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In Cleveland, hope dies last

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What’s in a name?

The Cleveland Indians made it official this week with the announcement that they will be changing the team name. 

It was not exactly breaking news, as the move has been expected ever since the team dropped (sort of) the use of Chief Wahoo as part of the team’s on-field logo package. 

Team officials did not set an actual date for when a new name will be announced, but made it clear they will still be called the Indians at least through the 2021 season. Team owner Paul Dolan declined to offer up any clues about what the new name will be other than to say changing from Indians to The Tribe is not on the table, according to

Naturally, the news has led to speculation and suggestions for how the team should rebrand itself.

Some favor Spiders, which was the name of Cleveland’s baseball team from 1889 to 1899. The Spiders went 20-134 in their final season, the worst record in major league history, and paying homage to one of the worst franchises in the history of American sports would be an interesting choice. 

If the idea is to honor a former team, the Cleveland Buckeyes would seem to be a better choice. The Buckeyes played in the Negro League from 1943 to 1948, winning the World Series in 1945. Renaming the team Buckeyes would probably lead to some agita from Ohio State University, however, so it may not be worth the effort.

Others have put forth Guardians after the Guardians of Traffic art deco statues that are a prominent feature of the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge in downtown Cleveland. While that idea has its merits, there are some who criticize the choice as being too minor league for a franchise that has not won a World Series since 1948.

The idea that there might be a “right” or a “wrong” choice for a team name brings up an interesting discussion, namely (sorry) what makes a team name be worthy of a professional franchise?

Is there something in a name that triggers fans’ brains to say, “that is a major league club!” Or do we simply accept a name because it is associated with a franchise is part of MLB, the NFL or the NBA?

After all, what is it about Red Sox or White Sox that screams a high level of expertise? If simply selecting a random article of clothing is the bar to clear, then Cleveland could simply change to Blue Shirts and call it a day. 

Some names make sense from a regional perspective, like Texas Rangers, Houston Astros and Colorado Rockies. But there are just as many that are nonsensical, such as the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates (was piracy an issue in Pittsburgh once upon a time?), or names that have followed franchises as they moved from their original cities, such as the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Giants. 

Cleveland Cardinals has a nice alliteration to it, but St. Louis appropriated Cardinals in 1900 apparently because the Eastern Bluebird, the state bird of Missouri, was deemed lacking.

The takeaway here is that while one could make the case that there right names and wrong names — think anything related to Rockers, for example — it is a bit harder to say that there are names that are more professional than others. 

As long as the Dolans don’t do anything completely wonky, the name they come up with will likely be at the very least serviceable and pass the test of sounding professional. 

Given the pace that they are moving on this issue, however, Cleveland fans will have plenty of time to continue to debate the issue.

Can Browns fans really trust John Dorsey to get it right?


The Cleveland Browns have spent the past two years building toward the night of April 26, 2018.

Through all the losing, all the arguing, all the trades and, did we mention, all the losing, the organization has had its sights on the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, which will take place at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in just two weeks.

The Browns have the No. 1 overall selection in the draft and will, in all likelihood, select a quarterback with the draft’s top pick. Get that choice right, and all the arguing, angst and agita will not only (hopefully) end for the next decade, but will have (definitely) been worth it.

Browns fans can only hope that the debate over which quarterback the team will be selected is being debated as fiercely within the halls of team headquarters as it is on Twitter.

Speaking of Browns Twitter, there is a growing movement among some fans that general manager John Dorsey and his rebuilt front office, which includes former Green Bay Packers executives Alonzo Highsmith and Eliot Wolf, have “got this” so there is no reason to worry that the Browns might screw up the pick.

But is that unwavering belief warranted?

Read more…

Browns to return to primetime in 2018 – well, sort of

Browns preseason

The Cleveland Browns, fresh off just the second 0-16 season in NFL history, will make a return to the primetime schedule in 2018.

Well, primetime in the preseason, as the Browns will host the Philadelphia Eagles on Aug. 23 at 8 p.m. in a game televised nationally by Fox.

The news came out this afternoon as the NFL released the full schedule for the preseason. In addition to the game against the Eagles, the Browns will:

Read more…

Cleveland Browns: 5 best trades of all-time

alg-frank-ryan-jpgAs the Cleveland Browns continue to see the 2015 NFL season circle the drain, one of the few bright spots has been punter Andy Lee.

Acquired in the off-season by general manager Ray Farmer (reportedly a horrible judge of talent) for just a seventh-round draft pick, Lee has consistently shown why he was a three-time Pro Bowl selection while punting for the San Francisco 49ers.

Lee is fifth in the NFL with 49 punts (not a surprise for an offensive that loves nothing more than a three-and-out, especially with Johnny Manziel at quarterback), is sixth in both average and net average, and is tied for fifth in punts inside the 20 (only two off the leaders).

A few weeks back we had a discussion with Seth Neale (@Marbles7th) on Twitter, who posited that the trade for Lee was the best trade in franchise history. That got us thinking about the trades that the Browns have made over the years.

Generally it is often the bad ones that most fans remember – trading Bobby Mitchell for the right to draft Ernie Davis, trading Paul Warfield for the right to draft Mike Phipps, trading Chip Banks for the right to draft Mike Junkin – but there had to be some moves the worked out for the Browns, right?

To see who made the list of the five best trades of all-time for the Cleveland Browns, visit our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

The path is there for Justin Gilbert if he wants it

justin-gilbert-shaun-draughn-nfl-denver-broncos-cleveland-browns-590x900Cleveland Browns cornerback Justin Gilbert has been an enigma (to say the least) ever since the team selected him with the eighth-overall selection of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Expected to earn playing time as a rookie before taking over a starting role opposite Joe Haden this season, giving the Browns a modern-day Hanford Dixon-Frank Minnifield duo to terrorize opposing offenses, Gilbert has continually lost playing time to a host of other players.

On the rare times that Gilbert has joined the defensive huddle, he’s occasionally flashed his talent (most notably last season against Indianapolis) but more often than not has struggled.

While there are fans who continue to make excuses for why Gilbert is not on the field, there is one person and one person alone who is keeping Gilbert on the sidelines.

And that is Justin Gilbert.

To learn the rest of the story, check out our latest post at Dawg Pound Daily.

Well played, Indians, well played

tribe doubtIt is not often that we are wrong in this space, but this is one time that we missed the mark.

On Sept. 2, we were ready to call the season on the Cleveland Indians, figuring there was no way they could stay in the playoff race.

But come Wednesday night, rookie Danny Salazar will take the mound at Progressive Field in the Indians first postseason appearance since 2007.

And we couldn’t be happier about it.

Read more…

We’ve seen this Tribe movie before – or have we?

-2f6bf56aafbf5174The Cleveland Indians are just a little more than one month into the 2013 season and at times it feels as if we’ve seen this movie before.

But is this the third film in a trilogy of disappointment or the film that reboots a once successful franchise?

The Tribe has played entertaining baseball through the first month of the season, and while it feels like they are a better team this year, a quick check of the standings tells a slightly different story. The Indians are 16-14 heading into tonight’s game against Oakland and riding a streak that has seen them win eight out of nine. They are currently in third place, 3 games out of first.

At this time last year the Indians were in first place with a 17-12 record and 2 games up on Detroit; in 2011 they were 22-11 and in first place by 4.5 games.

And we all know how those seasons came to an end.

So what is going to keep the bottom from falling out on the Tribe for the third consecutive year?

To find out, head over to The Cleveland Fan.

(Photo by The Associated Press)

This Irving kid just might be a keeper for the Cavs

Kyrie Irving ; Tristan ThompsonCleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday, which should come as no surprise to anyone who watched the Cavs play last week.

In helping the Cavs to a three-game winning streak, Irving averaged 35.7 points per game, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 1.7 steals. He scored more than 30 points in all three games, becoming just the fifth player in NBA history to have three consecutive 30-point games before his 21st birthday.

“This has been a very good week for our team,” Irving said in an understatement on the team’s website. “We’re working hard and making progress. While I’m honored to win the award this week, the most important and exciting thing is our success as a team and continuing our focus to keep getting better every day.”

Read more…


browns-fans-940-8colOn Feb. 2, the 46-member selection committee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame will meet to vote on this year’s class of inductees.

And there is a chance that the unthinkable may happen when the group gets together in New Orleans – they may actually vote Art Modell into the Hall of Fame.

The full list of the people on the selection committee can be found at the Hall of Fame’s website.

What follows is a list of the Twitter handles that we could find for the various members of the selection committee. If you believe that Modell is not worthy of being enshrined in the Hall of Fame, it’s important to let the people voting on his candidacy know.

Tweet them with the hashtag #ArtOut. Send them the links to our column and Jeff Rich’s column from The Cleveland Fan as well as this column from Jim Kanicki.

Let them know, because there is a very real chance that sympathies lie with Modell, but the people making the decision must be reminded about what he did to Cleveland.

Read more…

RIP, Proposition Joe

Joe_StewartSad news for fans of The Wire and good acting as Robert Chew, who played Proposition Joe, has passed away at the young age of 52.

According to his obituary in The Baltimore Sun, Chew passed away on Thursday of apparent heart failure.

In addition to acting, Chew also taught and mentored child and young adult actors at Baltimore’s Arena Players, where he found the group of young actors who played the students in the Baltimore City School system who were the main focus of season four of the series (one of the most heartbreaking seasons for any TV show). He would eventually land roles in the series for 22 of his acting students.

The Wire cast was an embarrassment of riches and it was easy, I think, for outsiders to overlook some of those who were so essential as supporting players,” series creator David Simon told the paper. “Robert’s depiction of Proposition Joe was so fixed and complete — from the very earliest scenes — that the writers took for granted that anything we sent him would be finely executed.”

As a character, Prop Joe moved through the Baltimore streets quietly, operating under a simple business plan of, “buy for a dollar, sell for two – and later for all that gangster bullshit.” The fact that Chew, a very large man, was tapped to play a character that wanted to remain invisible was a nice contrast and one of those little things that added up to make the The Wire so great.

Chew was so perfect in the role – as were just about every actor cast in the series – that it is hard to picture him playing anyone else. He was one of those characters that started out small and, over time, grew into a vital part of the series (and we still haven’t gotten over Cheese for betraying his uncle to Marlo).

The acting world is a little poorer today without Chew.

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