Sunday, December 16, 2012

Browns fail to seize the moment in loss against 'Skins

No amount of ass-kissing will save you now, Pat.
The Cleveland Browns had a chance to turn a corner today. The team had a three-game win streak in its pocket and a home game against a pretty good Redskins' team missing its franchise quarterback.

This was a statement-making game; the kind that shouts "seize the moment!!" to a fanbase that hasn't had a reason to be this excited in a long time. As is their wont, the Browns did not seize the moment - in fact the moment eluded Cleveland's grasp like an opposing quarterback running the same damned play-action bootleg again and again.

The 38-21 defeat was just so typical of this franchise: Give your fans a glimmer of hope that you're finally climbing out of your deep hole of non-contention, then promptly dash those hopes like candle in a hurricane. If the Browns are adept at anything, it's sucking the life out of their supporters.

If nothing else, today's game will provide a moment of clarity for Jimmy Haslam and the new ownership group. They may see the previous three wins not as signs of progress but as an illusion created by two really bad teams and another absent its Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

Indeed, the embarrassing defeat may be the final spark that ignites the wholesale changes rumored to be swirling about this team since Haslam handed the check to previous owner Randy Lerner. Right now, our quarterback, general manager and coaching staff are about as safe as a promiscuous camp counselor in a slasher flick. Haslam might sweep the lot of them out the door.

It's a shame, because the last three weeks in Browns Town have had that elusive quality known as "fun." Fans dropped the cynicism they wear like a protective suit of armor, espousing dewy-eyed, crazy-in-love dreams about Coach Pat Shurmur finally "getting it" and other such beautiful nonsense.

The Redskins scotched those hopes this afternoon in what Shurmur called a "team loss." It's likely that today's goose egg will result in this team's front office looking very different come 2013.