What's everyone crying about?

Nearing the end of a very un-storied career as quarterback of the Cleveland Browns, Tim Couch broke down during his post-game press conference and shed a few tears after Browns fans cheered – during a home game – the fact that he’d been injured. Only in Philadelphia – where the fans once booed Santa Claus – have fans been so vicious to one who was once so beloved.

Of course, once the news broke that Couch had cried during his post-game comments, the criticism from the fans grew exponentially. Personally, I never quite understood the negative backlash from the fans. I mean, over the last half-century of watching this football team, I’ve been driven to tears – often during the first quarter of many games – and nobody’s ever gotten on my case over it.

I recalled the Couch incident above after observing the reaction in this town to the recent beat-down administered upon the Browns by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Brian Hoyer, who through five games was nearly perfect, had a bad game – to be sure. On the other hand, when you get beaten as badly as the Browns were that Sunday, it was more than one guy who contributed to the loss. It was a classic “team effort,” as they say.

It’s just that after the loss, Hoyer’s record as starter with the Browns “dropped” to 6-3. For you non-math majors out there, that’s a winning percentage of 66.67 percent, and is still, comparatively speaking, light years better than anything else the Browns have trotted out at quarterback – especially since the team returned in 1999.

Perhaps it’s simply that Johnny Manziel trumps Hoyer’s 6-3 simply because Johnny Football is still undefeated as a starter in the NFL? Sure, he’s also winless, but who wants to nit-pick?

Hoyer’s had one bad game this year. If Johnny were to come in and stink up the joint, would everyone be calling for his head? Heck no, all we would be hearing from the Manziel supporters is how we need to exercise patience, and how he needs time to develop. People seem to forget that although Hoyer has been in the league for several years now, this is his first shot at guiding a team from the get-go, so why can’t we afford him a little of that same patience we would be implored to have with Johnny Hangover?

Jeez, people seemed more patient with Brandon Weeden, yet Hoyer had won more games with the Browns as starter (six) in nine attempts than “Weeds” (as in smoking it) won in 20 attempts (five). Seriously, what’s up with that?   

It is often said that the best job in the NFL is backup quarterback; there are many benefits in being “No. 2.” You’re well-paid, and you don’t get any criticism or risk injury.   

All I will say is this: With all the “No. 2” we’ve seen from the Browns, and we’ve seen shovelfuls, especially at quarterback, over the last 15 years or so, you’d think we’d be just a little more patient with a guy like Brian Hoyer.

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 6, Issue 22, Posted 9:36 AM, 10.28.2014