September 2, 2014

Medina
Partly cloudy
70°F

Noland commentary: Must win, must run, must read

Got a lot of things to touch on — if you disagree, simply make like Greg Little and deflect them into the air — so let’s take our weekly Rick-o-chet around the world of sports:

For weeks, even months, so many people preached how absolutely vital it was for the Browns to win their season opener in order to have a successful 2013. OK, now what? …

The phrase “must-win game” drives me nuts. Some radio sports talk show hosts have used it 15 times this season in regards to the Indians — and the Tribe has lost about 10 of those games. …

Brandon Weeden’s arm isn’t the question. It’s his accuracy, pocket awareness and decision-making, or lack thereof, that are so concerning. Sure, the protection wasn’t great for much of the 23-10 debacle against the Miami Dolphins, and sure, his receivers didn’t provide much help, but there were way too many plays where he held the ball way too long and/or threw behind people. …

Speaking of the O-line, I wonder if any of Oniel’s cousins can block. …

Norv Turner may be one of the best play-callers in NFL history, but you wouldn’t have known it Sunday. After ripping off chunks of yardage on Cleveland’s first possession against the Dolphins, Trent Richardson, the team’s best offensive player, slowly disappeared. …

For all their woefulness, it’s not like the Browns were getting blown out, either. The first time they were behind by more than one score came with 6:48 to go in the game. Run the dang ball, for crying out loud. …

Not to be an alarmist or anything — OK, to be an alarmist — but this probably isn’t a good week to be going on the road to play the defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens, who will have had 10 days to stew, rest and prepare after getting lit up for seven touchdowns by Peyton Manning. …

Don’t worry, Browns fans. Josh Gordon will be back in Week 3 and everything will be fine. …

If there were a hashtag after that last statement, it would be #sarcasm. …

(Side note: I am virtually positive that is the first time I’ve written “hashtag” in my nearly 30-year Gazette career.)

For those who accuse me of always being negative, I now point out the Browns are still in a first-place tie in the AFC North. …

After five minutes of Chris Berman’s hideous play-by-play of the Texans-Chargers game, I was actually glad when someone played country music on the jukebox Monday night at Jo Jo’s Sports Bar. …

(Second side note: I do not get a free cold one every time I mention Jo Jo’s in a column.)

Last time I checked, the Indians were still in the thick of the wild-card race. Also last time I checked, not very many people seemed all that excited about it. …

Had the pleasure of interviewing Vicki (Nelson) Dunbar and husband Keith earlier this week, as well as their third tennis-playing child, Cloverleaf freshman Emily. It’s nice to meet people who challenge their kids to work hard and strive for excellence, yet keep sports — and everything else, for that matter — in perspective. …

On Monday, Bill Ross, The Gazette’s cameraman and jack-of-all trades for 33 years, died suddenly at the age of 51. You may not know him, but you know someone like him. The guy did everything from fix toilets to clean carpet to climb on the roof in the dead of winter in order to knock ice off the satellite. He did it all with a smile, and he will be missed.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Fan him on Facebook and follow him in Twitter.