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Sports Go Sports: Cheddar Bay 2015.


Another satisfied customer explains why she’s all in for Cheddar Bay.

Originally posted on Call Me Trouble.:

Few things make me happy like Cheddar Bay has, over the past few years. I’m not here to explain what Cheddar Bay is. I’m here to rationalize why I’m going to do it again this year; if you’re a sports masochist like me, then this is why you should too.

  1. There is a football world outside of the Cleveland Browns. Really. And thank goodness, because before Cheddar Bay, I’m not sure I paid attention to any other pro-football teams. Now, instead of just fighting the tears, week after week, for another Browns season doomed to go up in flames, I can distract myself with other teams and watch what it’s like when football is played the way one would expect it to. 
  2. The Cheddar community is full of lovable reprobates. Much to my surprise not all of the participants are located in the Cleveland area. I’ve enjoyed imagining what they look like in…

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Hoyer Minny game tape.

FULL:  http://wp.me/a34p37-2z0

GAME WINNING DRIVE: http://wp.me/a34p37-2yZ


#CheddarBay Week 8: FSU -3 at Clemson.


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Winston or Beasley, who you got?

Nice little matchup shaping up Saturday night in South Carolina.  Say what you want about the NCAA but they do a decent job presenting their stats.  I decided to check Clemson and FSU out and it turns they’re pretty even.  (Stats are fun when you’re not ruled by them.)

Clemson (national rankings)

  • #1 3rd down defense (23.7%);
  • #14 Pass Completion Pct. (69.0%);
  • #10 First Down Defense
  • #4 (Least) Passes had intercepted (2)
  • #9 Interceptions (10)
  • #10 Passing Offense (342 YPG)
  • #18 (Least) Passing yards allowed (187 YPG)
  • #4 Red zone defense
  • #10 Scoring defense (16.2)
  • #17 Scoring offense (40.8)
  • #1 Sacks (4.0)
  • #8 Passing Efficiency
  • #1 Tackles for loss (10.2 per game)
  • #13 Total offense (515 YPG)
  • #4 Turnover margin (+1.5)
  • #2 Sacks, Vic Beasley


#CheddarBay Week 7: Jags +27.5 at Broncos.



Good work Cheddars:  after last week’s 54% performance and 60% hits on essays, we as a group are demonstrably imbued with, at the minimum, the casino prowess of Fredo after his time with Moe Green.  Still room for improvement though.  Just stay away from cocktail waitresses two-at-a-time and Johnny Ola.

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Only six figures?

That 54% win rate was enhanced by one of the worst beats in recent memory, enough said on that.  So fate smiled on the Cheddars (You went 35-16 for OSU.), why not?  It was well-earned after that rocky start.

We had a suggestion from Matt Borcas for the historical all-play this week.  The Broncos-Jags game is the largest opening point spread in NFL history.  The prior biggest was Bucs at Steelers in 1976.  That was Tampa’s inaugural year, 0-14, was the 13th game, and -no- the Bucs did not cover; final score 42-0 Steelers.

Congrats to Architect Art Vandelay on his Lobsterfest.  Nice to see the ballsy “-39.5” pick rewarded although, it was Oregon.  And obviously he benefitted from one of the baddest beats in recent memory but, well, that’s the casino business.

Wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention that one among us has been perfect with his weekly essay and not coincidentally he is enjoying great success in the standings.  One would do well to read this not-named player’s takes.


@ClevTA's Skanky Fish Picks.

A minor setback last week, going 2-3 (although MTSU was a push if you bet it).  The Wake Forest pick was eerie… there sure did not look to be any reason to like Wake in that game but someone knew something.

Year-to-date Skanky is 15-6-1 ATS so take heed when ClevTA throws out this week’s Skankies.  Here they are:


1. Memphis +9.5 v Houston (Line opened Hou -11.5, now 9.5. 76% of public on HOU) Pick: Memphis
2. UTSA -1.5 v Rice (Line opened Rice -3.5, now UTSA -1.5. 66% of public on Rice) Pick: UTSA
3. PSU +3 v Michigan (Line opened Mich -3, now either 3/2.5 depending on site. 74% on Mich) Pick: PSU
4. KSU +18 v Baylor (Line opened Baylor -20, now 18/17. 71% of public on Baylor) Pick: KSU

Nothing in NFL this week.


Browns -4 over Bills, #CheddarBay essay.

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The emergence of Joe Haden this year has been pretty awesome.


In our friendly Cheddar Bay Pickstravaganza, we (or at least I) tend to tie ourselves up in knots with research to validate the pick of the week.  In thinking about tonight’s Bills at Browns game, it occurred to me that there’s no team I have more research on than the Browns.  So if I’m thinking the Browns a good bet to beat the Bills by more than four points, I gotta trust my eyes.  It’s unlikely that I’ll be as expert in the BallSt +5.5 @UVA matchup.  I can’t worry that a lot of other guys in this group have the same pick tonight.

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12 out of 17 experts like the Bills to cover… LOAD UP MY FRIENDS!!

So let’s take this on.  Here’s why I like the Browns tonight.

1.  Still an unknown team (nationally).
Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon might have some cachet in fantasy circles.  But Craig Robertson and Buster Skrine and Mitchell Schwartz are unknowns.  Do you think Phil Taylor or Alex Mack or Jabaal Sheard are known quantities outside of NEO?  No way.  To the rest of the country, the Browns are Joe Thomas and Joe Haden.  Maybe there’s some respect for the FAs Bryant and Kruger but not so much for the talent on the team coming into the season.  As a result, the Browns are good value.  For now.



Mike Mayock is going to act like he’s known Jabaal Sheard all along but in reality, he just learned his name in this morning’s staff meeting.

But while we’re on the subject of Joe Haden…

2.  Joe Haden has moved to elite.
It’s one thing to look at some stats and say shit like ‘Oh wow, AJ Green only had 51 yards on seven catches so Haden must be really good.’  And while that’s true, what I’m seeing is more.  I’m seeing him daring QB just to try to throw his way.  Hell, I’m seeing him daring teams to RUN his way… his tackling has been intimidating this year.  But what I’m REALLY seeing is him inspiring his mates in the secondary.  They’re ALL playing strong; they’re all bringing Haden swag to their games.  The weakest part of the Browns roster is playing great and to my eye, it’s due to Haden’s play and his leadership.

3.  Competent QB play is, in fact, good-to-very-good QB play.
I well remember when Drew Bledsoe was knocked out of the game in 2001 and Tom Brady took his place.  Bledsoe had the gun and the pedigree but was prone to staring down receivers and jamming throws were they shouldn’t go.  Bad turnovers.  Did not inspire confidence in teammates and so not a great leader.  Enter Brady and he didn’t do anything spectacularly well.  Just ran through his progressions quickly and pretty much always found the open receiver.  Got rid of the quickly and accurately.  Poised in the pocket.  There weren’t any Manning-esque line-audible shenanigans then.  Brady was simply a competent practitioner of quarterbacking.   That’s what I’m seeing in Hoyer so far.  Nothing flashy but poised and competent.  Competent QB-ing is vastly underrated in my opinion. (more…)

Cheddar Bay week 6: OSU -7 at NU.

Here is your happy Week Six Cheddar open thread.  In addition to being way too happy with the Bucks, Browns, and Indians from last weekend, we’re happy because we/Cheddar hit at 52% overall and a very good 61% one essaypicks.

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Raises questions with no good answers..

Clearly the Bobby Brian Hoyer* effect reaches further than Berea.  Could the improved Cheddaring be related to the eerie likeness between Hoyer and our own Cheddar Bay founder?

Maybe this has more to do with my own possible baldism.  But they look like twins to me.


Other business, congrats and welcome back to ClevelandThatILove (aka CLTIL) on her Lobsterfest.  I had been meaning to remove the jinx I put on her in the August ‘welcome’ post:

… the champ in my mind, the player I watch, is CLTIL and her money picks.  She was an unbelievable 14-2 in 2011 on her essays and followed up with 12-6 last year.  That’s 76% (26-8) winners over two years against the spread on CLTIL’s pick of the week.

Now I don’t have to.


On the other of the spectrum, sadly I had to fire mom.  It turns put those poor AFA performances my folks saw were versus USU and Wyoming.  (!!!)  Like Dr. Evil, this organization does not tolerate failure so she was on first flight out Sunday AM.  (Awww… just kidding and of course I have access to a schedule which can be used to check data and such as.)

I wish to acknowledge the requests to move on from the local team all-plays but lookit:  OSU at NU is the best game this weekend.  You won’t see Ohio State again until the Michigan game.  Like Bluto, your Cheddar Bay Sergeant-at-Arms is just doing his duty.

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Your Delta Tau Chi name is Pinto.
Why Pinto?


Drop them picks in the comments below as you have them.  Happy happy happy happy happy happy!  Go Tribe!  Go Browns!  Go Bucks!




@ClevTA's Skanky Fish Picks.

@ClevTA’s Skanky Fish Picks.

Skanky fish picks:

From ClevTA’s post below:  … 4-3 ATS last week on the picks with all 4 dogs winning outright. That makes a cool 12-5-1 since inception with an astonishing 10 out of the 12 covers winning outright (8 of the 10 winning outright were underdogs).

  1. Wake Forest +9.5 v NC St (Line opened NC St -9.5, now -8.5, 73% of public on NC St) Pick: Wake
  2. FL Atlantic +4 v UAB (Line opened UAB -7, now -4, 68% of public on UAB) Pick: FL ATL
  3. Middle Tenn St +7.5 v ECU (Line opened ECU -9, now -7.5, 67% of public on ECU) Pick: MTSU
  4. Tennessee +3 v KC (Line opened KC -3.5, now -2.5, 75% of public on KC) Pick: Titans
  5. Chicago PK v NO (Line opened PK, now Chi -1.5, 63% of public on Saints) Pick: Bears


* Raise your hand if you’re a sufferer of Bobby Hoying/Brian Hoyer dyslexia.  /raises hand.

No complaints here.

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I’ll admit that my “Browns Troll” piece currently in the ‘Draft’ category might be aways away from publication.


I got nothing.  Not right now.

Is Andy Dalton a bag of suck?  Oh sure, you bet; but now’s not the time.  Have I said that Buster Skrine plays good positionally and my greivance is with his size?  Yeah* sure, but who cares… cover your ass posts are boring in general and particularly self-centered if done after such a glorious weekend.  Squeeze in just a smidgeon of juxtaposition between Dolan’s off-season and Haslam’s…?  Oh HELL NO!

No, no, no.  Not now.


Lots of space there Braxton.

Because it’s lovely lovely lovely to have a solid Buckeye win at home over a top team; a Browns domination of a perennial playoff team; and the Indians blowing everyone’s mind and getting into the playoffs.

Let’s offer some comment on all three.


1.  The Buckeyes.
I sure have some solid memories of national spotlight games in Columbus not going according to plan.  That wasn’t the case Saturday.  Braxton Miller looks poised running an offense who just won their line of scrimmage battle all night.  On defense, who knew Joel Stave had that game in him?  The Badgers were just good enough to provide a lot of coachable moments for Coach Meyer and none to soon with the at Northwestern game coming up.  The Bucks look good — but not great — and certainly shouldn’t be overconfident going to Evanston.


NFL: San Diego Chargers at Cleveland Browns

Don’t overthink it, Joe: sign em both.

2.  The Browns.
First off, I have to say that watching in a bar is sub-optimal.  But my vibe from the game was that it never felt like the Browns weren’t dominating.

Err..  I can’t not write SOMETHING about Jay Gruden’s odd non-use of Gio Bernard and bizarre fixation on five yard under patterns for AJ Green.  How a team can have Gresham, Eifert, Green, Sanu matched up against the shortest secondary and not go up top is .. it’s a poser, I’ll tell ya.  If I do the Bengals’ blame pie, I’m settling in of equal parts Gruden weak OC, Dalton-bag-o-suck, and Browns defense that good.

Wait a sec, let me kick up the Browns’ defense credit from 33% to 50%.  Because Joe Haden’s performance on AJ Green a COUPLED WITH just the right amount of smack talk was so money.  I can’t think of a cornerback I’d rather have.  Revis? Peterson?  Sherman?  Nope, I’m good with Haden thanks.

And Hoyer, yes you can be quarterback.  You executed the best (only?) screen pass by the Browns in the last 20 years.  I actually don’t think that’s an exaggeration.  Hoyer is proof that ‘good’ QB is meaningless in the face of ‘smart’ QB or at least ‘competent enough to remember he has a tall tight end who can win jump balls’ QB.  Jordan Cameron… didn’t see that one coming either.



Note teammate Perez up front.

3.  The Indians.
Like many of you, I lost interest after that Tigers series in August and in particular after that brutal blown save shutout in the first game.  (Cripes, it’s painful even to look at that boxscore.)  The responsible blogger/journo in me wants to remind you of some stat on how the Tribe does against good teams.  But the fan in me won’t even google it and says in boldface:  NINETY-TWO WINS.  15-2 to close the season.  Yessir, good things can happen when try to win now and that’s nuf ‘ced on that for now too.

Salazar is a revelation.  In fact, the rotation looks like a real rotation with Ubaldo-Kazmir-Kluber-Salazar and what’s up with Masterson?  Is he our closer now?  See?  I really haven’t been paying attention closely enough.  The games are on in the background and my ears perk when personal fave Michael Brantley does something awesome.


Cheddar Bay week 5: Wisconsin +7.5 at Ohio State.

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Cheddar stalwarts CheddarClay, Probitive Favorite, CapGG, and Brosef seen at Bengals game tailgate.



^^^ Brings me sheet music for obscure Godfather piano pieces.  (Click to hear.)


LATE LINE:  AFA +10 at Nevada.


Well that’s a lot of capital letters.

Hey ladies and gents, this is your Cheddar Bay open thread for week five.  Treat it lovingly.

Well done on the LOBSTERFEST to player It’s Only Money.  His winning ticket looked like this:

  • Browns +6 – essay
  • Bengals +6 – allplay
  • Lville -42.5
  • OSU -49.5
  • Wisc -24.5
  • Mizzou -3.5

Oh sure, it looks easy and smart now.

And speaking of the Browns, I seem to have staked out a position on Joe Banner and his plan for 2013 which is somewhat unpopular and that has been challenged on several fronts.  (I see you Zara!)  I apologize for not tending to this with replies or a follow up post… but hey, mom’s in town.  She came out from Colorado to play my piano and see some Seacoast and of course making sure I’m good.  So salty Banner critiques are on hold for just a bit.  Having a morning Matcha Tea with someone playing “the mattresses song” from The Godfather renders one without salt.


@ClevTA's Skanky Fish Picks.

@ClevTA’s Skanky Fish Picks.

Skank Time:  8-2-1 since inception using Cheddar lines, 7-3 with real time wagers. True to the title of this post, there are a few special “hold your nose” picks below but just remember awful teams cover too.


  1. Idaho +7.5 v Temple (Temple opened -9.5 down to 7, 65% of public on Temple) Pick: Idaho
  2. USC +5.5 v ASU (ASU opened -7 down to 4.5, 64% of public on ASU) Pick: USC
  3. Buffalo +1 v UCONN (UCONN opened -2.5 down to PK, 64% of public on UCONN) Pick :Buffalo


  1. Rams +4 v SF (SF opened -4 down to 3, 68% of public on SF) Pick: Rams
  2. Browns +5 v Cinci (Opened Cinci -5 down to 4, 69% of public on Cinci) Pick: Browns
  3. Jax +9.5 v Indy (Opened Indy -9.5 down to 7.5,75% of public on Indy) Pick Jax
  4. Buffalo +3.5 v Baltimore (Opened Balt -4 down to 3, 67% of public on Balt) Pick: Buffalo


Okay Cheddars, we’re due to regress progress to the mean eventually, but still we batted .417 last week so:

Let’s be careful out there.


The Banner Plan.


The floggings will continue until morale improves.


I wrote a post Thursday/Friday that was triggered by the Trent Richardson trade.  It was emotional, hot, angry, pleading, salty.  But yet it seems its point was not made effectively.  I’ve read several responses to it where the reaction centers on the trading Trent Richardson (and what value the Browns got for him).  That not just misses the primary point it ignores a whole section with a boldface heading that says, “Richardson trade *is* good value.  But that’s not the problem here.”  So let me try again and do better this time.

Joe Banner’s plan is a figurative keelhauling of Browns fans.  You have been harnessed and thrown over the bow of the smokey oil slick of a 18th century whaling ship that is 2013 Berea.  You will be pulled up from the stern after a long salt-water immersion-waterboarding and scoured by the thousands of barnicles on the vessel’s hull under water level.  You will emerge in 2018 proven worthy and absolved of past misdeeds.  If you aren’t dismembered or drowned by the process.

Still too allegorical?  Ok.

Joe Banner is writing off the next three/four years on a 50-50 bet that the team will be better then; on the much smaller chance that the Browns-with-Joe-Banner’s-guys will show up in the playoffs in 2018.

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You think Trent Richardson is the start?  You think Teddy “My-God-Teddy-Bridgewater” Bridgewater is the end game?

Smarten up and grow up, you foolish child Browns fan.

Trent Richardson heralds the midpoint of the first step in the process:  be just good enough to be competitive but just bad enough to lose.  Bad enough to lose every game, that is.  The Trent Richardson trade is the part where the strategy is non-verbally, formally announced to Browns fans.  “Hey Browns fans, this is Vegas.  Yeah, you’re not gonna be favored in a game until December and even that Jets game is looking iffy.  Just thought you’d want to know.”

Fans are waking up to the reality of a tanked season and that is why they are pissed.

Fans are not pissed because (the possibly/probably overrated) Trent Richardson was traded for a first round pick in 2014.  They’re pissed this transaction crystallized several vague thoughts for them:

  1. We’re really not trying?  Damn Kanick was right:  we’re REALLY not trying.  TRich may not be all he’s hyped, but he is our best offensive weapon or so we’ve been programmed for the last two years and if he’s not our weapon then who the fuck is?


    If you think Joe Banner holds on to Reggie Wayne after the Peyton Manning trade, you’re simply not paying attention.

  2. The Colts organization embodies all the Browns are not.  You say they got lucky with Andrew Luck.  No doubt.  But they’re supposed to be a crap team this year, just ask anyone at Grantland.  This is the team that brought “regress to mean” into the football fan’s lexicon.  In the face of the staggering analytical analyses of joyless stat nerds masquerading as football people, the Colts say:  “Eff that, we ain’t regressing, we would we?”  Colts have $3M in cap space which is also approximately their 2012 rollover amount.  The Colts just acquired the third pick in last year’s draft to go with their #1 pick.  The Colts are doing all they can to win.  And as to the trade itself, who’s to say TRich doesn’t turn into Steven Jackson playing for a playoff team… Marshawn Lynch seemed to improve after he left Buffalo.
    • Sidebar to all who believe Banner’s cap horseshit and think not competing and spending this year is sound financial planning and to do otherwise will condemn the Browns into a morass of cap hell:  Colts 2014 cap is 30th in the league, $82M
  3. And finally, they’re pissed because it’s dawning on them that this is just the start of the gutting.

Just the start of the gutting.

It was Kolonich who got me thinking about the idea that this is just starting.

Richardson was probably only the beginning of this new reboot.  I can’t imagine Gordon, Little, Schwartz, Weeden (obvious), Lauvao, Pinkston, etc. survive into 2014 and beyond.  Not to mention Mack, Rubin, Ward and possibly even Haden.

For those who didn’t figure this out way back in January, we’re in the beginning stages of a total reset.  Just like Savage wiped out Davis and Mangini wiped out Savage and Heckert wiped out Mangini, and so on and so on. (more…)

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