June 14, 2024

Cleveland Browns News 11/30: Joe Flacco Ascends, Myles Garrett Perseveres, and Dated Pop Culture References

The wounded Cleveland Browns get ready for the Los Angeles Rams while ten players are held out due to injury, quarterback Joe Flacco ascends the depth chart, Myles Garrett plays despite the dings, and, somewhere, a webdork eyes a chance to annoy people.

Good morning, Cleveland Browns fans!

One of the disadvantages of getting old and writing each morning is that your pop culture references get dated, and half the audience has no clue what you’re talking about. Today, I’ll trot out a pop culture reference from 1994. So, if you’re under 35, this one might woosh right by.

Back in the 1990s, I was a management consultant and would often go to industry seminars and technology conferences where experts in whatever soon-to-be-useless technology or business fad would get up and talk about them with myself in attendance. For a while, 75% of them seemed to start their talk with a line from 1994’s Forrest Gump.

The first time someone uses it, it might get a polite chuckle. After that, silence. After about the tenth time you heard it during the conference, audiences got almost angry, sitting stone-faced and sharing resigned glances at each other.

With that in mind, I encountered a Malley’s Assortment of Weirdness while doing the Newswire this morning.

GET READY TO MOVE: For years, sportswriting has been dominated by a pointless race to be “first” to break news via Twitter, a race that got an entire generation of sports fans used to getting news for free and compensated news breakers with “clout,” “influence” and other buzzwords, but not anything resembling money. There have been struggles; there have been layoffs, and there have been people leaving the profession. Meanwhile, Twitter hasn’t even been able to monetize the gift of traffic and free info well enough to be profitable.

I have long been a critic of social media networks, arguing they’re unmoderated sewers of disinformation that abuse the competition between news organizations for profit, giving nothing in return. Wisely, consumers of sports news don’t listen to me and have stubbornly stuck to Xitter, as have news breakers like Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter.

As I’ve been suggesting for months and months, though, I think the clock is officially ticking on Twitter, X, or whatever it’s called at the moment. At a recent advertising gathering, Twitter-Destroyer Elon Musk said that he couldn’t care less about advertisers fleeing Twitter as he used it for what appeared to be bigoted remarks and that they could all perform sex acts on themselves. Without delving into the physical challenges that Musk’s command suggests, it’s probably not a good approach to take with sponsors, particularly since Musk said he won’t use his funds to bail out Twitter as their main revenue source dries up.

Meanwhile, sites like ours are finding dwindling value out of interacting on Twitter, as Musk essentially blackmails us into paying for his service or getting blackballed by his algorithm.

Meanwhile, the OBR following over on Threads grows as we cautiously start posting stories there, and we note much greater interaction and less trolling. We are still looking for ways to reach new Browns fans who don’t know about us, and we’ll go where they are, but the Musk Xitter is asking for a lot and giving little in return.

WHY I ADMIT WHO I AM: Having said that, I will use a Xitter post in this segment. Ah, consistency.

Anyhow, as readers of this column know by now, I’m a Browns fan with a website who never played the game and doesn’t pretend to be an expert in the details of the game. I have theories about things like Stefanski’s thought process, as he called plays again Denver, usually qualified by paraphrasing Ruth’s infamous statement on the great Netflix drama Ozark that “I don’t know s— about —-.”

I’m around really smart people who do know what they’re talking about, so I could ape what they say and get away with it for a while, but eventually something like this would happen:

If Amando Salguero – a great beat reporter – could get called out by a player for misreading Xs and Os, imagine what would happen to a guy like me! I chuckle sometimes when “experts” on social media and podcasts talk about “watching the tape” or try to do film review shows. The internet can always figure out who really knows their stuff and who doesn’t. I’ve always felt being honest about who you are and what you know is the best policy.

I’m perfectly happy being who I am. I can even help out in Ask the Insiders sometimes, because I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of time following the Browns and know some stuff as a result, but I’ll leave the deep expertise to others.

If someone wants to know about the details of webdorkery, though, I stand ready to stand in front of a bored conference hall filled with 100 people looking forward to lunch and drop a 30 year old cultural reference to start my talk. I’d do it just for the irony and the uncomfortable silence.

Have a good one! GO BROWNS!

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