I try hard not to be “that blogger.” Bitch, bitch, bitch. “You know what grinds my gears?” All that stuff. I did What’s Great about Cleveland and Adopt a Brownie. Pointed out the good side of Dan Gilbert. Hell, I’ve even got a “What if SUNY-Stony Brook got serious about football” piece in my drafts.
I try to bring more than bitch. For example, you won’t see me saying:
- It’s Pronounced “Lajaway” is a horrible name for a blog; just feels unfriendly. I deliberately avoid the site because it’s already presumed to talk down to me before I’ve even clicked on it.
- Cleveland-focused SBNation sites are absurd with their ‘no-use-of-the-subject-line-in-the-forum’ rules and the self-policing of the silly rule is consistently petty and unfriendly and actually dickish to any hapless newbie who makes that blunder. “IT MAKES IT HARD TO READ! ALSO: NO GIFS!!!!” Geez, lighten up Francis. Go check out EDSBS, they seem to be doing alright. Not for nothing, some (all?) of us scan before reading. Your Asik post has 700+ comments… sure would be nice if I could scan subject lines instead of [not] reading 700 comments.
Disclaimer now out of the way, I’ve got three bitchy items to bring up.
“The Official Energy Partner of the Cleveland Browns.”
FirstEnergy Stadium is now the home of the Browns. The signage went up last week. It’s a “meh” item until you stop and think about it.
My understanding on stadium naming rights is that it’s basically a high-profile billboard and, like any advertising, intended to help companies gain share or increase sales.
So why does a regulated monopoly need to advertise? Here’s what FE says:
By joining two Ohio traditions, this partnership and regional branding opportunity makes good business sense,” said FirstEnergy’s Alexander. “FirstEnergy and its predecessor utilities have been serving the energy needs of customers throughout northern Ohio for more than a century, while the Browns’ rich legacy in the same regional footprint dates back to 1946. It is clear the team is headed in the right direction and we look forward to being part of the new energy in FirstEnergy Stadium.
But how does this “regional branding” improve your captive customers’ service or make that service more cost-effective?
If this is a ‘giving back to the community’ thing, is giving $100,000,000 to a billionaire the best idea you could come up with?
Don’t ask questions Kanick. The Browns now have an official energy partner. Here’s what Joe Banner says:
Having a stadium naming rights deal in place was extremely important for us as we look toward the future, and it was just as imperative to accomplish this with a strong, regional company such as FirstEnergy,” said Banner. “We are excited about what this long-term partnership means, allowing both the Browns and FirstEnergy to derive many benefits from this association. This deal is a great example of why we feel very good about the direction our organization is headed, and we believe it can serve as a catalyst for many other positive developments moving forward.
[Ugh. What utter gobbledygook.]
Terms weren’t disclosed, but reportedly FE will pay about $6 million a year for 17 years. Call me crazy, but public monopolies with $6M x 17 = $102M cash on hand should be plowing that into the physical plant or rebating their customers or cutting their rates.
If you’re stroking a check to FE from Pennsylvania or New Jersey… are you not even more in the WTF boat?
The Official Energy Partner of the Browns.
Update: here are some comments from the ABJ readers who observe many of the same problems with this arrangement. (Thanks Titus!)
The Mayor of Akron since 1987.
If you missed it, Don Plusquellic showed up on the Baskin-Phelps Show Wednesday to address a perceived slight from Andy Baskin. The Mayor had made demonstrably wrong, borderline stupid, obviously uninformed comments on Dan Gilbert’s lack of spending causing LeBron to leave:
I wish Dan Gilbert would have spent some of his money and gone out and bought a couple of all-stars and then said to LeBron, ‘Hey, I’m giving you a team that you can win a championship here.’ Instead, everybody waited, held their cards close to the vest and said, ‘OK, LeBron please sign.
Baskin responded with a very strong piece that rebutted Plusquellic’s misinformation point by point. Seriously, good work by Baskin up until he closed with a cheap shot:
The Mayor of Akron needs to be worrying about jobs and economic growth in his Summit County city.
I set out to write a piece defending Plusquellic. After all, being mayor and making stupid sports talk are not mutually exclusive. As dumb as Plusquellic’s comments were, he’s not the only one getting the Lebron-Cavs era wrong.
But after listening to the radio interview, I was moved to write a j’accuse screed directly toward the people of Akron.
You elected this guy your mayor seven times?
I heard nothing but a boor and a bully. Someone utterly unable to deal with a difference of opinion without bluster. Poise-less. Grace-less. Thin skinned. Prickly. Unlikable. And as bad as his personality came across it’s actually even worse when you consider that he wasn’t confronted with opinion; he was presented with facts. He did not and would not listen to facts.
A man in a power position who will not listen to facts concerning a trivial issue is probably not listening to facts in other, more important matters.
Is the guy really stupid? Or has the guy realized that backing the local hero and demonizing a rich carpetbagger will get him more votes? His awkward shoe-horning his father’s history as a rubber worker and his status as Kenmore High alumnus might have even won himself more votes: I’m just like you, Akron, and I’m not afraid to stand up to Cleveland media!
Seven election wins. I guess that shyte works in Akron provided you win the Dem primary.
So shame on you Akron. I find you wanting for critical thinking and emblematic of the growing Idiocracy in this country.
Dwight Howard wants to win.
I stopped following Robert Littal on twitter last year. Don’t remember why… might have been the sheer volume of his tweets. But for the Dwight Howard saga, his site Black Sports Online is the best. He was first out with a take on Dwight Howard’s post decision interview.
People wouldn’t understand. Walking away from them and walking away from $30 million. That shows you right there that I want to win. I want to win. Nothing else matters other than winning. I don’t think anybody would’ve ever walked away from $30 million, but I want to win.
Dwight wants to win, in case you missed it.
So glad we don’t have this particular ___ on the Cavs. Do these guys really think that ‘winning’ is an acceptable justification for anything? He seems to be trying to make a point that as long as he’s trying to win, that’s all that matters. Yet isn’t the other side of the coin: my old team was probably going to struggle next year and that would have been uncomfortable for me so I bagged. Hey. Dwight. No one is saying you can’t play where ever you want. Next time do this: I played out my contract and exercised my right to play where I wanted.
But he raises a banality that I have wanted to discuss for some time: the whole implied nobility attached to the pursuit of ‘winning.’
Because Vince Lombardi got it wrong.
Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.
Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.
No Vince, these are not correct thoughts. I’m not even 100% sure these are Lombardi’s actual words because if you dig a little you’ll find different, watered-down quote versions making similar but more nuanced points:
Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all time thing. You don’t win once in a while, you don’t do things right once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
Winning is not everything, but wanting to win is.
If we’re feeling charitable, we’ll say Lombardi was mis-quoted. That there is missing context. Allow that Lombardi was employing some adage-hyperbole to inspire his players for his specific ends.
But over time, his wrong-headed bromides have morphed into a found wisdom conveniently cited in any ends-justify-the-means argument. Debrett’s thoughts on gamesmanship hold for me.
It’s a shame that the better, truer wise man didn’t coach pro football instead of basketball. Then perhaps he would be as widely quoted.
Here’s what John Wooden says on winning:
If there’s anything you could point out where I was a little different, it was the fact that I never mentioned winning.
Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.
We deified the wrong coach.
15 Browns predictions.
Anyway, I think my predictions are pretty good but also think I’m poking those guys in the eye by not being more rah-rah. Folks don’t like getting their eyes poked.
Lookit, the Browns aren’t going to be all terrific and improved. I see the calls of 10-6 and I can relate; I thought the 2011 Browns would go 12-4. (No really, I did.) So here’s some sober predictions for your 2013 Cleveland Browns.
- The guard play will result in poor run game and continued inadequately-executed screen passes.
- The attacking defense will be game-planned-for by opposing offenses. Rush will be picked up, opposing teams will exploit weaknesses over the top.
- Greg Little will be the leading receiver and a singular bright spot.
- The new vertical offense will result in league worst 30 interceptions.
- Richardson will be non-explosive, tentative at the LOS, and disappointing overall before getting injured mid-season.
- Desmond Bryant will not be a marked upgrade over Frostee Rucker.
- Mingo will flash star quality in limited action.
- Alex Mack will win his game of chicken with Banner and become UFA ultimately signing somewhere else for more than Max Unger.
- TJ Ward’s tackling will be exposed as a liability.
- Marecic will start and be not good.
- The greatness of Phil Dawson will be even more appreciated.
- Norv Turner will frustrate fans in the same way he has in every stop since his time with the 93 Cowboys.
- Ray Horton will take a head coaching job within a week after the end of the season.
- Two meaningless wins at end of season will get browns to six wins and Banner will proclaim progress.
- The front office will preach patience.
We will surely come back to this subject in the weeks ahead.