The Cleveland Browns aren’t accustomed to winning. So anything that’s remotely positive connected to the franchise is going to get the team’s attention.
In this case, it was quarterback Brian Hoyer winning a cooking contest last weekend.
Hoyer participated in a charity event and his three-course meal cooked on a grill was chosen as the winner. Hoyer’s menu consisted of mussels, a grilled romaine salad, truffle beef tenderloin and grilled vegetables.
Of course, there was some controversy over the decision. One of the 20 judges was Browns teammate and defensive tackle Phil Taylor. Guess who he voted for? Comedian Rick Smith, who was the runner-up, joked that Hoyer had home-field advantage.
Hoyer said he plans to have his offensive line over for dinner to celebrate his victory. He probably should invite the defensive line, too. At least Taylor, just to keep the peace in the family.
■ PAY THE BILL, BILLS — Things are not easy for the Buffalo Bills these days. Their owner, Ralph Wilson, recently died. They’re being sued by their cheerleaders for substandard pay. Now, a fan has won a suit against the team for receiving too many text messages.
A U.S. District judge has issued a preliminary approval to a $3 million settlement in a 2012 class-action lawsuit filed against the team by Jerry Wojcik, a Bills fan who claimed the franchise violated the agreement of its opt-in texting service. According to The Buffalo News, the suit claims the Bills promised no more than five text messages would be disseminated to fans each week. When Wojcik received 13 texts over a two-week span, he filed suit on behalf of the nearly 40,000 fans who subscribed to the service.
The settlement, which will be paid out in gift cards to the team store or the team’s website, was approved in a Tampa Bay, Fla., court last week. Up to $2.5 million in vouchers will go to the estimated 39,750 fans who signed up for the service. The remaining funds will be distributed to Wojcik’s attorneys ($562,500) and the plaintiff himself ($5,000).
The Bills have since eliminated the text service, which was designed to provide breaking news and other stories to fans. Maybe the Bills’ fans should get their news the old-fashioned way — online.
■ WE’RE CLOSED — New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey continues on the recovery road following Tommy John surgery. And while his right arm is mending nicely, his social media skills may need some rehab work.
Harvey tweeted a photo of himself from October giving the middle finger to celebrate his six-month anniversary of the surgery. Kinda funny, actually, but the Mets weren’t laughing. They asked Harvey to tone it down and Harvey responded by taking down his Twitter account, which had more than 100,000 followers.
“It wasn’t me trying to bring bad press to the New York Mets or anything like that,” Harvey told reporters Tuesday at Citi Field. “It was my account, and I felt like it was a funny picture. Obviously, it was taken the wrong way, so I took it down. ... When you can’t really have fun anymore on a social media account, I think it comes time to get rid of it.”
Too bad. The Mets can use a laugh that extends beyond their play on the field.
COMPILED BY STEVE CARP LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL