Written By Andrew Gribble, ClevelandBrowns.com Senior Writer
Clay Matthews wasn’t expecting the call, and he certainly wasn’t expecting what followed.
The Browns Legend learned he was headed to the team’s Ring of Honor when general manager John Dorsey surprised him with a phone call earlier this summer. It was a true stunner for Matthews, who starred for a whopping 16 seasons with the Browns before closing his 19-year career with the Falcons.
“I was honored,” Matthews said. “I mean, the Browns have a pretty good legacy of players in that group. We lived through that generation of players mostly in the 60s who were so successful, and to be included in that group is just an honor.
“It seems like they're doing a pretty good job of picking talent around there, so I'm going to ride that wave. The Browns, even though they had a little hiccup for a while when the team went away and came back, that's what you think of when you think of the NFL. At least for myself growing up, the Browns, Packers, Bears, those type of teams that were there from long ago. To be included at this level is just a huge honor."
Matthews will be honored during halftime of Cleveland’s Week 3, Sunday Night Football matchup against the Los Angeles Rams. His son, Clay Matthews III, is a linebacker for the Rams.
“With that platform, gosh,” Matthews said. “To honor me at the platform and with that going on and having him here, I'm just honored. I'm honored by the Haslam family and the folks who think I'm worthy of doing it.”
Matthews will become the first player inducted into the Browns Ring of Honor who has not yet been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Matthews has been a semifinalist to make the Hall of Fame three times, the most recent of which coming this past year.
"To me it was a no-brainer," Dorsey said. "That guy symbolizes everything it means to be a Cleveland Brown. Respect and honor for the game of professional football. His passion for the game. I can't wait to meet him when we do this against the Los Angeles Rams. It will be special for him.
"The coolest thing was when we called him up and let him know what we were doing in regards to his day, I got a little nervous because it was Clay Matthews Jr. and he was one of those guys I personally looked up to and thought was an exceptional football player in his era. I've always been taught if you dominate the league during a decade you should definitely be going into the Canton Pro Football Hall of Fame."
Matthews, considered one of the league’s best linebackers and most durable players, played in 278 games — the21st most in NFL history — and amassed 1,561 tackles over that span. Matthews was a three-time All Pro and received four Pro Bowl nods. During his 16 seasons with the Browns (1978-93), Matthews had 76.5 sacks, 1,430 total tackles, 14 interceptions, 24 forced fumbles and 13 recoveries.
The Browns selected Matthews with the 12th overall pick in the same 1978 NFL Draft that featured Hall of Famer Ozzie Newsome, whom the Browns picked 11 spots later at No. 23. Matthews emerged as a starter in his second season and was at the heart of Cleveland’s defense during the team’s run through the 1980s, which included back-to-back AFC Championship game appearances. It was a special time in the life of Matthews, who made his home in Strongsville during his playing days and now resides in Los Angeles.
It promises to be special once more when Matthews, surrounded by friends, family and former Browns teammates, is honored in a way he never expected.
“We'll have them all there,” Matthews said. “They love their time back here. All of them talk about it. Heck, they'd come back even if I wasn't honored.
“When I come back here, the folks are just so involved and cared so much about the team. It made my 16 years here just delightful. The way you could go anywhere, and folks here wouldn't bother you too much, but you'd have a conversation and they were knowledgeable and informed. It was just a great experience. The only thing lacking was getting completely over the top and winning the Super Bowl, but we're heading in the right direction.”
Akron Police are looking for three suspects who drove a vehicle, likely a large one, through the front doors of the Circle K at 1877 Triplett Boulevard early Tuesday morning, loaded up the ATM from inside, and then took off.
An employee of the gas station told police he was mopping the floor when he saw the suspect vehicle coming towards the building about 4 a.m. He dropped the mop and locked himself inside of store's office in the back.
According to the APD report, the suspects fled the scene, but later ditched that vehicle in a parking lot along Massillon Road. A witness told police that they saw the suspects get into a silver Chevy Suburban and drive off from that second location on Massillon Road.
Anyone with information is asked to call Akron Police at 330-375-2490.
Former St. Vincent-St. Mary High School wrestling coach Justin "Harry" Lester has been indicted on sexual battery charges.
According to court documents, it's alleged that Lester, of Uniontown, was having a sexual relationship with a student for more than a year, that started back in April of 2018. At that time, the girl was a senior at St. V and 18-years-old.
Akron Police first launched their investigation into Lester after the victim told police that Lester assaulted her more than once over the course of a year. Court documents identify the location of at least one of the alleged incidents as the St. Vincent-St. Mary's Cosgrove Center, which is where most of the school's athletic events are held.
Once the school was made aware of the investigation, Lester was placed on upaid leave in April of 2019 and then fired less than a month later.
In addition to the battery charges, Cleveland.com is reporting that Lester is accused of providing alcohol to someone who is under the age of 21. It does not indicated whether the sexual assault victim is that same underage person.
Michael Modjallal of Akron was killed while driving through western Pennsylvania when a deer went through his windshield.
The accident reportedly happened just after 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon, along State Route 68 in Connoquenessing.
WKYC.com is reporting that state police say another driver hit the deer, sending it airborne and then through the windshield of Modjallal's SUV.
His passenger, identified as his wife Lucia Modjallal, was hospitalized with undisclosed injuries.
No one else was reportedly injured.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office is reporting a 29-year-old man from Parma was killed in that accident that closed State Mill Road in Coventry Township for more than 3 hours Friday morning.
Reports are that two pedestrians were walking along State Mill Road, one of them, the man that was killed, actually in the roadway. At about 5:30 Friday morning, the victim was hit by an oncoming Honda CRV driven by a 71-year-old man from Coventry Township.
The victim was taken to Akron General where he was later pronounced dead.
Neither the driver nor the other pedestrian suffered any injuries.
The investigation into the accident is ongoing.
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A Summit County judge has ordered another psychiatric evaluation at an outside facility of accused Akron arsonist and murderer Stanley Ford.
News 5 is reporting that Ford, who was initially uncooperative with his legal team, was previously evaluated by a court psychologist and that the results were inconclusive.
Ford, set three different fires in his Fultz St. neighborhood in Akron, two of them deadly. The first deadly fire in 2016 left two people dead, while the second deadly fire in 2017 killed seven, including five children.
Earlier this week, according to the report, Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Christine Croce ordered Ford be sent to Twin Valley Behavioral Healthcare's facility in Columbus for evaluation of whether or not he is competent to stand trial.
Jury selection was supposed to begin Tuesday, August 6th, but is likely delayed given the new psychiatric evaluation order.
Once again, the property at 15 Broad Street in Akron's Middlebury neighborhood is being given the "cease and desist" order by the City of Akron, after it was found that homeless people were sleeping there, against the previous orders of the city.
Earlier this year, Sage Lewis with Akron's Homeless Charity and owner of the property at 15 Broad St., was ordered to close down the Tent City homeless encampment on his property, in spite of his efforts to rezone the property to operate within the law.
Now, Lewis has once again been given a deadline for those living on the property to move out; this time he has until Friday, July 26th.
Lewis tells the Jasen Sokol Show on 1590 WAKR and 93.5 FM that he made everyone aware of the rule that barred anyone from sleeping on his property and that he did not know that it was still happening.
"Every single person that was sleeping in my building knew that was my mantra," Lewis said. "We knew it absolutely black and white. There was not one person that didn't know that that was the cold hard truth, but they did it anyways."
Since the most recent notification from the City of Akron, Lewis says that basically all of the services the Homeless Charity was providing for Akron's homeless population have stalled at the Middlebury property, including the pantry and day community center. He's hopeful, though, that he and the Homeless Chairty will still be able to provide services going forward, including mobile services Lewis says he's looking into.