12 things that have happened since the Browns’ last win

“That’s Cllllllllllleveland — with 12 L’s — to you.”

Welp. The Browns are 0-12. If you’ve followed them at all these last few seasons decades, this may not come as that great a shock to you. But it is actually really hard to be this bad.

Historically, the Browns have been garbage. That’s just a fact. But every season — though they may be historically losing seasons — there comes a game or two where we should not have won, against a team we should not have beat, but for some reason we pull it out by the skin of our teeth. Going winless is not the norm, even for terrible teams. This year is different. Twelve weeks into the season and it is abundantly clear that we can’t win at all, especially after being outscored 174-67 in the second half so far this season. Is it possible we will go 0-16?

Since 1944, only four teams have gone winless in the NFL for an entire season: the 1960 Dallas Cowboys (0–11–1), the 1976 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0–14), the 1982 Baltimore Colts (0–8–1), and most recently, the 2008 Detroit Lions (0–16). So the Browns will be in some good company, if you could call it that.


I’d like to take this time to take everyone back to the last time we rejoiced in a win…

The day was December 13, 2015. Our starting quarterback was none other than Mr. Johnny Football. Our opponent: the San Francisco 49ers (who, might I add, are currently an unimpressive 1-10 after week 12). Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? Here’s 12 things that have happened in the world since the Browns’ last W…

1. Leonardo DiCaprio finally won the Oscar he always deserved.

2. This video, for some reason (unknown to me), became a thing:

3. Pokémon Go happened and I started getting random texts like this:

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4. Zika.

5. Ryan Lochte told everyone he was robbed at gunpoint at the Rio Olympics, really he is just drunk and rachet. Rio was not happy.

6. Brangelina divorce, making love questionable for couples everywhere.

7. This lady couldn’t stop laughing over a Chewbacca mask:

8. Brexit.

9. Everyone’s favorite silver-back gorilla, Harambe, was taken far before his time. Reassuringly, at least one person out there writes him in for president (it was probably Biden).

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10. Donald Trump becomes president after what seemed like the most painful election in modern history.

11. Cavs win the first franchise championship — this one still brings a tear to my eye.

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12. Indians actually go to the World Series and ironically blow a 3-1 lead (I ain’t mad at ya, boys).

And there you have it. A world that keeps truckin’ along, despite the Browns. Well. As they say, I guess there’s always next year… Until then… Thankfully next week is a bye-week.

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This was always our year: Part II

 

Cleveland is on fire (and I say that to include the dumpster fire that is the Browns so far this season, mind you), and there is no stopping us now. The Cavs win the championship for the first time ever and now, with an impressive record of 91-65, the Indians clinch their first division title in nearly a decade?? Is this real life? Hello, October 🙂

As long as you get blackout drunk every Sunday morning before the Browns play, it’s good to be a Cleveland fan in 2016.

More locker room fun at Bottlegate.com.

We Bleed Ohio T-Shirt GIVEAWAY!!!

It was a warm and sunny Saturday, though in Cleveland, that can change in an instant. My friends and I headed over to Cleveland Bazaar — northeast Ohio’s longest-running indie craft show, which took place just across the street from the West Side Market on May 16th. It was only slightly drizzling by time we made our way out and around to look at all the local vendors had to offer. From hand-crafted pictures, to t-shirts, to dog treats… Cleveland Bazaar has everything: with a Cleveland twist.

One table really caught my eye, with its unique designs printed on high quality tanks and tees… I couldn’t help myself when it came to We Bleed Ohio. Wallet aching from a long weekend, I absolutely had to purchase a tank that was a play on the orange “Cavs” logo, but with the words “Ohio” instead.

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After countless compliments on the tank itself, I decided to do a little research on this company. Since founding We Bleed Ohio in 2011, graphic designer and Cleveland-native, Dave Gruss, has grown his business from part-time screen printing to a full-time gig — unveiling an official brick and mortar location downtown in the 5th Street Arcades last month. In an interview with Dave, I was able to learn more about We Bleed Ohio and the man behind the designs.


kc: How long have you been a graphic designer?
dg: I started designing shirts under the artist name Griggitees in 2008. Mainly submitting designs to one-a-day shirt sites, which were new back then. Slowly, I started getting approvals and picking up clients for small independents clothing brands or local bands. I joined several online t-shirt communities that really helped find new clients and for them to find me.

kc: What made you want to start WBO?
dg: At the time Peyton Hillis was the Browns superstar and he did this Incredible Hulk pose after making a great play. I knew I had to make that a shirt and WBO was kind of born from that. I came up with the brand We Bleed Ohio to provide unique designs for the die-hard Ohio sports fans. I didn’t want to have just one shirt to sell, so after quick sketch of a Wahoo skull I added that as another shirt and that was the start of it all.

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kc: Why is it important to you that you represent everything Ohio with your designs?
dg: Ohio is like family to me. I love my sports teams with a passion. There was this one episode of Saved by the Bell I watched growing up and there was a joke thrown in about the Cleveland Indians. I remember sitting there thinking how that stung a bit–having my team and my hometown being made fun of. There is a pride of being from Ohio that most people don’t understand. I think it tells a lot about who we are. We stand together through the thick and thin of it all.

kc: Where do you get the inspiration for the unique designs — like the Skull Chief Wahoo or the Browns Leg Lamp?
dg: When I did the Skullhoo design there was an artist who did a series of famous cartoon characters with abnormally shaped heads in proportion to their bodies and what their skeletons would look like if they were real. I decided to do that with Wahoo. The Browns Leg Lamp came from brainstorming ideas for an ugly Christmas sweater.

kc: You state on your website that you only use Next Level Apparel as your shirt supplier… why is that especially important to you?
dg: It is important that the apparel is consistent and of the highest quality so customers know what to expect each and every time when purchasing from We Bleed Ohio. It is equally as important that the manufacturer is ethically responsible if I am going to associate it with my brand.

kc: What kind of steps had to be taken to open the brick and mortar store and what led to your decision to do it?
dg: I took my time, kept track of sales and costs to create a business plan. I also looked at several different locations over a period of time and what else was developing around the area. I think the addition of Barrio to the 5th Street Arcades is what finally made me pull the trigger. I love their tacos.

kc: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an entrepreneur?
dg: Don’t be afraid to fail because it will happen.

kc: What kinds of things do you like to do in your spare time when you’re not working on WBO stuff?
dg: I spend all my free time with my family. If they let me, I’ll get a few rounds of golf in or make it out to a few games.

kc: Are the Cavs winning it all this year?
dg: Nothing is promised, the Cavs will have to give everything they got.

kc: Any predictions for the Browns season?
dg: I would love it if the Browns went with the orange pants all season.


Follow We Bleed Ohio on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and be sure to check out their brand new retail location at the 5th Street Arcades – now open!


GIVEAWAY TIME!

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Just in time for the NBA Finals!!! Want to win this unisex wine and gold Believeland t-shirt? It couldn’t be easier to enter!

Rules for entering:

  1. Follow me on Instagram – @kimbcast
  2. Tag two friends in the comments section on the giveaway photo
  3. Follow We Bleed Ohio on Instagram – @WeBleedOhio

The giveaway will run now until the end of the day Friday, June 5th and the winner will be announced via Instagram on Monday. Good Luck!!

[questions regarding entry can be sent to kc@kcincleveland.com]

And, if you don’t win, use the discount code WEBLEED10 for 10% off your next purchase!

Johnny Rehab…?

Just mere days after J.R. Smith told NBA.com that he’s playing better basketball in Cleveland because there’s absolutely nothing for him to do out here, Mary Kay Cabot breaks the news that Johnny Manziel entered into a treatment facility to “get the help he needs.” The exact nature of his treatment has not been specified.

My first thought when I heard the news? This has got to be one massive PR stunt for Manziel; backlash for the ESPN tell-all by Fowler and McManamon—published only four days prior to his check-in to rehab—citing the difficulties Johnny Football faced on and off the field this season.

Let’s, for a moment, think back to the most embarrassing thing that happened to you as a 21-year-old on a drunken night. What’s that? You can’t remember all the humiliating shit you’ve done when you were wasted? You’ve mentally blocked your most horrifying moments out of your head? Oh. Okay. Now, imagine those moments you tried so hard to forget are forever immortalized, scrutinized and criticized by the media. Yep, there’s you, blacked out and licking a freakin’ light switch, plastered all over the news, and Twitter, and Facebook the next day for your parents and your boss to see. Not so much fun when you think about it that way, eh? Granted, Manziel should have some form of awareness that he is a public figure when making the decision to go out and party, but he’s also still an inexperienced kid.

With a rookie QB like Manziel, coming into a city like Cleveland, and playing for a team like the Browns, that so desperately needs some consistency… it’s a lot of pressure put on a 22-year-old. The hype surrounding ‘Johnny Cleveland’ being the answer for a struggling organization was palpable. And with that buildup, there comes a lot of responsibility to preserve your reputation.

The media obsessing over his whereabouts off the field didn’t bother me as much at first, because we never saw that lifestyle reflect on the field. That is, until he was named starter in Week 15 against the Bengals, and he clearly looked confused by the routes, he ineffectively called plays, and he couldn’t really make much of anything happen on offense. And then he was too hungover to wake up for treatment before our final game? And other players were affected by this party he supposedly threw the night before too? Now, his party lifestyle seemed anything but harmless. Clearly there are deeper issues going on here that even people within the organization may not even know.

…And proceed to feel like a dick for thinking this was all a publicity stunt.

In all honesty, if Johnny really needs the help, it’s huge that he made the decision to get it. This represents one of the first times since he was drafted that he let his actions speak louder than his words. I have nothing but support and respect for that, and I think it’s safe to say we are all rooting for him to get the help he needs and to work on bettering himself as a person.

As for next season… if he is healthy, I say let Johnny start. Every game. Let’s see if he’s really taking the steps to take his job seriously, and let’s see if he is made for the NFL. Worst case scenario? The Browns go 0-16, and we can draft the next flavor-of-the-week QB next year. Best case scenario? Well, let us all be reminded that in 1996, Brett Farve’s 46-day stint in rehab (for an addiction to Vicodin) allowed him to lead the ’96 Packers to their best season in 30 years, a Super Bowl and an MVP for Farve. I mean. Anything can happen.

A day in the life of a Cleveland sports fan

I can remember having the best birthday week ever, as all last week the Cleveland Browns sat pretty in first place. The lone AFC North team up there with a record of 6-3 through Week 10. It’s a feeling I’ve never experienced before… Not only does our division have an outstanding overall record (all teams are over .500 at this point), but the Browns… the Cleveland Browns were in first thanks to the Steelers losing miserably to the 1-8 Jets last Sunday. And this is after we had one of the best Thursday Night Football performances in NFL history, crushing the Bengals 24-3 on their home turf.

I can remember thinking this is our year; Hoyer is the man, our coaching staff is looking great, and the icing on the cake is that our secret weapon–a person that even made Brandon Weeden look good–Josh Gordon will be back in just over a week.

And then Sunday happened. From on top of the world, to tied for 3rd place, the Browns fell to the Houston Texans, or more specifically, JJ Twatt (aka Lurch–see below), and a QB who had his first career NFL start, that our defense made look like some kind of a god. Hoyer couldn’t complete a good pass to save his life, we couldn’t convert on 3rd downs, hell, we couldn’t even make a 38-yard field goal. Not like it would have mattered anyway.

Notice the resemblance?

Notice the resemblance?

And we’re back to reality… not winning in our division, doubts filling the fans heads regarding our team, our QB, our coaching staff, and to add fuel to the fire, outlandish comments claiming if Johnny Manziel were our starting QB, that the Browns would still be in first place… On the bright side, an uplifting quote from Browns reporter Kevin Jones: “There are 20 other teams around the league that would kill to be 6-4. The Browns still control their own destiny. They are still getting back Josh Gordon bright and early Monday morning. They are still a football team nobody wants to play.” Still: not enough to soften this blow. The only thing getting me through this crushing defeat was knowing my girlfriends and I were going to the Cavaliers game the next day.


I can remember exactly where I was when I heard LeBron was returning to Cleveland. Sitting on my (roommate’s) sectional on my lunch break, watching LeBron Watch: 2014, as ESPN devoted their entire daily programming to him in the days leading up to his announcement. Constantly refreshing Twitter to see if the news broke. And when it did… I was so pumped for Cleveland… for the Cavs, and for the teams I have never wavered in rooting for, no matter how poorly we’ve performed over the years.

I can remember thinking that it all seemed like it was happening; LeBron is back, Kyrie is staying, we were even able to clinch the adorable Kevin Love… we have our Big 3! It’s really happening for Cleveland. And I was going to get to see it in person!

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And then Monday happened. Coming off a 4-game winning streak and facing the 2-7 Denver Nuggets, I was beyond excited to finally get the chance to witness LeBron, Kyrie and K-Love in action. I wanted to see magic, and all I got was cheap beer (which was actually very expensive) to drown my sorrows. A post-game quote from LeBron went something like, “You have a team that hasn’t been playing well this year come into your building and think it’s going to be a cakewalk, and that’s what happens.” Typical.

And we’re back to reality… Cleveland received the gift that is LeBron James, and just because he’s the best player in the league, doesn’t mean we aren’t going to lose a game. It’s still so early in the season and the team is so new together that it would be illogical to think that they’d come out with guns blazing. But it would be nice. And as a Cleveland fan, you’d think we deserve it. However, the harsh reality is that we’re always going to be brought back down to Earth when it comes to our sports teams.

It’s all just a day in the life of a Cleveland sports fan. But, we’re resilient. We’ll all be just fine.

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