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PD: Paying the price for arrogance and ideology.

The draft of this post had been sitting in this wordpress account for roughly four years.  Reading of ESPN’s unprecedented loss of 600K subscribers in November 2016 as well as the NFL ratings drop, I was reminded of the lessons that were unlearned by the Plain Dealer.   So here’s that germ of a topic that never became a full-on post.


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Click for the article.

It’s sad to see people lose their jobs.  It sad when an icon of my home town is diminished.  But it’s worth remembering that a means to mitigate this problem was known as early as six plus years ago.

Linked above is a Regina Brett column with the results of her question:  what do you want in the Plain Dealer?

You spoke so loudly I can’t hear out of my right ear. More than 500 readers have responded so far. The most common complaint? The paper leans left.

That ear-bending was received by the PD in 2006.  Did anything change at the PD?

I don’t subscribe to the PD and I don’t know their day-to-day coverage.  I do know that prior to that article the Editorial Board wanted to endorse John Kerry (and was overruled by the publisher resulting in a peculiar, no endorsement in 2004).  In 2008 and 2012 the paper endorsed Obama.  That’s all I’ve got to go on but if a paper endorsed Obama in 2012, it’s lefty.

The problem with this lies in the resulting business model.  People tend not to pay to be alienated.


I stopped there because … because I was a sports blog and much of my readership would have been alienated by following this through to its logical conclusion.  The conclusion being:  Republicans buy newspapers too.  Stop telling your customers that they suck and need to change.  

It’s a lesson that ESPN could stand to learn.  

The NFL’s problem is more nuanced in that they’re not outright telling me I suck, but with the never-ending marketing geared toward ’emerging demographics’ and women (i.e., not me) it’s clear that I don’t matter.  Breast cancer ‘awareness’ month and video-game uniforms may get you a bump among feminists and fedora-wearers but for those of us who just like football, it doesn’t go unnoticed that we’re low in your prioritization hierarchy.

I’ll wrap this up with another case study.

schumer-rogen.jpgThe education of Bud Light

Bud Light learned this lesson the hard way with it’s recent sacking of the gross Seth Rogen/Amy Schumer ad campaign.  Turns out Bud Light had a mid-single-digit volume decrease in volume since it began.  Speaking for guys like me who comprise the vast majority of your purchasing — albeit not target — market:  why the hell would I buy beer from people who literally hate me?  Oh that’s right:  I’m a 50 year old white guy and I’ll be dead soon.  Thanks for reminding me Bud Light, message received.  Good luck selling your rice-syrup based, enzyme-laden lager to dudes who put oranges in their beer.

Anyway, good to see that your bi-coastal ad agencies have gotten pulse on the market and are all about honchoing a campaign to go after that half of America that seems to be ready to MAGA.

Or not.




Sports Go Sports: Cheddar Bay 2015.

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

We’ve moved! Go to 603brown.com!

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Heads up:  we moved again and 603brown.com is open for business.

Heads up:  as of 10-23-2013 we’re doing business at jimkanicki.com.  Head on over and join us 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…)

Frowns-Kanick comment badminton.

If you didn’t care to plow through the back and forth in the comments of the last post, here is a summary and the essence of the exchange between Frowns and me yesterday.

I’d have to buy an upgraded GoAnimate account for our convo to be greater than 180 characters a slice and to have different characters. But I think it works as is.


We play the ball where it lies.

Ennh. No.


We’re dealing with several issues concerning this year’s Masters but let me pick off two.  One is the seeming arbitrary and capricious rules of golf and why they are worthy of respect.  The second deals with the importance of honor in the context of golf; indeed, how it is the single most important aspect of the entire game.

Let’s take the rules first.

PROTIP: After being warned about slow play, play faster.

Item:  14-year-old golfer assessed penalty for slow play; a nation mourns.

There was a nice story when 14-year-old Chinese golfer Guan Tianlang played well and made the cut.  But twitter blew up when he was assessed a penalty for slow play on Friday.  National media types and basic twitter buddies were falling over themselves to express their own dryly ironic views on slow play in golf.

It turns out Guan’s group was out of position on 10, timed on 11, warned on 12, and then docked the stroke on 17.

Even yesterday there was this:

On the 14th hole, for example, he tossed some grass in the air twice to test the wind, grabbed a club and took a few practice swings before changing his mind. He grabbed another club and took a couple more practice swings before finally hitting his shot.  Afterward, a rules official told him he was 6 minutes over on that hole alone, and he needed to speed it up.

I’ve yet to see any twitter retractions and nor do I.  But the episode is instructive on the knee-jerk expressions of outrage at the easy target that is Augusta National or the Rules of Golf in general.


Bomani Jones: the Peter Alliss of twitter.

Item:  17-time major championship winner does not understand the drop rules for water hazard.

Here’s the Tiger Woods kerfuffle really quickly in case you missed it.  Tiger has an 80 yard approach shot over water to the 15th on Friday.  The shot came in hot, hit high off the flagstick, and caromed into the water hazard.  Tiger surveys the drop area, walks back to his spot, adds to two yards to his spot (so even Tiger knew the first shot was going long), and hits his shot.

[Observation:  I think his first shot was very likely to fly the green and had enough juice to reach the pond BEHIND fifteen.  It was not, repeat, WAS NOT, the perfect shot that has been widely reported.]

This is a penalty.  It matters not whether he intended to commit a penalty.

The Augusta Rules Committee convenes and gives him a pass.  I find it hard to believe that the inevitable public outfall for docking Tiger two shots at the end of the round didn’t enter into their calculus and they just said, ‘It’s not worth it.  Give him a pass.’


Hey Bomani: I got a picture of the 300+ bros who retweeted you.

Lo and behold Tiger told the world that he deliberately did not drop where he was supposed to and at that point, Augusta had to dock him the shots.  A new rule allowed Augusta to do this without DQ-ing him for signing the wrong scorecard.

Again, twitter blows up.  Who dimed out Tiger?  What a stupid rule?  And less prominent but still given voice:  Augusta hates blacks and women.  I mean, really.  Just.  Really.

Why have rules? (more…)