April 17, 2014

Medina
Mostly sunny
58°F

Noland commentary: Throwing, blowing, knowing

Gotta call Mike Holmgren and see if he can get me some playoff tickets — for the Indians — so let’s take our weekly Rick-o-chet around the world of sports and get outta here:

Must admit, the Brownies surprised me Sunday. Kudos to Brian Hoyer for making like Brian Sipe and engineering a clutch game-winning touchdown drive for a 31-27 win over Minnesota. …

For the first time this season, a Browns game was actually entertaining to watch. Trick plays, big plays, fourth-down gambles and — gasp! — touchdowns, sometimes even all at once. …

I thought Browns fans were tough. Vikings fans vehemently turned on their team after every incomplete pass. …

Then again, being forced to watch Christian Ponder (try to) play quarterback will do that to you, I guess. …

It’s amazing what a difference one player can make. I’m not talking about Hoyer, though. I’m talking about receiver Josh Gordon, who gives the Browns a legitimate game-breaker — if his career doesn’t go up in smoke. …

(Too easy, I know. Couldn’t help myself.)

Some moron I know was being extremely sarcastic when he wrote, in this space, that the Browns would be fine when Gordon returned from his two-game suspension. …

Ubaldo Jimenez has been absolutely lights out for quite some time, but am I the only one who still wonders which Ubaldo is going to show up each time he takes the mound? …

That said, if the Indians are in a one-game, wild-card playoff and Jimenez has had decent rest, I don’t see how Terry Francona doesn’t start him. …

Love the two Michael B’s the Indians have in the outfield. Michael Bourn and Michael Brantley are true professionals who show up every day and play the game the right way. …

You gotta root for guys like Matt “Crash” Carson, right? …

Sometimes I think Peyton Manning knows what an opposing defense is going to do before it does. …

Michigan barely beats Akron and Connecticut and is still ranked 18th in the country? The Wolverines are closer to that silly No. 98 being worn by their quarterback. …

OK, so I exaggerate slightly to make a point. …

Incidentally, Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner says he’s wearing the number in honor of the school’s 1940 Heisman Trophy winner, halfback Tom Harmon. …

Tom Harmon, incidentally, is the father of “NCIS” star Mark Harmon, himself a former quarterback at UCLA. …

All that being said, I say Gardner is actually wearing the number to call attention to himself. …

And unless you’re one of the few people in the world who actually likes Trivial Pursuit, I also say I’ve just armed you with some totally useless knowledge. …

Speaking of useless, whatever that was that took place Saturday afternoon at The Horseshoe, it wasn’t an athletic “competition.” I mean, 76-0? With reserves playing the second half? …

The Cavaliers will hold their annual media day Monday to kick off training camp. This could be an exciting season for the Wine & Gold, but there ought to be a rule that basketball can’t start until baseball ends. …

Of course, it also wouldn’t hurt if baseball finished a little sooner. …

OK, I have reached the bottom of the page. Hope you made it there with me and hope to be back with more next week.

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