Monday, April 13, 2015

Was I Too Tough on the Indians?

Normally I try to find the lighter side of sports.  I try to have fun, make jokes and poke fun at our opponents.  The truth is I am a long suffering homer.  When I see one of our teams with a chance I desperately want to see them do what they have to do to get the job done.  The 2015 Indians is one of those teams.  This team has a chance.  But I will honest, I failed to find the humor in last weekend.  Despite your best efforts, I don't see the silver lining from last weekend.  Last weekend disgusted me.

Last weekend was hands down the toughest weekend I've had on Twitter.  Covering the Indians is one of the toughest things in the world.  While I can get away with almost anything when talking Browns football, many of you don't want to hear criticism of the Indians... ever.  Even if they somewhat deserve it.  While I think it is awesome that some of you hold an unwavering belief in our team, many of you don't have tolerance for other people's opinions, even if they are based in reality.  In the past I've not tried to burst that bubble that many in our fan base have created for themselves.

Last weekend was different.  The Detroit Tigers came to our house, on our opening weekend.  The fact is that the Tigers have always been an absolute scourge to me.  I hate them, maybe even more than the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.  I hate their uniforms, I hate their players, I hate their attitude, I hate their fans, I hate their city, I hate the stupid script D that they wear on their hats, that every wannabe gangster from that area gets tattooed on them.  I hate everything about them, passionately.

The fact of the matter is that I came to a decision that if we couldn't handle our business against that team and run them and their asshole fans out of town with their tails between their legs that I was going to give the Tribe some tough love.  I was going to be furious, because this is supposed to be our year dammit.  4 straight years of them dominating this division is enough.  And we got our asses kicked from pillar to post.  We looked like we didn't even belong in the same league as them.  And as many of you read my stuff, you know I didn't pull any punches.  Many of you didn't like that, but you know what, I was pissed and I'm not apologizing for that.

And oh boy did you guys jump to the defense of the Indians.  The number one thing I heard was that I was an idiot because "It's Early," well guess what... the games started counting last week.  And if you remember back to last season we dug ourselves a hole in April that we just didn't have enough time to climb out of,  We missed the playoffs by one game, that we would have easily overcome had we not stunk it up all through those apparently unimportant April games. So no, spring training is early, it's the regular season now.  It's never too early to win.

Many of you have angrily reminded me that there are still 156 games to go, and there is a long way to go.  And yes, I can do math I do realize that.  However do you realize it's going to be an even longer 156 if our main division rival plays us with the belief that they own us?  It's gonna be a long 156 if the Tigers batters are living rent free in our pitchers heads.  It's gonna be a long 156 if we are trying to play catchup all season long again.

My biggest point of anger comes from Miguel Cabrera.  To me he's a lousy shit talking, whiny, ballplayer that I would hate even without the opinion that he is also one of the games biggest uncaught cheaters.  It would take you ten lifetimes to convince me that guy isn't juicing, and considering that he has annually put up video game numbers against the Indians he leaves me with an awful taste in my mouth.  With Ray Lewis and Ray Rice out of football I can easily say that Miguel Cabrera has taken over the role of my most hated professional athlete.

I started in on Cabrera as I always do, but this time a Detroit fan account began retweeting my hate for him.  I don't pick fights with other fan bases, I don't troll people, I don't go out of my way.  But Detroit sure went out of their way for me.  While you all were marveling at the new bar and additions to the ballpark, I was getting accosted by angry Detroit fans at every one of Cabrera's hits.  I had faith in the Indians that they were going to help me out, give me some ammo to fire back with... and alas no.  It got worse every single day.  And yes, I resent the Indians for that.  I wish I could send my notifications from this weekend to every one of their accounts so they can see the hell that they caused me by letting that POS rip them apart for the entire weekend.  And in the end I had to take it hard on their behalf, so guess what I don't feel bad for giving the team some grief.

So yes that was fun, getting ridiculed by asshole Tigers fans for three days.  That was a blast getting ripped up by many of you for not putting on my "it's okay it's early" rose colored glasses.  I loved reading the people who couldn't stop gushing about the stadium, while inside it the only thing that matters was going horribly wrong.  It was great to see people literally say how they couldn't be mad because watching Cabrera play baseball was "an honor" (yes I read that and almost puked).

So yes, part of my anger is petty rivalry hate.  Yes, part of my anger is a unsubstantiated mistrust of a player based on a belief.  So if you have criticisms of that take, I can understand that.  But most of my anger is based on something a little bit more relevant to our future success.  So I'm sorry, I think that some of you should be a little more pissed as well.

Why?  Well, the one thing that many people have no problem complaining about when it comes to the Indians is their attendance.  And no offense the same people that got pissed at me for railing the Indians will be the same folks vocally pissed off at our poor attendance numbers.  And yes, it's been horrible.  And while more people went to opening weekend this year than they had in 9 seasons, what now?  To put 20,000+ into that stadium nightly requires a lot of casual fans and out of town fans to find it worth their while to make their way to the stadium.  After this weekend do you think that those folks are excited to spend their money on going to a ballgame?  I'm going to guess not, hopefully I'm wrong but c'mon.  Last year's poor April seemed to kill the entire year's attendance, first we blamed the weather, but the sun came out and the people still didn't.  And I think a big part of that was the frustrating nature of the team.  Nobody showed up to watch continuous return runs and bad defense, we didn't rebound attendance at all until late in the season when we clawed our way back into contention.  So no, I can't imagine last weekend helped us at all for this season.

So what, who cares about fair weather fans?  Well the Dolans do, and if you didn't notice they didn't make any trade deadline moves last year.  They didn't make any major moves to improve anything this offseason.  And this isn't some Dolans are cheap critisism, I agree with them.  Why the hell should they make an effort if people aren't coming out to the ballpark?  Really bad teams have been drawing more than us and that is a fact, we are a fickle bunch.  And they won't make moves if we don't show up, it is as simple as that.  Lets be honest, a large section of our fanbase has been crystal clear that they aren't showing up unless there is a reason.  Something has got to give if we want to get to the next level.  This team has been living within this horrible catch 22 situation for a few years now, and it's getting frustrating.

So you can be mad at me all you want, unfollow me, block me, whatever helps you sleep at night.  Just don't criticize me, I'm sticking by my guns.  Don't waste your time arguing with me.  We blew a golden opportunity to get some huge buzz generated in this town about the Indians and that is a fact.  Instead we are six games into a season and already trailing two teams in the division by four games.  In my opinion if it is too early for anything it is already building a four game deficit in what promises to be a dogfight of a division.

So no, I never said the season is over.  No, I never said there isn't a long way to go.  So save it, please.  I don't want to fight with you.  I assure you with my smart ass nature, you don't want to fight with me.  I won't be taking another series so personally until the Tigers are in town again anyways, so I don't foresee issues.    

So you don't have to love the fact that I think the Indians potentially dropped the ball in a big way last weekend.  You can continue to tell yourselves that games don't count until June.  Find your silver lining,  I can promise you that you won't find me in your notifications criticizing you they way many of you have come at me.  In fact I'm jealous of that blind optimism.  I wish I wasn't over thinking three baseball games the way I am.  But I think my extreme disappointment has merit, and you don't want to see it, stop trying to blind me from it.  

Saturday, March 21, 2015

@BrownsMemes letter to Cleveland Sports Fans

Before I get too far into this I want to be sure to say that this isn't going to be some sappy retirement post, I'm not going anywhere.  However it is a a retirement from calling myself a blogger, because I don't really do it anymore.  I'm not going to shut this site down or anything like that, but I probably am not going to use it very often.  I started here thinking this was the way to get my jokes, thoughts, and opinions out there.  It's not that I lost my passion for doing this, but Twitter has become a much better outlet for that.

The @BrownsMemes Twitter has far surpassed any expectation that I had for it.  I set an initial goal of 500 followers, thinking that was was borderline unattainable.  4600+ followers later, I proudly feel that that account has become one of the top Cleveland Sports accounts out there.  Your feedback has been incredible.  Much to my surprise I don't fall victim to the unrelenting trolling and negativity that I fully expected going into it.  In fact I would estimate that almost 98% of my interactions have been positive and supportive.  I thank you all for that.

I put @BrownsMemes up as an "anonymous" account, not because I had anything to hide, but because when I started this I really didn't feel that anyone would care what "Josh from Canton" would have to say.  In hindsight I am glad I did things this way, I have no desire to be a "superfan" or a public persona.  I've seen that status chew up guys like Big Dawg and Dawg Pound Mike.  I've seen guys like Pumpkinhead and Mike Polk Jr. deal with tons of venom spit their way.  Recently the Angry Browns Fan retired his character, presumable because he got tired of dealing with trolls, negativity and copycats.  I've read tons of stuff that has been written to those guys and I am glad that I don't have to try respond to some of the negativity I have seen those guys deal with.  Something tells me that eventually it would make this not worth it to me anymore.

Maybe @BrownsMemes works because it isn't just the musings of one guy.  Even though only one person has run this account since it started in August of 2013 I make sure that I follow people back.  I read what people are saying almost everyday.  Frankly it drives me nuts to see some people running popular accounts that won't follow anyone.  Why should a person expect other people to care about what they are writing, if they obviously don't care what anyone else is saying?  @BrownsMemes is done by keeping my finger on the pulse of what everyone is talking about, always has been and always will be.  You all tell me what to make my jokes about, I just come up with the punchline.  That is why I find doing this so rewarding, I don't know very many of you personally, but still consider many of you my friends, and unintentional collaborators.

For that I am very appreciative and have always wanted to come up with more ways to be entertaining, and most importantly unique.  And that is where I think this blog has failed.  Once upon a time this was the exclusive home to my GIFs, but now that Twitter can use them this blog has devolved into nothing more than a regurgitation of what other people are doing.  People that have a lot more passion for form writing than I do, and certainly run much better blogs than this one.  But I'm also not a wannabe journalist, I'm a topical humorist.

That is why I am saying goodbye to this as my main website.  Twitter is now my online home, but it honestly has been for over a year now.  But the big news for me is I've recently started a new Twitter companion channel on YouTube.  MY CHANNEL LINK HERE  Yes, making videos is a bit more work than writing, but I think the end result is much more rewarding.  Obviously there are some limitations to what I can do there due to copyright issues and things of that nature, and I'm sure I will constantly be toeing the line.  And if I have to take a video down, I have to take a video down.  But I hope it also gives me a bit of a chance to flex another side of my comic muscles.  And much like my Twitter, it will be all in good fun and continue not to take itself too seriously.

So once again thank you all for making @BrownsMemes as popular as it has become.  Thank you all for not chasing me away from it.  You've all allowed a middle aged guy with a wife and kid and no forum for his creativity, create a character in @BrownsMemes that I always dreamed of being since I originally came up with a "Salty Dawg" character and tried to (unsuccessfully) make similar jokes on Cleveland sports forums years ago.

So here is a sample of my new videos, I hope to have some new ideas in the weeks to come.  Please check them out, hit the like button if you think they are cool, and subscribe to the channel if you want.  I would appreciate that very much.  And again THANK YOU ALL!!!

Friday, January 16, 2015


Nearly every season for my teams, I take a false hope into the season.  I simply acknowledge that if everything goes right for my team, why on earth can't they be a champion?  That was until the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes came along.  Many that follow me know that I hold the Buckeyes almost as dear as I do the Browns and the Indians.  I've been a big fan since I was a kid, I survived the John Cooper era.  As a Browns fan at time I almost depend on the Buckeyes to give me that glimmer of hope that feels real.

Then Braxton Miller was injured late in the preseason, and I will admit I went into this season a bit defeated.  The small shred of championship hopes I still had, died completely in September when Ohio State layed an egg against Virginia Tech at home.

They didn't look good that game... at all.  The offensive line was terrible, the team just didn't click.  Things looked bleak at best.  My thoughts were immediately that there was no possible way that they could earn consideration for a postseason tournament having a double digit loss at home, against a perceived weaker opponent.  But I wasn't devastated, I knew what a tough spot JT Barrett and the Buckeyes were in, so I just looked forward to watching the youngsters develop this season.

And they did, in a big way.  The offense really looked sharp after that game.  The defense benefited from the boost.  By the time they got to what most agreed was to be their toughest test in Michigan State the Buckeyes had becomed a well oiled machine.

Donte Whitner couldn't help but to talk crap.

Then came the Michigan game.  We broke them, but they broke JT Barrett...

So suddenly the guy who didn't come to play school, was finally there to play football.

I was told that Cardale Jones had a great arm, but seriously he was getting his first start in the Big Ten Championship game... c'mon that isn't fair.

By the 2nd quarter I was NFL scouting the kid... That's how good he was.  I don't recall ever laughing like a supervillian the entire way through a football game before.  That's what Cardale Jones did for me.  Suddenly in a 59-0 rout of the Wisconsin Badgers I saw something I haven't seen in a while.

Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows I haven't liked a lot of what I have seen as far as prospective professional quarterbacks.  Don't get me wrong I think there have been good college quarterbacks, but I feel most of them were products of clever offensive systems.  Guys have become more myths than true legends, and the NFL exposes that.  Cardale had some true tangibles.

So it seemed a little too good to be true.  The best arm I have seen in a long time, makes good decisions, has touch on short passes, is the size of a linebacker with speed, is from Cleveland, and is the third string quarterback on my favorite college team?  Get out of here.

So ummm... yes I would really like to see this young man enter this new fandangled college playoff.  But a part of me just couldn't see it happening...

...but if they did I wanted FSU

But they gave us Alabama instead.

I went into that game with a dangerous mindset.  Not only did I think we were going to win, I thought that we were going to destroy them.  So when our own screw ups put us down big early, I kinda thought the Buckeyes were a couple more mistakes away from giving one away.  But Cardale and crew didn't let that happen.  So blah blah blah SEC is go great.  The only thing that even kept them close was our mistakes, and the fact they allowed Cyrus Jones to maul our receivers,  So onto the next.

The National Championship game was set.  Ohio State and their third string QB vs. Heisman winner Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks.

I wasn't sure what to expect.  The Oregon offense makes some games a crapshoot.  I knew our defense had to respond big, and the offense would need to grind the clock.

Tensions were high, because beloved comedian Bob Newhart was the celebrity referee...

And in the end the Buckeyes behind Ezekiel Elliott and Cardale Jones simply outclassed the Ducks.  In fact we kicked the ball all around the field and still comfortably beat them.  Every hater, every doubter could just watch helplessly.    

We won a freaking National Championship!!!!!!!!

So suck it Mark May...

So congratulations Urban Meyer hold your trophy up proud.

So the one time I actually give up before the season even starts is going to be a championship year.  I've been right about a lot of football related things, but I didn't see this coming.  I don't know what the future holds because that NFL scouting I mentioned will (thankfully) be able to continue at least for one more year.  As Cardale will be returning to play school and finish his degree.  And he masterfully trolled ESPN to be sure to spread a good message on the way.

So who knows what the immediate future holds for the Buckeyes.  All we know is that there are new enemies with their sights set on us, we better be ready.

Thursday, January 1, 2015


It's time to wash our hands of yet another playoff free year in Cleveland. I've had a lot of fun posting crazy jokes for everyone this season.  More fun than watching many of the games that these jokes were based on.  So to celebrate the new year I want to look back at some of my favorite jokes of the past year.

The year started with insanity.  The Browns fired the coach they had just hired.  There were a lot of questions about the front office.  Dysfunction seemed to be in order.  Nobody seemed to know their role, or who to answer too.  I would like to think this picture was single handedly responsible for the removal of Joe Banner and Mike Lombardi.

2014 was also mercifully the end of the Brandon Weeden era.  

Weeds was part of Jerry Jones master plan.

Meanwhile we still needed a coach...
Our search went everywhere... well almost everywhere.

And then we found one.

Thankfully the Indians started up because the NFL Draft narrative was getting old quick.  And I was ready for something to go right for at least one of our teams.  I've always liked this homage to the Super Mario Bros coin tone... but now that I look at it, it is already outdated.  The bullpen setup will be much different this year.  Awesome, can't wait for the trolls if I try to recycle this one this one next year.  

And finally the games started...

And thank goodness for Tom Hamilton, because the job didn't get any easier in the offseason.

 Then the Indians came out in April and just couldn't get any momentum.

I tried my best to help some guys out...

But in the end it wasn't an exciting beginning for the Indians, so draft talk took right back over...

Jimmy Haslam really took this draft seriously.  There was a great desire to address the Quarterback position, so they literally went down every alley possible in determining who they would draft.

And they decided to go with the hype.

Luckily the Indians began to turn things around.  Thanks from help from clutch hitting from "Good Guy" David Murphy...

...and "Old Man" Scott Atchison.

But the real gem of the 2014 baseball season was certainly Corey Kluber.  While I did tons of jokes about Kluber these here are among my favorties.

The Indians managed to keep themselves relevant for the better part of the season.  Which made many in the fan base very happy.

Guys who had early season struggles reconnected with the force as the season went on.

And even tried to be the answer to the QB controversy brewing in Berea.

And in the end the Indians fell a little short of their postseason goals.  But my prediction on the postseason awards didn't go exactly how I thought.  The MLB writers just gave Kluber the Cy Young Award, instead of changing the award in his honor.

The Indians struggles on defense was real however.  Case in point, a 2nd baseman playing left field made the defensive play of the year.

Meanwhile after another disappointing year the Cavs looked to make some waves this offseason, and waves they made.

And the hype lasted clear until the end of the first game when they got beat by the lowly Knicks.

So guess who was back in the forefront of the media's eyes.  Here is Johnny at the bar studying the playbook and drinking milk.

And Josh Gordon made news by pissing away his football career, for another in car sales.

And Kluber decided that maybe he should help out as well.

But suddenly the unexpected happened... the Browns won some games.

And a new hero was beginning to emerge.

Then the unthinkable happened... we kicked the Steelers asses.

We were on top of the world.

Browns fans for the most part were happy.  But the in typical Browns fashion, the wheels started to fall off.

Joe Thomas turned out to be an enemy to the environment. 

Ben Tate was thrown from the building.

And Brian Hoyer fell apart...

So it was time for the young man to take over...

...and in 7 quarters all but proved he was barely NFL caliber.  Then he admitted he didn't take the season very seriously, and lost nearly every fan that he had.

Josh Gordon didn't do himself any favors with the fans either.  

And with Justin Gilbert not endearing himself to the fans, coaches or teammates the year 2014 ended full circle.

Here's to a better 2015!