Sunday, May 25, 2014

Draft fever hits Cleveland

A former colleague once jokingly wanted to headline a story about college prospects the Cavaliers were scouting with “Nothing like a cool, refreshing draft.”

While it had nothing to do with the story, it is true about being a fan in Cleveland these days. If you’re on the North Coast and you like sports drafts, this is like putting on a brand-new Johnny Football T-shirt: Cool and refreshing.

No rest for the NFL-draft weary, though. Even though we just finished four months of draft anticipation/excitement/aftermath, it’s time for more.

Just over a week after the Browns drafted cornerback Justin Gilbert and a quarterback from Texas A&M whose jersey you might already have, the Cavaliers won the NBA draft lottery.

So it’s on to debating Andrew Wiggins vs. Jabari Parker vs. Joel Embiid. A couple differences to note about the NBA draft:

— It’s only a month away.

— The draft is over in one night.

Everything about the NFL draft this year, from the star power to the TV ratings, indicates fans can’t get enough, even at three days. But I’ll take the compact NBA version.

Either way, if you like sports drafts, Cleveland is a good place to be this year.

By the way, the Major Leauge Baseball draft starts June 5. The Indians' first pick is No. 21.

-- Howard Primer

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Favorite little league call of all time

It's the time of year when little league begins, and it always reminds me of one of my favorite score calls.

Caller: Zach.

Me: Is that Zach with an H?

Caller: No, with a Z.

It happened about five years ago, but it never gets old.

-- Howard Primer

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Johnny Manziel on SI cover and other memoorable Browns covers

Whether or not Johnny Manziel is a flop, solid starter or future Hall of Famer doesn't matter much right now.

Sports Illustrated's cover featuring Manziel immediately after he was drafted by the Browns with the headline, "Johnny Better Be Good," will be a memorable one.

Other memorable SI covers featuring the Browns include:

- Probably the most famous is the 1995 cover featuring a cartoon illustration of the late Art Modell punching a Browns fan dressed as a dog in the stomach after moving the Browns to Baltimore. 

- Other include the 1999 NFL draft issue featuring Tim Couch, Akili Smith and Top Dawg; Ozzie Newsome after the Browns' dramatic playoff win over the Jets in 1987; and in 1985 after the Browns selected Bernie Kosar in the supplemental draft.

- Mark Podolski | @mpodo

Friday, May 2, 2014

NFL draft: Ready for more?

With the NFL draft occuring two weeks later this year, the TV analysts and Internet pundits have managed to do the seemingly impossible: Find more to talk about relating to this year's prospects.

It's not easy to do, considering they have 11 weeks to fill between the scouting combine and the draft.

But that's one place the NFL deserves credit. It has turned the draft and everything leading up to it into its own entity, basically a second season. It has the regular season/playoffs, then the draft. Add in minicamps and training camp, and pro football is in the news 11 months a year (all 12 if you include court cases).

The draft might be expanded to four days in the future. You might think that's too much. If anything, we might be underestimating its popularity. Because as over-hyped, over-analyzed and over-everything it seems, there's an appetite for it -- imagine if the Browns actually hit on their picks.

-- Howard Primer