What's really left to talk about? What's the point? What's left to say?
The Most Pointless Season EverTM drags on towards it's eventual close, putting into perspective the awful seasons of the past. Just when you think it can't get worse, enter the Cleveland Browns.
Before this season began, could you imagine that it would be THIS BAD? Even if you were negatively exaggerating for humorous effect, you probably would've fallen short of the true horror that is.
It's gotten to the point where the fans of other teams don't even mock us anymore. They just stand back and observe the carnage and say, "Damn! That ain't right."
Shaun Rogers is out for the season. Brodney Pool is too. Jamal Lewis has played his last down in the NFL. The team is destined for 1-15, the worst Browns record ever. At 122, they still have a decent shot at the NFL record for Fewest Points Scored in a Season (141). Street Free Agents take starting roles while 2nd Round picks remain inactive. No GM exists. And the Coach is almost certainly Walking Dead.
(Which might be the only glimmer of hope for many Browns fans.)
There's not even anything to watch for future considerations. Brady Quinn is flopping (and not even looking interesting doing it). Alex Mack is OK. Mo Massaquoi is aw-ite, but I'm not seeing him as the second coming of Larry Fitzgerald. Kaluka Maiaiva is depth. James Davis is out for the year. Robiskie and Veikune and Francies aren't even playing.
So, if we want to claim that at least we can watch the Browns to monitor player development, we're doing it for guys like Jason Trusnik and Chansi Stuckey and Reggie Hodges.
I'm so excited.
They're not even interesting in a headlines kind of way. No one is getting into bar fights or getting hit with golf clubs or driving drunk in their underwear or even slamming the Coach anymore. Everyone that did that kind of stuff is hurt or gone. What we have left are a bunch of nice, bland, mediocre backup Special Teamers.
And I can't just hide it.
I want to hate the Browns, but I can't muster up the energy. I'm comfortably numb. Besides, why hate the Browns? They're not responsible for the mess. You don't hate that ugly, ratty, mangy dog that howls incessantly night and day from the cage outside the house with the tractor in the yard and twin Dixie and Steeler flags hanging from the lopsided garage door. No, you hate the people that neglected him and allowed him to fall into that sorry state.
I'm about to lose control, and I think I like it.
The score was much closer than the game was. It never felt, not even for one second, like the Browns had a realistic chance to win this contest. They don't even bother to get your hopes up.
This season has been like Groundhog's Day, re-living over and over again a day where you got dumped, got fired, got food poisoning, tripped and shattered your kneecap on the way to the restroom to yack, and got rushed to the hospital where you had to sit in massive pain for 4 hours before they finally brought you back and gave you a massive anal probe because they got your file switched with a constipated horse's.
Final: Bengals 16, Browns 7.
Time of Possession: Cincinnati - 38:11, Cleveland - 21:49
Total Yards: Cincinnati - 306, Cleveland - 169
First Downs: Cincinnati - 21, Cleveland - 11
Dominated in every category... check. Ahhhhhh... yes... that's the Browns I've come to know and expect. Don't mess me up with any more of those Offensive competency shenanigans.
Matt Roth - He's new, so he hasn't yet learned the way of things around here yet. Act like you're trying, but don't actually accomplish anything. Definitely don't show your teammates up with competence.
I'm tired of this tired gray area. There is no gray area in Berea. It's all black or white.
Whichever color (or lack thereof) you feel is "Bad", that's the one that most of the team is.
Wall of Shame
Everyone but Matt Roth - Yep, that means even you, Josh Cribbs. Sorry.
Hank Poteat - Legendary thief. Has been stealing money without repercussion since he came to the team.
Brian Daboll - It's just so easy to pile on him. Hey, everyone! Pile on Daboll!
Eric Mangini - Congratulations! You've just set the new Worst Cleveland Browns Record through 11 Games Record! Very impressive, but, in all fairness, I must point out that you kind of cheated by making yourself de facto GM prior to the season. Even Rick Kotite could've pulled this accomplishment off had he had that much power.
The Run Defense - And to think that you sucked when Shaun Rogers was still healthy.
Randy Lerner - I've been told that a popular NE Ohio gift is the new Randy Lerner Urinal CakeTM. How long does it take to wash away his grin? Let's find out, shall we?
Farewell, Jamal Lewis. You may have pissed me off with your comments from time to time, and you were pretty much toast by the time you came to Cleveland, but at least you gave it your all, and at least you knew what it was like to carry yourself like a winner.
So few know how to do that in Berea.
I wonder how many Browns players will be faking concussions the rest of the season so they don't have to suffer the indignity any longer?
I'm not at all saying this is what Lewis or Pool are doing. Not for a second. But don't think the rest of the team won't notice that "concussion symptoms" are a good way to get out of December ass-whoopings beside the lake. Cue Rodney Dangerfield...
"Ow! My head! I think it's broken!"
Another week, another 7 days adrift at sea.
Eric Mangini still maintains that he will be part of the GM search. Randy Lerner still maintains that Mangini will be back next year. And every day that goes by is a day closer to Mike Holmgren staying in Seattle.
Per Peter King:
Mike Holmgren? Seattle or San Francisco -- as a GM/president, not as a coach or coach/GM -- are the most logical places for him. The longer he takes to consider Cleveland, the less chance the Browns have to get him.
Which is pretty much what I reasoned last week. Lerner's perceived inactivity on this is very frustrating. It could very well be that he did contacted Holmgren, but whether he did or not, Holmgren denies it happened. So, one can only reason that either 1) Lerner DID contact Holmgren, and Mike's not interested, 2) Lerner's not interested in Holmgren, or 3) Lerner's incompetent to the point of being retarded and it makes no damn sense that the universe endowed this fool with billions and football team.
Deciphering what Lerner's plan does consist of is hazy, like trying to watch a meteor shower from the bottom of a septic tank. Considering his history of decision-making, one must wonder if he has a plan at all. And if he does, one must assume that it will be a bad one.
One of the most tragic casualties of this decade-long disaster is the death of even the hope of "Wait ‘Til Next Year."
There have been several rumors lately surrounding the possibility of Bill Parcells exercising his out clause in Miami and taking on the Cleveland Challenge. And while I agree that Parcells does skip from franchise to franchise with the frequency of a home-wrecking cocktail waitress, I will file this particular rumor under "Too Good To Be True".
Get your hopes up if you will, but I'll keep mine safely locked away with my dreams, thank you very much.
Now that Charlie Weis has been fired, there has been a spate of Browns fans requesting that management bring him in as Offensive Coordinator. The theory is that Weis was Quinn's coach at Notre Dame, where Quinn had a great deal of success, and Weis can restore that success to Quinn's game.
The only problem is reality. Weis will probably be hired by someone else before the Browns even know whom their 2010 coach is. I don't believe for one minute that Lerner won't 86 Mangini if the right guy comes along and says Eric's gotta go, but if the Browns have no idea who their Head Coach and GM will be next year, how the hell would they know if those guys would be cool with Weis as the OC?
Weis knows this, and wouldn't touch the job with a big, fat pole, even if it were offered, which it won't be. Plus, there is still word out there that Mangini and Weis aren't too chummy (because of VideoTapeGate), despite Mangini's pleas to the contrary.
Besides, do you really think that Weis can come in here and magically make Quinn more accurate? Quinn had success under Weis, yes, but a lot of it came against some pretty poor competition (the Detroits of the college world). Every time the Irish played tough competition, Quinn choked up like my mother watching Beaches.
So now that Brodney Pool is done for the season, that leaves a small gap at Safety alongside the impeccable, immortal Abe Elam (or A Beelam, as Jim Donovan likes to say).
One discussed option has Mike Adams moved to Safety, bringing Brandon McDonald back in as a starting CB, and bringing Hank Poteat back as Nickel Corner.
That sounds AWESOME to me, because McD has been so good the last couple years, especially on big WR's such as, say, Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Jackson. And anytime that Poteat is on the field, nothing but goodness can occur.
Another discussed option is moving Mike Furrey to Safety, since he has experience there and the Browns Offense has more than enough weapons to overcome the loss of one their most proficient Receivers (23 catches, 170 yards).
This has gotta be like some kind of dream for Mangini, since one his "best" Receivers can easily be moved to Safety to replace a fallen starter. This is all part of Mangini's grand scheme, where every player has the flexibility to play many other positions.
That way, we can have a whole bunch of players that are OK at everything and good at nothing.
Seems something noteworthy happened with Tiger Woods this week, but I just can't remember what it is.
In the end, the only people I judge are those that buy the National Enquirer and US Weekly, those freakin' idiots that keep this gossip-paparazzi-celebrity-worship-celebrity-hatred cycle going.
I ain't gonna judge Tiger or his wife. I ain't their au pair. I don't know what goes on in their household. I don't know who's the villain and who's the victim. And frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.
Sure, Tiger's a pro athlete and he makes millions and people feel that that entitles them to some kind of public ownership of his life. Whatever. You (society) are the dumb MF's that made him a "hero" in the first place just because he could hit a little white ball straight and far. You're the dumb MF's that made him think he was invincible and God-like since before he could legally buy a beer. So, because you raised him up as your false idol, you get to tear him down now that he's proven human, right?
Personally, Tiger's private life does not affect my opinion of him in one iota. He's a good golfer. That's about all I know about the guy. Just because he's fallen prey to the deviances that so many other guys/girls fall prey to is not my concern. That's between him, his wife, and his kids.
We've all got problems. I've known a lot of couples that went through worse with a lot less money. I don't feel bad for Tiger, I don't feel bad for his wife (I don't know what goes on between them), and I sure as hell don't feel bad for Tiger's harem of celebrity-wannabe-skanks.
The only people I feel bad for are their kids, who will have to verbally pay for their parents' sins when they're old enough to realize what's happened.
Now go buy your copy of US Weekly so we can further hasten society's downfall.
Another shocking revelation came to light this week, and that was that Ron Artest used to drink at Halftime when he played for the Bulls.
So? I drink at Halftime of almost every sporting event I watch. Hell, I drink during the whole game.
In order for the conditional pick the Browns received for Braylon Edwards to be bumped from a 3rd Round to a 2nd Round pick, Mr. Edwards must meet certain incentives. The goal is rumored to be 55 catches and a certain number of TD's. For the sake of argument, let's say 5.
Goal: 55 catches, 5 TD.
Progress (7 games): 20 catches, 2 TD.
Yet to go (5 games): 35 catches, 3 TD.
3 more big catches for Braylon and... sigh... I can't even pretend anymore. He's averaging less than 3 catches a game since he came to New York, so why even entertain the idea that he'll average 7 catches a game heretofore?
I did take the time to post my Braylon thoughts on a Jets board (they finally allowed me access), and it was met with the insistence that New York pay him regardless and one guy who insists that the Jets are purposely not throwing to Braylon so they don't have to give up the 2nd Round pick.
Wow. I used to live in New York. I am now disappointed in the whole damn city
After a week in Valid NFL Quarterback City, Brady Quinn returned to his hometown of Suckville.
He did not feel comfortable in the Big City, with all its honking horns and loose morals. To validate and emphasize his return, he threw many balls low, behind, and way over the head of the Receivers. He managed only 100 yards on under 50% passing.
The Town Council of Suckville all witnessed the performance, then turned to each other, nodded their heads soberly, and invited Quinn back into the fold with open arms.
Welcome back, Mr. Quinn. Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back.
QB-O-RAMA - Version 2010
Next week will be the last installment of QB-O-RAMA, and we shall begin a tracking of Top 10 Draft prospects. Why? I'm not beating a drum for a QB any longer. There's NO DAMN POSITION ON THIS TEAM THAT DOESN'T NEED A MASSIVE OVERHAUL, so I just want the new Powers That BeTM to get the Right GuyTM.
Is that a QB? Maybe. We sure as hell need one. Unless you're of the mind that Miracle Charlie will come in and bring Brady Quinn back from Mostly Dead.
Sam Bradford - Oklahoma (vs. Oklahoma St.) - DNP. Does anyone have any 2008 video of this guy?
Colt McCoy - Texas (vs. Texas A&M) - 24 of 40, 304 yds, 4 TD, 175 yds Rushing, 1 Rushing TD. Honestly, why is Tim Tebow really in the Heisman picture against this guy? Must be the Golden Boy status that will crash to earth come Draft Day 2010.
Jake Locker - Washington (vs. Washington State) - 16 of 28, 196 yds, 1 TD, 94 yds Rushing, 1 Rushing TD. I really have to think at this point that Mr. Locker would do well to return to school for his Senior year (unless he's a no-brainer for the Top 10).
Jimmy Clausen - Notre Dame (vs. Stanford) - 23 of 30, 340 yds, 5 TD. Someone brought up a decent point about both Locker and Clausen this week - shouldn't the most important stat be Wins? I agree to an extent, but I'd just like to counter: How many more wins would Tim Tebow have gotten Washington or Notre Dame?
Tony Pike - Cincinnati (vs. Illinois) - 32 of 46, 399 yds, 6 TD. Mr. Pike returned to the starting role in a most triumphant fashion, proving that Cincy is no joke, and that ND is more clueless than Marie Antionette for not going after Brian Kelly.
Dan LeFevour - Central Michigan (vs. Ball State) - 27 of 41, 255 yds, 3 TD, 24 yds Rushing. One of Dan's least impressive games recently, which, in the grand scheme of things, is impressive in itself. Form your own opinion by watching the MAC Championship game Friday night.
NFL Bottom 10
Time to give props to the mutant denizens of the lower regions of football hell. Their parents shouldn't have ignored the fact that they were siblings.
1. Cleveland (1-10) - This is a no-brainer at this point. Which, coincidentally, is the name of new sitcom starring Randy Lerner, Eric Mangini, and Brian Daboll as ice-farming roommates in Antarctica. Why does their crop melt on the way to the market? Hilarity ensues.
2. St. Louis (1-10) - When you lose to another team in the Top... Bottom... Ten (Seattle), you move up... down.
3. Tampa Bay (1-10) - Their record is the same as ours, yet their fans actually can look to the future and not see endless horror.
4. Detroit (2-9) - Matthew Stafford returned to earth in hurry. Should've pulled the cord, Matt.
5. Oakland (3-8) - Raiders, I picked you this week against the 13 point spread, and you shamed me. Congratulations. You ruined Thanksgiving.
6. Washington (3-8) - At least they're putting up a good fight despite their Lost Season, unlike... aw, screw it.
7. Chicago (4-7) - Sinking faster than Einsteinium in a tank of Helium.
8. Seattle (4-7) - The Seahawks beat the Rams. Woooooooooooo! Impressive.
9. Kansas City (3-8) - Your time Uptown did not last long.
10. Buffalo (4-7) - Hey! Lookie! Sometimes a team plays better once they fire their toxic Head Coach! Who'd of thunk it?
From Kyle Doe, Little Rock, AR: "Why don't you give it up and talk more about the Cavs? "
I'm sure it has to do with some fatal flaw in my character, but I cannot concentrate on basketball (college or pro) until the football season is done. It's not that I don't like basketball - I like it a lot. I guess it's just that the first half of the Regular Season - hell, most of it - is meaningless. 16 teams get in the playoffs. You have to Suck Royale NOT to get in.
So I start paying attention in February when football is done. By then, the basketball season starts to really warm up, and it's a perfect time for me to join the square dance.
Having watched just a few games so far, the only thing I can say about the Cavs to this point is that I like that Hickson has become a real contributor. The rest... I'll tell you in March.
The San Diego Chargers (8-3). Offense - 15th, Defense - 13th.
(The Browns are 32nd in Offense and 31st in Defense).
Need we really debate this sad topic? The Browns are 13 point dogs - at home - and it's not because of the brown pants. Well, not completely because of the brown pants.
Chargers 34, Browns 9.