Hideous Web Buzz
2003 Edition, Volume 1
This winter will mark the fifth year that I have lovingly tracked the greed, deception, and various other forms of debauchery that marks the NFL off-season. My years of experience have not only provided definitive confirmation of the wasted nature of my life, but has also given me enough veteran savvy to recognize when my work is cut out for me.
This, my friends, will be a tough off-season.
The sports-watching public long ago adjusted to frightening and appalling things like Terry Bradshaw's country goon act, Brent Musberger's hair, and the undeniable but inexplicable fact of Tom Arnold's continued employment. The bar is set lower than ever before. I will have work harder and more aggressively to push lower the general level of journalistic credibility.
I feel that I am up to the challenge. I'm older, but my reaction time is still good, and I can still just make stuff up and have it sound reasonable.
There are those who feel I'm past my prime, and that I'm ready to fall victim to the "new breed" of Internet rumor-mongerers who "make money" and have "sources". Indeed, these scurrilous imps have already gone on the attack, launching an unexpected rumor-mongering strike with two weeks left to go in the season.
Fine. Be that way. I laugh at your pitiful mongering. Let's rumble.
RUMOR 1: The Browns are interested in Kordell Stewart.
Profile & Hot News:
We've been hearing that Stewart is at the end of the road in Pittsburgh for a while, if one is to believe the rumors. The notion that the Browns would look to Stewart as a quarterback, with money man Tim Couch still showing glimpses and the capable Kelly Holcomb locked up for two more years is just silly. Mortensen simply gobbles up the QB struggles and media-generated controversy in Cleveland, sort of links that to Stewart's availability, and *bingo*, there's a rumor. David Carducci showed disrespect to this rumor in Browns Uncensored on Thursday, and similarly, I blast a raspberry in it's general direction.
I have concluded that this rumor is without merit and borders on absurd. We will start tracking it daily ASAP.
RUMOR 2: Terry Robiskie is outta here
Profile and Hot News:
This one got some traction thanks to Pro Football Weekly, which had the nerve to suggest that Robiskie is a pretty good coach and that Marvin Lewis will drag him off to be an offensive coordinator if he lands a head coaching gig. Oddly enough, there's a lot of merit to this idea. Marvin Lewis has a known desire to use Robiskie as a OC from his game of footsie with the Tampa Bay Bucs before Chucky Gruden got hired, and Lewis' still has pretty good prospect of landing a gig according to Lane. We're going to track this one.
RUMOR 3: Dave Wohlabaugh and Dwayne Rudd should update resumes
Wohlabaugh Profile and Hot News:
Rudd Profile and Hot News:
Again, there's a lot to merit watching this, per David in Browns Uncensored on Thursday. Wohlabaugh has a high salary and hasn't had the best of years. The Browns drafted Melvin Fowler high and he's waiting in the wings. There's a good chance that Wohlie will be released to create cap space and that Fowler will step into his role. Similarly, Rudd has a high salary and didn't exactly endear himself by handing, or rather tossing, the first game of the season to the Chiefs. Expect to see both of these players either cut or forced to renegotiate their contracts to stick with the team. We started this one, duh. Dave and Dwayne's names will be added to the rumor tracker soon to appear in the top left corner of the site.
RUMOR 4: Randy Lerner may sell the team
CBS Sportsline, which has a deal with the NFL to provide content for their omnivorous web site, offered forth that there are issues with Randy Lerner's assumption of control of the team. The speculation, according to the report, is that Lerner may be forced to sell the team.
Prisco is pretty weaselly about this particular report. He offers that "nobody in the league will say this" and someone is "privately saying" that there are issues. He offers no clue what the issues might be, and we have no information about his source. It could be someone with a private vendetta against Lerner or the Browns, or even Carmen Policy (who has nothing but friends around the NFL, yeah). Who knows?
On one hand, Sportsline's bedding down with the NFL might mean that they get some news items first. On the other, it means that the tips they get might be advancing some agenda or another.
I'm not saying that this one is one of those... um... I'm just, you know... saying that, um, I ain't buying it yet. Until we start hearing Carmen say nothing eloquently, we have very little to go on here.