Browns: Let the games (a.k.a. 'torture') begin...
Yes, I know it's a new season. And yes, we have a new coach (for a change, right?), and yet again, we have an influx of many new players.
Feel like you've seen this movie before?
The problem is, in the one vital area in which the Browns desperately need change, they have had continuity: ownership.
Ever since Jimmy Haslam took over as the Browns owner midway through the 2012 season, the Browns have won roughly a quarter of their games. (The chances of making the playoffs with that kind of "winning" percentage are not all that good, folks). The scary thing is that Jimmy keeps maintaining that he's going to "keep on trying" until he "gets it right."
Maybe my grandkids will see the Browns win a Super Bowl. Then again, if the Haslams keep the team's ownership in the family, maybe not. My grandkids could be in for a real snoozefest.
But, lest I devolve into another painful diatribe incessantly berating Sir Jimmy, let's play the "schedule game" and predict how many games the Browns win this year.
1.) Sunday, Sept. 13 @ Baltimore. By the time you read this, the game will be over. But in my writing world, it hasn't happened yet. My prediction: Can't see the Browns being a well-oiled machine with all the new faces. Ergo, Ravens, 27-14.
2.) Thursday, Sept. 17 vs. Bengals. Our home opener (yawn). The Bengals are awful, but the best the Browns could manage last year against these yo-yos was a split. Take nothing for granted. However, if we lose to these guys at home the season could be over already. Browns, 20-14.
3.) Sunday, Sept. 27 vs. Washington Redsk...(oops, I almost said it!). Washington is getting much attention because of the team name – not playing ability – so this really scares me. Browns get, ahem, "scalped" by the you-know-who's, 20-17. Browns drop to 1-2.
4.) Sunday, Oct. 4 @ Dallas. On paper, the Browns should get run out of town by the Cowboys. That's why the Browns will upset the Cowboys 24-21.
5.) Sunday, Oct. 11 vs. Indianapolis. The Colts are nothing special, but neither are the Browns. Browns, still giddy from the win against the Cowpokes, make it two in a row by beating Colts, 23-14. The 8,000 folks at the game drink enough beer for 60,000. Jimmy says Browns are "playoff ready," convincing most NFL experts that Jimmy is "looney-bin ready."
6.) Sunday, Oct. 18 @ Pittsburgh. So much will be made of the "Helmet-Gate" rematch that there is no way the game can possibly match the hype. Both teams – emotionally exhausted before kick-off – play to a 10-10 tie. Myles Garrett decides to play it safe and not wear a helmet, but is thrown out of the game for throwing his facemask at Steelers player. Not to be denied his moment in the sun, Haslam calls the tie "Our greatest victory ever." Dee contacts a divorce attorney.
7.) Sunday, Oct. 25 @ Bengals. Browns achieve the impossible and eke out another boring win, 17-16. Browns are 4-2-1, yet without question the worst 4-2-1 professional football team to don facemasks. Nonetheless, Jimmy is so giddy that he decides to drive the team bus home from Cincy. Somewhere around Columbus, Jimmy realizes the team took a jet home. That explains why it was so quiet...
8.) Sunday, Nov. 1 vs. Las Vegas. This is probably the safest "bet" (see what I did there?) of the 2020 season. For some reason, I just can't picture the Browns beating these guys. Hence, look for the Browns to go kerplunk at home (as they are wont to do) and lose a winnable game, 24-21.
That gets us through the first half of the season, gang, with the Browns clinging to playoff hopes with a 4-3-1 record. We'll continue the "Season of Great Expectations: Year 22" next issue. Don't miss it!
Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!