Cardale Jones and America’s Greatest Storage Unit

by Cleveland Frowns on January 14, 2015

The rapid rise of the self-storage industry in the U.S. is a mainly dire phenomenon; a function of unchecked consumerism, consumption and inequality. While a growing number of Americans suffer in increasingly worse economic conditions, those on the other side of the divide continue to accumulate more stuff than they know what to do with. What doesn’t get dumped in the oceans is now tossed into storage units, basically, blighting the landscape with giant rectangular eyesores “that bring—comparative to their size and infrastructural requirements—few jobs or sales-tax benefits.”

For a resourceful group of teenagers from Mentor, Ohio in 2011, though, the rapid rise of the self-storage industry in America was something different. For these teens, the rapid rise of the self-storage industry in America was an opportunity – an opportunity to furnish one of the units at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage on East Avenue near the intersection of Routes 2 and 615 as a mini-clubhouse where they could hang out and do whatever free from the prying eyes of parents, law enforcement and other potentially meddlesome adults. To provide some background, here’s a photo of a related but worse-fated unit from this Mentor Patch report about underage drinking arrests at the same site from December 2011.

Storage Unit 1

As for the Mentor teens who started this local trend, it wasn’t long before they realized that they had something special at their disposal. Some of them being football fans who would attend Ohio State University the next fall, they got the idea to use Twitter to invite members of the acclaimed 2010-11 Glenville High football team, including current Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones and Indiana University receiver Shane Wynn, to attend a party at the unit.

After having received enough tweets from the Mentor group, Cardale, Wynn and Co. [click to continue…]


Haslam’s tough talk on Manziel rings hollow

by Cleveland Frowns on December 29, 2014

After yesterday’s 20-10 loss to the Ravens in which the Browns ensured their seventh consecutive losing season, owner Jimmy Haslam made a rare appearance in front of the TV cameras to send a message to certain of the team’s young players.

“I think a player who can’t show up for meetings, can’t make practice, can’t make weight-lifting, disrespects himself,” Haslam said. “But I think more importantly, and I think this is what these young guys miss, they disrespect the team, the coaches, the staff, the fans. There’s a lot of people in our organization whose livelihood depends on how well we do. We’re not gonna tolerate people who are irresponsible, no matter what round they’re drafted in.”

Haslam was referring to 2014 first-round draft picks Johnny Manziel and Justin Gilbert, as well as third-year receiver and 2013 All Pro Josh Gordon, all of whom were subject to discipline by the team over the weekend thanks to a series of developments that would seem absurd in any other NFL city.

Here, though, it’s just December in Berea and Johnny Football – who in 2014 generated as many negative headlines for off-field incidents as any American athlete in recent memory, performed as poorly as a quarterback possibly could in his 6 quarters of play as a regular season starter, and just last week repeated a vow to take his football career more seriously – had a “big” party on Friday night attended by a number of his teammates. The party was so much fun that Johnny and Gordon failed to show up for the team walk-through and a scheduled rehab appointment on Saturday morning, and the Browns had to send team security to Johnny’s home in an attempt to locate him.

Johnny Manziel money phone

For his part, Gilbert – whose attendance at Johnny’s party has neither been confirmed nor denied – failed to show at a team meeting on Saturday night after the team had traveled to Baltimore. Strangely enough, the rookie also promised last week to rededicate himself to his NFL career after having come under fire for horrendous play and “one of the worst attitudes some in the organization have ever seen.”

All three players were banned from the Browns sideline on Saturday, with Gordon having been suspended and kept home from Baltimore altogether.

Of course, the offenses of these three young Browns might seem like small potatoes [click to continue…]


Johnson Bademosi is a great Cleveland Brown

by Cleveland Frowns on December 11, 2014

Yesterday, Browns defensive back and top special-teamer Johnson Bademosi published a statement at on his decision to wear a t-shirt marked with “I can’t breathe,” in protest of what he calls “police killings as a symptom of the systematic and historical devaluing of black lives.”

Johnson Bademosi Browns I can't breathe

It’s as much [click to continue…]


Things we know and things we don’t know about the Browns

by Cleveland Frowns on December 8, 2014

The Hoyer/Manziel thing is so tough. Who’s to say how much better Hoyer would be playing without the Johnny Football Industrial Complex looming over his shoulder? Who knows how much pressure Mike Pettine is under from the front office or owner’s box, let alone from the voices in his own head due to the quarterback controversy that the Browns drafted in May? Who knows how it could be affecting strategy, in-game decisionmaking, or relationships in the locker room?

Only three weeks ago, the Browns were 6-3 on the season, local boy Brian Hoyer was making good with a 10-3 career record as the starting quarterback and as stable a force as the franchise has had at the position since Bernie Kosar (also the first Browns QB with consecutive 300-yard passing games since Brian Sipe in 1983). But by kickoff yesterday, the Browns had faced two teams with top-line defensive fronts that effectively shut down an offense that depends on its running game (and two fumble-prone rookie running backs), misses its Pro Bowl center lost to injury in week 6, and remains a work-in-progress as far as integrating its All Pro receiver after a 10-game suspension. A rash of injuries to key defensive starters didn’t help either, the team was all of a sudden 7-5 with its playoff hopes on the brink, and the Manziel machine had kicked into a full-throated roar, with a Browns source having apparently leaked that the franchise will not re-sign Hoyer when he becomes a free agent in the offseason.

As much as folks were expecting better yesterday against a Colts defense that’s turned in some standout performances and has been generally stout against the run, things got worse, with 248 yards of total offense representing a season low for the Browns offense in a heartbreaking 25-24 loss.

How bad was it really, though, and how much of it is Hoyer’s fault? It was just a one-point loss to a presumptive division-winner and legitimate Super Bowl contender. Could it be that Kyle Shanahan’s offense has become as predictable as it was unproductive in Washington last year? Should the coaching staff or front office have done better to silence the Manziel noise, at least until the end of the season? Is it foolish to expect any quarterback or coaching staff to perform with anything like this quarterback controversy running on full blast? What if it was just another one of those December Sundays in Cleveland where both offenses were destined to suck?

Or are we better off just getting on with the Johnny Football Era anyway, regardless of the answers to any of these questions?

[click to continue…]


Magic Johnson on LeBron and Social Justice

by Cleveland Frowns on December 7, 2014

On Friday night, NBA legend Magic Johnson made a powerful statement on the importance of athletes speaking out against social injustice, specifically commending LeBron James for his recent public statements about Trayvon Martin, Donald Sterling, and social unrest across the U.S. related to various killings of unarmed young black men and boys by police officers.

LeBron James Trayvon Martin Tamir Rice Michael Brown

Magic’s statement generated national headlines, including at (“Magic praises LeBron’s social stance“) and USA Today (“Magic Johnson praises LeBron James for speaking out on social issues“).

Naturally, Cleveland’s comic-book supervillain of a “daily” newspaper, that will run a week of stories whenever LeBron appears in a Nike ad, couldn’t [click to continue…]


Mayor Jackson was wrong about Ferguson and Cleveland

by Cleveland Frowns on November 25, 2014

Last week, a spokesman for Mayor Frank Jackson brushed off the idea that Cleveland had anything to learn from Ferguson, Missouri, where the killing of an unarmed young black man, Michael Brown, by police has caused massive protests and civil unrest. “Questions about lessons learned from Ferguson and the preparations Cleveland might take ahead of a similarly incendiary incident were unworthy of a response,” said Jackson spokesman Daniel Williams, according to the Plain Dealer’s Brandon Blackwell.

A few days later, a Cleveland police officer shot and killed a 12-year-old black boy, Tamir Rice, allegedly because the officer felt threatened by a realistic looking toy pellet gun that the boy had on his person.

Tamir Rice

The officers were responding to a 911 call reporting “a guy with a pistol” on a swing set at the Cudell Recreation Center on Cleveland’s near west side, pulling the gun from his pants and “scaring the s—t out of everyone.”

The man who called 911 told dispatchers that the “guy” was “probably a juvenile,” and twice said that “the gun was probably fake,” an assumption that was corroborated by … Click here to continue reading at Belt Magazine


The Plain Dealer’s John Kasich cover-up and other Election Day stories

October 31, 2014

The City of Cleveland hasn’t had a legitimately contested mayoral election since 2005, with incumbent Frank Jackson having run essentially unopposed in the two elections since then. Jackson will be the longest-serving Mayor in Cleveland’s 200+year history by the time his current term is up, and now folks are hearing that he’ll run for yet […]

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Ebola, the Media, and What Will Really Kill Us

October 20, 2014

Two Saturdays ago I had a close brush with the Ebola virus. Laura Johnston of the Northeast Ohio Media Group has the details here, with commentary by Scene’s Eric Sandy here and others here, here and here. Of course, calling attention to a deadly virus that has little to no risk of spreading in the […]

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Columbus Day is a great American holiday

October 13, 2014

“A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from [ages] nine to ten are now in demand.” — Christopher Columbus ————— In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue from Europe […]

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It was ever a day for the Browns to beat the damn Steelers

October 12, 2014

“I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” — Kurt Vonnegut

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