Sunday, December 11, 2011

Vox Lox (14)

Yes, you are reading that correctly. "Playoff Picture," "Browns," & "In the Hunt" all in the same graphic!! Wacky, I know...but the image was not doctored. That's an ESPN screen shot from one year ago, when the 5-7 Brownies were actually playing a meaningful football game in Week 14. Never mind that we wouldn't win again in 2010. At the time, after victories versus the Saints and Pats plus the heartbreaker against the Jets, there was reason to believe we had an outside chance at the big dance if Man-genius could run the December-table as he did in 2009. Now, I ask you humbled Browns fan, what would our current record be had Shurmur faced New Orleans, New England, and New York instead of Indianapolis, Seattle, and Jacksonville? Furthermore, how badly have the Browns underachieved considering we didn't face a quality NFL team for the first eleven weeks of the season? We were set up to make a playoff run this year with a weak schedule, a solid defense, a powerful runner hungry for a big contract, and the best quarterback we've had since Jeffrey Jason Garcia. And it all went to shit.

If you've been reading this column since week 1 (and judging by the numbers, you haven't), you know I declared "open season" on Pat Shurmur and Mike Holmgren after our inexcusable week one loss to Cincinnati. You may have quickly relegated me to dumb-fan status; just another blog jerkoff with that oh-so-dangerous-and-irresponsible combination of a bad idea & a laptop. Yet, in hindsight, my statements were hardly outrageous or overreactive. I simply saw what we all saw-- a clueless coach and an unprepared team; the ugly scene on opening day was a microcosm of this pathetic season. Look, I don't pretend to understand football at a high level. I don't even possess the knowledge of a junior high school coach. As the old cliche goes, Mike Holmgren forgot more than I will ever know. But having supported the Browns for nearly three decades, including the miserable failings of the last thirteen years, I know a little something about NFL politics, arrogance, and glory-hunters. And when Holmgren dragged in a rookie, agent-sharing coach on nobody's radar, and then gave him carte blanche on offense...well, you don't have to have a firm grasp of the west coast offense to figure out that Big Show wanted a marionette coaching our team. Hey, you can't spell Holmgren without E, G, O.

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Bengals (-3) over Texans, 1 dime
Titans (+3.5) over Saints, 1 dime
Cowboys (-3.5) over Giants, 1 dime

Last week: 2-1 (+1 dime)
Season: 24-17-3 (+8 dimes)