I bought a Cleveland Browns T-Shirt yesterday.
I'm wearing it now. It's the first Cleveland Browns T-Shirt I've ever owned (don't ask me the reason - I don't know why).
I bought it specifically to break The Curse. I don't believe in God, but I believe in The Curse, because you don't have to rely on faith to believe in The Curse. Its existence is evidenced on a daily basis.
I've been racking my brains trying to figure the source of The Curse, and I have come to the conclusion that it's Eddie Harris’ fault, that washed-up Vagisil-wearing hilljack. He knew perfectly well that no good could come of drinking Jobu’s rum. Sure, he took a bat to the noggin as payback, but that was just the beginning.
And it certainly didn’t help when Serrano told Jobu “Fuck you”. Nothing riles up a Curse like an F-bomb.
“Major League” was released on April 7, 1989. Exactly one month later to the day, May 7, 1989, Michael Jordan made a little history with what was later referred to as “The Shot”.
The Curse was born.
Soon thereafter, The Curse deflected the Browns weak attempt in the 1990 AFC Championship Game, the Cavs in the 1992 Eastern Conference Finals, and the Indians in the 1995 World Series. But The Curse was not satisfied. It had grown to savor its job, to take sick pleasure in our despair.
And that’s when The Curse convinced *He Who Shall Not Be Named* to solve his financial disasters by moving the Browns to The City That Penicillin Forgot. If I recall correctly, this is one of the points those geniuses at ESPN cited in their ground-breaking fairy tale “10 Reasons Not To Blame *He Who Shall Not Be Named* for moving the Cleveland Browns.”
Reason #8: The Curse made him do it.
The Curse was there on the mound with Jose Mesa in 1997. It was there in the War Room with Dwight Clark and Carmen Policy when they selected Tim Couch in 1999. It showed its utter contempt for us against the Bears in 2001 with the onside kick recovery/hail mary/interception return for TD trifecta. It laughed at us when the ref reversed the call from 2 plays earlier against Jacksonville in 2001, and it was certainly present when it made Dennis Northcutt drop the 3rd down conversion pass against Pittsburgh in the 2003 playoffs.
Apparently, The Curse went on a bender on May 22, 2003, since it somehow let the Cavaliers win the NBA Draft Lottery, allowing them to draft LeBron James. Don’t think The Curse isn’t pissed off about this oversight – the foundation for its evil plan has been laid, and there will be no end to the Woe Is Me’s that will rain down on Cleveland once The Curse unveils the depths of its malevolence.
For some reason, The Curse has chosen to focus a lot of its venom on the Browns, despite the fact that it was an Indians pitcher that began the debacle. Those who have followed those that don the Brown and Orange will have noticed an alarmingly high injury report year after year after stinkin’ year. And the high draft picks… wow. Having my three year old daughter pull names out of a hat would yield more success than the Browns’ front office has had since returning.
The Curse is something we have endured for a long time now, and we have become numb to it, expecting it to pierce our hopes on an annual basis.
But this season, The Curse has gone too far. The Browns get via Free Agency maybe the best player they have had since they returned, and ZAP! The Curse strikes him down on the FIRST play of the FIRST day of contact drills. Not even bothering with subtlety any longer, are you, Curse?
Then, ZAP! You – Hallen – you retire because of back spasms and nutlessness. You – Todd Washington – you retire because of… ah, who gives a shit, you suck anyway. You – Rob Smith – I strike you with sweat glands larger than the holes the iceberg put in Titanic, and, well hell, throw an injury in to boot. You – Alonzo Ephraim – sorry, but I sent the video of you and Ricky Williams “hangin’ out” to the NFL offices. See you in October. But one position is not enough. Let’s see… how many cornerbacks do the Browns have? Betcha I can take out 4 or 5 of those guys before the regular season begins...
What does The Curse have planned next? Well, we already mentioned it is pissed at LeBron, but its current target is… I will not speak his name for fear of bad karma (insert laughter here)… someone whose name rhymes with Harley Try. The Curse knows who the backups are at that position. The Curse is just waiting until the first game of the regular season.
I can’t let it happen. I can’t stand sitting here before the 2nd game of the preseason is even played and already knowing that I have to suffer through another Wait til’ Next Year season. I don’t want to start talking draft in October.
Thus, I am taking action. I have purchased The Curse Breaker. It was on sale for $5 at a used clothing store, most likely abandoned by its previous owner who either died or lost faith (same difference). It is brown with large white and orange lettering. It is comfortable and smells like mothballs. And the moment I saw it there on the bargain rack, I knew it was the answer.
Many of you may scoff that something as simple as purchasing a piece of apparel will defeat the mighty Curse. If someone else told me they were going to send The Curse hurtling back into the chasm from whence it came simply by buying a T-Shirt, I would laugh heartily in their face (or perhaps just snicker behind their back). I can understand your skepticism.
But I need some hope. I need something good to believe in. I need for December to roll around and have the Browns playing meaningful games (and not meaningful as in “if we lose this one and the Jets win, we’ll be in position to draft at #4”).
This shirt spoke to me. It told me that, despite the onslaught of negativity which has assaulted us recently, the tide was turning. So I opened the coffers and purchased the lonely T-Shirt. And since I bought it yesterday to my writing this today, nothing bad has happened.
That’s almost a whole day!!!
Obviously, this shirt is The Curse Breaker. Breathe easier, Cleveland sports fans. Good times are ahead.
Either that, or this is just another devious piece of fool’s gold planted by The Curse to further flame my frustration, and I shall then burn this T-Shirt in effigy.
Screw that, I’ll burn it right here in Canton.