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Browns Diary Week 3

There’s a fun little game that I’ve started to play in my continuing effort to get into The Good Place by rooting for the Cleveland Browns. I call it: “Can the Browns trick me into thinking they will actually win?”

Here is how it works: I go into every game knowing that the Browns will lose. That’s sensible, right? The Browns have lost 21 of their last 24 games and, as the line in Bull Durham goes, the only mystery is how they won those three games.

“It’s a miracle,” Larry says.

“It’s a miracle,” Skip adds.

(more…)

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Belichick and the Browns

Last night, while Bill Belichick was adding a few more sprinkles to his ice cream sundae of genius, this was tweeted out:

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(Browns) Hope (Sort of) Springs Eternal

From NBC SportsWorld:

Maybe it comes from watching the Browns botch up everything over the last decade, but the prompt and drama-free Hue Jackson hiring seemed to signal something unusual in Cleveland. Competence? A sense of purpose? Focus? I don’t know what you call it but, for a moment, the Browns have given fans a reason to believe.

Caveat: Jackson has announced his intention to call his own plays and not hire an offensive coordinator. So, as I said on Twitter, I’d like to put a courtesy hold on that Browns optimism.

Hope Springs Eternal

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Drew Carey and the Browns

From NBC SportsWorld:

Drew Carey has given up on the Cleveland Browns. This was the fact that kept echoing in my head as I watched every minute of the Browns’ humiliating and brain-dead 37-3 loss to the Bengals on Sunday. Drew Carey — Mr. Cleveland, the city’s native son, a guy who has had his own Cleveland Indians bobblehead day, a man who (like me) cried after Brian Sipe threw the Red Right 88 interception against Oakland in 1981 — has given up on the Browns.

“You don’t have to support them just because they’re in Cleveland,” he told me two days before the game. We were in Las Vegas, him to host the NASCAR Awards show, and me to ride in a race car and spin donuts with Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“You don’t have to support them,” Carey said. “You don’t have to do it. … If somebody owned a sandwich shop in Cleveland, and they were selling (bleepy) sandwiches, you don’t have to buy the (bleepy) sandwiches just because they’re from Cleveland. You could buy sandwiches from anywhere. You could buy them from a chain.”

At least the orchestra is elite

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The Cleveland Browns Diary

For your general amusement and disgust, here is the Browns diary I’ve been writing all year — will keep updating with new links.

* * *

Game 11: Browns lose to Ravens on last second blocked field goal.

“He slid. Maybe he thought it would be fun to slide.”

* * *

Game 10: Browns obliterated by Pittsburgh.

“You should literally make your entire Browns piece this week just be a photo of Manziel with the ball just floating out of his hand,” pal Michael Schur texted me.

“On the first play,” he texted next.

“Against the Steelers,” he added helpfully.

* * *

Game 9: Browns obliterated by Cincinnati.

“On Thursday, May 8 of the year 2014, the Cleveland Browns drafted Jonathan Paul Manziel, nee Football, with the 22nd overall pick. There are two staggering legends that go along with his drafting. One is that owner Jimmy Haslam was walking into a restaurant in Cleveland not long before the draft when, as he described it, a homeless man looked up and said, “Draft Manziel.” I like to think of this as Haslam playing George Bailey in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life.”

Haslam: “Where are your wings?”

Homeless man: “I have to earn them. And you’ll help me, won’t you?”

Haslam: “Sure, sure. How?”

Homeless man: “Draft Manziel.”

* * *

Game 8: Browns blow lead, lose to Arizona

Dwayne Bowe has been such a catastrophe that Cleveland just leaves him inactive most weeks. When asked about that, Farmer shrugged: “My job is to try and help bring the talent here,” he said. Yes. Yes it is.

* * *

Game 7: Browns defense collapses against St. Louis

Karlos Dansby said this about defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil’s system:

“I’m trying to hone in how he wants to do it, because every coach is different. It’s a learning curve, man. Like I say, you’ve got a PhD in it. You’re trying to get a Doctorate now.”

* * *

Game 6: Browns somehow, somehow lose to Denver

“What the (bleep) was that?” Mike shouted at me. “Why are you dragging me into your (bleeping) Browns insanity? What the (bleep) was that? And you know what the worst part is? You were out, man! You were totally out. Yeah, you grew up in Cleveland, you had to root for the team so you could have friends, but then you were out! Why would you VOLUNTARILY go back into this (bleep). Why?”

And then, he asked the most pertinent question of all.

“And why would you drag me into your Cleveland (bleep)?” he shouted.

* * *

Game 5: What? Browns win! Browns beat Ravens! Radio announcer and legend Doug Dieken celebrates in his own way.

His broadcasting style is, shall we say, sparse. Here would be a fairly typical exchange.

Play-by-play man Jim Donovan: “Well Doug, now you have the ball with one timeout left and just 39 seconds on the clock …

Dieken: (Silence)

Donovan: “First down and 10 at the 20 …”

* * *

Game 4: Browns pull defeat out of the jaws of victory against San Diego.

But is Cleveland really jinxed or is that something that we Clevelanders just tell ourselves to make it all seem a little more romantic?

* * *

Game 3: Browns comeback against Oakland falls short. Of course.

The Browns have a dog mascot named “Swagger.” I did not know this until Sunday and honestly don’t know how to feel about it.

* * *

Game 2: Browns soundly beat Tennessee, are still dreaming good things.

Orange is orange, right? Technically, the Browns went from Pantone 2026 C to Pantone 2028 C — so, hey, what’s two Pantones among friends, right? The Browns’ color had been Sunbaked Orange or Knockout Orange or just plain Orange, depending on the brand of paint. Now, it is Montana Dust or Poppy or Tangelo. So there you go: From orange to tangelo, really, we’re dealing with the same fruit family. It seemed like a nothing deal. Orange is orange is orange is the new black. It’s all good, no?

No. The answer is very, very much NO. It’s not all good.

* * *

Game 1: Cleveland loses to Jets as I return to Browns fandom

So, no, it isn’t easy coming back. Well, comebacks are never easy. All you can do it try again next week. Maybe a quarterback change would help.

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Another Browns Week

From NBC SportsWorld

Rooting for the Browns to win at Pittsburgh used to mean everything to me. There really wasn’t much chance for that this week. But at least I had some text exchanges with Michael Schur to keep my mind off the horrors.

Just the Pitts

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Browns Fandom, Week 6

From NBC SportsWorld:

On the next play, Josh McCown threw one of the most dismal and blatant interceptions that a human being can throw. And Mike lost it.

“What the (bleep) was that?” Mike shouted at me. “Why are you dragging me into your (bleeping) Browns insanity? What the (bleep) was that? And you know what the worst part is? You were out, man! You were totally out. Yeah, you grew up in Cleveland, you had to root for the team so you could have friends, but then you were out! Why would you VOLUNTARILY go back into this (bleep). Why?”

And then, he asked the most pertinent question of all.

“And why would you drag me into your Cleveland (bleep)?” he shouted.

Read: This Won’t End Well

 

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Jinxes and Browns

Week 4 of return to Browns fanhood.

From NBC SportsWorld:

But is Cleveland really jinxed or is that something that we Clevelanders just tell ourselves to make it all seem a little more romantic? Seen another way, the Indians did put together one of the great hitting teams in baseball history and got to a couple of World Series in the 1990s. LeBron James has twice taken the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals — once when he was just a kid and once more after he returned home. Even the perpetually doomed Browns have been to three championship games, something that Detroit Lions fans would take in a heartbeat. They all just fell short.

And the bad teams? Were they really jinxed? Take this Browns team. They’re bad. But jinxed? Sunday seemed a good day to find out.

The J Word

 

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Oranges and Tangelos

So here’s Week 2 of what I think will be a weekly update on returning to life as a Cleveland Browns fan — also a discussion of the old orange Browns helmets and the new ones:

From SportsWorld:

I do not believe in Johnny Manziel. I do not trust him in the least. I do not like the way he plays football. But if I am going to love my Browns, it seems, I must make peace with the idea that we are now thrown together in a marriage of convenience. Johnny Manziel will have a direct affect on my personal happiness. This would not be my choice. But, that’s the point. There is no choice.

Tangelo Dream

 

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A loss to remember

From SportsWorld:

The Chiefs got the ball back on their 20, and there seemed no doubt that they would run out the clock because that’s what coach Andy Reid does. Know thyself, Andy. But for some reason, the Chiefs decided to try and trick the Broncos by lining up as if they intended to throw. Of course, they did not throw – as the Broncos undoubtedly knew. They handed off to Jamaal Charles. He ran into a mess of Broncos defenders, fumbled, the ball was scooped up by Bradley Roby who ran 21 yards for the game-winning touchdown, while 75,000 or so Chiefs fans in the stadium and millions around the world simultaneously dropped their jaws.

“I’ve never been involved in one quite like that one,” said Peyton Manning, who was smiling like those guys on the “we won a million bucks” fantasy sports commercials.

It was a crushing, gutting, humiliating defeat for Kansas City, but the question here is not, “Why the heck didn’t the Chiefs just take a knee?” or “How many different ways can Andy Reid mismanage the clock?” or “Is Peyton Manning a witch?”

No, the question here is: Will this one become famous?

A loss to remember

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