Six Points on the Cleveland Browns (Fri., Nov. 13)

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Six Points on the Cleveland Browns (Fri., Nov. 13)
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Ready for scary stuff yet? After all, it is Friday the 13th.

In the Crystal Lake of Cleveland, we have seen plenty of frightening things already, but this edition of Six Points will largely be dedicated to the men in the Browns organization who can claim the title of our own Jason Voorhees.

These are the men who can snuff out any hope of victory by the most gruesome, vile, and grotesque means possible.

Perhaps, if we absolutely must attend the Monday Night Football game against the Ravens, we should spring for hockey masks.

Now, halfway through the season, the Jason Voorhees awards:

1. Brandon McDonald (CB):

Inconsistent at best in coverage, often blows assignments, and either will not or cannot tackle.

Remembering the Ravens' beatdown of the Browns as recapitulated by NBC's Sunday Night Football, when NBC's Keith Olbermann commented on another one of McDonald's intentional (I hope, because no one can possibly suck this much in the NFL) whiffs, he said "Tackling was optional."

Gruesome death to victory: Tackling, to McDonald, is optional.

2. John St. Clair (RT):

In Cleveland, St. Clair Avenue can take you from the upscale Warehouse District on one end, past the convention center a few blocks, through a business district further east, and into pure ghetto as you keep following that road.

If you're a quarterback playing behind St. Clair, you're in the ghetto. Time to get mugged.

Going up St. Clair Avenue are linemen and linebackers with no speed limit in that 'hood.

Gruesome death to victory: Matador blocking.

3. Chansi Stuckey (WR):

Alright! We have an ex-Jet! 

Combine his complete lack of a vertical threat with the surehandedness of the nightclub brawler the de facto GM let him go for, and we must have a "character guy" who fits into the "process" or something.

Gruesome death to victory: Greased fingers with lack of speed.

4. Brian Daboll (OC):

Boss? Boss? I ain't got no Favre no more!

Completely in over his head, Daboll soldiers on with an offense with about as much firepower as the 1939 Polish cavalry had facing the German Wehrmacht.

I never thought anyone could possibly make me nostalgic for the days of Maurice Carthon, but ...

Gruesome death to victory: The Peter Principle.

5. The Two-Headed QB Monster:

Browns fan #1: Your guy sucks!

Browns fan #2: Oh yeah, your guy sucks more!

(Cue to primates flinging feces at each other).

Two inaccurate and inept quarterbacks are fighting for a thankless job, namely leading a virtually talentless offense to numerous three-and-outs.

Meanwhile, fans are split, and loathe the QB they do not prefer to the extent of throwing the other guy under the bus in order to prove, not necessarily, that their QB is The Man, but that the other guy is a complete waste.

Which would you prefer? Lethal injection or firing squad?

Gruesome death to victory: Both these guys suck!

6. Randolph Lerner:

Imagine the kid getting off of the little bus crying and screaming "I really want to do better! I will! I promise you!"

Then, you know that kid, as much as your heart goes out to him, is completely incapable.

Back when, under the influence of whatever, my buddies and I wanted to buy the Browns. If we hit the Lotto in different states many times in a row, we could have done it.

But, we would have known not much more than Randolph Lerner.

Sir, you inherited a house in the ghetto you feel an obligation to maintain, but your interests are elsewhere.

Well, to you, it's the ghetto, but to us, it's home.

Dad ain't smiling down from Heaven upon your efforts. He's ashes and dust, like my own father is.

Never mind making it right. Sir, just get out if you don't have your heart in it. None of us will blame you.

If you keep this team, follow your father's advice.

Hire good people, let them do their jobs, and get the Hell out of their way.

Gruesome death to victory: Continued thrashing and flailing.

EXTRA POINT: Which is scarier?

Corporate naming rights extending down to the high school level or Six Points going Terry Pluto on you?

You make the call.

OK, editors, two alumni from my old high school now play in the NFL, and one plays for the Browns. Thus, this makes the cut.

Boliantz Stadium, where my old high school played its football games from 1970-2009, will be demolished soon.

Its home stands, made of wood upon steel supports and built with volunteer labor when the area was semi-rural, held about 3,000 fans. On the visiting side, there was room for a medium-sized marching band and the close friends and immediate family of the visiting team.

It's being replaced by a 5.000-seat facility, which voters in the district narrowly approved a tax levy for in November 2008.

But, this isn't about the stadium. It's about the man whose name it bears.

It's also about corporate naming rights, which may reach their rapacious tentacles into the public high school where I had two years of Latin and came within a thread of making the National Honor Society.

I grew up going to Cleveland Stadium for baseball and football games, and to the Richfield Coliseum for basketball, concerts and hockey.

Those places were named after their locales, not the highest bidder. Things changed, and we know it.

Now, the University of Akron has a new stadium named after a telemarketing firm. Louisville plays in a stadium named after a pizza chain.

But, on the most basic and primal level of sports, we don't need Pepsi Field or Walmart Stadium.

Boliantz did not pay a dime to have his name on my old high school's stadium. The community honored him.

William Boliantz began his teaching career in the rural Northfield (Ohio) High School in 1941, and also coached the football, basketball and baseball teams.

After a year of teaching, he was drafted into the Army Corps of Engineers in 1942, and did not return to teaching until 1946.

In 1948, Northfield and neighboring Macedonia's school districts merged, and by 1951, Boliantz was principal at Northfield-Macedonia High School, still coaching football until the 1960 season, when he became superintendent.

By the completion of the district's new high school in 1962, the school became known as Nordonia. In Boliantz' tenure, the combined district went from three buildings to seven, added to pre-existing structures, and quintupled its enrollment.

William Boliantz retired as superintendent in 1976. Many call him the Father of Nordonia.

With rising material costs, I could see the district selling naming rights to the new field. I hope I don't see it.

But, Superintendent Boliantz is still alive and well in his 90s.

And as much as I loathed high school, I will gladly make the drive back there and shed a tear in public to see this:

Bill Boliantz stepping out to the 50-yard-line for the first game and dedication of the new Boliantz Stadium.

 

 

 

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