Six Quotes on a Canadian Browns fan’s first game day in Cleveland

by Cleveland Frowns on October 11, 2012

@colesnotes is a Browns fan from Calgary and a good sport on Twitter who recently completed his lifelong goal of visiting Cleveland and attending a Browns game. In this case, it was the September 9 home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. I had the pleasure of hosting Cole for his first Browns tailgate and am honoured to present his account of his trip, which follows, along with some photos that were taken that day. Enjoy.

—————

The following are six (6) quotes that tell the tale of a native Canadian’s weekend on the shores of Lake Erie:

“Are you sure you aren’t lost?” – Cab driver at Hopkins International Airport, to me.

Following two weeks traveling the Eastern seaboard of the United States, I had only one item left to cross off on my bucket list: to see a game at Cleveland Browns Stadium. I had seen New York City, Philadelphia and Washington DC. I am the one man in Canada with Tim Couch AND Kelly Holcomb jerseys, and it was high time to visit the house that Chris Palmer built.

Growing up in Canada, you have two choices as an NFL sports fan. You can cheer for the closest team geographically to you (which, as I’m from Calgary, would be the Seattle Seahawks) or you can blaze your own trail. I chose the latter due to some combination of all the excitement over the “new Browns” circa ’99, Tim Couch, and the Browns being on TV a lot in Canada. Plus, how can you not love the team without a logo?

Of course, I have paid dearly for my choice. Anyway, a layover in Cleveland on my way home was the perfect opportunity to see finally the Browns in their natural habitat. Naturally, I jumped at the chance.

* * *

“I’ll pick you up at your hotel at 9 a.m. Be ready.” – @ClevelandFrowns to me.

Counting on the generosity of strangers, I sent Frownie a direct message a few months ago to ask for game day recommendations for opening weekend. His first response: “Shoot me an e-mail. We’ll tailgate.” A few weeks later I received the above text and we were shortly on our way.

* * *

“Yeah, so you’ve never been tailgating.” –@ClevelandFrowns, in response to me saying that I’d tailgated once before at a CFL game.

One thing I quickly learned about game day in Cleveland: it’s all about the ritual.

I thought I knew what tailgating was before this weekend started, but I was thoroughly unprepared for what I saw. As I’ve described to my native Canadians, imagine a three-way cross between a music festival, Beer Olympics and the biggest frat party you’ve ever seen, with everyone wearing Colt McCoy jerseys. I was completely entranced.

Things I saw in or within 100 yards of the Muni Lot before the game:

 

* * *

“All I want to see is one touchdown.” – Me

After losing my tailgating virginity, I stumbled into the stadium with the huddled masses – very much prepared for the slaughter that was about to happen. Given that this was my first pilgrimage to the stadium, I was determined to do it right, and picked up a ticket in Row 5 of the Dawg Pound. Suffice to say, it was indescribable – though a little subdued from the days of hurling bleachers onto the field (I’d brought a hand saw, just in case).

Thanks to D’Qwell Jackson, my one and only goal of seeing a touchdown was realized – no thanks to the living atrocity that is #Shurmurball.

Things I will treasure from my Dawg Pound experience:

  • The collective reaction of everyone in the section when Brandon Weeden got stuck under the flag (more of a collective sigh than anything);
  • The nice people who sat next to me and asked me what it was like to have free health care (I should’ve started passing out prescription pills at halftime. GO CANADA!);
  • Jumping and cheering with like-minded(spirited) individuals at the prospect of a possible victory (ignorance is bliss);
  • The drunk obese woman behind me who started softly kissing my neck in the fourth quarter. #romance

* * *

“Never has a win felt so much like a loss.” – Philly fan in the elevator at my hotel

Low expectations could never be more beautiful than they are on Browns game day.

Rather than reflect on the rudderless direction of the franchise or the implications of a rookie “franchise QB” who was born during the first Reagan Administration, I chose to appreciate the day for what it was. Those Philly fans couldn’t say the same. Sucks for them.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Thanks to @ClevelandFrowns and @KyleTalking for an epic weekend. I’ll be back next year. Go Browns!

  • ClevelandFrowns

    In recognition of the most compelling matchup of the weekend and in punishment of Kanicki’s base intransigence in re: yesterday’s sham election, the Executive Committee hereby announces that the Cheddar Bay All Play for Week 7 is Bengals -1 at Browns.

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      i got no problem with an all-play that promises to showcase an OAFL offensive system metamorphosing into the rarely seen YOLO offense in real-time and right before our eyes.

      it’s like when your chameleon evolves into charizard.

      • Wiseoldredbeard

        that is a lot of tween lingo

        • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

          oh no no no. the ’0 and 4 Luxury’ (OAFL) offense was described by defenestration here. its evolution into the YOLO offense (described here) is the logical and inevitable progression.

          tween? oh no no no… this is science.

          • Defenestration

            I think one small step in the progression that would make everyone happy this week would be the following.

            Playcalls in the redzone must fill at least one of the following criteria, regardless of down and distance:

            a.) Trent Richardson is on the field

            b.) MVPhil is attempting a field goal

            As I imagine the offense will be more OAFL than YOLO, stylistically speaking, I imagine the specific playcalling out of formation a will include triple reverses, half-back passes, some two-quarter back looks, and some newly dreamed up legal version of the Fumblerooski. You have to use The Luxury that is afforded to you.

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          Tweens do love their Papa Doc.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Had to like for Papa Doc.
        He killed JFK with a curse.
        Forget the “grassy knoll”, forget the Zapruder film, forget Castro and even LBJ.
        Papa Doc did it!

        Cheddar 7
        UTEP +17 Tulsa’s QB Cody Green is injured, not exactly a World Beater and lacking confidence as well. Even though Tulsa’s running game should bowl over UTEP’s defense, eventually UTEP will learn that they can play run only; with 10 in the box, hopefully before they are more than 17 points behind. (It is all about the Quarterbacks as always.)

        Texas +3.5 Once again kids it is time for the Red River Rivalry! (Say that three times fast.)
        Landry Jones is overrated and David Ash is coming into his own as a Quarterback. It is all about the QB’s.

        The Great Golden Dome -8 over Stanford

        Central Mich -1.5 over Navy Navy has a Quarterback controversy brewing and when you have two QB’s you have none. (All about the QB’s baby.)

        BYU -4 Ore State has two injured Quarterbacks and when you have two injured QB’s you have less than zero.

        **** Super Terrific Bonus Essay and All Play****
        Bungles -1 over Da Browns It is still too early for the Browns to start Geno Smith.
        This seems like a sucker bet. Which is more dangerous a burgeoning dumpster fire, or Huck Finn lighting a blunt on a raft on the Ohio River?
        The Browns will have no home field advantage, because you drunken, degenerate gamblers will cheer the coin toss and then be on your “smarter than you” phones checking how much you lost and posting on the Frownie page with Bupa, hoping your landlord is on vacation so you have another bad week of foolish bets to pay the rent.
        The Salt Miner, Ben Jarvis Green Elliott should have a big game, provided that he did not spend the week in litigation/strip clubs like our beloved Frownie. The Browns defense looks like they could completely forget Dalton and Green, play 12 in the box and still give up 250 yards rushing.
        Mo Mass and Travis Benjamin are out? Who will Brandon Weeden be throwing the ball too?
        My guess is is that he shall be throwing mostly to the Bengals defensive backs.
        On defense, Haden is back, but D’Q Jack and A Rubin are out as well as well as Phil Taylor still being unavailable. That is a recipe for disaster. Unless the Browns can bring back Chip Banks and Jerry Sherk this game is going to be really ugly.

        • p_forever

          you super convinced me re: nd over stanford. i think i might pick that too.

          • acto

            It was most assuredly my brilliant essay.

          • p_forever

            yes. the extensive section on the nd game.

    • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

      the pdf line is cincy -1.5 unless the exec committee has proclaimed martial law and is asserting emergency powers.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        I originally wrote this yesterday at -1.5 and then I posted at -1 because that was in the email that Frownie sent.
        I will take the Bungles at -1 or -1.5 whichever you decide.

        Please feel free to sing along with me and Louis Armstrong:

        Way down in egypt land
        Tell all pharaoes to
        Let my kanicki go!

    • mo_by_dick
    • trashycamaro

      Was going to pick the Hilltoppers of WKU but the game already started. Alas, they have carried me this year.

  • Beeej

    How in the hell can the Browns manage an ATS win at +1? A tie?

    • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

      Win the game outright? I know it’s a foreign concept on the north coast, but blind squirrels and nuts and all that.

      • GrandRapidsRustlers

        Shurmur is reading this as we speak…

        Types win the game outright into search engine.

        Battles.

        I’m really going to miss Shurmur come Tuesday this week.

        • Hopwin

          Relax ya’ll. Pat’s GOT THIS.

      • Beeej

        Is it sad to think that not for one millisecond did I consider that as a possibility?

        • CleveLandThatILove

          The answer’s in the question, Beej.

          • Beeej

            d’oh!!!

          • actovegin1armstrong

            I love you and your rapier wit CLTIL!

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    A -1 line and a story on a Canadian?

    This better be the first part of a story about the Rouge coming to the NFL making Captain Phil Dawson even more valuable.

  • Peter

    Frowns, are the kids ready for tailgating?

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    So, this being the last game before the Haslam era begins, the question remains: if Shurmur is 0-6, does he get canned day 1 to prove to the whole organization that times have changed and losing is unacceptable? It would be a bold move.

    • Beeej

      Let’s hope so.

    • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

      Give Jauron the interim title and let Childress focus on offense. I’d say the Browns have hit rock bottom, but they are only 0-5 at this point. They may have to run the table to hit bottom.

      • CleveLandThatILove

        I thought with all Browns head coaches, the “interim” was implied. Oy.

  • Wiseoldredbeard

    Btw, I love this post.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      Yes, great story, it warmed the heart. For what it’s worth, everyone I’ve met from Calgary has been pretty cool. Some day, I will go there.

      And Edmonton.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        All three people from Calgary are very nice.

        • BIKI024

          typical american elitism. Calgary has a population over a million, nearly double Cleveland.. great city with exceptional Chinese food, believe it or not.. i think nearly 10% of population is Chinese..

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Biki,
            1). Canada is in America. (Please see NAFTA)
            2.) The company I work for is based in Canada. I am the top producing USAsian, (that is what they call me, even though I am a 6′ 2″, 260# dum, white Solvak.)
            3.) This year our team meeting was in Toronto, next year it is in Calgary.
            I may pack my old, signed Leroy Kelly 44 jersey and give it to our new friend. It is XL and it does not fit me anymore. I am XXL and my shoulders continue to grow even though I stopped lifting in 1978.

            I am certainly the dum, ugly American Biki, but please understand that I am a complete moron and certainly not elite.

            I am sorry if I offended you, I just love having fun with the Canucks . Our second best guy is in Calgary and we always stay a few days after company meetings and party like rock stars, so I have had a lot of fun on the frozen side of our border.

            Once again, my apologies Biki.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            I did not know about Calgary having excellent Chinese food. I am wanting to visit Calgary more than ever.

            It sounds like you will get there before me, Acto. Please email me some Chinese food when you visit. Thanks in advance.

          • BIKI024

            of course no offense taken, i’m the sociopathic superfan remember?!?

          • actovegin1armstrong

            I love you Biki!

        • Beeej

          No way. I knocked over #3 in the subway once and he didn’t even say sorry. Just kidding of course. At one time I consider rooting for either the Roughriders or the Rough Riders of the CFL as a an upgrade to the Browns. I decided to go with the Eskimos despite the non-racist mascot.

          • actovegin1armstrong

            Beeej, Funny stuff, ala HIMYM.
            I thought the Rough Rider was a condom.

          • Beeej

            He was a virgin? Otherwise I don’t know what a HIMYM is.

          • Beeej

            Never mind. I just googled it. I’ve only seen the show on occasional but canadiansexpositions.org was hysterical.

          • Kamov

            psst: Beej, it’s canadiansexacts.org

          • Beeej

            I think there was some bikilettuce in my sandwich today.

        • Petefranklin

          Except the three border guards who tossed my truck looking for drugs while my family and I attempted to sight see the Canadian portion of Glacier Nat. Park. Nothing better to do than send us back to the U.S. I guess. The only thing that stopped them was the grocery bag with my sons dirty diaper inside. I have my wife and brother flipping the guards off as we U-turn back to sanity in the U.S. on video. All because of my DUI 17 years before, my bros DUI 4 years before and my wifes tree possesion like 20 years before. I used to like the Calgary Flames but I hope I left some of the curse behind with those socialists. Glacier Park is awesome by the way!

  • ChuckKoz

    Titans +5.5 (Steelers)
    Colorado +23 (ASU)
    Indiana +17 (Ohio State)
    USC -11.5 (Washington)
    Bengals – 1 (Browns)
    Texans -3.5 (Packers)*

    Its easy to be down on Wisconsin-based things. They did give us Paul Ryan after all. The same Paul Ryan that is buddies with disgraced Wisconsin Rep Roger “some girls rape easy” Rivard (see: http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/10/11/14364599-ryan-ally-in-wisconsin-some-girls-rape-easy?lite) . The same Paul Ryan that told about 50 lies during Thursday nights debate (note: this essay was published before the debate; will update with details on the certain lies throughout the weekend). And, of course, the same Paul Ryan that wants to turn Medicare into a coupon program…..and while coupons may sound enticing to older people on a fixed income, the idea of leaving an 85 year old sick person to fight with an insurance company over unpaid hospital bills is just a fucking disgusting idea….and any of you clowns that want to say anything positive about this need to shut it.

    Oh, and all you “ryan is serious” jackasses, read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/20/opinion/krugman-an-unserious-man.html?_r=0

    • WestPalm27

      So calling people “jackasses” for disagreeing with Paul Krugman and Rachel Maddow actually qualifies as an essay? Good for you guy.

      • ChuckKoz

        the Krugman/Maddow links are not mere opinion pieces that you can choose to disagree with. they are articles with facts. and you dont get to choose your own set of facts.

        • BIKI024

          Amtrak Joe might get railroaded tonight, or will he be able to steam through the Miami Redhawk..

        • WestPalm27

          I stand corrected. That op-ed piece written by an op-ed columnist published on the opinion pages of the New York Times is most certainly NOT opinion. Thanks for clarifying for me.

          • ChuckKoz

            Nice try. But as I said, it is not merely (solely) an opinion piece. The article contains indisputable facts, which proves Ryan is anything but serious. The only thing that is up for choice is for you to decide if Ryan is just recklessly ignorant or intentionally fraudulent.

    • Hopwin

      Thank God for Keynesian economists and their quasi-solid understanding of basic arithmetic!

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Hop,
        How so you figure the element of time, (even though it does not exist in the real world), with regard to Keynesian Economics?
        I debate this frequently and I can always use new ammo.

        • Hopwin

          By the element of time I presume you mean determining where in the economic cycle we are at any given time? Or are you delving into the “post-keynesian” economic school?

          • actovegin1armstrong

            No Hop, by the element of time I am referencing Time, a thing we created to quantify our own obsolescence.
            I am a physics guy and when I was just a puppy I refused to believe in the existence of time or mass.
            I should stay out of the discussion of the more socially literal struggle of economics.
            I save to build my giant animal shelter, to retire as an animal wrangler and play with dogs and cats all day.
            That is all I know about economics, my apologies again.

      • ChuckKoz

        not really clear to me if that is sarcasm. the reason i remain unclear is because it wouldn’t make sense to mock nobel prize winners in economics for not understanding arithmetic.

    • Chad

      don’t see how this qualifies as a cheddar essay:

      “For your favorite pick, you’re required to write an essay of at least 100 words to post in the comments here to the weekly Cheddar Bay Open Thread, explaining your reasons for the pick in terms of factors/narratives that are misvalued in the point spread. (E.g. “Factor X is not fully appreciated in the line for this game, for reasons X, Y, Z, etc., thus the pick here is Team A.”) “

      • Kamov

        It’s easy: He is down on the spread because Wisconsin is down with Paul Ryan and Roger “some girls rape easy” Rivard. The rest of the essay outlines his reasons for believing this will negatively impact the Packers.

        Obviously on a web site where the karmic connection of Chief Wahoo to continued Cleveland sports failure is recognized, it should come as no surprise that other connections are open to investigation as well!

        If you need any more help please ask!

        • ClevelandFrowns

          Kamov is correct and will handle any further inquiries on this subject until further notice. — The Executive Committee

  • GrandRapidsRustlers

    An early Thursday double play…

    One Cheddar Point each please…

    WKU (-2.5) over Troy
    Colorado (+23) over ASU – This is like my bowl game tonight.

  • bupalos

    Oh. Canada!

    Thoroughly enjoyable sir. It never occurred to me that there might be people in this wold with no connection to Cleveland that nonetheless appreciate the wonder that is the Browns. But if such a thing had occurred to me, I would have predicted they were from Canada, the largest untapped reservoirs of Nice, Smart, and Chill in the western world. Onward Canadian soldier.

    • dubbythe1

      you met one of those people on a Thursday evening back in April sir!

      • bupalos

        Come on now Dub. Where do you think all the acid rain in Rochester comes from? Cleveland. If you can smell it, you’ve got a connection to it.

        • BIKI024

          it comes from the fumes Dinosaur BBQ’s Devil’s Duel Pepper sauce gives off, that stuff is helluva lot more potey than acid rain. you ever go there Dub? BOMB!

  • @colesnotes

    Thanks for the kind words everybody!

    I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Cleveland and will be back again. Though hopefully it won’t be for Year 3 of SchurmurBall….

    • CleveLandThatILove

      Best layover ever?

      Fun post, glad you had a good time. And thanks to the Mayor of Frowns Town for his civic duties.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        CLTIL Please,
        (“Best layover ever?”)
        You may as well have said, “stay at my house, it could have been better”.

        Just joking, you know I love you.

        Frownie is a prince by the way, but I know if I come back for a game he will have me arrested for public indignation or some other offense.

    • Khip

      You’re good people, @colesnotes.

    • p_forever

      super glad you came; even gladder that you liked it so much; will be gladdest when you make it back.

  • p_forever

    did anyone else just hear barack obama on 92.3????? all politricks are local, for sure.

    oh and just to be bi-partisan about the whole thing, check out paul ryan (brady quinn wishes he looked like this in his men’s journal spread, for sure).

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/paul-ryan-did-a-beefcake-photo-shoot-and-its-the

    • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

      “You can’t trust somebody who waivers in terms of who they’re rooting for.”

      Did you catch the thinly veiled shot there or was it just me?

      • p_forever

        i’m listening now and some of the callers picked up on the same line – who knows – i doubt he planned to use it ahead of time, but for sure it applied to the sports conversation at hand and while playing nicely into his current campaign.

        mostly i can’t believe that you are commenting on the president instead of on those paul ryan beefcake pics.

        • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

          As tempting as the URL with “paul ryan beefcake” in it may be, I wanted to hold down my lunch so I avoided it.

      • Hopwin

        That is how you reach out to the “undecideds” out there for sure. Finally he’s found his voice!

  • BIKI024

    BRADY QUINN ALERT!

    KC fans, be careful what you wish for… you ask for it, you got it.. Brady Quinn is your starting QB this Sunday..

    • p_forever

      yep – allegedly some folks thing he might still have the makings of a franchise qb (if you are to believe (some) of what you hear on espn).

      and before you say it (and as noted here previously): i’m not one of them.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    Defenstration’s brilliant recognition/definition of the 0-and-4-Luxury (OAFL) offense this week triggered something for me. i too enjoy a luxury. the luxury of being at the very far left of the bell curve that is the cheddar bay standings.

    being in this position frees me from attempting to predict in familiar and conventional ways. after all.. hows that working out, amirite? no, my circumstance affords me the luxury to seek out new and untested handicapping techniques. in so doing, i have developed a system with the potential to be brilliant. behold.

    Shurmur Luxury Football Handicapping System™ (SLFHS)
    SLFHS acknowledges that lines-makers are effective at factoring conventional game outcome determinants such as home field, injuries, talent disparities, system mismatches, and even coaching effectiveness. However the SLFHS believes that there are intangible soft skills and that the presence or lack of such skills creates additional and inexplicable dynamics which affect the flow of the game. SLFHS seeks to find games with large spreads in these coaching soft skills.

    Step 1 – rate coaches based on three metrics (the soft skills mentioned above).
    The metrics are:
    – planning: this can be game planning, in-game strategy, opponent scouting, play calling … anything related to game prep.
    – loyalty: does the coach own the locker room? will his players run through walls for him? or do they tolerate him?
    – poise: calm demeanor on the sideline, leadership presence with players/coaches, ,,, or phoning beat writers at home.

    The measures are indeed subjective. However I used a simple 0-5 scale. Perfect 0 across the board goes, of course, to the system’s namesake. Straight 5s to the Warlock Class of coaches: Urban Meyer, Dana Holgorsen, and Bill Snyder. A roughed out stack ranking is found here.

    Step 2 – identify games where ‘Shurmurs’ are playing ‘Warlocks.’ (Avoid games where warlocks and shurmurs play each other. Thus Kstate-ISU must be avoided; same for Stanford/ND.)
    I find four this week:
    okst (gundy) -24 at ku (weis)
    at wash (sarkisian) +11.5 usc (kiffin)
    at ole miss (freeze) -6 auburn (chizik)
    duke (cutcliffe) +10 at vatech (beemer)

    Step 3 – stack rank by the shurmur/warlock spread.
    gundy 13/ weis 7 == 6
    sarkisian 12/ kiffin 7 == 5
    freeze 12/ chizik 8 == 4
    cutcliffe 11/ beemer 7 == 4

    Step 4 – apply without regard to point spread.

    Thus my essay pick is oklahoma state -24 at kansas. and that’s _before_ i drop weis’ ‘poise’ metric a notch for this douchey whine toward the KU student newspaper. (congrats charlie weis, you’re now in the romeo crennel zone.)

    Summing up this week’s picks:
    1. Essay: Okla St -24 at KU
    2. All-play: Bengals -1.5 at Browns
    3. at Wash +11.5 USC
    4. at Ole Miss -6 Auburn
    5. Duke +10 at Va Tech
    6. WVU -4 at Texas Tech

    • Deputy Glitters

      Love Taggart. WKU Alum here.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        would be my choice to succeed shurmur. been pounding the table for him for over an year. go toppers!

        • BIKI024

          isn’t Romeo a WKU alum??

          • ClevelandFrowns

            If he is that would explain a lot in complicated ways.

            Biki you are on fire this week. I’m riding all of your Cheddar picks.

          • BIKI024

            yeah, but can you drive STICK? i mean.. you gonna ride this???

            CHEDDAR BAY ALL PLAY:
            Browns +1 the 11 game losing streak has to stop sometime, might as well be against the Bungles. plus of course I love homedog division rivals

          • ClevelandFrowns

            SHIT. NEVERMIND.

          • BIKI024

            CHEDDAR BAY:

            Illini +25.5 @UM

  • ClevelandFrowns

    A few things that are especially awesome about this post:

    1) All Cole wanted was one touchdown, one touchdown was scored, and it was by the defense, a pick six, by D’Qwell. #SHURMURBALL

    2) The science center windmill is perfectly centered behind Cole’s head like a helicopter beanie hat in the second to last photo.

    3) “Low expectations could never be more beautiful than they are on Browns game day.”

  • Cousin_of_Cohen

    Week 7 Picks for HurriKain Colter (I’ll try to repost to the open thread, but I’ll be out of town this weekend in M-I-N-N-E-S-OOOOOOOOO-T-A to watch the Gophs take on my Wildcats):

    Browns +1 over Cincinnati
    Giants +5 over San Francisco
    Baylor -7 over TCU
    West Virginia -4 over Texas Tech
    Florida -7.5 over Vanderbilt

    Essay Pick:
    Denver +1.5 over San Diego
    Having recently visited San Diego, I have to say that their fans aren’t that spectacular, having a bevy of excuses to use to not be great fans. Either way, San Diego looked pretty bad last week and has a lot of mismanagement from Norv – calling a Rivers rollout on 2nd and goal at the NO 3 yard line when they had been running the ball effectively the whole drive. You have to think that Peyton is looking forward to this matchup, and I definitely think the Broncos have the superior team here. True, it is a road game, but I really like the Broncos chances. San Diego can’t be feeling that bad though – they did just lose to the best 0-4 team in the league.

    • FSOhioZJackson

      One for one on SunBelt Thursday nighters, so why not 2 for 2? Hate going against streaks but will take the Men of Troy for their Thursday night history that probably only I remember.

      Will also take the Steelers since I’m in the mood for beer and you won’t find 5.5 anywhere else. Don’t love it, but I’ll take it.

      Troy -2.5
      Steelers -5.5

      Will post the rest tomorrow.

      • FSOhioZJackson

        And of course that’s supposed to say Troy +2.5. So, Troy +2.5

      • CleveLandThatILove

        I’m 3 for 3 going with Troy this season. I’m too late to the party this week, rats.

  • WooMike

    I’ll take a couple of picks tonight for Cheddar Bay:

    Steelers -5.5
    Colorado +23

  • Petefranklin

    CHEDDAR BAY pick #1 Tulsa – 17 over utep tonight. UTEPs games with wiscy and okie dont look very good lately but they boosted the miners power # up enough for a solid play tonight

    • ClevelandFrowns

      Now, uh, usually I don’t do this, but Steeler me up for a Cheddar point. #ThursdayNiteFights

  • http://bryanjoiner.com/ Bryan Joiner

    As there is no obvious Cheddar Bay open thread yet, I’m taking Steelers -5.5 over Titans, essay:

    Looks too easy, and if it was 5.5 points on Sunday, I’d stay away. Betting the house on the Thursday night game is a tricky business. It provides some real value, and poses some real drawbacks. Let’s investigate.
    The game poses real value because it’s where forces of momentum and routine get disrupted. If you can identify the forces at work here vis-à-vis just a regular old game, there’s value to be had. On the flip side, in this particular contest, if you take the Thursday night game you’re giving away a chance at a possibly better bet over the weekend. Statistically speaking, it’s there. There are just too many games for it not to be. You can probably find it, too. But the known known is that Thursdays are different, and if you can get a good enough return, it’s time to pull the tigger.
    If this game was in the division, I’d say it was going to be close. Division games are a different animal, and on Thursday nights, they tend toward the middle of the road: Like Ravens/Browns or Pack/Bears, it’s gonna be close, because the teams are too familiar with each other, and too tired, to really surprise one another. They have the dirt on one another. Even Rams/Cards counts: That was a balancing out of the Cardinals’ season, and a testament to division games being hell for the road team.
    For a non-divisional game, it’s reversed. The Giants/Panthers? The veteran winners against the young team in disarray? There and here, there’s so much less info to go on than there is for a normal weak that the differences are pulled to their extremes. The Steelers are rounding into form, and are going to put up 30. The Titans can’t score 20. There’s your game.

    • p_forever

      sounds like frowns is doomed, to me.

      • ClevelandFrowns

        GOD DAMMIT.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    bryan joiner’s essay came in via email –

    Looks too easy, and if it was 5.5 points on Sunday, I’d stay away. Betting the house on the Thursday night game is a tricky business. It provides some real value, and poses some real drawbacks. Let’s investigate.
    The game poses real value because it’s where forces of momentum and routine get disrupted. If you can identify the forces at work here vis-à-vis just a regular old game, there’s value to be had. On the flip side, in this particular contest, if you take the Thursday night game you’re giving away a chance at a possibly better bet over the weekend. Statistically speaking, it’s there. There are just too many games for it not to be. You can probably find it, too. But the known known is that Thursdays are different, and if you can get a good enough return, it’s time to pull the tigger.

    If this game was in the division, I’d say it was going to be close. Division games are a different animal, and on Thursday nights, they tend toward the middle of the road: Like Ravens/Browns or Pack/Bears, it’s gonna be close, because the teams are too familiar with each other, and too tired, to really surprise one another. They have the dirt on one another. Even Rams/Cards counts: That was a balancing out of the Cardinals’ season, and a testament to division games being hell for the road team.

    For a non-divisional game, it’s reversed. The Giants/Panthers? The veteran winners against the young team in disarray? There and here, there’s so much less info to go on than there is for a normal weak that the differences are pulled to their extremes. The Steelers are rounding into form, and are going to put up 30. The Titans can’t score 20. There’s your game.

  • http://twitter.com/JRichTCF Jeff Rich

    #CheddarBay

    So I went into the hole early with these two Thursday night games, which featured terrible teams at home. I was counting on a well-rested Steeler team, and thinking the Sun Devils (who lost at Missouri) to be looking ahead to next Thursday’s game with the Ducks in Tempe. The truth was revealed; Colorado is that team that lost to Sacramento State and the Steelers are very much that team that couldn’t beat the Raiders. It’s all true, but it sometimes takes a while to learn that.

    COLORADO (+23) vs Arizona State (L)

    Steelers (-5.5) at TITANS (L)

    ***Bengals (-1.5) at BROWNS ***

    Am I missing something here? I know Joe Haden’s work, I like Joe Haden’s work; you might even call me a Joe Haden fan, but 0-16 is still very much in play. I know that “homering up” would go a long way towards helping me on these all-plays, and I’m 1-5 going with Michigan, and against Ohio State and the Browns, so what is possessing me to pick the Browns to lose again? Didn’t I just get burnt Thursday night by results in Boulder and Nashville that would please me very much under any other circumstances?

    Look, you’re just going to have to give the Browns more points. It’s that simple; Sheridan already has this bad boy at 2.5, and it might be closer to 4 by kickoff on Sunday. The Browns might be adequate on offense against this inadequate Cincinnati D, but I no longer fear the back-breaking pick from Brandon Weeden, I anticipate it. A still woozy, likely concussed D’Qwell Jackson is going to be leading this defense, and I’m still waiting on a confirmed Jabaal Sheard sighting. This one is worthy of two extra units. I don’t love any of my picks, but I like this one a lot.

    Northern Illinois (-12) vs Buffalo

    Ohio (-20.5) vs Akron

    Giants (+5) at 49ers

  • mrickman

    Bengals -1.5
    Louisville -3
    Kansas State -7
    West Virginia -4
    New England -4

    FSU -28 (vs. BC)
    I hate to beat a dead Spaziani, but BC is god awful. And because the ACC deserves nothing better than the transitive property, that’s what they’re getting. If Wake Forest could beat Army by a score yet lose to FSU by 52 and BC can do the unthinkable and lose to Army (previously winless) while allowing 500+ yards on the ground, then FSU — angry and forlorn after yet another sad pathetic inability to live up to expectations — should beat BC by at least 60, right?

    That probably won’t happen, but BC is on life support (sorry, that’s disrespectful to life support). The Eagles resorted to poking the sleeping bear with quotes like ‘we have the highest intention of kicking [FSU's] ass’ and ‘FSU hasn’t had to work for anything in their lives.’ This is akin to the Browns, 2-13 against a team that needs to win to get in the playoffs, outright disrespecting said opponent for some reason. BC has a new AD, so Spaz is out when the year ends (sound familiar?) and really the only thing to play for is pride at this point.

    Pride won’t keep the sieve from giving up yards on yards on yards to the FSU rushing attack, and the Noles front four should have no trouble locking down an anemic and paltry Boston College offense. I learned my lesson last time. This line is 28 for a reason.

  • FSOhioZJackson

    Well I’m clearly and officially terrible at Cheddar Bay this year

    Here’s the rest of my card

    Mizzou +21.5 vs. Alabama – Because Mizzou lost by 21 to the real best team in the SEC, South Carolina, so a 19 or 20 point loss seems logical here. Or something.

    Akron +20.5 at Ohio – The Bobcats are banged up, distracted (I’m guessing) and really need next week’s bye. The Zips can score – sort of. A sweat it out cover in a high-scoring game.

    All-play + essay

    Bengals – 1.5 – I have nothing witty to say and very little insightful. The only reason I’m doubling up here is because I’m so bad at Cheddar Bay right now that this is a great way to save time and another loss. Lots of things point to this being the one for the Browns, and I buy many of those things. But I think the Browns have become such a circus that I can’t imagine them putting 3 quarters together. Jay Gruden brings imagination – what a novel concept! – to the Bengals offense and I think that combined with the Bengals pass rush will be enough for a close, forgettable victory for a team that can now realistically think it can finish second in the AFC North. The Browns won’t be 0-16, but I think they’ll be 0-6.

  • Believelander

    See now here’s some positive Browns coverage.

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