Dream a little dream with me (and the Browns)

It’s that time again, folks.

“And exactly what time is that?” you query, in an impatient and clearly accusatory tone. (Obviously, you’ve read previous columns of mine. And BTW – you’re welcome.)

It’s the time of year when I boldly predict the Browns’ final record after they finish up against the Bengals on Jan. 9. (I’ll also make another prediction: If you’re going to that game, dress warmly, as it will be cold.)

Anyway, the start of the season is always great for the sports fan – regardless of the sport. It’s a time when your team has yet to lose a game that counts, and even when your team has no chance of being competitive (ask any Browns fan who’s watched the team since their “return” in 1999), you always rationalize that with a break here or there, they might be good enough to …

Face it: it’s the same kind of optimistic lunacy that convinces folks in the US to spend $1 billion year after year on scam weight-loss products, even though we all know in our heart of hearts that by drinking something – which tastes, oddly enough, much like sugar water – and which promises that in only just a few days we will see the pounds “start to melt off,” has about as much chance of success as me winning a Pulitzer Prize for Literary Excellence. (Actually, your odds of success are orders of magnitude greater with the weight-loss thing, even if you’re hooked up to a lard/sucrose drip).

You pat yourself on the back for “doing something about the weight thing” (the “something” being buying a week’s supply of weight-loss supplements for – “today only” – $149.99) and then celebrate by diving into that second bag of Cheetos. Unfortunately, we all know the only thing that will be losing any weight is your wallet.

So, you get my point. When we want to be, we are an optimistic bunch, and we always want to be with our sports teams (and Cheetos).

But back to the Browns in 2021. Do you realize that, even with 17 regular-season games this year, only 6 of those games are against teams with greater than .500 records last year (and 4 of the 6 are against the Steelers and Ravens)? That means – and try to keep up if math isn’t your bag – the Browns only play 2 games out of the other 13 against teams (not named the Ravens or Steelers) with winning records.

And what is especially encouraging about the Browns – within their division – is that the Steelers and Ravens dominated the Browns early last season, but as time progressed, so did the Browns. I would rank the Browns to be at least on equal footing with either team and probably better.

Ergo, I see the Browns going something like 12-5 or 13-4, assuming they stay healthy, and because of the relatively easy schedule, a good number of those games won’t even be close.

I’ll look for you at the games – although it will be from my couch – while watching TV and drinking sugar water as my Browns brown shirt turns orange from the Cheetos.

Hey, one must wipe one’s hands off on something.

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 13, Issue 17, Posted 10:44 AM, 09.08.2021