final bets on the Sunday night game.

It’s just a great opportunity to bond with your friends for an afternoon and meet and talk with NFL fans from across the country. Everyone should get to experience this at least once in their lifetime.

All of this is prelude to the announcement that we will be participating this year in Cleveland Frown’s 2010 Cheddar Bay Invitational Reality Football Pickstravaganza. Each week we’ll be picking four games (at least one college and one NFL) in a heated competition against Frowns and an assembly of other distinguished football fans.

I’ll also post my picks for the contest here, plus a pick for the Browns each week. As there is a Thursday game this week to kick of the 2010 NFL season, my inaugural pick is:

New Orleans (-5) over the Vikings.

Now where’s that cocktail waitress?

The Changing of Sports Entertainment

LeBron James’ recent party at Tao in Las Vegas has taken on epic proportions, not just because of the nude women in the bathtub, but because ESPN originally posted an article about the party and then took it down off its website.

The full article was captured in a screen grab and posted on Deadspin, The site also posted ESPN’s explanation for pulling the article:

“The story should have never been published,” an ESPN source told Deadspin. “The draft was inadvertently put on the server before going through the usual editorial process. We are in the midst of looking into the matter.”

Now comes word, via Waiting For Next Year, that Sportscenter was going to discuss the LeBron in Vegas story but, during a commercial break, something happened and suddenly the anchors were no longer interested.

It’s not surprising that a higher-up at ESPN would spike an article or a TV report that portrayed an athlete they are developing a relationship with in a negative light. It wouldn’t be the first time.

ESPN wants to promote itself as the worldwide leader in sports, the place sports fans go to for all their sports news and entertainment. But day by day, ESPN is moving farther away from being able to present itself as a news organization.

Now, if you tune in and there isn’t a game on, you find yourself being yelled at by know-it-all personalities, have to deal with studio hosts bleating non-sensical phrases over and over again (boo yah!), or an over-abundance of promotional spots (Budweiser Hot Seat, etc.)

The network still does some things right – most notably the on-going 30 for 30 film series, which is phenomenal – but more often than not they are trying to be both a sports network and an entertainment network.

And by trying to be both at once, the network ends up not doing either one very well.

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