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Marla Ridenour on Sports

Weekend musings: So much for a fast start for Tiger

By Marla Published: January 31, 2011

Those who expected Tiger Woods to bounce back with a vengeance in 2011 were disappointed Saturday and Sunday.

Woods put himself in position with 69-69 in the first two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, a course he owns  like Firestone South. But he came home with 74-75 in his first tournament of the year and finished tied for 44th, 15 shots behind winner Bubba Watson.

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Kosar makes more sense in Miami, Cincinnati

By Marla Published: January 28, 2011

A Boston Globe report that former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar has been ''poking around'' the New England Patriots and ''hopes to get into coaching,'' has Northeast Ohio fans in an uproar.

After word got out that Kosar had gone to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., to check out NFL job possibilities, Tony Rizzo of WKNR radio reported that the Bengals had been talking to Kosar about a position.

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Sainz publicity machine rolls again

By Marla Published: January 27, 2011

It appears that Mexican sports reporter Ines Sainz hopes to be the most popular interview subject at next week's Super Bowl Media Day in Dallas.

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Pistol Pete reincarnated?

By Marla Published: January 27, 2011

I was mezmerized by Wednesday night's college basketball showdown between No. 4 San Diego State and No. 9 BYU, mainly because of the stunning shooting performance of BYU senior guard Jimmer Fredette. I could have sworn I was watching the second coming of "Pistol Pete'' Maravich.

Fredette poured in 43 points in a 71-58 victory over previously unbeaten SDSU, including 34 of BYU's first 50 points.  And the officials missed a blatant goaltending call on a Fredette shot with 5:47 to go.

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Buckeyes flex their muscles

By Marla Published: January 26, 2011

No. 1 Ohio State's 87-64 dismantling of No. 12 Purdue Tuesday night in Value City Arena conjured up images of the 2007 Final Four team led by Greg Oden and Mike Conley.

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Other side of the Senior Bowl

By Marla Published: January 25, 2011

While the Browns surely sent a big contingent to Mobile, Ala., for this week's Senior Bowl practices, there's another sidelight to the event that has nothing to do with the game.

In fact, most of the NFL's top-level execs are gone before the game kicks off. When I covered the Senior Bowl in 2005, the year Akron quarterback Charlie Frye was the MVP, Browns general manager Phil Savage did stay, but did radio commentary for his hometown station and visited his parents in nearby Gulf Shores.

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Weekend musings

By Marla Published: January 24, 2011

The controversy over the knee injury suffered by Bears quarterback Jay Cutler Sunday in a 21-14 loss at Green Bay won't be going away any time soon. But the anger may be misplaced in Chicago.

The decision to take Cutler out was made by doctors and trainers, according to Bears coach Lovie Smith. Cutler was ripped on Twitter by NFL players and fans burned his jersey in the Soldier Field parking lot. Cutler suffered a torn MCL, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

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Playoff picks

By Marla Published: January 21, 2011

The championship games this weekend seem like a tossup, but I've decided to go with the Jets (21-17) and Packers (14-10). Here's why:

Jets at Pittsburgh

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Buckeyes keep their promise

By Marla Published: January 20, 2011

So much for the skeptics who thought the Tatoo Five were just giving Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel lip service when they promised they would return for their seniors seasons to be allowed to play against Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft was Jan. 15. On Wednesday, the NFL released the list of 56 players coming out early and there were no Buckeyes on it for the first time since 2003.

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Sights, sounds from Zips soccer celebration

By Marla Published: January 19, 2011

Tuesday night's celebration of the Akron Zips 2010 Division I national soccer championship at Rhodes Arena included some memorable moments. Among them:

1. Video of the team jumping into the Pacific Ocean across from their Santa Barbara, Calif. hotel after winning the title. Coach Caleb Porter admitted last week that the water was freezing. The unbridled joy in the way they dashed into the water, eventually forming a circle, will be a lasting visual of the aftermath.

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Daboll moves fast

By Marla Published: January 18, 2011

I must admit I'm stunned how quickly how the Browns'  Brian Daboll found another offensive coordinator position with the Miami Dolphins.

Perhaps others shied away from the position because of the way Dolphins owner Stephen Ross snuck around behind coach Tony Sparano's back to interview then-Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.

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Weekend musings

By Marla Published: January 17, 2011

1. If there can be a case of singing for your supper in the NFL, Jets receivers Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes might as well have been Pavarotti in Sunday's 28-21 victory over the New England Patriots.

Neither Edwards nor Holmes are signed for 2011. Edwards faces a March 7 court date for his Sept. 21 DWI arrest in New York.  Holmes was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for violation of the league's substance abuse policy.

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Sights and sounds from Shurmur's introduction

By Marla Published: January 15, 2011

Some thoughts on Friday's introduction of Browns coach Pat Shurmur:

1. I wish president Mike Holmgren wouldn't have said he didn't know Pat Shurmur was represented by Bob LaMonte, Holmgren's agent and close friend of 30 years. Maybe he didn't know when the Browns were 1-5 and Holmgren started comtemplating a coaching change, but a statement like that doesn't set well in football-savvy Cleveland.

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Shurmur seems strong, determined, ready

By Marla Published: January 14, 2011

It may have been somewhat intimidating for new Browns coach Pat Shurmur to be flanked by president Mike Holmgren and general manager Tom Heckert at his introductory press conference Friday morning.

But during the 45-minute session, Shurmur showed some presence and seemed like a coach who won't allow himself to be overshadowed by Holmgren, who has spent 24 years in the NFL, 17 as a coach.

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Ultimate test for 'In Holmgren we trust'

By Marla Published: January 13, 2011

After a 16-6 loss to Seattle on Jan. 2 that cost the St. Louis Rams the NFC West title, Rams fans wanted to run offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur out of town.

Tthey got their wish. Shurmur's was named Browns coach today.

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Cavs: There's nothing to blow up

By Marla Published: January 12, 2011

After LeBron James took his talents to South Beach and owner Dan Gilbert fired off his scathing email that guaranteed the Cavs would win an NBA Championship "before the self-titled former King,'' I was among those who worried that Gilbert would try to field a competitive team in 2010-11.

My bad.

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Weekend musings: Another if-only

By Marla Published: January 10, 2011

Watching Baltimore running back Ray Rice on Sunday reawakened my second-guessing of former Browns GM Phil Savage's 2008 trades that brought defensive linemen Corey Williams and Shaun Rogers to Cleveland.

Green Bay's Williams cost the Browns their second-round pick in 2008, while Savage gave Detroit a third-round pick and cornerback Leigh Bodden for Rogers.

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Mularkey growing on me

By Marla Published: January 7, 2011

End of the week musing on recent sports headlines:

1. The idea of Falcons offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey as the next Browns coach is growing on me. While my first two choices would be Browns president Mike Holmgren and ESPN analyst Jon Gruden, I love the creativity Mularkey brought to the Pittsburgh Steelers offense when he was coordinator from 2001-03.

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Did Browns give up on Wimbley too soon?

By Marla Published: January 6, 2011

Oakland Raiders linebacker Kamerion Wimbley was named the AFC's defensive player of the week for the first time in his career after recording three sacks, seven tackles and two tackles for losses in Sunday's 31-10 victory at Kansas City.

Wimbley's pressure helped the Raiders notch two interceptions and hold the  Chiefs to 86 passing yards.

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Browns fan offers some laughs

By Marla Published: January 6, 2011

Another 5-11 season wore on Tom Johnson of Fairlawn, a Browns season ticket holder since 1979. Johnson's tongue-in-cheek email will resonate with those wondering when the Browns will make their first playoff appearance since 2002.

Here's his message. Don't miss my personal favorite, No. 5.:

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Observations from the Sugar Bowl

By Marla Published: January 5, 2011

Thoughts after the Buckeyes' 31-26 victory over Arkansas Tuesday night in the Sugar Bowl.

1. OSU loses if the suspended five don't play. It was stunning how much they contributed to the victory: QB Terrelle Pryor (15 runs for 115 yards, 14 of 25 passing for 221 yards and two TDs), WR DeVier Posey (3 catches for 70 yards, 43-yard TD), RB Dan "Boom'' Herron (24 carries for 87 yards, 9-yard TD), DL Solomon Thomas (game-saving interception with 58 seconds remaining), along with OT Mike Adams.

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Buckeye fans: Turn on those radios

By Marla Published: January 4, 2011

Tonight's ESPN telecast of the Sugar Bowl showdown between Ohio State and Arkansas could include Buckeye bashing of unusual proportions.

While OSU fans usually perceive national announcers to be biased towards the opponent, this year's scenario offers even more reasons for negativity.

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Some Browns sorry to see Mangini go

By Marla Published: January 3, 2011

While Browns receiver/returner Joshua Cribbs lobbied for Eric Mangini to stay Sunday, quarterback Jake Delhomme was one of the most complimentary players who spoke after Mangini was fired on Monday.

"It's disappointing. He's a very good man, he's a very good coach and he's someone I'm glad I got to know, glad I got to play for,'' Delhomme said. "You learned a lot of football. It's a different way than I've ever done it from where I came from. But at the same time it's proven to be successful. Just we weren't successful enough.

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Mangini upbeat after firing

By Marla Published: January 3, 2011

Browns coach Eric Mangini was upbeat and smiling on his way to the final team meetingshortly after being relieved of his duties by president Mike Holmgren Monday.

Mangini and his staff came downstairs at Browns headquarters shortly before 10 a.m. and headed to the amphitheater. Mangini accepted my thanks for his cooperation and was cordial in his reaction.

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Cribbs' post-game comments

By Marla Published: January 2, 2011

Comments from Browns receiver/returner Joshua Cribbs after Sunday's 41-9 loss to Pittsburgh.

(What happened last four games?)

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