Happy Holidays

by Cleveland Frowns on December 26, 2013

Born is the King of Israel.


This holiday season, our blessings include two excellent pieces of journalism about Cleveland’s pro sports teams.

First, here’s an article by Douglas Jamiel at Truthout examining Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s role in the devastation of America’s economy.

And here’s one by Dahr Jamail at The Nation about Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, who wants to drill every last molecule of greenhouse gas out from under the Cumberland Forest and wherever else.

In his piece about Haslam, Jamail quotes or references a number of scientists from the world’s leading research institutions about the impact of the “vast quantities” of fossil fuels “that continue to enter the atmosphere in record amounts, yearly.”


This includes Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University, who’s been measuring Arctic Ice for forty years. According to Wadhams, “The fall-off in ice volume is so fast it is going to bring us to zero very quickly,” and he estimates “’with 95% confidence’ that the Arctic will have completely ice-free summers by 2018. (US Navy researchers have predicted an ice-free Arctic even earlier—by 2016.)”


British scientist John Nissen, a colleague of Wadham’s on the Arctic Methane Emergency Group “suggests that if the summer sea ice loss passes ‘the point of no return,’ and ‘catastrophic Arctic methane feedbacks’ kick in, we’ll be in an ‘instant planetary emergency.’”


Others point to evidence showing that we’ve already reached an emergency state, with earth’s climate “experiencing change 200 to 300 times faster than any of the previous major extinction events,” and the planet “in the midst of what scientists consider the sixth mass extinction in planetary history, with between 150 and 200 species going extinct daily, a pace 1,000 times greater than the ‘natural’ or ‘background’ extinction rate.”

The current extinction event “may already be comparable to, or even exceed, both the speed and intensity of the Permian mass extinction [‘the Great Dying‘],” according to Jamail. “The difference being that ours is human-caused, isn’t going to take 80,000 years, has so far lasted just a few centuries and is now gaining speed in a non-linear fashion.”

“Everything is worse and we’re still doing the same things,” says Canadian Wildlife Service biologist Neil Dawe. “Because ecosystems are so resilient, they don’t exact immediate punishment on the stupid.”

Frownie Christmas 2013

Or do they? Consider the ecosystem of Cleveland, Ohio and the punishment inflicted on fans of its sports teams over the last fifty years during the longest championship drought by far of any city with teams in at least three of America’s major professional leagues. Of course, Cleveland is located on the banks of the world’s largest source of fresh water, and has been scientifically measured to be the U.S. city that’s most impervious to climate change. So one might easily conclude that it’s the very height of stupidity for Clevelanders to be as fixated as we are on the short term fortunes of these sports teams when there’s as much work as there is to be done to establish Cleveland in its natural role as the global capital of a real post-Industrial era, in which the fatal effects of climate change will be reversed and life as we know it will be saved. This probably goes at least double for a city where the river so famously caught fire, and whose Major League Baseball franchise so baldly mocks the genocide of indigenous people who actually did live in harmony with nature. But in any event, it should be clear enough that Cleveland’s ecosystem has in fact exacted punishment most exquisite on stupidity most profound, and continues to. One might also fairly suspect that we’re not just talking about the local ecosystem, but that the entire planetary ecosystem has converged on its last hope, Cleveland, in the spectacular failure of the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers, sustained over half a century and counting.

God hates Cleveland? It’s hard to think of anything that could be further from the truth. While we’re counting our blessings this holiday season, this particular one should of course be at the top of the list.

Best wishes to everyone in the new year.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    I’m just spitballing here of course, but as far as next steps:

    1) Figure out the most efficient way to turn off all the smokestacks as quickly as possible while still feeding everybody, disposing of all the poop and pee in an ecologically sustainable manner, and keeping the hospitals, police/fire departments and the internet running.

    2) Turn off all the smokestacks, put most people to work in the agricultural/waste management/health/police/fire/internet departments as outlined above.

    3) Collect raw materials from all the automobiles and other now-obsolete smoke breathing things to construct new infrastructure, starting with global high speed rail, powered only by gravity, clean hydraulics and elbow grease.

    Jobs, jobs, jobs. We have the technology and know-how to do all of this. And apart from step one, there’s no major need to hurry with the rest. We’d all be back to painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, porcelain, softball tournaments and Cheddar Bay in no time. What am I missing?

    • Chris Mc

      “What am I missing?”
      The unmitigated greed and lobbying power of corporations.

      • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns
        • bupalos

          Ha. Rhonda Reeta is the shill they sent out to the “educational” meeting in Hiram meant to soften the town up for keystone energy. So incredibly slimy. She mentioned her son played football for bg like 9 times, and that her precious family had begged her to have this large police presence on hand for her safety because of “environmental extremists.” She did this long filibuster presentation on the history of oil and gas including fun facts like that people used to drink oil for health. The idea was to talk so long everyone would leave without rebuttle.

          If anyone has the chance to see a RR performance you should. You truly cannot believe this kind of self-parody exists in this day and age.

        • p_forever

          Build your own pipeline?????? “Hard to make up,” for sure. Note also that and other fun “STEM”-based activities are for kids and “fathers” only, because nothing goes with corporate greed and environmental destruction like a good dose of misogyny.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    Oh and thanks to @aghease for the artwork on the elves Christmas card.

  • TapirBoy1

    Not directly related to the extraction misdoings of Jimmah Haslam – but I think you’d very much enjoy Elizabeth Kolbert’s recent two part series in The New Yorker on the “The Sixth Extinction” being caused by humankind. A collapse in biodiversity is already here, and catastrophic climate change is on its way unless we get rather lucky with which feedback loops are activated and which aren’t.

    Kolbert’s book on the subject is out in February. Not that cap-and-trade and carbon taxation are bad ideas, but one wonders if they’re too little, too late, even if they could pass Congress.

    • p_forever

      Yep I just read and agree it should go on frownie’s reading list.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    This piece by Pete Beatty at Belt Magazine on the inventors of Shaker Heights is so excellent: http://t.co/ZILHVzdsIL

    There’s a lot of good stuff up at Belt right now. This one by Douglas Guth on the development of Cleveland is also excellent: http://beltmag.com/keeping-it-real/ and this was a good shorter read: http://beltmag.com/got-coffee-shops/ This one, too, about Oberlin: http://beltmag.com/welcome-lower-self-worthington/

    • Mad_Elf

      Late to the game, but thanks for this crazy good link, Frowns!

  • p_forever

    I don’t know why more people haven’t been able to see through Gilbert’s stupid and transparent “i’m just a regular guy that really cares about Detroit” routine to see him for the henry potter that he truly is. Nothing is grosser to me than the way fans and the media dote on this jerk. Well-god rewarding that blowhard with an NBA championship would be grosser. Which is why it certainly isnt god hating Cleveland that is preventing us from winning while Gilbert owns the Cavs.

    Haslem is just so much dumber and more inept than Gilbert. He is what happens when affluenza takes the reigns. I feel the planetary ecosystem (or at least the NFL owners) exacts punishment on these sorts much quicker than it does on the Gilberts of the world, and that the Brownies won’t be Haslem’s much longer. Of course, that might also mean they won’t be Cleveland’s much longer either (although I sort of doubt that will happen). Either way, god failing to endorse the affluenza defense is hardly a show of hatred towards Cleveland.

    Thx for reminding us of these truths about god and Cleveland frownie. And happy holidays to all the frownie faithful.

  • dimoko

    So if Dan Gilbert offers loans to people with poor credit histories he is exploiting them, but if he doesn’t, he is keeping the poor from owning homes. pretty much damned if you do, damned if you don’t

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      As if anyone on earth has ever accused the Dan Gilbert’s of the world of “keeping the poor from owning homes” by refusing to extend them credit. Of all the comments that a person could leave after reading this post.

  • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

    In more encouraging extinction-related news, the guy who posted on Craigslist (twice) wanting the elusive Brad Daugherty Working Man poster ( http://t.co/msXPU9El0N ) emailed me to let me know that he finally got one. It is believed to be the only one in existence, and one of only two of which there is a photo on the internet. https://twitter.com/ClevelandFrowns/status/416959143417622528

  • dubbythe1

    Viva La Revolucion!

  • Chris Mc

    Dumpster fire doesn’t seem like adequate nomenclature for what has evolved here with the Cleveland Browns.

    I’d like to nominate “conflagration” as the new go to term.

    • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

      God’s favorite NFL city. As if there could be any doubt.

      I have all kinds of terrible things to do today apart from writing about the Browns but should be able to get a post up tomorrow.

  • bupalos

    Having not shed a tear for Mangini when perhaps I should have*, I can’t even gin up a sniffle for Chud. Player’s testimonials notwithstanding, I think gameday he showed evidence of being somewhere between mediocre at the top end and horrible at the bottom.

    Surprised to find he had a kind of split with Norv (I always assumed a Scott Turner sinecure was the whole reason Norv came and can’t imagine Chud didn’t get that)

    *no, alright, I definitely should have. Like really definitely.

    • NeedsFoodBadly

      His QBs were Weeden and Campbell for most of the season. Most of his wins came from a 3rd stringer, and we all know how hard it is to win games when you’re going to the 3rd string QB. His running backs were even more irrelevant.

      You think he can be evaluated fairly with that personnel? Do you think one year allows for a fair evaluation of his capacity for growth and improvement?

      • bupalos

        He can’t be evaluated on record. He can be evaluated on his own performance in game–which I think was objectively very poor,– on unit preparedness–again very poor in spurts especially the special teams farts– and on the thing that Hasban kept reiterating…overall trajectory.

        The team did go slightly downhill as the year wore on, and we might have had the lowest injury impact in the conference.

        What’s to like?

        • NeedsFoodBadly

          Not to be combative, but I’ll answer your question when you answer mine.

          If I concede that he was a mediocre-to-bad gameday HC, how do you personally evaluate that against his available personnel?

          Do you believe that as a first year HC he had any room for improvement in his game day decisions? Is this his total ceiling? What responsibility do the assistant coaches bear for collapses on special teams or defense?

          • bupalos

            Outside of QB, I don’t think his personnel were all that bad. Certainly not as bad as the lemons 1st year coach Gus Bradley managed to squeeze a win out of. In our house. The expectations were not high. But 4-5 and then the Cinci stinker (which I’m putting on prep and mental makeup) and then an 0-7 collapse.

            I’m not trying to claim Chud is just the worst of the worst or something. But to me there is a parallel to the careless and irrational way he does some things –firing off timeouts and going for 1st downs instead of points– in the prep and play of the team as a whole. And motivationally, I look at the long slo-mo collapse that came off the second Cinci game and see problems too.

          • NeedsFoodBadly

            Outside of QB, you have an incomplete line, the island of misfit running backs, Greg Little as a #2 receiver, etc. etc. Point taken about Gus Bradley getting his guys to play down the stretch, but he still went 4-12. I’ve seen some scribblings indicating that the Browns brain trust looked at Bradley and came to your same conclusions, so.

            And in any event, you and I agree that when your QB is changing on a weekly basis (and one of them is named Brandon Weeden), you’re basically hamstrung.

            I trust your Xs and Os more than mine (and I didn’t watch all the games this year), so maybe you’re right. But me, I liked Chud’s aggressiveness on things like 4th down. I thought the games were at least more fun to watch than anything I saw out of Shurmur. And lastly, I didn’t see anything so egregious that called for a one-and-done firing.

            Dude made mistakes. He was in the first year of the job, and that’s forgiveable to me. I think some of the late-game collapses could easily be laid at the feet of his coordinators. But from a long-term standpoint, I think the Browns desperately need continuity and need to get through growing pains with a coach in order to establish some form of identity. Shurmur, I couldn’t see growing. Chud, I could.

          • bupalos

            I’m not out to burn chud. I don’t think he’s particularly horrible. And I don’t think the record given qb play was ever going to be more than than about 7-9 top end, and more power to him if he clashed with nepotistic designs from norv. I just don’t think he’s a plus coach, and as much as we have some holes, every team has these kinds of holes. My god, the steelers o line started the year as absolutely one of the worst units I’ve seen EVER. By the the end of the year they were playing middle of the road, as well as our unit with two positions covered by the top players in the league. We couldnt even scheme to hide 1 bad player. Coaches should be going more on 4th down, by not in spots where you’re losing on expected points. Whats the rationale? We need to send a message? Whats the message, and why do you have to distort a football game to communicate? The team seemed to have preparation losses in big games and played the ends of half’s and games especially badly. It just didn’t come off as a smart prepared team.

            So while I’m very concerned that my reasons aren’t their reasons and we’ll get some kind of milquetoastier rerun here, I can’t be upset about chud going in a football sense. Players and fans like him. Is there any more than that?

          • http://www.clevelandfrowns.com/ Cleveland Frowns

            New post is up, gentlemen, if you’d mind taking this over there. Thx.

    • Chris Mc

      He had a split with Norv? All the reports I read were that Turner was absolutely furious with the front office upon learning about Chud’s dismissal.


      • bupalos

        OBR has something (vague) on Chud attempting to move Scott Turner to RB’s, and Norv getting steamed about it, OBR referring to it as a “brushfire.” I really have no idea, that might all be something planted.

        • Chris Mc

          That’s entirely possible. But if you’re a successful leader, you’ll have disagreements with those around you. If you’re surrounded by yes men, you’re Mike Holmgren.

      • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

        great find, thanks.

  • beeceeinla

    and cleveland fans still bash the dolans the most – until the firing of chud, anyway.

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