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Me, My Brownie Elf, And I: A Sports Oddity

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If you’re not from Cleveland, then you may not know the “special feeling” of being a Browns’ fan. So, like having an “all-access pass” to a leper colony, let me walk you through it, okay?

See Charlie Frye. See Charlie drafted. See Charlie play. See Romeo flip a coin. See Charlie get the starting job. See Charlie in over his head. See Charlie make poor decisions. See Charlie run (for his life). See Charlie get sacked (repeatedly). See Charlie get yanked in the 2nd quarter (of the home opener). See Charlie lose the starting job (after the home opener). See Charlie get traded to Seattle (two days after the home opener).

See what I mean?

You may be thinking (right about now) that “the village idiot” and his football team are more well-equipped to run a team in your fantasy league than the Cleveland Browns and their organization – and, flip a coin, you might be right, Chester!

Hey, we don’t get quality head coaching candidates here in Cleveland. Nope. We just train them for success …with other NFL franchises. Bill Belichick, Marty Schottenheimer, Eric Mangini and Bill Cowher anyone?

So, sure, Coach Belichick and his “film making skills” might not be the second-coming of Stanley Kubrick (cough) – but his New England Patriots are still the leading candidate for an NFL dynasty in this 21st salary-cap century.

But, hey, what do I know, after all? I mean this in-depth analysis of the Cleveland Browns is coming from a guy with a degree from the prestigious “Sally Struthers School of Journalism… and VCR repair.”

I was all for drafting Brady Quinn from the very beginning, true believers. But that still does not mean a thing from space. Quinn (realistically) could always be a bigger bomb than Britney Spears at the MTV Video Music Awards.

The drafting of Quinn (I believed) was the right decision for the Cleveland Browns (at the time) for many reasons: For one, he was (seemingly) the best quarterback in the draft and, two, the Cleveland Browns desperately needed a franchise quarterback.

I wanted the Browns to make an attempt to obtain a veteran quarterback like Trent Green (for the short-term) while drafting Brady Quinn (for the future) – not a bad plan drawn up on the chalkboard, right, professor?

This “amateur armchair-quarterback” from Cleveland sat back last year and watched game after game – where both Charlie Frye and Derek Anderson made bad decision after bad decision. I knew (like many fans) that neither of these quarterbacks were the long-term answer for the Browns (and I’m not the brightest bulb in the office, folks!).

But the so-called “professionals” who currently run the Cleveland Browns (into the ground) are supposed to be able to recognize these kind of obvious "odds and ends," right?  I mean, don’t they teach this stuff during “Intro to Football Fundamentals 101” at Head Coaching U.? Maybe (just maybe) they signed up for the much-easier “Home Economics: Making A Better Brownie With Your Easy-Bake Oven” instead, huh?

Look, I like Phil Savage (for the most part), I really do. I sat in on some local TV sports show last month where he was a guest-speaker and I was the guest-deer-in-headlights-looking-guy-in-the-audience who got to ask Mr. Phil a question about my beloved Browns – and, sure, we had a lot of (uneasy) laughs on the show together, too.

But this latest “debacle” with the Cleveland Browns is just too much to take – we have become (again) the laughingstock of the national sports scene (and not in the good “Hey, that McBlogger fella is sorta funny, ain‘t he?” kind of way either).

When mistakes this bad are being made on a constant basis with the Browns, something needs to be done to turn these “Underdawgs” around. I still support Phil Savage because I honestly believe he has a great eye for talent (despite drafting Charlie Frye who was unfortunately thrown into an impossible starting situation – “Sorry, Charlie!”) and I want him to be our general manager for many a millennium and beyond.

But (with all due respect to Gotham City) a head coach who has to flip a coin like “Two-Face” to make any fateful decisions about our football team is simply unacceptable. Until the Cleveland Browns get an experienced head coach to lead this team to greatness, we are just treading air in a vacuum (which is a nice, scientific way of saying “we suck,“ I suppose).

Charlie Frye may not have been a “starting quarterback” in the NFL (time, and Seattle, will tell) – but he doesn’t deserve to be the scapegoat for “extreme incompetence” either.  That's like throwing the Belichick out with the bathwater!

So, what then, do you do with your current head coach who has won five Super Bowl rings and several years left on his current Cleveland contract?

“Open the pod bay doors please, HAL.”

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About Chris McVetta

Chris McVetta is a writer and comedian from Cleveland, Ohio. He is a graduate from Cleveland State University and an alumni of The Second City comedy writing program. His first job in journalism was as an Editorial Assistant working with Harvey Pekar ("American Splendor") at The Free Times. Most recently, his was invited to speak at the Ray Browne conference on Pop Culture at Bowling Green State University.
  • RJ

    Good article.

    Yeah, the Browns are horrible. They have been for a long time. And I don’t see that changing anytime in the near future… :-/

  • RJ

    So…how about that Derek Anderson? :-/

  • Hey, WHO knew! (Including Romeo Crennel) But I’ll take it. I’m not sure if this is the product of a new offensive coordinator or what… but If Derek Anderson keeps THIS up, Brady Quinn can hold the clipboard all season for all I care!

  • Derek Anderson …backup quarterback …AT BEST.