The Trap Game
I think most hardcore Browns fans had a bad feeling about the Jacksonville game. While it is odd to fear a winless team, this one had the stench of what NE Ohio football fans have come to expect; the soul crushing crash to earth. The biggest clue that this game would turn out badly was the expectation from the casual fans that the Browns would roll over Jacksonville since that is what winning teams do to winless teams. This completely ignores the axiom of the NFL. Whatever The Public thinks is going to happen NEVER happens. The team was doomed from the moment it landed in “Toledo on The Atlantic”, the horrific city of Jacksonville. The only things that were unknown were the ugly details.
The NFL is very confusing. Most astute fans (read: “degenerate gamblers”) were aware of this as the dreaded “trap game”. That is the one where popular wisdom says that the Browns have somehow gotten so jacked up about beating the Steelers the previous week that they have forgotten that they have to fly to that shithole Jacksonville to play yet another game on the following Sunday. However, if degenerates like myself and my equally disturbed friends know this, I would think that people that are involved in the actual games would be aware of this too. Maybe it’s like when you get all beered up at the corner bar and go home with your roommate’s sister. The whole episode will only end in disaster, but it’s just so easy to go with the flow and just let calamity happen. Monday morning at Browns HQ watching game film was probably the Browns version of walking in to the apartment and setting the keys on the table with the roommate glaring silently on the couch. “Now, before you say anything, let me tell you what the hell happened…”
Last week the City of Cleveland was ready to anoint Brian Hoyer a franchise QB worth $18 million annually. This little plan might be headed back into Santa’s workshop after watching Hoyer miss a wide open Cameron in the end zone by about 10 yards on a throw that any NFL QB except Blaine Gabbert makes 100% of the time. Brain Hoyer looked suspiciously like a backup QB without a running game, which is, of course, a very accurate description of what was going on. At times he looked almost “Weedenesque” out there with throws sailing in the loose general direction of well covered receivers, his decision making ability pretty questionable. Then again I say this from the comfort of a bar stool that didn’t have 300 pound animals in Jaguar helmets trying to rip my scrotum off two seconds after I took the football.
This Alex Mack injury is going to be an issue. I am assuming that teams don’t become 0-6 by shoving around other team’s offensive lines. The Jaguars might not be the 1985 Bears. Let us all make the rational conclusion that having a backup center that has never played center at any level will be a setback to a team that needs to run the ball well to do anything offensively. Brian Hoyer is a “game manager”. That will be his description as long as the team is competitive. When the team starts losing, the description changes from “game manager” to “sucks”. If the Browns don’t run the ball with authority, they are going to have problems. Is it possible to trade for a backup center somewhere? Can we trade Trent Richardson again?
Perhaps my favorite moment in the game was when Poyer inexplicably muffed that punt at the ten. That wasn’t a wise move on his part, but things get crazy out there. A guy wants to make a play and impress the doughy gals in the end zone pool. I get it. The real reason it was my favorite moment was the pure eruption of emotion to my right from the banged up Lakewood bar guy throwing his arms to the table screaming “YOU NEVER FIELD A PUNT INSIDE THE TEN!!!”. He sort of looked like every picture of a wailing Middle Eastern woman in a newspaper that accompanies whatever terrible tragic thing happened in the dust over there. It was life and death, and in this case the Browns death. Frankly, I don’t know why he was upset. It was a trap game. We all knew it…
Be sure to check out more insensitive stuff written by Greg Miller at http://nursethehate.blogspot.com/
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