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Browns Don’t Quit

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I have absolutely no idea if the Cleveland Browns have quit this year. I’m just not sure I have the technical know-how to differentiate between a football team quitting and a football team being really, really stinky.

But for some reason that is not entirely clear, the TV announcers every week seem absolutely, completely, 100% sure that the Browns have not quit. They say this every week with the same confidence that the guy in the old “Six Million Dollar Man” intro used to say “Gentlemen: We Can Rebuild Him.”

This week, while the Browns lost No. 13 in a row* without much of a fight, that announcer singing the praises of the no-quit Browns was Steve Beuerlein …

*The Browns have actually lost 16 in a row … and 23 of their last 24. but It’s 0-13 this season.

… but this is not about Beuerlein. It’s someone new every week. It’s the same story every week.

1. Some poor shlep who obviously ticked off people at his network gets assigned as announcer for the Browns game.

2. Poor shlep talks with Browns’ coach Hue Jackson the day before the game and comes away impressed with his professionalism or something.

3. Poor shlep sprinkles positivity into his broadcasting even while Browns play stinky football. Hey, this team is on the right track! The Browns have played a whole lot better than their 0-13 record! There is some good young talent on this team! Every man on this roster believes in the vision of Hue Jackson! This is a better football team now than they were in Week 1! One thing you have to say is that this team has not quit and I can guarantee you they will not quit! 

Yeah, I guess I can’t blame them. I mean, nobody wants to be stuck doing a Browns game in the first place … and they probably want the experience to end as quickly and painlessly as possible. I imagine they don’t want their email and Twitter feeds filled with angry Browns fans complaining that they were too negative. Better to speak a bunch of platitudes about how the team is better than their record and is heading in the right direction and hasn’t quit.

I’m betting, however, these announcers are not saying the same things about the Browns during commercial breaks or at dinner the night after the game.*

*If I was a television producer — something I know even less about than identifying football teams that quit — I would create a show called “Dinner After The Game.” In it, you would have the exact same announcers who called the football game but this time they would be eating dinner and would not know that there was a camera on them. I think it would be about 500,000 times more entertaining and illuminating than game coverage.

Question: Why can’t American announcers call the NFL the way British announcers call the Premier League?

Seriously, don’t you love how Premier League announcers just lash out? If the game’s lousy, they tell you the game’s lousy. If one team is stinking up the joint, they tell you one team is stinking up the joint. Of course, they are much more poetic than that.

They see a lousy play and they will tell you, “Well he made a mess of that.”

They see some guy take some ridiculous shot from way out of his range and they will tell you with their voices dripping in sarcasm, “Ambitious, that one was.”

They see a defender blow it and they will tell you “He went walkabout, there.”

It’s wonderful. Weak efforts lack conviction. Brutal tackles are cynical fouls. Blown chances are rubbish. Teams that can’t seem to get out of their own way seem to have lost the plot.

And every now and again they will tell you, straight out, that yes that team has quit.

“Where’s the effort?” they will ask.

It’s wonderful, I think, because it assumes that English soccer fans can handle the truth. This Cleveland Browns team is a mess inside a dumpster fire inside a garbage truck collision inside a landfill inside Batman v. Superman inside a 1971 Ford Pinto inside Michael Bolton’s version of “Georgia on My Mind” inside a Hardees commercial inside a Mister Mister reunion tour inside a Circus Peanut. Maybe I’m alone as a Browns fan, but I die just a little bit inside every single time an announcer tells me they haven’t quit.

What in God’s name would they look like if they HAD quit?

Sunday the Browns lost to Cincinnati 23-10. I would categorize it as a professional loss — clean, no fingerprints, just get in there, lose and get out. There was this bizarre theme in the days leading up about this finally being the week that the Browns would win. Several pieces seemed to be in place. The Browns were coming off a bye week. Hue Jackson coached for the Bengals and knows them inside out. It’s a sort-of rivalry game. Robert Griffin III was starting for the first time since Week 1. Plus Cincinnati is in the midst of a  dreadfully disappointing season, and in seasons like that teams sometimes fail to show up.

The Bengals decided to show up, at least at first. They drove right down the field for touchdowns on their first two possessions to end any and all illusions. RGIII looked miserable. If it wasn’t for the magnificent kicking follies of Cincinnati’s Mike Nugent, it would have looked even worse. Nugent has missed SIX extra points this year, and even though Sunday’s extra point miss wasn’t his fault — the guy couldn’t get the hold down — Nugent did miss a relative chip shot field goal later.

The Browns now have three weeks left to avoid becoming the second team in NFL history to go 0-16. The first, of course, was the 2008 Detroit Lions, and there are a lot of similarities between the teams.

The Lions averaged 16.8 points per game. The Browns average 15.9 per.

The Lions gave up 32.3 points per game. The Browns give up only 28.1 per game but the Browns, unlike those Lions, have allowed 20-points in every game this season. The Lions had a couple of big-game blowouts — allowing 40-plus points three times — that the Browns have not which makes the point differential.

The Lions started three quarterbacks — a relatively young guy Dan Orlovsky (0-7), a crusty veteran Jon Kitna (0-4) and a former star Daunte Culpepper (0-5).

The Browns have started three quarterbacks — a relatively young guy Cody Kessler (0-8), a crusty veteran Josh McCown (0-3) and a former star Robert Griffin III (0-1).

And so on — Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy and whatever. That Lions team really did not come close to winning in the last three weeks. They did tie the Colts early in the fourth quarter of Game 14 only to give up 10 unanswered points and lose 31-21. They got obliterated by New Orleans 42-7 in Game 15. And they were tied with the Packers going into the fourth quarter of the last game of the season but again lost the game 31-21 anyway. They never led in any of the three games.

I suspect that’s how the Browns will go down, quietly, sadly, though you never know. They play at Buffalo, which doesn’t seem promising but the Bills are quirkyThey play at home to San Diego, and I guess you never know about the Chargers. They finish at Pittsburgh, and that seems about as sure a loss as you can find. I’d say they are now favored to go 0-16, but winning a game is not an impossibility. After all, from what I’ve heard, they haven’t quit.

 

 

 

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50 Responses to Browns Don’t Quit

  1. Chris says:

    There are three reasons OSU-Michigan is such a big deal in these parts: the Browns, the Bengals, and the Lions.

  2. Matt says:

    I watched the game and also wondered if the Browns were not trying or are just bad. However, Griffin has a lot to play for and missed easy throws and madesign horrible decisions all game.

    Fearless prediction: the Browns will acquire AJ McCarron from the Bengals in the off season.

  3. William says:

    Browns sacked Dalton 4x in first half. As a Bengals fan I took notice. Granted, the Bengals have major issues on their OL but four sacks in a half is a lot to give up even for them.

    I felt bad for RG3, it was a lousy day weatherwise to make his comeback. He might not ever make it back to what he once was but I doubt he ever does so on a day with cold, snowy, windy conditions.

  4. mrh says:

    Stationed in Germany in ’96, my wife and I watched a lot of Olympic coverage on Eurosport (English feed), with Brit announcers. We still repeat a frequent comment by the announcer, “she’s [he’s] blown it,” said in a very nasal sneering tone, when some poor gymnast fell, lost her [his] grip, failed to stick the landing, etc.

    The coverage in general was so much better than the US broadcast (which we also had access to). It focused on the athletes’ performance, not their life story and assumed we were watching to see sports, not hear some moral tale about overcoming adversity. It also covered entire events, not just one nation’s (or just European) participation.

    • Rob Smith says:

      It reminds me a little of Rick Barry’s commentary back in the day. He was pretty sharp with the criticism. Probably because he also was a pretty unlikable guy & known for being a whiner in his playing days, people didn’t take well to it. So, he didn’t last very long. But I actually liked his honesty. You may not have LIKED what he was saying, but he was 100% accurate.

      • Brent says:

        John McEnroe is pretty good at telling it like he sees it, with the added bonus that occasionally he will, in a dead-pan serious voice, talk about how big of babies today’s tennis players are. That never fails to amuse me to no end. I also presume that the joke goes right over most millennials’ heads.

  5. Hudson Valley Slim says:

    Joe, I feel for you and Browns fans. I’m a Patriot fan (from NY) and had the thought that if Belichick was like Theo Epstein, up for a challenge, even a seemingly impossible challenge, he’d go back to Cleveland and finish the job. (Maybe bring an aging quarterback with him ….) Just a fantasy.

  6. Frank says:

    I like circus peanuts.

    • invitro says:

      If you liked Mr. Mister, you might’ve noted that’s how you spell their name, not “Mister Mister”. Oh, Wikipedia says: “Mr. Mister may be considered as representative of the melodic sound of 1980s pop rock.” TAKE THAT, MISTER MR. POSNANSKI!

      • nightfly says:

        (Browns locker room)
        (In one corner, Hue Jackson is talking with an assistant. RGIII is giving interviews at his locker. Players are milling about, going into the trainer’s room, out of the showers. Joe Thomas is just sitting in his locker, in full uniform, staring.)
        Thomas (softly, almost talking) – take… these broken wings… and learn to flyyyy again…
        (everyone stares, then suddenly Terrelle Pryor joins in)
        Thomas/Pryor – … learn to live soooo free …
        (Joe Hadon joins) … when we hear the voices sing …
        (Britton Colquitt joins. They are now singing in perfect four-part harmony) … the book of loooove will open up, and let usssssss in …
        (Tramon Williams produces a guitar and starts a plaintive solo)

  7. invitro says:

    Which is worse: quitting, or not showing up?

    • Rob Smith says:

      It depends on your meaning. If by “not showing up” you don’t mean literally not coming to the game, and you mean they didn’t show up with the effort, I’d say quitting is worse. Of course, literally not showing up to the game is as bad. But having been around sports and seen thousands of games, there are lots of games for every team where they don’t show up with their best effort. No team brings their best every single game. It’s just human nature. It’s hard to explain and hard to understand, but it happens. I think good coaches may help it happen less, but nobody eliminates it entirely.

      • invitro says:

        Well, what I mean is whatever Joe meant in “Plus Cincinnati is in the midst of a dreadfully disappointing season, and in seasons like that teams sometimes fail to show up.” But I’m being facetious; I guess an announcer saying the Browns never quit is funnier than saying the Browns never fail to show up to their games…

        • Rob Smith says:

          I get your point. I do think that “quitting” as it is being defined in Joe’s comments, of course, means that beyond having an off day, the team doesn’t care and is playing out the string.

          This is a little problematic because in the NFL, nobody has guaranteed contracts. So EVERYONE should playing to keep their contracts next year, or at least show enough that someone else will sign you.

          But the tell tale sign that some players have checked out (it’s never everyone), would likely be invisible to the average fan. We don’t see all the mental mistakes unless it’s blatantly obvious (like stupid penalties). The running of the wrong pattern, forgetting the snap count, lining up wrong, blowing coverage, missing audibles etc. I would think the coaches would be in the best position to see that type of thing. I think most commentators are guessing and fans sure don’t know. It probably has to do with commentators trying to sound smarter than they really are.

          Again, I have to give credit to the commentator on the Falcons/Rams game. He caught a lot of stuff like this during the game. He pointed out who blew the coverage. There was even a play where a defensive lineman burst through the line trying to make the play. The commentator pointed out that the guy put himself out of position where he was trap blocked by the opposing guard and the center was freed up to block the linebacker on the play, resulting in a TD. That wasn’t “quitting” but it was “hero ball”. Where someone goes outside of the scheme trying to make a play and hurts the team. I think some of the problems with the Browns could be along these lines too, rather than just flat quitting. Trying to do someone else’s job has just as bad of a result, even if the intentions are good. I remember a few years back a Falcons Noseguard was cut and the word was that the guy was going outside the scheme to make plays. Plays that looked good when he made them, but more times than not, he put the rest of the team at a disadvantage. It was considered selfish play, trying to get highlights. Stuff like that goes on too.

      • Marc Schneider says:

        If they don’t show up literally, the team would have to refund a lot of money to fans. Unless they decided to have the other team play an intrasquad game, which might be more entertaining. So, yes, I would say not showing up would be worse. In either case, the fans are getting screwed.

  8. Mike says:

    ” Michael Bolton’s version of “Georgia on My Mind””

    I did not know that this existed. And now I wish I still did not know.

  9. jpdg says:

    Believe it or not, I don’t think the Browns are that far away. I know that sounds utterly ridiculous of your a Browns fan but hear me out. They have the makings of a good offensive football team. Their skill position guys other than you know where – Crowell, Johnson, Barnidge, Pryor, Coleman and Hawkins – aren’t spectacular but are more than serviceable. They’re offensive line is ranked 9th overall according to Pro Football Focus. If this sounds overly simplistic – it’s because it is – but really, they’re a good QB away from being ok on that side of the ball.

    The defense is god awful but defenses in general can be fixed pretty quickly. The Giants had a dreadful defense last year and in one year they’re one of the better ones in the league. Sure a lot things broke right – they spent gobs of money on guys like Olivier Vernon, Janoris Jenkins and Damon Harrison and they all have been terrific, Pierre-Paul was having a resurgent year until he got hurt, Landon Collins blossomed into an all-world safety – but difference is staggering. That’s an extreme, almost best case scenario but going from atrocious to mediocre defensively isn’t mission impossible.

    Next year they’ll have the #1 pick and the Eagles pick which could land in the top 10. They’ll have the the first pick in round 2 as well as the Titans pick somewhere in the middle of round. So that gives them four of the first 50 or so picks. They also could have as many as five compensatory picks in the fourth and fifth rounds. Their total draft capital will be one of the highest for any single draft in history. And they project to have something like $65M in available cap space. So the resources are there in a big way.

    Now I get it, this is the Browns. And if you’re a Browns fan, you’re conditioned to believe with virtual certainty that they’ll screw it up. But at least the path to being not comically awful is there. It could actually be a lot worse like when the Raiders for a decade were awful, had no QB, were capped out, saddled with dead money, and low on draft capital because terrible trades. They had no path contention until they completely blew the roster and built it from ground up. For the Browns, the blow up part is now complete. Hopefully they find their Carr and Mack in the draft

    • Rob Smith says:

      You make a good case. One good off season can change everything in the NFL. The margin between a really bad team and a competitive .500 team is not that great. 4-5 good players acquired/drafted or who improve from their existing roster is not unprecedented & makes a big difference. And their QB could be Deshawn Watson at #1 in the draft. Now if their coach and GM are bumblers, of course, they’ll mess it up. But things can turn around very quickly with the right moves. I’m not saying they’ll make the playoffs, but a 6-7 win season feels a whole lot better than 0-16.

    • Eric says:

      This is a great argument. While everyone is praising Theo Epstein right now, we forget that he spent his first two seasons in Chicago tanking as hard as he possibly could. It’s obvious that the Browns management, which comes from a baseball background, is following the same formula. They don’t have the history of success that Epstein had to trade on, but I hope they’re given the chance to see this thing through for a few more years.

      I suspect Joe gave the Cubs a little more benefit of the doubt while they were going through their losing seasons. Of course, it’s always easier when you’re not rooting for the tankers.

      • invitro says:

        Has an NFL team ever obviously tanked for more than one consecutive season? Now, I think it’s hard to judge whether a team really is tanking… many people just say a team is tanking when they’re just bad. When I say obvious I mean something like the 76ers in the NBA… the front office admits the team is tanking, or the team regularly gives its worst players (cough Nik Stauskas cough) the most minutes, while keeping its best prospects on the injured list for probably far more time than they need to be, and then putting a hard limit on their minutes when they do play. Who’s the first MLB team to be known for tanking? I don’t know if I know of a team before the Astros doing it a few years ago…

        • Eric says:

          This is the first year in charge for the current Browns management, and the first where they are quite clearly tanking — they traded away anybody with any talent on defense and let Alex Mack walk in free agency, leading to a swath of picks in next year’s draft. There was talk that the defense would be historically bad (and that has basically played out). I don’t think they planned on going 0-16, but they are definitely following the tanking playbook.

          Regarding baseball teams, that’s a good question. I think the Astros are the first team to be recognized for it, but several teams (the Rays and Royals) proved the theory out by accidentally tanking and then cleaning up on draft picks.

          • Marc Schneider says:

            The Browns defense is not historically bad. You can look back to some of the Giants’ defenses in the late 60s (under Allie Sherman) for historically bad defenses. In 1966, the Giants gave up 72 points in one game. To me, it doesn’t look like the Browns defense is anywhere near that bad.

          • Eric says:

            You are correct that the Browns aren’t quite historically bad; they are merely terrible. I was somewhat lazy in my terminology. However, it’s worth noting that this Browns defense gives up far more yards than those late-60s Giants teams. The ’66 Giants were crippled by an offense that turned the ball over an astonishing SIXTY TIMES, so the defense had no chance at all. In that 72 point game, the Giants actually held the Redskins to 341 yards of total offense and forced two turnovers, but the offense turned the ball over six times. The Skins returned an interception, a fumble and a punt for touchdowns, and kicked a field goal on the last play of the game after the Giants had turned it over on downs. The defense was plenty bad, but you have to give them some sympathy on that team.

  10. Chardon West says:

    The best part of the Browns losing is reading how well you write about the Browns losing.

  11. Mark says:

    “It’s wonderful, I think, because it assumes that English soccer fans can handle the truth. ” A ridiculous quibble follows: the Premier League announcers you hear in America are doing their job solely for an American audience for NBC. Most Premier League games are not televised in the UK, the NBC TV announcers are the only ones working the game, and they are not heard in the UK. FOr games televised in the UK they use a different team of announcers than NBC.
    That said, obviously the British announcers hired by NBC have carried over their UK/soccer sensibility to the US broadcasts and I agree we are better off for it. Also, because Britain has a large cultural influence on US soccer (as does Latin American soccer, and to some lesser extent Spain, Italy Germany etc), I think that US native soccer announcers including former players tend to call games with that same current of honesty and criticism, albeit somewhat tempered.

    • Eric says:

      An even more minor quibble: NBC only has one announcer team, which typically covers the biggest two matches each week. The rest of the coverage you see in the US is the “world feed,” which is English-language coverage produced by a company in the UK and then sold to channels like NBC all over the world. You are right that the world feed is not seen by actual people in England, but it is very English.

  12. Drew says:

    Browns “fan” here (not really anymore):
    Do people really complain that announcers/pundits are being too negative? How is that possible? How can you be TOO negative about this “Worst Organization in Sports”?
    I have learned to enjoy my time away from the TV on Sundays, and if it weren’t for my being immersed in the negativity, I would probably still be watching.

    • invitro says:

      “Do people really complain that announcers/pundits are being too negative?” — I think there’s a major disconnect here. The fans don’t care. Who cares is the players & staff. Probably thousands of announcers have been fired for being too critical of players, so who wants to take that chance? I found dozens of examples on google, here’s just one quote: “It’s one of the oldest stories in baseball; as long as there have been TV and radio reporters who dare speak their minds on a game broadcast, there have been players, coaches and executives with rabbit ears listening for the slightest slight.” — http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/reports-marlins-tv-analyst-tommy-hutton-fired-for-negativity/

    • Marc Schneider says:

      All I know is that Dick Stockton last week said the Redskins’ defense is “underrated.” I guess that’s true if your standard is a college team playing an NFL team. Otherwise, it’s crap.

  13. Michael Maskill says:

    Curious Joe why do you keep writing about these guys. If they lose 30 straight are you going to continue writing about the Browns. Since you watch them every week is that not enough pain and suffering in of it self.

  14. Rob Smith says:

    Because the Browns are SO bad, they’ve only had ( I think) one game televised in my area. I believe it was a Thursday night game. I never watch those games anyway. Too late for me. So, this column and some snark on SportsCenter and other ESPN shows is my only connection with the Browns. I know a few of the players, but still to me they’re just kind of this vague blob of awfulness out in the stratosphere. Joe puts some clarity to what’s really going on. I think it’s kind of fun to read. But I don’t pay attention to what the announcers say. Their job is to influence fans to be interested in the game. Being honest and saying “wow, they’re terrible. This is an ugly game that nobody should watch” is the last thing they should say. That’s a good way to be banished to calling the rest of the Browns schedule.

    That said, I watched the entire Falcons / Rams game yesterday and the color commentator was all over the Rams for their sloppiness. Their penalties, missed assignments, dropped passes and general inattention to the important details was HEAVILY highlighted during the game. So, there are some guys out there doing it. Of course, that may be why that commentator got put on this low rated, expected blow out game.

    • Marc Schneider says:

      In the Redskins/Eagles game, John Lynch said that Breshaud Breeland “killing the Redskins.” The color announcers tend to be more critical, possibly in part because they no longer play and they want everyone to know how much better football was when they played.

  15. invitro says:

    Are NFL announcers allowed to criticize the referees or their calls? NBA watchers know this is strictly verboten: the most an announcer can say is that a call was “questionable” or “borderline”.

  16. doohan says:

    This notion of “quitting vs. just being bad” is a kind of absurd concept regarding professional athletes. Every one of them is hyper-competitive and hates losing, so quitting is not really an option. This plays into the narrative that the winning team is always the one which “wanted it more”, a completely circular argument. Maybe the winning team just has better players and coaching. Maybe the Browns are just bad.

  17. Eric says:

    Joe, as a big fan of both the Browns and the Premier League, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece. One thing that I’ve always found funny about Premier League announcers is just how willing they are to tell you that a team has quit, or choked, or lost the plot, or didn’t have the nerve to win the game. In a sport like soccer, where 90 minutes of action so often comes down to one crazy deflection, one defender slipping, or even one second of genius, it seems harsh to blame everything on the losing team’s mental failings. I’ve always thought that it was a way to avoid thinking about the sheer randomness and futility of it all. When Arsenal dominate for 89 minutes and then give up a last-second equalizer off of a chaotic scrum in the box, it’s not because soccer is a silly, arbitrary sport; it’s because “Arsenal are mentally fragile.”

  18. Siva says:

    I was visiting your fair city and went to the Browns game a couple of weeks ago when they played the Giants. (We’re from New Jersey, and who could pass the chance to see our local team when the price was $7 per person?!) I wasn’t impressed by the play of either team, esp. New York. In fact, if the Giants had played any other team, they would’ve lost.

    Saying all that, I must say that I was impressed by the fans. You people are incredible in how loyal you are. No matter how bad the team has been, you still show up at the games and cheer your boys on, even when they do stink up the joint! There have been many teams that have had losing seasons, but somehow have turned things around (Pittsburgh, New England), so I would not be surprised that the Browns might one day be a great team. Meanwhile, you loyal fans deserve so much better than what you’ve been served.

  19. Rob Smith says:

    I wonder if it’s “quitting” when the GM fails to sign Alex Mack and the team decides to cut Taylor Gabriel. Then both end up being cogs in the league’s top scoring offense. The Falcons are very thankful for the Browns largess.

    It was mentioned that the Browns may be “tanking” and that is backed up by the draft choices they have next year & the cap room they’ll have. This could all be a well orchestrated effort to lose this year and cash in next year & beyond. I don’t think a lot of people saw the “genius” in Dayton Moore before 2014. Joe, in fact, wrote a lot of articles mocking the guy in the years previous to that.

    I doubt that the Browns would come out and say that they are doing that, but the signs are there. Just remember the Royals in 2010. And then again in 2014.

    • Eric says:

      I think that’s definitely what the Browns are doing. Keep in mind that Paul Depodesta came over from MLB and is very familiar with how the Royals and Cubs tanked their way to World Series wins.

      I don’t know if they’ll pull it off, but they’re trying.

    • Marc Schneider says:

      I am convinced that players never quit. They have no incentive to do so, especially in the NFL where the contracts are not guaranteed. In baseball, when a team is struggling to hit, people say they are “flat” and have quit. But, it’s probably the opposite; they are trying too hard. As you say, it’s the front office that “quits.”

      As for the Browns, I’m not sure why everyone is so surprised. Everyone knew they would be bad at the start of the season. This is the direction the team decided to go.

  20. route66news says:

    It seems the NFL needs its own version of Harry Caray to announce games. Ol’ Harry was as big of a homer as you’d find if the home team was playing well. But he’d let ’em have it with both barrels if the team stunk.

    I wish I had a dollar for every time Harry would moan at a Cubs player’s terrible approach at the plate: “He looked terrible in that at-bat. Can’t anyone take a walk around here?”

    • Marc Schneider says:

      That reminds me of something I read in Curt Flood’s autobiography that, while the players thought Caray was a nice guy, he would go nuts when they made a mistake. I suspect that’s part of the reason that Caray was so popular with the public; he would give vent to the feelings that they had when the team was losing.

  21. Mike Williams says:

    I will be scorned for saying this, I’m sure – but the Browns may have their QB of the future on the roster. Kessler has looked competent most of time I’ve seen him in the games he’s played. Enough so, to me, that I think they should trade that #1 pick for as many draft picks as possible.

  22. Marc Schneider says:

    Does it really matter if the Browns are quitting or not? (Which I doubt they are.) It’s a bit akin to saying “the Poles didn’t quit against the Germans.” So what, they still got occupied and massacred.

  23. MartyR says:

    Joe, I’m from Lorain and I really feel your pain. I was eight when the Browns won their last NFL championship. I actually believe Jackson is a good coach and he understood and also convinced ownership – at the same time he convinced them to jettison Johnny – that it was going to take a few seasons to get things pointed in the right direction.

  24. Rower41 says:

    Cleveland fans are dedicated. As a college student in Ohio, there was a guy in my hallway that could tell you anything about any athlete in Cleveland. If you played for a Cleveland sports team he was a fan. He’d say things like, “Ever heard of Sophia Belikvlak? She is currently ranked 331st in the world in left-handed only bowling. She’s from Euclid.” We didn’t have the internet then and most students couldn’t afford cable TV, so I would see him with his transistor radio tuned into any Cleveland team competing. I remember hearing him shout once, “Field goal is good; Browns lead by 3,” and someone else replying, “Mike, there is 20 minutes left and they are 2 and 7.”

    I have not heard from him in 25 years but I was secretly hoping Cleveland would have two championship titles and maybe a no-win season for their football team all in the same year. A record combination that would be hard to break, he would argue.

    I don’t watch much NFL. There is no encouragement for players to play for both the offense and defense teams, so no one can play an entire game it seems. It is a timed 60-minute game that you get to watch now and then during 4 hours of commercials for trucks, beers and whatever drug is popular or about to become so. Who is this Joe Buck? And, I don’t want to see what facial expressions the owner is making during the game. He’s winning no matter what.

    Still, I put great faith in the word “hope” so I am going to admire those people I pass on the highway with their Browns decals. John Galt is so 2 years ago (most people didn’t read the book anyway)thus I think I am going to use the phrase “Go Browns” as my spirited greeting in 2017.

  25. Chris says:

    I remember watching an FA Cup match a few years ago between 2 lower league teams. One player lobbed a pass across the field, but missed so badly it landed 20 yards out of bounds. The announcer then said “And I can say, with confidence, that is the worst pass that has ever been attempted in the history of organized football in England.” I still laugh about that, years later

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