Ending With A Whimper And A Drop

When the Cleveland Browns acquired Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade with the New York Giants several years ago, it was viewed as an absolute game-changer for the beleaguered Browns franchise. The speedy receiver, who had the reputation of being able to catch any ball that was thrown in his direction, was supposed to be the dangerous deep threat that the Browns could deploy to take their offense to the next level.

Unfortunately, that’s not how it worked out. With the exception of one game–last year against the Dallas Cowboys–OBJ didn’t really show much game-changing ability as a member of the Browns. Instead, his tenure was marked with lots of drama and endless commentator chatter about whether he had “chemistry” with Browns QB Baker Mayfield, whether OBJ was being properly utilized, whether OBJ was getting enough “targets,” and every other form of pointless “analysis” you can imagine.

On the field, OBJ was pretty average, frankly, and for a guy who was supposed to be the glue-fingered receiver, he sure had a lot of drops and non-catches–many of which came at crucial moments. Off the field, OBJ became an ongoing distraction, which culminated in a weird incident this week where OBJ’s Dad criticized Baker Mayfield for not throwing to OBJ enough. (It’s strange to think that a professional athlete’s Dad’s comments would be the subject of a new story, but that’s the weird world we live in, and it is symptomatic of the never-ending OBJ circus.)

Apparently the Browns have had enough. According to ESPN, the Browns are finalizing the process of releasing OBJ and ending the constant drama. I don’t wish OBJ ill; he fought to recover from a serious injury and, unlike some prima donna receivers, was willing to block downfield when the play required it. But the soap opera aspects of having him on the team just weren’t worth it in view of the very limited production the Browns got out of him. I hope he signs on with another team and finds a way to recapture some of the magic he once had, but I think the Browns made the right decision.

The OBJ tale is a good example of why fans shouldn’t get too caught up in a player’s press clippings, or assume that everything is going to fit together perfectly. The Cleveland Browns’ OBJ experiment is over, and it ended with a whimper, not a bang.

The Golden Age Of Dog Food

We’re watching Russell’s dog Betty while Russell heads down south for the wedding of some friends. Over the last few days, I’ve been responsible for serving Betty her evening and morning meals, which has caused me to pay careful attention to her dog food.

It’s no wonder that Betty wolfs down her food with voracious speed as soon as the dog bowl hits the floor of the pantry. She’s getting some pretty high-end chow here. Her cans of Pedigree state that they are made with real beef, and some include “filet mignon flavor.” And her Fromm brand food is labeled as “grain free” pate–chicken pate, to be precise. To add to the sophisticated air of the Fromm offering, the Fromm can labels include disclosures in both English and French.

In case you’re interested, Betty’s “dog food” in French is “pate de poulet nourriture pour chiens” that is “sans cereales.” It even sounds classier, doesn’t it? I’m surprised Betty doesn’t request a cloth napkin and a candlelit place setting before she sticks her head into the bowl and starts gobbling it.

We’re clearly not alone in the tony dog food department When you walk around German Village and notice deliveries on doorsteps, pet-related boxes tend to dominate, and since GV clearly is dog territory, many of the packages contain dog food. Chewy.com seems to be a popular on-line venue for dog food, and it offers a huge array of different brands that include contents like “big Texas steak,” salmon, and chicken. That’s pretty tempting stuff for Fido.

We may be living through tough times for humans, but it’s a golden age for dogs.