Monthly Archives: November 2019

Steelers respond to report that Browns fans with Myles Garrett jerseys will be banned from Heinz Field Sunday

The Steelers would like to clear up a rumor that has been floating around the Internet

The last time we saw the Steelers and Browns on the same field together, the final seconds of the game turned into total chaos after Myles Garrett ripped off Mason Rudolph’s helmet and then hit him over the head with it.

After all was said and done in the fight, the NFL ended up handing out more than $700,000 in fines and three suspensions. The biggest suspension went to Garrett, who was indefinitely banned from the NFL for his actions during the brawl.

Although Rudolph won’t be the Steelers starting quarterback against Cleveland on Sunday — that honor belongs to Devlin Hodges — Garrett is still basically viewed as public enemy No. 1 in Pittsburgh right now, which led to an interesting report this week. With the two teams getting set to meet at Heinz Field on Sunday, a radio station in Pittsburgh reported that any Browns fans wearing a Myles Garrett jersey could potentially be banned from the stadium.

As crazy as the report sounded, it quickly gained steam and left many people wondering if the Steelers were actually going to ban Garrett jerseys from this week’s game. As it turns out though, all Browns fans will be welcome to the game on Sunday, including fans who might be wearing a Garrett jersey.

Steelers public relations director Burt Lauten cleared up all the confusion with a tweet on Tuesday.

Basically, this means that if you were planning to wear a Garrett jersey to Heinz Field on Sunday, you will be welcomed into the stadium. It probably won’t be a warm welcome, but you’ll be allowed in, which is all that matters.

One thing that will be interesting to watch this weekend is how Steelers fans treat this game. If they act anything like Browns fans, things could get kind of crazy during pregame tailgating. The Browns weren’t even playing the Steelers in Week 12, but fans in Cleveland still took some anger out at Rudolph by taking swings at a pinata that looked like him.

Rudolph didn’t get suspended for the part he played in the fight, but he did get hit with a monstrous $50,000 fine.

With Rudolph getting benched this week, that means there will be a total of three players from the Week 11 brawl who won’t be playing on Sunday. Besides Rudolph and Garrett, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey also won’t be on the field. Pouncey was hit with a two-game suspension stemming after the brawl, which means he won’t be allowed to return to action until Week 14. Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was also suspended for one game, but he served that in Week 12, which means he’ll be on the field this week.

Week 13 Thanksgiving NFL picks against the spread: Bears vs. Lions, Bills vs. Cowboys, Saints vs. Falcons – 11/28/2019

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints face the Atlanta Falcons in Thursday’s NFL on Thanksgiving nightcap.

The NFL on Thanksgiving has become as much a part of the holiday as the turkey itself. Hopefully, these Week 13 Thanksgiving NFL picks will add a little gravy to your day.

Week 13 Thanksgiving NFL picks

Chicago Bears (-3.5, 38 over/under) at Detroit Lions, Thursday at 12:30 p.m. ET (FOX)

The best thing about Bears vs. Lions is it should give you a three-hour window to spend some time with your family rather than getting yelled at for watching football on Thanksgiving – because this one won’t be pretty.

Undrafted rookie quarterback David Blough could get the start for Lions in place of backup Jeff Driskel, as Driskel is dealing with a hamstring injury. The Lions are already down to Driskel due to starter Matt Stafford being sidelined with broken bones in his back. Stafford last played Nov. 3.

Things have gotten so grim at quarterback for the Lions that they were blocked by the XFL when attempting to sign Josh Johnson – whom Detroit had already cut earlier this season.

Driskel has lost all three starts since taking over at quarterback, with the Lions losing seven of their last eight overall.

The Lions last covered a point spread Oct. 15.

Meanwhile, the Bears are dealing with some uncertainty at quarterback of their own.

Mitchell Tribusky is no longer dealing with a hip issue, although his grasp on the starting job remains flimsy with each passing week. The Bears want and need Trubisky to take control of the quarterback position, but that hasn’t been the case.

If Trubisky fails to move the Bears offense once again on Thanksgiving, backup quarterback Chase Daniel could very realistically see some action.

The biggest difference between the two teams Thursday is at least the Bears have a defense to fall back on.

Chicago owns one of the best defenses in the NFL, which could make for a long day for either Driskel or Blough.

Now that the line has crawled up to Bears -3.5, Chicago isn’t nearly as enticing, but it’s hard to have much confidence in the Lions given their situation at quarterback.

Pick: Bears -3.5

Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys (-6.5, 47 over/under), Thursday at 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS)

This game should tell us a lot about where these two teams stand.

The pressure is on in Dallas. Last Sunday’s self-inflicted loss to the New England Patriots has owner Jerry Jones as unhappy as he’s been in recent memory.

There’s no shame in losing to the Patriots on the road. But given the talent this team has, you can’t let opportunities like that slip away. And that’s likely the root of Jones’ frustration, he expects and demands more from them.

If the Cowboys don’t bounce back here – at home on Thanksgiving Day in front of a national audience, no less – head coach Jason Garrett might as well skip the turkey and start updating his resume.

As for the Bills, while Buffalo owns an 8-3 record, they haven’t played anyone. The Bills have beaten just one team currently over .500 – a win over the 6-5 Tennessee Titans that came in Week 5. However, the Bills will certainly have a chance to prove they are for real over the next few weeks. Games against the Ravens and Patriots follow Thursday in Dallas.

Unfortunately for the Bills, this just seems like a bad spot for them for no other reason than the Cowboys are in must-win mode.

How can the Cowboys not come out swinging after ownership has essentially put them on notice?

At -6.5, the Cowboys are the play. If this line creeps back up to -7 or higher, the Bills might deserve some consideration when making your Thanksgiving NFL picks.

Pick: Cowboys -6.5

New Orleans Saints (-7, 48.5 over/under) at Atlanta Falcons, Thursday at 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Much like the Cowboys, this should be a game where the Saints break out.

The Saints escaped with a win Sunday at home against the Carolina Panthers and got blown out at home Nov. 10 against these same Falcons.

Penalties have been killing the Saints, so the good news is what ails them should be correctable.

New Orleans has been penalized 31 times for 268 yards in just their last three games alone – including 12 penalties for 123 yards in the close call over Carolina.

The Falcons could be without All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones (shoulder) and Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper (knee). Both did not participate in practice Tuesday. The loss of Jones and Hooper might be too much to overcome for quarterback Matt Ryan – especially when playing a high-powered offense like the Saints.

One of the keys to victory when the Falcons beat the Saints a few weeks ago was Atlanta’s ability to get after the quarterback. The Falcons sacked Drew Brees six times on the day – accounting for one-third of their entire sack total on the season (18).

Yes, the Saints will be without starting left tackle Terron Armstead and left guard Andrus Peat on Thursday, but the Falcons still must demonstrate that surge in sacks was more than just a fluke.

Pick: Saints -7

Record: NFL picks against the spread

Last week: 3-4

This season: 30-31-1

Uni Watch’s Best and Worst Looks From Week 1 in the NFL

Which two teams produced the best-looking uniform combination during the Week 1 slate of games?

Uni Watch’s Best-Looking Game of Week 1

Packers at Bears

It’s not often that the best-looking game of the week takes place on Thursday, but that was the case this time around, as Thursday night’s Packers-Bears season opener gets Uni Watch’s top honors.

Both teams looked great from head to toe, from the Packers’ perfect color scheme to the Bears’ striped socks (a rarity in today’s NFL, sadly). Both teams have had essentially these same looks forever, and with good reason—if it ain’t broke, you don’t fix it. And let’s face it, with the NFL kicking off its 100th-anniversary season, this was pretty much the perfect old-school uniform matchup. Put it all on a natural grass field (which is always the case when these two teams face each other, of course) and you pretty much have the dictionary definition of how pro football is supposed to look.

Vince and George would’ve been proud. Here’s hoping they were watching from above.

Uni Watch’s Worst-Looking Game of Week 1

Bengals at Seahawks

Truth to tell, there were no genuinely awful­-looking games this week. But every race has to have someone who comes in last, and this week it was the Bengals-Seahawks game. With Cincy’s stripe-o-rama and Seattle’s neon-accented scuba suits, this felt more like a meeting of two costumes, not two uniforms. The battle of the pants striping patterns alone was enough to make your friendly uniform columnist look away.

Still, it could be worse—and it will be. On Oct. 6, the Bengals are slated to host the Cardinals. Yikes.

Savage move? Rookie’s number change is a costly one for some Packers fans

Savage has reversed his decision and now says he will not change his number.

A new jersey number for a new Packers player has become a costly change for some fans.

As FOX 11 reported on Sunday, rookie Darnell Savage will wear 21 after wearing 26 for the first few months of his NFL career.

His jersey has been a popular purchase among Packers fans since he was drafted in the first round in April.

“Now what am I going to wear for Packers/Bears on Thursday?” said Seth Clayton of Beloit.

Clayton bought Savage’s 26 jersey after a four-hour drive to Lambeau Field on Friday. On Sunday, Savage was on the practice field, wearing 21.

“I’m pretty disappointed,” said Clayton.

Starting at $100 a jersey, Clayton isn’t alone. Corey Miller, of Orem, Utah, messaged the Packers Pro Shop as soon as he saw the change.

“They let me know as long as tags were still attached and stuff that they would do the returns on it, which works out for me because I hung it up as soon as it came,” said Miller.

Miller says he realizes other fans won’t be as lucky.

The Jersey Store has put a call into Nike to see if it will offer anything for Savage’s fans.

“Right now, it’s too early to tell what’s going to happen as far as from a consumer standpoint with Nike, who produces the jerseys,” said Mike Walters, manager of The Jersey Store. “I don’t know if they are going to allow refunds or exchanges on that kind of stuff.”

So why did Savage make the sudden change? He has a few reasons, but chief among them, he says he wasn’t feeling 26.

“I used to wear 21 when I was younger and now it’s like a big thing because of 21 Savage, so I thought it was pretty cool,” said Savage.

“Since I’m a big fan of Savage 21…never heard of Savage 21,” said Mark Murphy, Packers President & CEO, when asked about Savage’s jersey change.

For those like Murphy, 21 Savage is a rap artist, and according to many people who commented about the number change on social media, the new tie to him could take Savage’s jersey sales to a new level.

“He’s obviously going to sell a lot more, but some type of acknowledgment for the true fans who already have his jersey would be nice you know?” said Clayton. “We’d like to hear from him.”

A big game in his debut against the Bears could be a start. The fans we spoke with say an autograph would help too.

“I’ll make the trip back up to Lambeau for that,” said Clayton.

Stores expect to have new 21 jerseys in the next couple weeks. The Pro Shop says it can make custom orders for fans who want one sooner.

Five Things Every Jets Fan Should Know About Their New Uniforms

The New York Jets unveiled their new uniforms tonight at Gotham Hall in New York City. The three versions keep the Nike Vapor Untouchable chassis and get a modern upgrade for the franchise’s 60th season. Here are five updates to look out for:

1. A bolder green

Home, away and alternate uniforms include a green that was exclusively developed for the Jets. Also new is an all-black base for the alternate uniforms (it’s the first you’ll see the color since being removed from the team’s palette before the 1998 season).

2. New logos

Three new logos (including “Jets” lettering on the helmets without the oval frame or the “NY” type) will appear on the team’s helmets, fan gear and related memorabilia.

3. “New York” reads on the chest

It’s the first time in team history that the city name appears on the uniform.

4. Bold, angular stripes

A new linear design, reminiscent of a jet’s flight trail, runs across the shoulders and down the pant leg. They’re more than just looks: The stripes on the shoulder pads meet at the vented grille neckline for improved cooling during play.

5. Updated numbers and font

The jersey’s previous font has been updated to a new, custom typeface with sloped angles intended to evoke a feeling of motion and force.

Fan jerseys will be available beginning April 4 on nike.com and April 5 at Nike SoHo and Nike House of Innovation.

Madden Ultimate Team: Everything you need to know about MUT in ‘Madden 20’

There are plenty of new features within “Madden NFL 20,” but one of the returning game modes is Madden Ultimate Team, or MUT for short.

Here’s how EA Sports describes MUT:

“[MUT] puts together some of the most fun and addictive features of video gaming and football. If you have ever dreamed of throwing a Hail Mary from Tom Brady to Calvin “Megatron” Johnson, or having NFL Legends like Deion Sanders or Ronnie Lott line up in your secondary, Madden Ultimate Team is the place for you.

Do you like Fantasy Football and the idea of building a winning team from scratch? Do you like opening packs of items to enhance your line up, sell in an auction environment, trade with your friends or even put in collections for more players, packs, or in-game currency? MUT has all of these things and more!”

Contents:

  • What is Madden Ultimate Team?
  • What’s new in Madden Ultimate Team?
  • Madden 20 MUT game modes

What is Madden Ultimate Team?

Madden Ultimate Team

Basically, MUT is a four-step process:

1. Acquire players

Who and what you pull from packs can drastically improve your team. Use the rewards and players from packs to take your Ultimate Team to the next level.

2. Earn coins

By completing Ultimate Challenges, and playing various modes like H2H Seasons and Squads, you can earn packs and coins to build your team.

3. Work the auction house

Bid on the players you want and post players for sale in the auction house.

4. Customize your team

Build your unique team of offensive, defensive, and special teams players, while choosing your favorite coaches playbooks and uniforms.

What’s new in Madden Ultimate Team?

If you’ve already been playing MUT, then you’ll want to know what’s new once you launch “Madden 20.”

EA Sports did a deep dive into all of the new MUT features, the biggest of which are Missions.

Via EA Sports:

Missions offers a new perspective on Madden Ultimate Team. From everything like play experiences to building out sets in your item binder, Missions will help guide you on your quest for the best items and rewards in Madden Ultimate Team. Think of it as a roadmap to upgrading your squad with the items you want, with a clearly laid out path of how to earn those items or rewards. Missions will help you navigate to the content you’re looking for without having to spend valuable time searching for it.

Another change in MUT this season is EA Sports has gotten rid of Solo Challenges and replaced them with Ultimate Challenges. Ultimate Challenges are similar, but as the developers explain, it is “the next step in the evolution.”

From EA Sports:

Before you begin an Ultimate Challenge, you will have the ability to choose from one, two, or three stars. The higher the number of stars, the higher the difficulty and intensity of the challenge. If you want a more casual experience, you can select one star. Once you begin bumping up the star level, the challenge gets more difficult, in any number of ways, to complete.

MUT has also made a few other minor changes, like a new loading setup. Instead of having to back out to the main menu after a challenge, you can now accept the next challenge immediately after. A small change, but should make navigating the menus a lot easier.

The new X-Factor features within the game itself will also be inserted into MUT. Developers have also continued House Rules after launching it initially last year.

‘Madden 20’ MUT game modes

Missions

Explained more in-depth above.

Ultimate Challenges

Go up against the computer to earn rewards.

Squad Up

Combine rosters with friends for 2 vs. 2 or 3 vs. 3 team play.

Solo Battles

A weekly single-player leaderboard challenge.

MUT Champions

A competitive game mode to showcase your skills by qualifying for the MUT Champs Weekend Leagues.

Seasons

Challenge the field in head-to-head matchups and lead your team all the way to the Super Bowl.

MUT Draft

Gain rewards and level up in MUT Draft where you Draft a fresh team that is stacked with stars and take on a six-game challenge against players and/or the computer.

Dolphins vs Browns: Need to Know Game Day Information

GAME DAY INFORMATION

TICKET OFFICE OPENS: 9:00 AM | GATES OPEN: 11:00 AM | KICKOFF: 1:00 PM

MOBILE TICKETING

Your phone is your game ticket. You can access your mobile tickets through the Browns mobile app.

TO EXPEDITE ENTRY INTO THE STADIUM

Arrive early to FirstEnergy Stadium. Gates open at 11:00 AM

  • Be sure you have updated to the latest version of the Browns mobile app. If you do not have the Browns mobile app, download it by clicking here prior to arriving to the stadium
  • Log in to the ticketing section in the Browns Mobile App using your Cleveland Browns Account Manager information prior to arriving at the gate and select ‘View Barcode’ to display your mobile ticket for the ticket scanner
  • It is recommended that you join the ‘Stadium WiFi’ network (no password required) as you approach the gates. Also, iOS users are encouraged to add their ticket to their Apple Wallet at least 24 hours prior to the game by tapping the ‘Add to Apple Wallet’ button. This will enable tap and go at the gate. When you arrive, open your ticket in your ‘Apple Wallet’ (there will be no visible barcode on your ticket), hold your phone near the scanner and you’re all set
  • Note: Apple requires your phone to be protected with a passcode, touchID, or FaceID in order to use Apple Wallet.

IMPORTANT TICKETING INFORMATION

  • Printed tickets are not available for this game
  • Screenshots of your tickets will not work for stadium entry

If you are unable to access your tickets via the Browns mobile app, you can access them via the web version of Account Manager or the Ticketmaster app (if you purchased your tickets directly from Ticketmaster.com).

If you experience any difficulty accessing your tickets through the Browns mobile app when you arrive at the stadium, please visit the Ticket Office.

Ticket Office: South side of the stadium next to the Browns Pro Shop (opens at 9:00 AM)

TRANSFERRING YOUR TICKETS

You will want to transfer any of your tickets directly to your recipient prior to arriving to the gate. After logging into the app, select the “Transfer” button and send tickets directly to them.

 

GATE ENTRY INFORMATION FOR SUITE, PREMIUM, CLUB & HOSPITALITY MEMBERS

In addition to the general admission entry locations, listed below are exclusive options for entry into FirstEnergy Stadium:

  • North Grand Staircase: All suites, premium club, Lake and 7UP City Club, and hospitality members will be able to enter the stadium from the northwest side of the north grand staircase.
  • West Stairs: All suites, premium club, Lake and 7UP City Club, and hospitality members can now enter our new gate located directly on the west side of the stadium.
  • South 7UP City Club Entrances: All suites, premium club, and Lake and 7UP City Club members will still have access to enter both 7UP City Club entrances located on Alfred Lerner Way.

DIRECTIONS, TRAFFIC & PARKING

DIRECTIONS & TRAFFIC

We encourage you to use WAZE, a mobile navigation app that allows you to see real-time traffic, find optimal routes, avoid game-related closures and more. Access WAZE from the Browns mobile app, or download it for free at waze.com for iOS and Android.

ROAD CLOSURES

  • Road closures of East 9th and West 3rd Streets will be implemented between Lakeside Avenue and FirstEnergy Stadium, including Shoreway/State Route 2 exits around the stadium. Rolling road closures will begin 90 minutes prior to kickoff and end shortly after kickoff.
  • During the road closures that begin 90 minutes prior to kickoff (see above), all Browns parking pass holders and guests with disability drop-offs will only be able to reach FirstEnergy Stadium by use of North Marginal Road from East 55th Street (Exit 175 on I-90).

PARKING

We encourage you to reserve your parking space in advance at nearby parking garages and lots through ParkMobile. Parking lots, managed by the City of Cleveland, located immediately around the stadium are pass-only lots, outside of ADA needs (as space permits). No cash parking is available in these locations, including the North Coast Harbor Lot and Dock 32.

ENTERTAINMENT

DAWG POUND DRIVE

Join us on Dawg Pound Drive before the game! We will have live music, food, games, and many other family-friendly activities. Below information is subject to change.

  • TIME: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM | Free Admission
  • LOCATION: Alfred Lerner Way, south side of FirstEnergy Stadium
  • DJ: Steph Floss
  • BAND: CLE Rock Bar
  • FOOD & BEVERAGE: Pierogi Joe’s and Smoke This

GAME ENTERTAINMENT

  • NATIONAL ANTHEM: Brittany Best
  • COLOR GUARD: Navy Reserves
  • DAWG POUND CAPTAIN: Jasin Kokrak, professional golfer on the PGA Tour
  • HALFTIME: Stow-Munroe Falls High School Marching Band

SEASON TICKET MEMBERS, 7UP CITY CLUB & LAKE CLUB MEMBERS

SEASON TICKET MEMBERS – SWIPE YOUR MEMBER BENEFIT CARD! Remember to bring and

swipe your Season Ticket Member Benefit Card on all concession and merchandise

purchases! By swiping your Benefit Card you will be entered for a chance to win an autographed football.

BROWNS MERCHANDISE & MEMORABILIA

BROWNS PRO SHOP

The Pro Shop is located at 100 Alfred Lerner Way, south side of the stadium, next to the ticket office. Sunday the Pro Shop is open to the public from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM and from 11:00 AM to 30 minutes following the end of the game to ticketed fans.

Commemorate your game day experience by getting your exclusive collectible Browns vs. Dolphins pin for $9. These collectible pins will be available in the main Pro Shop as well as all the locations within the stadium on game day. Also on Sunday, there will be a special running at the Pro Shop for 25% off all jerseys.

COMMEMORATIVE GAME TICKET

2019 Cleveland Browns commemorative souvenir tickets are a great keepsake and are now available for purchase online. Tickets cost $8 each.

BROWNS MEMORABILIA AUCTION BOOTHS

Courtesy of Ohio Sports Group, Browns memorabilia will be up for auction at each home game, including pieces representing past and present players and moments.

Auction booths are located near Section 113 and 138 on the main concourse and Section 308 and Section 332 for the 7UP City Club and Lake Club, respectively. Auctions start when gates open and bidding closes at the beginning of the 3rd quarter.

BROWNS GIVE BACK – 50/50 RAFFLE

The 50/50 raffle supports kids in the community and 100% of the net charitable proceeds from the raffle will be donated to the ‘Get 2 School, Stay in the Game!’ Network and Cleveland-based nonprofit Shoes and Clothes for Kids (SC4K). Both programs aim to increase school attendance and keep kids in school every day so they can succeed in the classroom and in life. Learn more about these programs by visiting Get2School.org and SC4K.org.

OTHER INFORMATION

FIRSTENERGY STADIUM WIFI

Join ‘Stadium WiFi’ network (no password required)

FIRSTENERGY CHARING STATIONS

  • Main Concourse – Sections: 101, 115, 129, 138
  • 300 Level – Sections: West & East End Zone, 341
  • 500 Level – Sections: 509, 524
  • 600 Level – Sections: 622, 623

INTERACTIVE STADIUM MAP ON THE BROWNS MOBILE APP

To help you move through the concourses and efficiently find your favorite concessions items, closest restrooms, guest services locations and more, you can use the interactive stadium map on the Browns mobile app. You can access the map by tapping ‘featured’ or ‘tickets’ then ‘interactive stadium map’.

ACCESS TO NFL REDZONE

If you are connected to FirstEnergy Stadium’s free wi-fi, you will receive complimentary access to the NFL RedZone on your mobile device through the Browns mobile app. You can access RedZone by tapping ‘featured’ then ‘Watch RedZone inside FEStadium’.

FIRSTENERGY STADIUM CLEAR BAG POLICY

Backpacks, fanny packs and purses are not allowed in the stadium. Items permitted: clear plastic totes, one-gallon clear plastic storage bag, small clutch bag the size of your hand.

BAG CHECK

Bags that do not meet the FirstEnergy Stadium’s clear bag qualifications may be taken to the Bag Check Tents located at the southwest gate or in the northeast corner outside the stadium. Fans may check their bags from pregame through 60 minutes after kickoff with a $10 (cash only) contribution to the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, which manages the Bag Check Tent. Unclaimed bags will be returned to the FirstEnergy Stadium lost and found.

PROHIBITED ITEMS

In accordance with the NFL’s security guidelines, fans entering FirstEnergy Stadium will be screened for banned objects.