Browns successful at one thing this year: lowering the bar

After nearly two decades of horrific football (which equates to 140 years in dog years; no, make that “dawg” years) the Browns in 2016 decided that a new approach was necessary. I mean, after the seemingly annual replacement of head coaches and front office personnel bore little fruit, Jimmy Haslam and company finally decided to go in a different direction.

This year, they decided to go “cerebral.” In other words, since they couldn’t beat the opposition with the talent on the field, maybe they could beat ‘em at the brain game. You guessed it: we’re talking “analytics,” baby.  

Now, if this is all beginning to sound a little too cerebral for you to take in one big gulp, let’s try taking it in smaller bites. (I used that approach at Thanksgiving dinner and it worked wonders for me – it took me much longer than usual to get sick). But, let’s not jump the tracks just yet.

First of all, Merriam-Webster defines analytics as “the method of logical analysis.” Sounds rather Spockish to me, but loosely translated – in football terms, anyway – it is the hashing, re-hashing, and then re-hashing some more of boatloads of accrued statistical data as it relates to football players (or at least one would hope). It’s the same math-based method I use to do my income taxes (and probably explains why I get audited every year). Come to think of it, it might be what worked so well for Pilot Flying J a few years back, but that would only be speculation on my part. This is the first year of The Plan.

Suddenly, a record of 5-11 or 4-12, even 3-13 for that matter, doesn’t seem so bad anymore, does it?

And what, you ask, do the Browns turn to if the seemingly foolproof "outsmart ‘em" approach doesn’t work? Not to worry; I’m sure they have a Plan B. A Plan C, too. Heck, they probably have a plan for the entire alphabet (or they should). They can try rabbit’s feet, Ouija boards, and when those fail, have an organizational séance at FirstEnergy Stadium’s 50-yard line if necessary. What the heck, it worked on Beetlejuice, didn’t it?

Now, the first thing the Browns are asking us to do is be patient. And, since we are now in the 18th year of the 1999 rebuilding plan, if there’s anything Browns fans know, it’s patience, right? And we have to believe that since the law of averages are stacked so highly in our favor, this new approach can’t be any worse than the others, can it? (Look away from the NFL standings before answering, please.)

There’s one consolation, however: Maybe the Browns will never outsmart the opposition, but there will always be one patsy around they can count on outsmarting if the need arises.

Themselves.

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 8, Issue 23, Posted 9:36 AM, 11.29.2016