OBSERVATIONS: Who Do The Cleveland Browns Need? Me

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, not happy about the arrival of winter weather other than an opportunity to wear my new warm and snuggy pea coat. Did you know that pea coats were worn on American ships by sailors as early as 1720? Mine isn’t that old.

—BROWN-OUT: A memo to the Cleveland Browns: “You need me in the press box for the playoffs. And I come cheap.”

The last time the Browns won an NFL championship was in 1964, before the Super Bowl was ever a thought. And I was there, the one year I covered the Browns for the old Dayton Journal Herald.

It was in Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the world’s largest refrigerator. The Baltimore Colts came in as favorites because of the passing wizardry of quarterback Johnny Unitas to receiver Raymond Berry.

Instead, it was Browns quarterback Dr. Frank Ryan to receiver Gary Collins. Final score: Browns 27, Colts 0.
Ryan, who passed away this week, threw only 18 passes. But three were to Collins for touchdowns. Dr. Ryan was 11 for 18 for 206 yards and Collins caught five for 134 yards.

And Jim Brown, the greatest running back to ever snap on a helmet, the mold from which all running backs were cast, carried 27 times for 114 yards, one for 46 yards.

Unitas? He was 12 for 20 for 95 yards and two interceptions. The Colts turned it over four times.
Berry? He caught just three passes for 36 yards.

Ryan wore number 13 and was a doctor of mathematics. After making the Pro Bowl three times,
Dr. Ryan retired to become a mathematician and creator of the first electric voting system utilized by the U.S. Congress.

Obviously, he was superb in calling out the numbers on plays and mostly it was easy to call out ’32,’ Jim Brown’s number, and ’86,’ Gary Collins’ number.

—RAIDERS ARE WRIGHT ON: Wright State basketball coach Scott Nagy has an admirable trait, other than the fact he is an excellent coach. He is bluntly honest, even with the media. No coachspeak.

Time and again he has publicly admonished his team’s defensive deficiencies and lack of toughness during a disappointing 6-8 start, 1-2 in the Horizon League.

Before WSU’s game Thursday night against Cleveland State, he told Doug Harris of the Dayton Daily News, quotes that were published, that Brandon Noel was playing good, at times, but was inconsistent and not playing up to his vast abilities.

Then came the game. Noel made 10 of 12 shots (2 for 3 from three), snagged nine rebounds, blocked two shots and passed out a couple of assists en route to 24 points. How’s that, coach? OK, one of his two misses was a botched slam dunk, something to keep him humble. right?

The ‘I’ll show you’ outburst from the 6-8 red-shirt sophomore from Chillicohe helped the Raiders to an 82-70 win after an incredible start. WSU made 11 of its first 12 shots, as if they were shooting at a hula hoop, and sprinted to a 25-10 lead. Then CSU scored 15 straight to tie, 25-25.

The Raiders, though, didn’t fold, despite 18 turnovers. They pounded the ball inside, 48 points in the paint and scored 17 points off CSU turnovers.

CSU made several charges, but couldn’t make any of them stick. WSUs fast breaks ran the Vikings out of breath.

And, at times, WSU even played tolerable defense, not as much curtsying as in past games.

Now if they would only put the players’ names on their jerseys.

—‘MID’ WHAT???: ESPN basketball analyst Kevin Connors picks a Top Ten for mid-major schools. His rankings this week had the Dayton Flyers as No. 2 behind 14-0 James Madison from the Sun Belt Conference, known by some as the Gun Belt Conference.

Dayton? A mid-major?

Connors addressed that while giving his rundown and said, “Dayton is a major program playing in a mid-major conference (the Atlantic 10).”

Yeah, and ask SMU, St. John’s, LSU and Cincinnati what’s ‘mid’ about Dayton. And I wonder if the Flyers wouldn’t make James Madison look like Oscar Madison or Dolly Madison?

—NOW THAT’S PITCHING: Many baseball historians argue that Walter ‘Big Train’ Johnson was the best pitcher of all-time. And there is ample evidence.

For example: In 1913 he was 36-7 for the Washington Senators, pitched 346 innings (346!!!), had a 1.14 earned run average and walked only 38 batters.

For example: In 1912, he pitched 26 innings in relief on back-to-back days against the Philadelphia A’s. The first game went 19 innings and the second game went 21. Even though it was late September and he had already pitched 343 innings (343!!!), Johnson pitched those 26 innings in relief. . .and gave up zero runs.

For example: There was a game in Detroit when Johnson loaded the bases with no outs. He then struck out Ty Cobb, BobbVeach and Sam Crawford on nine pitches.

And he once beat the New York Yankees three times in four days.

Yeah, pretty good.

—SOMEBODY DIDN’T SHOW UP: The Grambling State women’s basketball team defeated, devoured and destroyed the College of Biblical Studies, 159-18. Grambling jumped to a 34-0 lead over the Houston-based school with approximately 500 students, 150 full-time.

That’s when CBS should have taken their ball and gone home, except there is some discussion as to whether CBS knows what a basketball is. But they turned the other cheek and stayed the course.

The 141-point margin of victory is the biggest in Division I women’s basketball history. The biggest margin for Division I men was the 148-49 romperoo by Utah over Mississippi Valley State in 2019.

There seems to have been a couple of black-hearted coaches in those two ‘games.’

—PLAYLIST NO. 6: My father was a country singer who played the guitar and harmonica, sometimes both at the same time, and liked to sing to me and my three siblings. . .”Here Rattler here. Here Rattler here. Call Rattler from the barn, here Rattler here.”

So here are some of my favorite country songs (an extensive list):

Stand By Your Man (Tammy Wynette), Forever and Ever, Amen (Randy Travis), Kiss An Angel Good Morning (Charley Pride), I Walk The Line (Johnny Cash), Behind Closed Doors (Charlie Rich), Sixteen Tons (Tennessee Ernie Ford), I Hope You Dance (Lee Ann Womack), Take This Job And Shove It (Johnny Paycheck), Mamma Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys (Waylon & Willie).

Hello Darlin’ (Conway Twitty), Humble And Kind (Tim McGraw), He Stopped Lovin’ Her Today (George Jones), Amazed (Lonestar), Smoky Mountain Rain (Ronnie Milsap), Hello Walls (Faron Young), It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels (Kitty Wells), Crazy (Patsy Cline), The Gambler (Kenny Rogers), I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Hank Williams), Friends In Low Places (Garth Brooks).


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