Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ramblings of a frustrated Browns fan and Week 1 picks


Here we go again....

So I was all excited to do a one year anniversary post. I've had this blog for a year now. I've done my best to post to it fairly regularly, which is sometimes easier than others. Over the past month or so though, I've found it very difficult to motivate myself for one reason or another. I have started numerous posts, never to finish. I have come up with even more great ideas for posts, never to make it to paper (or screen, or whatever). I was gearing up for my big "IT'S FINALLY BROWNS SEASON" post. And then I find out yesterday that the news of the Browns starting quarterback broke. That in and of itself is not the issue at hand. I knew Mangini said he was going to keep it under wraps until Sunday. I had no doubt in my mind that it would leak before then. It was how this news came to light that really just made me shake my head and wonder where this team is going.

If you haven't heard, Brady Quinn is our starting quarterback. And we have Terrell Owens and his twitter page to thank for that. What. The. F*$@!? There are so many things wrong with this I don't even know where to begin. First of all, my extreme aversion to all things twitter. Second of all, my extreme aversion to all things T.O. I realize that T.O. probably had no real connection to this story and was just trying to cause trouble, because that's what T.O. does best. Still though, as a coach, why did Mangini even present the opportunity for something like this to happen? I have been fairly indifferent about most things surrounding this team since about midway through last season, but this just irks me.

I have been fairly indifferent about the whole quarterback situation in general, something uncharacteristic of me. I usually pick a side, and defend it with all my heart and soul, even long after it is apparent I have chosen the wrong side. In this case, I just wanted to see what was best for the team. I was happy to see Romeo go, yes, but I was fairly indifferent about the prospects as the Browns were attempting to choose a replacement. I just wanted to see what was best for the team. When Mangini started cleaning house, I didn't get worked up about who he did and didn't get rid of. Our team was pretty abysmal, I wasn't that attached to anyone, and I just wanted to see what was best for the team. I think you see the trend here...

Well Mangini's latest escapades are not what's best for the team. Like I said, it's not who is or isn't starting that I have a problem with. Its how he handled the situation. He is not starting off on a good foot with notoriously hard to please fans. Not only were you keeping information from the fans for no disernable reason, but you have once again opened the floodgates of everyone that loves to make us the punchline of their jokes. You are losing respect as a coach and as a team leader. Playing games is not going to work here.

Well Mr. Mangini, I am going to go on record right here, right now. On September 10th 2009, I, Girl Out of Cleveland, officially declare my hate for you. Actually, I will go so far as to borrow some choice words from a certain former GM, "Go (back) and root for the Jets... F&#@ You!" Now don't worry, this hate is not irreversible. Quite the contrary actually. I don't want to hate you. I think that you have potential to do good things for this team. This hate is more of a challenge. I challenge you to change my mind. Prove all of the horrible things I am already starting to think of you wrong. You have exactly 16 weeks to prove me wrong. A word of advice to you, start doing this early. Like say, Sunday. Show us that you've been working hard, and that it's paying off.

Now that that is out of my system, here are my thoughts going into Week 1 of the NFL season.

One of my favorite things about football season is reading Bill Simmons' weekly picks column. So I've decided that this year, I'm going to make weekly picks myself.

My NFL knowledge is kind of like a pyramid. Most of my knowledge is about the Browns, then the rest of the AFC North teams (I like to be well informed in my extreme hatred and trash talking of the rest of the teams in our division). Next comes my knowledge of your superstars and controversial teams and players, and atop my NFL pyramid, my "use sparingly", is the rest of the NFL. I just don't care enough about mediocre players on teams whose paths the Browns do not cross to waste my time on them (one of the reasons I am so scared of fantasy football, because it would make these teams and playeres relevant, turning my pyramid into more of gigantic orb that I would constantly being itching to grow).

Anyway, that being said, take my picks for what they're worth. They will be based on inconsistent knowledge, personal bias, the mood I'm in, the time of day I decide to post, the weather, the S&P 500, what color I'm wearing, and the price of rice in China.

Anyway, on to my picks:

(Oh one other thing to be noted, my knowledge of point spreads falls somewhere between my 2-3 servings of superstars and scandals and my use sparingly rest of NFL knowledge, so hopefully I don't mess this up! Also I haven't read yet, and don't plan on reading Simmons' pick columns before I write mine, but I'm going compare how I do against him for the season)


PITTSBURG -6.5 over Tennesee
As much as I hate the Steelers, and would love to pick them to crash and burn out of spite, I think they've got this one in the bag. Defending Superbowl champs, at home, against a team that I was not impressed by in the preseason (and one of the few I actually observed in the preseason since we played them)


Miami +4 over ATLANTA
I like the Dolphins here. They did a complete 180 last season from where they were they year before, and I respect that. Actually, scratch that, I envy that. I'm waiting for that from the Browns.

BALTIMORE -13 over Kansas City
Again, I hate to pick a despised team, but they're good. And the Chiefs suck. I think.

CAROLINA +2.5 over Philadelphia
Honestly, I'm going with Carolina because they are the home team, their mascot is an animal, and the Eagles (I guess also an animal, but that's irrelevant) have Vick. I see the fans doing a lot of booing even if Vick can't play until week 3 or whatever it is. Also, I'm making this all up as I go along.

Denver +4 over CINCINNATI
Between Hardknocks, Ochocinco and his twittering, and the ugly uniforms, the Bengals have a lot of distractions. I say they choke. And by I say they choke, I mean I will take great joy in seeing them choke.

CLEVELAND +4 over Minnesota
Oh dear. Please Brownies, don't make me regret this. I'll post again before Sunday with my thoughts on the game.

HOUSTON -4.5 over NY Jets

INDIANAPOLIS -7 over Jacksonville

NEW ORLEANS -13 over Detroit
At least we're not Detroit!!! Talk about B-A-D.

Dallas -6 over TAMPA BAY
Not a Cowboys fan by any stretch, but now that Romo doesn't have Ms. Simpson to worry about, I see him having a pretty good year. And this will make my Dallas friend(s) happy.

ARIZONA -6.5 over San Francisco

NY GIANTS -6.5 over Washington
The Giants are my NY team of choice, and I think they'll be good this year. I will back them for their home opener. Even though their home is in the dirty Jerz instead of actual NY. And they have to share that home with another team. I am willing to look the other way and have faith they come out on top.

SEATTLE -8.5 over St. Louis

Chicago +3.5 over GREEN BAY
This should actually be a really great game, especially to watch in prime time to wind down a rowdy Sunday. I'm going to go out on a limb and pick DA BEARS! It's just a gut feeling, and what the price of rice in China indicates is the most probable outcome.


NEW ENGLAND -11 over Buffalo
Firing personnel right before your opener will not win you confidence in my book. And Brady's back and looking to prove himself. Pats should take this one easily.

San Diego -9.5 over OAKLAND
I was tempted to give Oakland the benefit of the doubt here and say they could at least keep it to within one touchdown. But my old doorman was a Raiders fan and he would lament to me about them on a regular basis. To the point that I feel like I know the team well enough to know they will not keep it to within one touchdown. Not that anyone in the Eastern Time Zone is planning on staying awake for this one anyway.

So there you have it. My first attempt at picking NFL games. And deciphering Vegas spreads. If this week goes well, maybe I can find a new career in betting?

More on the Browns, my thoughts, fears, concerns, and what I'm looking forward to over the next few days.

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