Originally posted on Cleveland Frowns  |  Last updated 2/23/12

The Cavaliers are “defying logic and description” with last-minute home wins and “frustrating” home losses against the worst teams in the league. Pat Shurmur is talking about communicating. Shin-Soo Choo has a new attitude. It’s time for a Year in Review post.

Alright, JANUARY: 

Suffice to say, 2011 did not get off to a good start.

Which of course didn’t slow Tony Grossi down any. Three weeks after Eric Mangini’s dismissal as Browns coach, Plain Dealer editors let the since-demoted beat writer print a column opining that Mangini used his power as head coach in Cleveland to work a secret plan to divert Browns resources to the New York Jets.

Not a good start.

It deals.


It was as February as ever.

Additionally, a new Cheddar Bay champion was crowned, the first time in the contest’s history that it didn’t go to The Prohibitive Favorite, and also the first time that it went to a woman, the illustrious p_forever (formerly known as the commenter formerly known as ‘p’). In other news, Grossi continued to revel in Mangini’s departure by introducing us to his dog, Bella, and boldly deleting references to yours truly in mailbag columns, daring his readers to email us about it. Relatedly, we found a second source to confirm Grossi’s incredible grade-school bully/pissy chihuahua act at Mangini’s introductory press conference, and by way of the most useful work the former beat writer did last year, we started to get to the bottom of the profound mystery of Jayme Mitchell.

There was also the Cavs’ historically embarrassing losing streak.

Years have gotten off to better starts.


Thankfully, and of course unsurprisingly, things started to pick up in March, starting with Braylon’s birthday. We were introduced to the Browns new “Think Less, Play Faster” defense, and there was the inconvenience of Eric Wright’s would-be murderer, but St. Patrick’s Day was the jump-off as always and we also got to planning the premiere event of the social season. Most importantly, though, a new U.S. Census confirmed everything we always say about everything. (Everything).


It was a sweltering April with the Tribe Fever running as high as ever, and too much hot air from folks who tried to tell us that Manny Ramirez shouldn’t be in baseball’s Hall of Fame. In Browns news, we met Colt McCoy’s spiritual mentor, Flip Flippen, and learned about the magic of non-transdermal holographic chips; Democracy’s last hope crystallized in Peyton Hillis’s Madden cover campaign; we welcomed Phil Taylor, Greg Little, and the rest of the 2011 Browns draft class to Cleveland; and what happened at the Draft party stayed at the draft party.

World B. Fair


The difference between LeBron James and Osama Bin Laden came up, and shortly after the capture of the mass-murderer, freedom received another shot in the arm with Hillis’s decisive victory in the Madden campaign. The Tribe kept winning, Grossi kept trolling, and we helped Ozzie Newsome through one of his lowest moments as a human.


Another bummer of a start, with an iconic college football legend having been deposed in maintenance of an irretrievably broken system. The Mavericks beat LeBron and the Heat for the NBA title, prompting an embarrassing celebration in the statehouse. The Tribe started to slide, but it didn’t diminish our appreciation for Cleveland’s best owners; and a scientific study confirmed that Cleveland is in fact the realest most impervious irrepressible place there is.


Colt McCoy and his dad published a book about “godly parenting.” Obligatory trips to Canal Park and the Taste of Tremont Festival were obligatory.

"At that time, I often thought that if I had had to live in the trunk of a dead tree, with nothing to do but look up at the sky flowing overhead, little by little I would have gotten used to it."


Emboldened by his status as published author on godliness and presumptive starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, McCoy told the press about how Eric Mangini and his staff didn’t pay enough attention to him during his rookie year; Grossi came through with his greatest achievement of 2011 by solving the mystery of Jayme Mitchell, and optimism ran extremely high in the wake of a Browns win in the pre-season opener. We had to ask why Cleveland’s new sports talk radio station had to hire a guy from New York to anchor it’s afternoon drive time slot, and Sherrod Brown made a conclusive case for himself as President Obama’s successor in 2016.


Others were less enthusiastic about a new Browns season, but there was still plenty of excitement with Eric Mangini Week (celestially mandated), and the kickoff of what turned out to be by far the most phenomenal Cheddar Bay reality football contest yet. Bold and effective affirmative action policies were implemented boldly and effectively, and the Browns ended the month at 2-1 and in first place in the AFC North; But that didn’t stop the terrorists from striking a decisive blow by way of the ejection of a Browns fan from the Stadium for “excessive standing” in the Dawg Pound.


The 2-1 Browns fell to 2-2 after a trashing at the hands of Tennessee, and it was easy enough to see where the thing was going to go from there. Still, Vic Carucci kept the faith. In other Browns news, Mike Holmgren took to the Seattle airwaves to his vision of his return to the Pacific Northwest, and in Frowns news, our new great friend @rodofdisaster penned his first “Xs and Os with the Bros” column, an instant sensation.


"Dear god, make me a bird, so I can fly far, far far away from here. Dear god, make me a bird ..."

Seven games in, and the story of the 2011 Browns was already in the books. Josh Cribbs stated the obvious as well, Governor Kasich rallied the troops by reminding us about the time Bernie Kosar won that championship game, and Scott Raab’s loathsome book for white boys was released just in time for Christmas. In better news, it started to become clear that Urban Meyer would be the next Buckeye football coach.


The discovery of Jerry Sherk’s photo archive was a ray of light as was the latest glorious blooming of our special partnership with Red Lobster, but otherwise: We started with a Browns quarterback in the middle of one of the very worst offensive seasons in franchise history incredibly making news again for complaining to the press about how last year’s coaches were mean to him; And we ended with Concussiongate and an unimaginably spectacular embarrassment of a press conference.

But of course the year couldn’t have ended any other way given the way it started, so peace 2011. Love watching you leave. There’s  a good enough argument that you can’t have good years without bad ones, but maybe the lows and highs don’t have to be so extreme so let’s see about getting ‘em next year. Thanks everyone for helping us get through another one here, and excelsior as always.

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