I was fortunate (I think) to attend Browns training camp on Sunday and Monday. Here’s what I learned, noticed, heard, and saw in my two days.
- You’re an absolute sucker if you don’t take advantage of parking in the yards of the Berea residents. Most of the homeowners only charge 10 bucks. Don’t be a cheap ass. You won’t have to scour parking lots for a spot. It’ll save you tons of walking and you don’t have to park your car next to the common-folk in the general admission lots. Gross.
- If I lived on the street where the training camp entrance is located you better believe I’d have a beer tent set up in my yard. It’s actually INSANE that there isn’t any beer inside the practice fields and that no one tailgates and pregames for the practices. Definitely an untapped market. If you live on Beech Street this idea will cost you $10.
- Even after yelling at Andrew Hawkins to unblock Bottlegate on Twitter he still has us blocked. Don’t know what his deal is.
- Think the Browns need to implement more seating options in the practice field complex. Standing on a curb trying to see over a 4 year old who’s jumping up and down on the bleachers really really sucks.
- Speaking of kids, there are A TON of them there. Everywhere. And they talk. A lot. And cry. A lot. This is also why (or why not) the team needs to start offering booze in Berea. These parents looked absolutely miserable in the sun trying to watch practice but also keeping an eye on little Timmy to make sure he doesn’t poop his pants and then run onto the practice field to hug Johnny Manziel.
- However, I did love the kid on Sunday who knew every player by name/number and had to tell his dad who #13 was and that #9 wasn’t Brian Hoyer. He even dropped a “that’s Thaddeus Lewis, he started the season finale vs. the Steelers a few years back.” This kid was alright.
- Lots of bad tattoos. A couple of ear gauges. Lots of jorts. Cleveland Browns fans are always on the cutting edge of fashion. These are my people.
- A guy walked by me in a suit sweating his ass off on Monday morning saying “I’m pretty sure I’m the only one here in a suit.” The next time he walked by he was in the middle of telling the other person on the line that “I gotta tell you, my 9 and 10 year olds are almost bigger than Johnny Manziel.” Wearing a suit and tie to training camp to stand with the general admission crowd tells you all you need to know about the guy.
- There was a dad standing next to me on the curb (maybe 55-60 years old) who turned to his son and said “Can’t believe all these players take their helmets off when they’re not in. Back when I played you didn’t take your helmet off unless you were told that you could.” Nothing better than “back in my day” guy who compares his high school practice days to a professional organization’s practice days.
- On the other side of me there was a kid (probably around 6 or 7) who picked up two sticks and started to feverishly rub them together in an effort to make fire. Why he wanted to start a fire during an 85 degree day is beyond me. Maybe he was cold or something. His dad told him to put the sticks down to which the little pyro replied “I’M TRYING TO MAKE A FIRE, DAD! LEAVE ME ALONE!” Incredible. Did I mention they should serve alcohol at training camp?
- Rubbing sticks together and not having them catch fire has to be some sort of metaphor for the Browns offense, right? I kid, I kid.
- They have a whole tent housing a bunch of puppies that are up for adoption. Probably the best part of training camp.
- Being a kicker/punter/long snapper on an NFL team is the best job in the world and you can’t tell me any different. It’s not an award winning picture but here’s what they were doing during team drills that were taking place at the other end of the field. Just bullshitting with each other tossing the pigskin and probably discussing how they should sell alcohol at camp.
- McCown threw a SEXY pass in 7 on 7 to Taylor Gabriel down the sideline over Joe Haden that went for like 40ish yards. The Yung Joc blaring from the speakers made it that much cooler.
- The running back indy drills were right in front of me. Thought they would have shown a little more spark after getting questioned by their position coach yesterday but I didn’t really see it. The offense overall seemed to have a pretty shitty day of practice.
- Judging the quarterbacks by how they play catch I’d say McCown throws the best ball, followed by Thad Lewis, Johnny, then Connor Shaw. Everyone knows you should only judge quarterbacks on how they look playing catch.
- It was nice to see Justin Gilbert make a few plays today. This one happened right in front of me and the crowd went nuts.
Don’t think the catch would have counted
- Saw an old bald guy wearing a Steelers shirt walking with some doofus-y looking kid wearing a Ravens shirt. Don’t know if they were trying to get people riled up but no one even gave them the time of day.
- Paul Kruger wears sweatpants while he practices in full pads. In 85 degree heat. Will someone confirm if he has pads on under them?
- Next level training camp hat
- Josh McCown threw a very nice ball to Gary Barnidge for a long gain (would have been a TD) down the middle of the field. McCown would have been sacked by Karlos Dansby but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good Vine.
- If I had run the conditioning test here there’s no doubt in my mind I would have had completely different results. When there’s even ground with short grass I’m what they call a “burner” and “gamechanger.”
- Joe Thomas got rolled up on during the team portion, screamed, and then walked off of the field with no help. It was definitely a scary moment but it didn’t seem to be anything serious. We’ll see.
All in all it’s definitely a cool experience to head out to Berea if you get a chance. I suggest leaving the kids at home (if you have any) and housing a couple beers before you walk through the gates. It’s what Paul Brown would have wanted.