OBR News-o-Rama: 11/28 AM

The morning edition of the increasingly shallow and pedantic Browns blog. Yep, "shallow and pedantic". We rule at Trivial Pursuit.


Of course, you've already got these things scheduled on your personal calendar, and probably have Post-It brand sticky notes all over your computer reminding you, but just in case you didn't, here are two upcoming OBR Moments To Treasure:

TONIGHT 10PM: Adam Caplan in the OBR Chat Room
THURS 7-9PM: OBR Internet Radio Wonder Emporium


Here's the latest from the OBR Newswire (rss), since 1999 your source for a constant stream of Browns headlines, hand-selected with tender loving care by occasionally sober OBR zealots.

The news about the passing of Bill Willis came in too late for most of the local papers to react, but there are reports from the AP and a few others. I just got a press release from the team around 8:30 this morning, and have attached it below.

It's a typical Wednesday morning during the season, as it's a light day on the newswire thanks to the usual Tuesday shutdown. Here's the latest, categorized and labeled for easy consumption.

Bill Willis Passes
The OBR  Associated Press  Columbus Dispatch  Official Site

Jamal Lewis Would Run Through a Minefield, Dragging a Cute Pony, for an Extra Two Yards. He's Like That.
News-Herald  Chronicle-Telegram

Watch Out for Them Cardinals
Plain Dealer  Canton Rep (1)  Canton Rep (2)


We published eight stories yesterday, and we've already got five more in the queue for today. We'll also have Fred Greetham's Berea report early this afternoon. I'd say something sort of self-mocking here, but I'm just too freaking tired, and not even the McDonald's Half-Gallon o' Caffeine Mondo Coffee for Fatboys™ is helping at this point.

Check out this cover for the new OBR magazine, though. We actually had to drop one of those thermobaric weapons* behind Braylon on the Berea practice facility to get this picture. If you think Edwards is fast on game day, you've never seen him try to outrace a rapidly expanding 5000-degree vapor cloud explosion.

We will not comment on spurious allegations made regarding our photographic exploits and the purely coincidental spontaneous combustion of 14 neighborhood homes in Berea. You folks simply shouldn't leave your toaster ovens on.

2008 NFL Draft Watch
Bill Willis Passes Away
OBR News-o-Rama: 11/27 PM
Passan: It's Inconceivable!
OBR News-o-Rama: 11/27 AM
Best Available Free Agents: Defense
Best Available Free Agents: Offense
2008 NFL Draft Spotlight: WR Devin Thomas

* Aka "fuel-air bomb" for those of you not in the local sports publishing industry


There's been a ton of activity at the Muni Lot of late, which makes sense because it's a bunch of blogs on a Browns site, but I've been pretty amazed at the number of folks signing up for the RSS feeds there.

CLICK HERE to subscribe to the Muni Lot newsfeed.

Fussing Over Football Fields - Vinny and the Hornless Rhino
Not settling for sixth - Ace Davis
LeBron Simply Will Not Be Stopped - Kid Cleveland
Browns Playoff Odds Report: 78.8% - Disappointment Zone
The NFL's Worst Coaches - End Zone Buzz


"Bill Willis was one of the pioneers of the game of football," said Browns Head Coach Romeo Crennel.  "Everyone associated with the Cleveland Browns is saddened by his loss. His hard-nosed play on the field, coupled with the manner in which he conducted himself off it, epitomized what it is to be a Cleveland Brown.  We send our thoughts, prayers and condolences to the Willis family."

Willis passed away last evening at the age of 86.  Willis played eight seasons for the Browns (1946-53) and was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.  Willis began his football career as an All-America tackle at Ohio State and joined the Browns in 1946.  Paul Brown signed Willis as one of the first African American players to break the color barrier.  Coach Brown used him on both offense and defense, however Willis excelled as a defensive middle guard. 

Willis was a member of all four Browns All-American Conference Championships, and played in four NFL title games with the Browns (1950-53) and was a member of the Browns 1950 Championship team.  Willis is known for a touchdown saving tackle against the New York Giants that preserved the Browns' 8-3 playoff win on Dec. 17, 1950, as the Browns went on to defeat the Los Angeles Rams the following week for their first NFL Championship.

Willis was an All-AAFC three times, named All-NFL from 1950-53 and participated in three NFL Pro Bowls.  Willis was born on Oct. 5, 1921 in Columbus, Ohio.




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