Play Like A Brown
There was an understanding that most Browns fans had entering into the season that this would not be a good year. I don’t think fans were thinking “fiasco”; more along the lines of “long slog of underwhelming play”. The team would somehow reach six wins or so by accident. It was interesting in the off season that the team didn’t even try to spin that this was all part of some Masterplan Of Building A Champion. I like it when team representatives say “It’s a process”, which translates to “don’t blame us for losing now, because in a yet unforeseen time period we will win and then we will smugly say I told you so”. The Browns didn’t even go with the idea of “we get a couple breaks and ya never know! We might contend!”. Nope. It was “we are going to run out a bunch of guys in 1970s looking uniforms that won’t be real good, and by the way, did you send us your money yet you fools?”.
Even by Browns fans extremely low expectations, this season opener was something between a “total fucking disaster” and “Oh my god! We’re that bad?!”. McCown appeared to be diving headfirst into all contact early and often as some sort of strategy to get off the orange and brown dysfunctional ship and start playing retirement golf with a Monday morning 8am tee time. It’s hard to explain why this 36 year old QB with no real backup QB thought that he should start running and diving into people. It’s like they signed Vinny Testaverde and Vinny decided to go with the RG3 rookie season playbook. “Hey, I’m 36 and not real fast. I may never get another chance. Whattya say I dive over at those dudes?”.
I thought it was odd that going into the season that the Browns did not think it was a good idea to have someone that could legitimately play QB in the off chance that their 36 year old crash test dummy QB might not last the season. Or a quarter for that matter. We have all seen John W. Football, and we all know that he cannot play QB in the NFL. This is not opinion. This is simply watching the little fella get tossed around fumbling the ball after the monsters catch him. It is very interesting from an academic standpoint to watch Manziel play. When he gets caught and the monsters hurt him, it is very similar to what it would look like if any normal person you know ran around on an NFL field. I fully expect I would fumble the ball each and every time I got hit out there. I would also probably lose control of my bowels, the good thing being if I were in those really nice new brown uniform pants, no one would know.
My point is that if a comparison could be drawn between Manziel and “that dude Jim I work with in shipping” looking vaguely the same on a football field, it probably doesn’t speak well to the long term employment of Mr. Football in the NFL. There’s no shame in that. It just didn’t work out. He got a Heisman trophy, his picture taken with Bieber, and probably put his wiener in lots of really good looking girls he met at dance clubs. Not a bad run. Unfortunately, I foresee a lot of time in the future spent lugging that trophy around to Texas A&M fundraiser dinners in upcoming autumns as opposed to “wrecking this league”. Oh well. When is the draft?
The good news is that this team is all about defense and toughness –and apparently penalties– Well, at least that’s been the party line. The Browns drafted to get “tough against the run”. Last year they gave up a horrible 141 yards per game. Today this vastly improved defense gave up 154 yards. To the Jets. I would say that this is “an area of great concern”. If I did a press conference I would say something like “We are going to take a look at the film and see what mental errors we made and correct those.” People like it when you say that. It makes it seem like you just have to tweak a couple things when what you really need to do is hire some dudes that can tackle people. Then again, we haven’t looked at the film yet…
So as we take in the first loss in what appears to be the team’s 15th “lost season” since their triumphant return in 1999, let’s all remember to forget this ever happened. There is a home opener this Sunday. Hopefully McCown’s skull is still attached. If not, I firmly believe that we are in for the most exciting season of losing since The Golden Age of The Full Weeden. The fact that the team will be terrible and lose weekly isn’t worth debating. It becomes a question of the Browns commitment to losing with unexpected creativity and loss of all hope. Can they lose in a way we have never seen before? With Manziel at the helm, no playmakers, and continued inability to acquire talent, I think they can!
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