The off-season begins, as does the gossip, and a local fish-wrap delivers some insightful news.
This and much more in Tales from the Inbox: Media Edition!
Q: I recently read where the Browns intend on keeping Derek Anderson and Jamal Lewis next season. Boy, the Plain Dealer really scooped you guys on this, as I have not heard this anywhere else (lol). How does the local paper in town get away with writing something days and in cases weeks after you and the other guys at The OBR? Also, why do we see the same people on the radio and on television talking about this team? Nothing changes!
LA: I guess one could say that it is what it is. We have done the same thing since 1999 in regards to covering the team - delivering news and scoop and being an unbiased party in the world of everything Cleveland Browns.
We are not the Cleveland Plain Dealer nor are we an ‘official' broadcast or print partner of the team. We do not have business or ‘personal' ties to the team which may sway some normal or objective thinking. We do not serve or drink the kool-aid.
Believe me when I say this, the local media covering this team does a solid job, but in our eyes there is more to covering the team than looking at an injury report, speculating who the organization wants to keep next season and giving the fans a game wrap-up. The fans deserve more.
Some of these words may not sit well with those at these other media outlets, but it is what it is.
Generally the media working the Browns beat are a good group of individuals, but they report on the team in a different medium. I believe that coverage of this team consists of many parties basically reporting the same information or material. Some of this is due to the way the team limits what writers can learn.
We follow the news and coverage closely and find it rather gratifying that we see some of the local media following up on content, material and speculation that we touch on much earlier and much more often.
Until radio and television opportunities open to those who tend to discuss the team in a far less conservative manner, the coverage you get will remain the same. While the coverage presently delivered does satisfy a broad spectrum of fan, it does not address the growing number of fans seeking more information, analysis and unadulterated discussion about this team.
We are here and will continue to raise the bar in regards to reporting on the Cleveland Browns.
Are you listening Cleveland?
Q: From Gib Shanley through Jim Donovan, there have been a few voices of the Cleveland Browns over the years. I personally liked Gib Shanley and was away from Cleveland for many years. Who do you believe was the very best?
LA: Gib Shanley was fantastic and he was teamed up with the late Jim Graner and later Jim Mueller for many years. While all had a different flair in the booth and Shanley was fantastic, my favorite was the late Nev Chandler. I once was talking with a group of disabled blind folks and was told that listening to Nev was like being there seeing the game. While I always had an appreciation of Nev's work, I never fully sensed how special he was in the booth. One day I went to a dark place, slipped in a tape and listened to a broadcast of a game Nev had done along with Doug Dieken. I honestly found his insight, delivery and ability to bring ‘life' to the game exceptional. Nev Chandler was the best I have ever listened to and those before and after Nev were pretty damn good in their own right.
Q: Recently the Plain Dealer ran an article in which it noted the Browns intended on keeping quarterback Derek Anderson and running back Jamal Lewis next season. I have been reading for an extended period of time on the OBR that this could be the case as well. Is there anything new to add to the Plain Dealer report or something we the readers are missing here?
LA: Yes, the Browns would like to retain the services of Jamal Lewis and Derek Anderson, as we have reported on the Orange and Brown Report many times. If the price is right, both may have a future in Cleveland. With the state of the free agent market and how other teams may extend themselves for a player of their liking, the possibility of either or both players moving on is a possibility. Like our reports for weeks have noted, there has not been ongoing contract discussions in either case. I can add representatives for Anderson had begun posturing for their client several weeks ago when Anderson was playing at his highest level.
Q: With the rumor surfacing that head coach Romeo Crennel was at the top of Bill Parcells' wish-list in Miami, the media has been rather non-committal on the story and the integrity of the source. Knowing you guys at the OBR generally are on top of such situations, what is your take on the situation?
LA: With Bill Parcells taking over the reigns of the Miami Dolphins football operations, expect changes. Crennel was as trusted and respected of an assistant as Parcells has ever had and is as knowledgeable and experienced as it gets. I do not doubt in the slightest that Parcells would be comfortable with Crennel back in the fold, as he has been impressed with the job he has done in Cleveland.
Being said, I do not see the Browns letting Crennel slip away without getting something in return from the Dolphins, if this is indeed the case and only if the Cleveland organization has a head coach in waiting.
I have heard absolutely nothing to substantiate the rumor - which was not generated by the Orange and Brown Report - but it would not come as a surprise to me.
Q: Do you believe the coverage of the Browns is somewhat watered down or for the lack of a better description boring? It appears that almost everyone associated with covering the team reports the story of the day and that is basically all.
LA: The story-of-the-day mentality comes from what is given or provided by the team during the season in Berea, Ohio. In many cases the media reports on whom and/or what is put in front of them. Jeff Schudel of the Lake County News Herald and Steve Doerschuk of the Canton Repository find a way to sway from the customary coverage of this team, when the opportunity exists.
Q: What has happened to the Orange and Brown Report radio show? I have always enjoyed listening to the show as it is the most informative show on the team. I found it entertaining listening to you, Jeff Schudel, Fred Greetham and Barry. Is the show dead or what?
LA: The radio show is in the stages of being revamped, with improved technical quality and consistency. We will be back on the internet shortly, bigger and better than ever and thanks for the kind words and support.
Q: Fans like myself like the radio show you guys do, but would really like to hear you guys on the local radio, which would make it much easier for many to listen in. Is there anything in the works in this regard?
LA: Believe me, we at the Orange and Brown Report would be more than willing to head onto the local airwaves and talk Browns football. But, the issue is many of the radio stations either have agreements with the team, or prefer "known" names and faces.