OBSERVATIONS: Browns bitten by poor play-calling

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, pausing to throw my Cleveland Browns sweat shirt and hat into the trash can. But I can still wear my Cleveland – – – – dians gear, right. . .even if the shirt and hat both have Chief Wahoo on them?

—BROWN-OUT (Over and out): Need I say it? When it comes to the Cleveland Browns, it is same ol’ and same ol’ and same ol.’

A heavily talented team can’t get out of its own way and the coaching decisions certainly don’t help.

They lost to the Los Angeles Chargers, 30-28. With less than three minutes to play, down by two, they had a third-and-seven at the 15. A field goal gives them the lead, so don’t take chances.

Of course, they did. Instead of playing it safe with a running play to set up a go-ahead field goal, quarterback Jacoby Brissett threw an interception, his only mistake of the day, but a deadly one.

But wait? The Browns still had a chance. At fourth-and-two at mid-field with 1:14 left, the Chargers foolishly went for it and got stuffed, giving the Browns superb field position.

And they moved the ball to within makeable field goal range. Alas, with 11 seconds left, Cade York missed a 54-yarder wide right. He missed a 45-yarder earlier in the game. This was a guy who came into the game eight-for-eight on field goals and kicked a 58-yarder to beat Carolina in the opener.

—CHUBBY OPINION: I was fortunate to cover the 1964 Cleveland Browns and Jim Brown, the team’s last NFL championship (pre-Super Bowl).

To me, Jim Brown was the best running back in NFL history, but now. . .well, that was 58 years ago and maybe my memory is cloudy and fading.

But is Nick Chubb as good, or better? Once past the line of scrimmage, Chubb is unstoppable, like a runaway Bullet Train.

On the flip side, the current Browns defense can’t stop anything, not even my Gramma Bessie in a wheel chair.

—WHAT DRESS CODE: From my good friend Dave Bush: “Is it too much to expect these days for your MLB manager to dress out in a traditional uniform for a baseball game?”

Former Big Red Machinist Darrel Chaney agrees and said manager Sparky Anderson always said, “You gotta dress right to play right.”

Agreed. Most managers don’t even wear a uniform top. They are always in jackets, pull-over sweaters and hoodies.

My question is why is baseball the only sport where managers/coaches wear a uniform? They aren’t going to play and most of them are overweight and look frumpy and sloppy.

Why not dress in civilian clothes like they do in basketball and football. . .but not like Bill Belichick? Connie Mack managed the old Philadelphia Athletics for 50 years and always wore a suit, tie and fedora.

— R U KIDDING ME? — Sometimes things are just unexplainable, or is that inexplicable:

^The University of Dayton football team was favored Saturday against Butler. Not only did the Flyers lose, 31-0, but their streak of not being shut out ended at 501 games, the longest in Division I college football. They hadn’t been shut out since a 9-0 loss to Marshall in 1976.

^Speaking of not getting shut out, Texas whip-lashed Oklahoma, 49-0, ending the Sooners streak of not getting blanked at 311. It was the biggest margin of victory for Texas in the Red River Shootout. How the mighty do fall.

^That 1-0 15-inning Cleveland – – – – dians-Tampa Bay Rays extravaganza’s 14 scoreless innings passed the old post-season record of 13 scoreless innings in 2020: Atlanta Braves 1, Cincinnati Reds 0.

And isn’t it great that Manfred Man’s ghost runner isn’t used in the post-season. The drama in the Cleveland-Tampa Bay game was palpable. If they aren’t using it in the post-season, why in the name of Joe, Dom and Vince DiMaggio did they used it during the regular season?

^The Seattle Rediners stunned those folks up north by coming from seven runs down to eliminate Toronto from the playoffs. Behind, 8-1, the Rediners roared back to win, 10-9. Eugenio Suarez had two big hits and Luis Castillo pitched a gem in Game One.

^Virginia Tech’s defense went to sleep Saturday night with visions of a blue blur. That would be the blue No. 2 jersey worn by Pitt’s Israel Abanikanda. He should wear No. 1.

Abanikanda, a 5-11, 215 pounder, scored six touchdowns and ran for 320 yards during a 49-20 win. He broke Tony Dorsett’ single-game rushing record of 303 yards set in 1975 against Notre Dame.

Isreal hit the promised land (TDs) on runs of 38, 17, 29, 5 and 80, He led Pitt last year with season totals of 661 yards and seven rushing touchdowns.

Virginia Tech reported him to the Pittsburgh police as a fleeing felon who was carrying something the Hokies couldn’t take away from him.

^Was up late Saturday night as baseballs and footballs flooded my brain. For some reason, I was watching Stanford-Oregon State. Glad I did.

Stanford kicked a field goal with :58 second left, seemingly securing a 27-22 win. Uh, no. With :13 seconds left, Oregon State quarterback Ben Gulbranson bounced a pass off a Stanford defender’s helmet. O-State’s Tre’Shaun Harrison snagged it and ran 56 yards for a touchdown. Oregon State 28, Stanford 27.

Where was Stanford’s marching band when the team needed it?

STROUD ON CLOUD SIX: When Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud threw for six touchdowns Saturday against Sparty, it was the third time in his career that Stroud threw a half dozen TD passes in a game, a Big Ten record.

Stroud’s pass accuracy rivals that of William Tell and it is conceivable he could knock an apple off a receiver’s helmet.

And his assortment of high-talented receivers? They could break free from a speeding cheetah and catch a speeding bullet.

Stroud’s full name is Coleridge Bernard Stroud IV. Now tell me where the ‘J’ comes from in the C.J. name? Is it Juggernaut?

—CLEVELAND ROCKS; My good friend Lee Standafer stole from Alabama and reverted back to the Cleveland – – – – dians old nickname when he sent me this message:

“Roll Tribe.”

—WHAT’S IN A NUMBER: Ever wonder why UFC puts a number behind their events? I did. So I looked it up, even though I’ve never watched any UFC matches.

Turns out that UFC puts a number, like UFC-280 behind their events that are on pay-per-view, and they are in numerical order, as in UFC-1 was their first on pay-per-view.

The only pay-per-view in which I ever invested was the Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield ear-chewing match that lasted three rounds. Tyson was disqualified for munching on Holyfield’s ear and my wallet learned a valuable lesson. Stay closed.

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