***What is it with the New England and Baltimore axis obsession? Or was there one when Cowher was the first choice? If Cowher was the style you wanted, and you needed a turnaround, why not look to Arizona, which up until recently had the lock on the most futile family legacy of ownership? Head Man Dirty Kurt Wisenhunt is unavailable, but Clancy Pendergast was here with us under Butch. He has as many C-town ties as Mangini. The Cardinal defense is infinitely more impressive lately than anything Mangini has done while not working for a man named "Bellichick". In fact, the whole CardinaIs' staff is a bizarre combination of Cowher's former Stillers and Browns' rejects from all of our regimes. Is the factor of differentiation that separates Mangini the fact that he went somewhere and struggled for three seasons and got canned? Caller, is there a question in there?
***I got all excited when I learned that Carmen Policy was going to get to use Al Lerner's billions to build an expansion franchise in the era when cap space used to dictate talent. Then, I was ecstatic that Butch Davis was coming to straighten things out on the field and he took us to the playoffs in year two and we swept the Ravens when that still had special meaning for me. I believed that Phil Savage would draft good professional football players and given time, about four drafts, we'd have strong talent. I believed that Romeo Crennel was the steadying force who could coach up the young talent Phil drafted. With Eric Mangini? I really don't give a small rodent's behind. Nothing in this latest hiring process made any sense at all. Well, we all saw how excitement worked for us. Let's try apathy and await the outcome. Can it be any worse? What's on AMC on Sunday afternoons in the fall, anyway?
***Given how you can now use a Smart Car TM to transport all the northeast Ohio area Browns' fans on a road trip, are there now more Inbred Wannabees in northeast Ohio? Has Randy Lerner really managed to finally completely lose the market that was at one time more of a cult than a fan base? "Yes Bernie, I WILL drink this Kool-Aid TM. For you! For YOU Bernie!" Is there anyone who really has any more optimism than an "odds-are-it-has-to-turn-sometime-given-enough-years?" desperation / rationalization as they look at this expansion franchise entering year ten? Ten freaking years since Corey Fuller promised the playoffs. Belated answer to Chris Spielman? Yes. And so were all of us. At least you got to leave in 1999. I bet only one of us still has your Browns jersey. And Couch's. And Brown's. And Faine's. And Green's. And Garcia's. And Frye's. And Edwards. Is there anyone who is too young to remember a conference championship game that is actually able to stand being a fan? Where is my general manger to tell me via an email what to do after writing these sentences?
***Russ Grimm head coach, Bert Blyleven Hall of Fame; which comes last? Seriously, what is wrong with him? There has to be something.
***What is a "rivalry" anyway? Given that one of the definitions is a "...state... of competition...", doesn't a rivalry have to be predicated on a mutual ability to defeat a foe? I know what a rivalry is not. It is not this. No Eric, it is not just about winning the AFC North division. It is about beating this dang team. It is about stopping the embarrassment and backing down in the face of their physicality. Why do I get the idea that the honeymoon that never happened in this shotgun wedding between Browns' fans and the New England preppie has now been punctuated by "relations" being ceased before the union was even consummated? Did we really regret that Bellichick never really succeeded here and the team moved and he was fired in Maryland all that much? Did any of us even like this approach the first time around? Maybe Gary Reents, Art and Debbie Bellichick liked Bill when he was here in Cleveland. Whose inspired idea was it to look at the Bellichick years like political conservatives pine for the Regan years when BB alienated a fan base to the point of the crown jewel of Ohio professional sports moving?. Can anyone find and replay Les Levine's old "Doom and Gloom" radio shows with Ed Meyer and Tony Grossi that aired weekly on WHK in the early 1990's? Isn't this pro sports' fan thing supposed to be fun when it is all said and done? Wait, must..... be..... apathetic. Blind squirrel.... nuts.....it could happen. Open.... mind.
***Does this mean we WON'T be on national TV five times next season?
***What is it with life placing cherries on top of the steaming pile of garbage sundaes that Browns' fans get? Every time this new franchise masquerading as my Browns' hits rock bottom, it seems to be punctuated by either a Ratbird or Inbred Super Bowl win. Expansion fails to launch, Coach Fudd gets cashiered, and Modell hoists a silver Lombardi as if it's visual ipecac syrup. The RAC / Opie era begins by being as bad or worse than Butch's last season, Opie successfully sells us the snake oil he calls patience by insulting us collectively for being jaded, John Collins loses in a power struggle after Savage is allegedly fired then rehired for reasons that did not become manifest for several more seasons, and the Rooney's manage to bribe the refs enough (allegedly) (not really) to play the East German judge to take the title from the Seahawks. There's Hines Ward, who'd take a toddler's candy after cheap shotting her and then complain to the refs the three-year old hit him first, as pseudo-MVP. There's Big Ben, who makes Terry Bradshaw look like Bill Gates, doing nothing but playing free safety to stop Indy becoming a hillbilly matinee idol. Don't you just know the Appalachians will win it again this year? Is there any doubt in that seal brown heart of yours beating orange blood? I've concluded this by scientifically reasoning that I know no Ratbird fans, I've largely moved on from my bitterness long ago, and living in northeast Ohio I am in a minority surrounded by Appalachian Wannabees I'll have to listen to for months and years. A room full of Job, Atlas, Solzhenitsyn, and Andy DuFrane would have been arguing over who gets to use the shower rod first by now if they were Browns' fans. Am I bitter? Damn straight, Kemo-sabe.
***The Cleveland Cavaliers are like a 33 degree Dortmunder Gold on a 90 degree day with Cleveland August humidity after doing 4 hours of yard work.
***Tomorrow night I'm joined by Toby Keith, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Jay Z, Fred Barnes and Chloris Leachman as they discuss the entertainment controversy surrounding the Obama Inauguration.
***I still blame the preseason brown pants.