Friday, September 26, 2008

Bring on the other guy....

What is there to say that hasn't been said in pretty much every media outlet and every blog concerning the Browns?

Blah Blah Blah. Weak O-line. Blah Blah Blah. Injuries Blah Blah Blah. No secondary. Blah Blah Blah. QB with no confidence. Blah Blah Blah. Poor coaching. Blah Blah Blah. We suck.

That pretty much sums it up, and I can't say I disagree. This year has been so disheartening. Romeo went on record as saying that Derek Anderson will start this week but that "the other guy will be ready. He actually referred to Brady Quinn as "the other guy." Seriously Romeo? Seriously? Regardless of what he does, I'm ready to see him play. Not that I'm a loyal fan of either QB camp. I've had very strong QB feelings in the past (the name Tim Couch still makes me vomit in my mouth a little ever time I hear it...) But this time around, I just want to not suck. I don't expect Quinn to come in and be our savior, but why not develop him this year when our season is on the verge of not mattering anyway. Get him some playing time, get him some experience. Give him tapes to study in the off season so he can perfect his game and come back next year and shine.

***THIS JUST IN*** (and by this just in, I just got off the phone with one of my friends who shared this info with me) CARSON PALMER IS OUT!!!

This changes ever thing. I am going into this week with hope!!! Lets hope I don't eat those words. We should be able to take this game and run with it! This make me happy.

Ok. I can't really form any new intelligent thoughts on this team or this matchup right now. As a cruel twist of fate, my college's homecoming was this weekend. While I did not attend, I have been getting numerous phone calls and text messages from college friends all weekend. My inbox is currently flooded with "Who dey" from my friends who should probably read the open letter of my last post. I'm going to go bash my phone against the wall for even displaying such words.

GO BROWNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 22, 2008

A open letter to all the haters

I am still too emotionally wrenched to discuss yesterday's abomination. Instead I would like to present an open letter to all the hates. (yes, this probably means you!)

Dear Haters,

You haters come from all walks of life. Many of you are my friends. Some of you are people I encounter on a daily basis. Others are just plain mean. Regardless of who you are, I have the same message for you all:

Don't kick a dawg when he's down.

Seriously. Being a Browns fan is painful enough without you reminding me of it. You may think you are being cute and funny, but you are really just pouring salt in my wounds. Normally I would let these comments slide, because in all reality, I bring it upon myself. (ok, actually I wouldn't... but its nice to think I would right?) But when more people bring up the Browns to me than any other topic in the past 24 hours (and remember, I live in NEW YORK, not Cleveland), its eventually going to set me off into a tirade such as this. (and actually should probably serve as a warning sign that I need to get a life!)

As a Browns fan, I will continue to be a Browns fan, no matter how bad we play. I will be pissed off and miserable as a result of said bad play, but that will not change my inherent fan-ness. Please try and understand this. I guess I'm somewhat of a masochist in that way. I will return week after week to take my beating.

Some general things NOT to do:
1. Do not mass text me if you are a group of my friends that is out while I am watching a Browns game to tell me my beloved team sucks and I should be with you. I am clearly aware and probably quite angry about whatever suckiness is occurring. You are just asking for this anger to be projected upon you. I can not be held responsible for an obscenities that come your way. Consider yourself warned.

2. Do respond to an unrelated question with a sarcastic remark about the previous night's football game. Especially if you follow said sarcastic remark with knowledge of your team's victory.

3. Do not go out of your way to send me a message at work to remind me that my team lost. This is just extra mean on a Monday.

4. If you are my doorman, and I am coming home at 11pm on a Monday still in work clothes, take this as clue #1 that I've already had a long day and refrain from saying "tough loss for you last night, huh?" (although some leniency is given on this one for telling me you feel my pain because your Raiders lost as well)

5. Please refrain from asking me when DA/Braylon/Cribbs/JLew/whatever other Brown you think is under performing is going to step up and put up the numbers you were expecting for your fantasy team. Right now a winning Cleveland team is the only fantasy I'm concerned with. You're office league ranks a distant 49035094309014th to me.

6. If you are a random guy walking down the street, upon seeing my Browns jersey, do not say, "oh man, tough loss, I was pulling for the Browns." Especially do not say this if you are wearing a Dolphins jersey. We have reached a new low when Dolphins fans are feeling bad for us losing. Also, do not ask me if I want to switch jerseys with you. I don't.

These are some simple pointers to remember. Actually, I'm pretty much the biggest hypocrite ever on this one. And not just any hypocrite, a bitter hypocrite. That's probably the worst kind. Trash talking is by far one of my favorite parts of being a football fan, and the second we win a game, I'm going to be running my mouth to anyone I know who is a fan of the opposing team. And if I don't know any fans of the opposing team, I'll probably befriend them, just so I can bask in the glory of us beating them.

So I guess that just means I grin and bear it until my boys up their game. And I guess when it comes to haters, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

Hatee turned Hater

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sunday Wishlist

Walking down the streets of New York this morning, I tripped over something which at first I thought was just a bum or your typical Sunday morning street debris. Upon a closer look, I realized it was a magic genie lamp! Lucky for me, because I'm looking for some magic to happen in the Browns late afternoon match-up against their former selves.

Lucky for me, this genie is not limiting me to 3 wishes.... because I have a lot!

Braylon Edwards not only plays, but plays well. He decides his PMS isn't quite bad enough to keep him sidelined and gets himself a pair of sticky hands (yep, like those ones you used to get for a quarter out of the gumball machines at the grocery store) so he can actually CATCH THE FREAKING BALL.

2. A chance to bark like a dog. One of the best parts of being a browns fan. Grown "adults" barking. It's fun. It's brings us Browns fans together. These past two weeks have provided very little opportunity for the chants of "Here we go Brownies...." and even less opportunity for said barking. Is a few big, exciting, chant inducing plays too much to ask for? I don't think so.

3. Health. I wish that real life was like a video game. And all we had to do was find a little red heart and our health meter would return to 100%. I honestly think the Browns have the worst luck in the entire league in terms of injuries. Miserable. At the very least, I wish for no new injuries.

4. Bring Reuben
Droughns back. Why you ask? I was a big fan of the guy back when he played for us. But really, more so because I'm watching the Giants/Bengals game right now and he just had a nice little 34 yard return. That's better than I've seen anyone on the Browns do this year. So if I've got wishes to blow, why not? Plus, I really enjoyed chanting "Reeuuu---ben.... Reeeuuuu-ben!". (ps, I am absolutely disgusted by the fact that the Bengals are currently winning, although it looks like this will soon change. I hope it does before I vomit!)

5. All other teams in our division spontaneously combust. I'm a big fan of spontaneous combustion. My fascination of this stems from a documentary I saw on it in 8th grade. And the fact Incubus sings about it. I loathe, despise, hate, abhor, all other teams in our division. To see them all fail, in one week, would be a dream come true to me. Rat-birds, Shitsburgh, and the Bungles all falling to superior teams.

6. Chemistry. There are many, many, many things wrong with our team this year, but I think the lack of chemistry is huge. I think if we could fix this, other things would start falling into place. Part of what made the Browns special last year was the team chemistry. DA/Braylon especially need to get back on track with this. Oh magic genie, please make it happen.

7. A team full of Kellen's. All personal issues aside, he's the only one who's showed any ounce of talent this season. If the rest of the team came out with half of his intensity, we'd be better off. A team full of Kellen-like playmaking would render us unstoppable.

8. A W. Above all else, that all I really want this week. Let's make it happen boys, lets make it happen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Weebles Wobble....

I have fond memories of these lovable little toys from my childhood. If you don't know (or remember) what they are, here's what Wikipedia (my go to source for everything!) has to say:

"Weebles is a trademark for several lines of children's toys originating in Hasbro's Playskool division on July 23, 1971. Shaped like eggs with a weight at the fat, or bottom end, they wobble when pushed, but never fall completely over, hence the name."

So where am I going with this, you may ask. Well I have noted time and time again that a one Romeo Crennel bears an uncanny resemblence to these playthings. Don't believe me? See for yourself:
So anyway, there is a popular catchpharse that goes along with the weebles: "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down." Or do they?

Romeo has been pretty wobbly lately. It's in his nature. He's a bubbly egg-shapped kinda guy... (his resemblance to the dog weeble is uncanny). My problem is he doesn't so much live up to the "they don't fall down". He is falling. And fast.

I was having a discussion with a friend of mine earlier about the fate the Browns this year. He seems to think that Romeo may be shown the door sooner rather than later. It is his sentiment that after this week's matchup against the Ratbirds, the losing team will be a little bit lighter in the head coach department. I think that might be a bit hasty, but I will agree that Cleveland's own Weeble is teetering dangerously close to the ground, and if he doesn't bounce back up soon, he'll be thrown out like a defective recalled toy.

And I can't say that that would make me sad. He's had ample opportunity to do something with this team. Obviously his first year or two would be trasitioning/rebuilding years. Last year he had the chance to make the Browns a true Cindarealla story. I can't blame our dashed playoff hopes solely on him, but I do feel a stronger coach would have at least had us playing in the first round.

And this year he has been absolutly horrendous. As a whole, I feel that the team has taken a giant step back. But, to borrow a phrase from the business world, he needs to set the "tone at the top". The talent is there (or was at least...I am starting to have my doubts). We need someone who can hold it together and make things happen. He's proven more than once that he is not the man that can do that.

He can't call time outs. And he clearly needs some basic math lessons. (hint: 3+3<7) He has left may a Browns fan, or anyone with half a brain watching the football game, scratching their heads saying: "What was he thinking??"This is not the fearless leader that our team needs. We need someone who's not afriad to take chances (and by take chances, I mean attempt to score enough points to win a freaking game). We need someone the team will respect. We need someone the fans and critics will respect. This person is not Romeo. I will not pretend to know who it is, because I don't. I will leave you with another, not so suble pop-culture reference that sums about how I feel about the career* of our head coach:

*please note, as I have stated in the past, I would never wish death upon anyone, which is why I specified his career, not him as a person.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sunday Night Football: A play by play (sorta)

Ok, so we're going to try something new (although, this being my 4th post, most things about this bad boy are still pretty new).

Since our game tonight is a national game, and I'm watching from the comfort of my couch, I'm going to give my thoughts on the game in semi-real time. As I get a little bit too heated when I watch games and tend to throw things, its not a good idea to keep my computer within arms reach, so I'll give my thoughts at the conclusion of every quarter during the safety of the commercial breaks.

Pre-game thoughts:
This game is being hyped, like everything else surrounding our season. Its our chance to establish our presence in the division. So we lost last week. We clearly don't have a good track record in home openers, so lets write it off as a loss, move on, and kick some Shitsburg ass! Braylon needs to step up his game , the D needs to step up their game, hell, the whole freaking team needs to step up their game. Make it happen, and make it happen this week.

1st Q:
One word summary: Unimpressive
SACK! On Roethsliburger! On 3rd and 2! Woo. Highlight of the first quarter and the best thing I've seen from our defense this year.
Zastudil kicking well into the wind. Unfortunately, he had to do it way to many times b/c we can't get first downs.
Holding the Stillers to Zero
Braylon sucking at life. Still dead to me. Wind is no excuse.
In general, our D still giving the QB all the time in the world to throw the freaking ball. Where is the pressure?
Having our own score remain Zero.
Other thoughts:
John Madden is a douche.
Why is more attention being paid to Michael Phelps than the game at hand? Yes, he went to M*chigan. Yes, him and Braylon are pals, but lets move on and not bring him up every three seconds just because he's at the game.

2nd Q:
One word summary: gksaljgldksajfdlksajfl;as
Um, no one got hurt? Seriously, I would have called a strong approx. 80 yard drive a positive if we had made something of it. Clearly, we didn't. Even a freaking field goal would have been ok. The actual result was infuriating and unacceptable. Actually. I enjoyed that the Steelers called a time out just as we jumped offsides on 4th and 1, except we then proceeded to let them run the ball half way down the freaking field, so this is not a positive.
Way too many. Botching a timeout call at a key time. Bad. Not scoring. Bad. Throwing multiple interceptions. Bad, Bad, Bad. (DA, our guys are wearing the BROWN jerseys, just a friendly reminder)
Shaun Rogers needs to brush up on some fundamentals. Face mask grabbing and jumping the line before the opposing team snaps the ball are cheating. The refs don't like cheaters. Maybe they don't teach you that at Texas*, but here in the north, we play by the rules.
Other thoughts:
A fight will break out before this game is over. There's a lot of physicality going on. Beyond that of a normal game. I am actually looking forward to seeing this happen. Nothing would make me happier. It would bring some excitement to this game. I want the benches to empty. Fists to fly.

Clearly, at the half, I'm not a happy Browns fan. Some shit better go down in that locker room before the 2nd half. Romeo needs to lay down the law and light the fire beneath their arses... Although I never really have faith in us as a 2nd half team. Our strategy should be to score early and often and then pray to God we can hold onto said lead.

3rd Q
One word summary: frustrating
We put points on the board. Mind you it was only 3, but still, at least we scored. The game won't be a shut out.
Braylon caught a pass (but then immediately dropped the next). At least I now know his hands still work. Sometimes. Kind of.
We don't like to score touchdowns apparently.
We like to make stupid penalties (offsides)
Not getting the turnover at like the 2 yard line (although it was weather related, and the ball slipped through the hands of like 4 different people)
Other thoughts: 4th and 1. I would go for it. Always. Ok, maybe not always always, but def more than most coaches do. Just a thought, and one based on little to no knowledge of what goes into play making decisions in the NFL.

4th Q:
One word summary: typical
Positives: not a damn thing
Not capitalizing on our drives (scoring field goals rather than TDs, especially when the sum of our field goals does not surpass the opposing team's score)
Stupid and/or mental mistakes (a reoccurring theme season after season week after week)

Honestly, today's game play was an improvement over last week. It wasn't awful, but we did make mistakes. Too many mistakes. And it cost us the game. We again didn't take advantage of the opportunities we were given and it hurt us. I am upset over this loss, and will again be in a football funk until at least mid-week, but I have not abandoned hope on this season. And there was the hilarious comment in the 4th quarter from the ever idiotic announcers that the Browns are "the trendy team in this division this year", which made me crack a smile despite my depression over the loss.

*I actually have nothing against Texas, but one of three people who may actually be reading this blog is from there, and I just love to trash talk...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm probably going straight to hell

So I might be a bad person. I'm kind of ok with that. This revelation came in light of what I will simply call "The Tom Brady Incident". I had a conversation with a Pats fan, and he said that he was shocked that when Brady went down during the game on Sunday, people actually cheered. (He had been watching the game at ESPN Zone in Times Square, so there were undoubtedly fans of multiple teams, many people who hate the Pats, and most likely lots of drunk tourists). So it got me to thinking. As a Browns fan, if we can't take joys in our team's accomplishments, sometimes, the best we can hope for is to take joy in other team's failures. Because, Hey! At least it didn't happen to us. And if that makes me a bad person? Well then so be it.

That being said, the following list of things might not necessarily make me cheer, but they sure as hell wouldn't make me sad. (And really, who am I kidding, they'd probably put a little half smirk on my face)

  • Brett Farve breaking a toe (he's old, he annoys me, he should have stayed retired!)
  • T.O. getting a crane dropped on him (ok, I would never wish death on anyone, so maybe a small crane, or at least just on his building so he'd have the inconvenience of being homeless... it sucks... trust me!)
  • Pittsburgh being annexed to Canada* and the Steelers forced to withdraw from the NFL
  • Baltimore Ravens stadium falling into the ocean
  • I don't always agree with Bill Simmons, but I certainly do on this: The Bengals trade him [the player formerly known as Chad Johnson] to a team that already has an established No. 85. Ocho Cinco keeps offering the guy money for his jersey. The guy keeps saying no. Eventually a bitter Ocho Cinco has to either offer him like $500,000, or wear Ocho Seis or Ocho Quatro for the season. Please, Lord, let this happen
  • Ben Roethlisberger contracting every STD under the sun. Twice.
  • M*chigan also gets annexed to Canada*.
  • Chris Hansen exposes Bill Cowher for eating small children for breakfast (I realize he's no longer associated with the enemy, but he annoys me, and really, doesn't he look like he eats small children for breakfast)
  • People spontaneously combusting every time they utter they phrase "who dey"
I could go on... but I won't. I'm pretty sure I've already go a seat reserved on the express train to hell.

*Actually, this would be unfair to Canada, I propose we annex them both to Iraq

Monday, September 8, 2008

An All Too Familiar Feeling...

Loss. Disappointment. Bitterness and cynicism. In other words: Sunday. These feelings are all too familiar in the life of a Browns fan. I was hoping this year was going to be different... but it was the same old thing.

I'm going to take my stab at playing Monday Morning (well, evening) Quarterback... In my opinion the game was more of a blowout than the 28-10 final score would lead you to believe. So here's my thoughts on the game for what they're worth:

Braylon Edwards.
Wow. That's all I can say. And not good wow either. He is dead to me until he starts proving himself. I actually took my jersey off during the game yesterday I was so disgusted by his lack of play making. (My Browns jersey bears the number 17, and luckily, I had worn a shirt underneath) He couldn't catch a ball to save his life. I guess that's what I get for placing faith in a player to come out of the state up north. Its looking like his little barefoot run may have some long lasting effects. This pisses me off. Also, next time you want to make ridiculous bets, you'd better come out playing strong from game one to back all your talk. For the record Braylon, you have to CATCH THE BALL to score touchdowns.

Again, all I can say is wow. Our defense has more holes than golf course. And the Cowboys found and exploited those holes early and often. Honestly. I don't think they could have stopped a high school team. They gave Romo so much time that he could have written a love song to Jessica Simpson before throwing the ball. It was disgusting to watch. I think there might have been one play that we actually put some decent pressure on him. And that was probably as a result of luck rather than actual talent.

For a team whose offense is supposedly a strength, I was not impressed. Beyond Braylon sucking it up, no one really stood out or dazzled me. There was nothing exciting. Not having Cribbs hurt. I'm not sure if better field position on our drives would have helped, but it certainly couldn't have made things worse. And with around 10 minutes left in the 4th when we finally had a drive to get excited about... WE KICKED A FREAKING FIELD GOAL EVEN THOUGH WE WERE DOWN BY 21 POINTS. Seriously? I mean I don't claim to know everything there is to know about football, but there seems to be something inherently flawed with that move. Why not just go for the TD? What did those 3 points prove?

Other stuff.
Browns need to learn to take advantage of opportunites they are given. I commented early on to the Cowboys fan that I was watching the game with that penalties were going to come into play. Unfortuntaly, they didn't. I think Dallas had something like 7 penalties by the end of the first quarter. We should have been using that to our advantage. We didn't.

I hate TO. Seriously, I do. Every time I watch him play, I hate him more. Especially after his little display of unsportsman like conduct after is TD catch. I remember one time seeing a sign from an opposing fan that said "TO has BO" (which i think he either proceeded to tear down or throw the ball at or something). That about sums up my thoughts on him. He sucks at life. Straight up.

Hole In the Wall is the stupidest and most genious show all at the same time. The show is simplisticly stupid in concept. Its basically human tetris and people have to conform their bodies to pass through a shape in a hole in a moving wall. If they fail, the smack into the wall and fall into a pool of water. There is something absolutly hilarious about this. And the time slot is the real genious. Its on Fox right after their Sunday football games are over. So the main audience is drunk football fans. This was really the only redeeming thing of my Sunday night. We watched this at the bar after the game with no sound. And it was amazing. Thank you Fox. This show will last. Only until the end of football season. Once people cease to be drunk on Sunday nights, this show will lose its appeal.

Thats it. So I am left with the bitter taste of defeat in my mouth. And this bad mood/funk will likely last into mid-week. I hate that a football game has that kind of power over me. Expect more rants/complaints as the week progresses.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Every New Begining

Every new begining comes from some other beginings end. Not really an original thought, but it sums up how I feel right now.

Every new football season brings with it a wave of emotions. This year is no different. The start of training camp and preseason marked a new beginning. Today marks the end of that beginning (thankfully!) and with it, the new beginning of the 2008-2009 football season. Lets take a look at the litany of emotions that are surging through me.

I am giddy with excitement. Some people like summer, some spring, hell, some people even like winter. Me? My favorite season is without a doubt FOOTBALL season. Now that its officially started... I can no longer contain my excitement. And the Browns are getting some notice this year. There's always a certain buzz around them in Cleveland, but there's been some national recognition this year, after many, many, many years of being pretty much a joke. With 5 officialy nationally televised games, people will be watching. Which brings me to my next emotion:

OK. I'll admit it. I'm terrified. The Browns have this strange power over me. They have the power to make or break my week in a matter of a couple hours. This season is not going to be easy. First, there is the recurring story line of injuries. It seems every time you turn around, some other key player is injured. From respectable injuries that inevitably occur in the course of game play, the the absurd head shaking injuries a la running barefoot or motorcycle stunts (really, I will really never get past that one). And then there's this new fear that comes with being in the spotlight. I fear a word that I have already started to hear, but I really am refusing to let sink in. Overrated. I hope that the Browns can eliminate this thought from the minds of many.

Despite my fears, I am perpetually optimistic. I love my brownies. I have faith in them. I always have. Even at their worst. And I always will. As a life long Cleveland fan, I am realistic. I prepare myself mentally for the worst. But deep down inside, I always have that sense of optimism. Maybe this will be our year. Maybe the pieces of the puzzle will finally fit into place. Maybe our luck will change. No, we don't have a lot of depth, but who knows, maybe there will be some surprises. No one expected DA to be what he was last year. Maybe we've got some more DA's down there on the depth chart. Sure we didn't see it in preseason. But preseason is over. Our guys have a new chance to prove themselves. When it counts. Regardless of what happens, its going to be fun to watch.

I could continue, but its almost game time! Time to head up to the Browns Backers bar, my own personal piece of Cleveland here in New York and let the fun begin. Hold on tight Cleveland fans! Its going to be a wild ride this year, and only time will tell where its going to take us.