Blog

Big $'s Thoughts on Kareem Hunt Signing and NFL Policy

(Big $ is a member of The North Coast Posse, who cover the Cleveland Browns beat for Pencil Storm.)

The last thing the world needs right now is another blowhard dissertation on the Cleveland Browns’ signing of Kareem Hunt. However I've got a computer, some time and a platform, so the world is out of luck.

So without climbing to a moral high ground or retreating behind an orange & brown wall of Homer-ism, here are some thoughts:

1.) This was inevitable and we should have all been prepared for the signing. Literally, this was easier to prognosticate than LeBron's move to Los Angeles. Browns General Manager John Dorsey is the guy who gave Hunt his shot in the NFL and has the base relationship that would allow for taking the risk. Dorsey has also set a precedent for working with players with issues of this nature. Do some research on Tyreek Hill and you'll see Mr. Dorsey has been around this block before. Lastly, Kareem is a Cleveland guy, so it was natural that the Browns would be a potential destination. All in all, once K.C cut him, Kareem in Cleveland was not an "if" scenario but a "when."

2. Referring to the third point above, being back in his hometown may not serve as a benefit. As more information comes out, it becomes evident that Kareem Hunt has - at the very least - lifestyle issues. One can surmise that some things probably followed him around Willoughby, which led to a high school player of his caliber settling on a MAC school. (I promise you, no one wants to play on Tuesdays if they don't have to.) Changing people, places and things are essential to kicking any habit: addiction, anger issue, etc. Surrounding himself with the same crowd - which couldn't keep their professional athlete buddy from flushing his future down the toilet at the hotel - could hinder any real change.

3. Lastly, the NFL is actually getting worse at addressing the epidemic of its players committing violence against women. The league is absolutely paralyzed by Commissioner Roger Goodell's control issues and has decided no real plan is an adequate response. Well NFL, it’s your lucky day. I like gambling on your product so much that I will offer you this plan to help save the day. (author's note: I’d also prefer that women quit getting physically and mentally terrorized as well.)

Big $’s Plan

Step 1:  Upon determination that a player has been involved in a physical altercation with a woman they are immediately entered into an intensive six- week cognitive behavioral therapy program to address anger issues, decision making, alcohol & drug concerns and any other issues contributing to the delinquent behavior. This program will be administered and monitored by an independent agency, who will determine person-centered plans of action for each offender. During this six weeks the player cannot participate in any NFL or team activities. The player's progress and commitment will be watched closely by the agency delivering the services. If they feel adequate progress is being made, the player can graduate to step two.…..

Step 2: At this time, the player can resume team activities/ practices etc,. However, they cannot play in games for four more weeks. While re-engaging into the team culture the player will continue to participate in daily activities led and monitored by the independent agency. If satisfactory progress is made, the player can return to games after the 10 week process.

Step 3: While the player returns for weeks 11-17 of the season, he will continue weekly meetings with the agency to ensure they are ready for full release. The agency can grant full release as they see fit.

This process is fully independent of criminal punishment and cannot be negotiated. It is fully expected that some players will not be able to fulfill the commitment,and the independent agency can suspend players from the program at their discretion. Said players would then have to re apply again after a year's time.

Obviously this is a rough skeleton, but if you're reading this Roger, I can very easily fill in all necessary details.

Well, that's enough on that, back to scouring mock drafts...…..

NFL Conference Championship Picks and NFL Dumpster Dive - by Brian Phillips

I hope you haven’t been betting my picks. Jesus, what a mess.

1. I forgot to never fade the Patriots at home…. especially when they have two weeks to prepare. It was over but quick. How great did Tom Brady look! Grrrr.

2. The Colts’ performance baffled me. That said I think we’re learning that the Chiefs are improving on defense and especially at home.

3. I was on the right side for the Saints and Rams, but I missed how those games went by a long shot.

Oh well, to hell with all that. My role here is to mine some great YouTube videos involving our combatants for this weekend’s conference title games.

Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans Saints

Sunday January 20, 2019

This may seem like a dull Rams/Saints game on a random Sunday in 1978 and you would be right. The gold is in the commercial content I found picking up in the third quarter tied at 3-3.

Right off the jump we get the end of a Ford commercial. Before you buy a 1979 Pinto you should see this.

Fuck yeah! I want one too! Not so fast. That $3700 sticker price advertised in’ 78 is over $14,000 bucks today. I did however locate one for $850. It may have been sitting in a field for a minute.

Here’s the broadcast.

Hank Stram was on the color for CBS. Such a character, and not long from his final coaching gig at the helm of these same hapless Saints. (Hapless was a popular sports term for bad teams in my youth.) This will give you a great overview into the man and it will cost you no “coin of the realm.”

Not long after the Pinto spot we find a promo for a Kristy McNichol CBS TV movie called “Like Mom, Like Me.” Near as I can figure they’re both learning about their touchie feelies, and mom is probably screwing the not as good looking guy from the show Emergency. They used to make TV movies that would air once or twice and disappear forever. Anyway, this is a football game. Seems like they’re missing their target audience.

Okay fuck this game. At the 4:55 mark they reminded me my Seahawks were beating the snot out of the Raiders 24-0 and look at this! The late great Charlie Jones and Len Dawson were on the call from the Kingdome. You remember Len Dawson don’t you!

len dawson.jpg

We pick it up just before the second half kick off with the Hawks up 21-0.

We think of the Raiders of that era as a machine, but they were merely pretty good in 78. The Hawks meanwhile were on their way to a 9-7 mark and the franchise’s first ever winning season.

Ok gotta move along. I’ll enjoy more of this one later. Always fun to kick Raider ass back in the day.

My pick: Saints 31 Rams 27

New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs

Sunday January 20, 2019

My search for meaningful Patriots/Chiefs TV footage from back in the day has been fruitless so I’m going to go in a different direction.

The Chiefs have been so good this season it’s easy to forget they haven’t been in this position in a generation. January 23, 1994…. It did not go well.

Man I miss Dick Enberg. Chiefs fan does not miss Marty Schottenheimer.

To find Kansas City’s last win in this spot we have to go all the way back to the 10th and final AFL Championship game on January 4, 1970.

This is pretty amazing stuff. Posted last fall is the radio broadcast married with whatever game footage they could find.

The Chiefs would prevail that day 17-7 and go on to easily defeat the Vikings in the Super Bowl.

It’s easy to forget that the New England Patriots were not always an automatic entrant into the title game. After winning an AFL playoff game in 1963 (see last week’s post) the Pats wouldn’t find post season success again until 1985. They beat the Jets, Raiders, and Dolphins to qualify for Super Bowl 20 only to get swamped by the suffocating 1985 Bears 46-10. What do we remember about that game?

At any rate it was a good run for that Pats team led by quarterback Tony Eason and a with a great offensive line . As big a dick as he is Craig James was a really good back.

(Bonus at the 20 minute mark below. A VCR commercial. We’ve come a long way. And thank God for obsessive home recorders. There’s so much outstanding content floating around in the ether. Great for a long winter’s night.)

My Pick: Patriots 35 Chiefs 32

I Like the Dead Schembechlers Too, But Why Do They Have to Swear So Much? - by Jeff Hassler

This story originally ran November 22, 2014. The Dead Schembechlers have a new coloring book @ Deadschembechlers.com

Hey everybody! It's great to be back blogging at Pencilstorm! Well, it is "Hate" week here in Columbus, so everybody is talking about Ohio State vs "That Team Up North" which happens this Saturday at noon in the "Big House."

As usual, I will be getting together with Colin, Brian, Ricki C., Johnny and all the other guys for our annual "Beat Michigan" Pencilstorm party. And unfortunately, I will no doubt be subjected to hours of Dead Schembechlers songs at ear-splitting volumes.

Listen, I am a pretty big Bucks fan myself and I like to think I can handle a joke, but sometimes it just seems like the Dead Schembechlers take it a little too far. I'll be the first to admit that the whole concept is pretty clever and the "Conspiracy" page at DeadSchembechlers.com is damn near the greatest thing ever posted on the internet, but still, as big as they are, think how much bigger they could have been without all the bad language.

I mean, songs like "Bomb Ann Arbor Now," "The Ballad of Mike Lantry," and "I'm So Bored With the SEC" are really cool and you can play them in mixed company. The same cannot be said for, "I'm Not Gay But I Want to F*#k Brutus Buckeye," "Rich Rodriguez Can Suck My D*#k," and "USC, You S**K C**k." 

They even take a sacred classic Buckeye anthem like "Hang On Sloopy" and change the words to "Hey F**K Lloyd Carr, Lloyd Carr F**K You!" I could go on and on, but I think my point is obvious. Frankly, I think if the Dead S. could act more professional, they could even has been as successful as the Danger Brothers. 

"Hassler, you are such a dickhead," is usually what Johnny DiLoretto always says before he goes off on one of his long-winded, whiskey-fueled rants explaining why I am always wrong. 

"The ONLY thing that makes the Schembechlers work is that they are truly crazy. They go way over the line because Bo Biafra doesn't know or care where the line is. Shit, Hassler, they are easily the biggest punk band to ever come out of Columbus. Bigger than the New Bomb Turks, Great Plains and Gaunt all put together. They have had millions of web hits and features about them in Sports Illustrated, Esquire, ESPN and the New York Times. That HBO movie "The Rivalry" literally starts with Bo Biafra. He comes on-screen before freaking Bo or Woody themselves. I'm pretty sure they don't need advice from some dude who works in a call center on how to become bigger than the Danger Brothers. Hell, last week their video for "Chad Henne is a Motherf***ing Joke" went over 400,000 YouTube views. And the Dead S played most their career BEFORE the internet even existed."

But I explained to Johnny he had made my point for me: "Not so fast J.D., (he hates when I call him that) what if the title of the song had been changed to "Chad Henne is a Motherscratching Joke?" Still funny, but now children, grandparents and Danger Brothers fans could all enjoy the song without all the salty language. I bet it would be over a million views. Just sayin....."

As usual, Johnny got short with me, "Hassler, you have seen the band live and should know what this is all about. Now, shut the fuck up and get me another fuckin' beer. And not one of yours, one of mine." Johnny isn't exactly known for keeping the "bandito talk" south of the border himself, if you know what I mean. 

It is true the band is pretty intense live If you can get past the sailor talk, sporadic violence and bone-rattling volume. I got turned onto them early when I was roommates with Brian and Colin at 65 East Patterson, so I got to check them out when Watershed opened for them at Little Brothers. The next year Watershed opened again at a sold out Newport Music Hall show. Colin never admits it, but I think it bothers him that a joke band like the Dead Schembechlers are way bigger than his band Watershed will ever be. I think that is why he drinks so much at those gigs. He claims it's because he truly hates Michigan and likes to drink. Yeah, right. 

The last time I saw them was at Skully's on High Street. The show was also sold out. In fact, all seven shows they have ever played have been sold out. Anyway, my now ex-wife Kim and I had just started dating so I invited her to the gig. She asked if it would be cool if she wore a U-M Charles Woodson jersey and I figured since I sort of knew some of the guys in the band, if there was a problem, we could take care of it with Security.

I guess she became a Michigan fan because a guy she dated in high school went on to to play tennis in Ann Arbor and it just kind of stuck. And I have to admit, she looked pretty hot in that Charles Woodson jersey. I, of course, wore my vintage Jim Karsatos jersey from 1986. Pretty sweet. I thought we made a cute couple. I used to anyway.....

Because of our divorce, I'm not legally allowed to share exactly what happened next, but let's just say I'm forever thankful to Ricki C. for helping Kim wipe off all the Wolverine blood that Bo Biafra vomited on her during "Michigan Stadium is a Pile of S**T." I guess now I know why bands demand a pile of fresh towels backstage before every show. Sometimes they do come in handy!!! Anyway, thanks for reading my blog and Go Bucks! Muck Fichigan! (Ha!)   - Jeff Hassler

 

Jeff Hassler is a blogger at Pencilstorm. You can e-mail him at jeffwonthassleru@gmail.com 

 

Below. 1) Rare footage of Dead Schembechlers legendary sold-out Hate Michigan rally 2006 at the Newport Music Hall. 2)  An inside look at the recording of the single "Rich Rodriguez Can Suck My D**k."

Was the Raiders Game Fixed? The NCP Answer Your Browns Questions.

The North Coast Posse is a top five Browns twitter follow. @northcoastposse

The season is one quarter of the way in and the Browns sit at 1-2-1. Can this be considered a success?

Punter Supreme: Improvement: yes.  Success: No. Viewing a losing record as success just speaks to how bad the Browns have been.  More than anything, there is hope now. Not just blind faith as in recent seasons. We can see real improvement on both sides of the ball and it is creating some real excitement.  If the Browns win this week against the hated Ravens, I will boof an entire 40 oz. of Bud Light. Dilly Dilly to the B.

Big $: In professional sports, moral victories carry very little weight. Success is measured in wins and losses and the Browns record still reflects a losing culture. True success will come when they can truly start finishing games.

Which loss has been most painful?

Punter Supreme: So far, last week’s Oakland game was hard to swallow.  All the losses hurt, but taking an L after having a very rare two-score lead was difficult to watch.  


Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward are shaping up to be the best first round picks the Browns have had in a long time. How excited should Browns fans be about the future?


Big $: Having the Baker Buzz killed hurt more than the Tyrod losses. However, it may be the dose of common sense us Browns fans needed moving forward.


People drool all over the defense but they don't exactly close games out. How good are they? 


Punter Supreme: The jury is still out on this one.  Only 7 teams give up more yards per game, and only 3 give up more time of possession.  But they are a top-10 defense in terms of 3rd-down conversions allowed, and they average more than 3 takeaways per game.  The defense needs more consistency, but I think that will come as the younger players continue to develop. Even though they gave up 45 points to the lowly Raiders, they get a bit of a pass, because the offense had a few turnovers inside the Browns own 20 yard line that gave the Raiders a short field.

The Browns lost starting CB Terrance Mitchell to a broken his wrist last week, but the team has so much more depth in the secondary this season compared to years past that the unit should be able to fill the void he left.  

Was the Raiders game fixed?

Big $: Do you mean, “Was the game the Browns just played against the franchise that is currently en route to the gambling capital of the universe” fixed? NFL wagering is a billion dollar business and 3 points is thin enough that a call here and there can swing the tide completely. I think it would be naive to think that officials aren’t cognizant of how their actions could move stacks of cash. So in a nutshell, yes I do think there is a reason to believe foul play made an appearance in Oakland.


Looking ahead, what games do the Browns need to win for Hugh to keep his job? 


Punter Supreme: Hue has to win games in the division.  If he goes 0-fer in the AFC North, he is out for sure. If he losses games against other teams at the bottom of their divisions, like Houston and Atlanta, his seat will get hotter.  


Big $. I stated before the season that 2-5 would get Hue fired, and I stand by it, regardless of games won/loss.