The taming of the not-so-shrewd: Cleveland sports predictions, part 4

It is with a heavy heart I announce the fourth and final installment of my 2012 predictions regarding the Cleveland sports scene. Please, please hold the applause until you've finished reading the entire column (this ain't your kid's commencement, you know) as other readers may find your outbursts disturbing. I know that I do.

October: Embattled Browns President Mike Holmgren is still trying to sell Cleveland sports fans on his credibility, which came under serious attack on NFL draft day months earlier. Holmgren committed what many considered the "faux pas of the century" after trading up to secure the second draft pick, presumably to take the consensus second-best quarterback available, Robert Griffin III.

Griffin, better known as "RG3" to those in football circles, was so sure he was going to be selected by the Browns he was even wearing a Browns ball-cap before the Browns announced their selection. Then, the unthinkable happened: Holmgren, apparently so flush with excitement it triggered a brain cramp of intergalactic proportions, blurted out "R2D2" instead of "RG3", triggering much confusion – as well as more than a few snickers – among the NFL draft-nicks.

The diminutive Star Wars robot, who resembles a ShopVac with arms, was asked if he thought communication on the team would be an issue. Most observers guessed that it just might be a problem since no one understood his reply.

November: With the Browns sitting at 0-6 after a bye week and Browns fans avoiding Cleveland Browns Stadium like the plague, Browns interim head coach Brad Childress announces a change at quarterback, benching Colt McCoy in favor of R2D2, hoping to reignite fan interest for the upcoming match against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers.

The change succeeds in sparking fan interest - but little else - as the Browns suffer a 51-0 loss played in a steady drizzle, which seemed to affect R2's movement. "He did look a little rusty out there," concedes Coach Childress. That, and the fact that the three-foot-tall quarterback's passes were hitting on-rushing linemen in the kneecaps seemed to be rather significant, too.

"We just need to work on R2's release point to alleviate that problem," notes Childress. Apparently, that comment helps speed up Childress's own "release point" as he is canned shortly after making the statement. Rumors proliferate that Holmgren might actually step in and coach the Browns as a last-ditch attempt to save the franchise.

December: Much to the surprise of Browns fans everywhere (but, then again, how can they really be surprised by anything at this point?) Mike Holmgen hastily calls a news conference to announce the hiring of the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns. The buzz is incredible as speculation abounds regarding Holmgren's choice. Who could it be: Bill Cowher? Bill Parcells? Bill me later? Nope. Mike gleefully announces that – after weeks of endless negotiations with the Galactic Republic, the new head coach will be...C-3PO: That bronze, British-accented pal of R2D2!

Citing C-3PO's "great communication skills" and "ability to make quick decisions under pressure" Mike Holmgren says he is so sure that he's hired the right guy, he promises that "this is the last coach I'll ever hire." Owner Randy Lerner, obviously liking the sound of that statement, fires Holmgren just to be on the safe side, replacing him with a fellow named Jabba the Hutt...

Well, I wish my crystal ball could have been a bit more optimistic, gang. But then again, this is Cleveland, right? Remember: Any topics you want me to cover, just drop me a line at via and I'll do my best to make you sorry you asked.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 4, Issue 4, Posted 2:36 PM, 02.21.2012