Saturday, January 3, 2015

Vox Lox: Clevelander Hating On Clevelanders

You want opinions and I have five or six. 
You like fresh takes and I write organically. 
You have time and I have white space.

We have all the ingredients for a reader and a column.

But, for the entire '14 NFL season, that battery was zapped of hydrogen and oxygen by the very fan base I humbly serve. I started to dislike you, C-town. If you weren't singeing the Ebola Nurse with vitriolic judgements and threats, then you were sucking the fun out of the Browns' 6-3 start with ludicrous demands for Johnny Manziel. I wrote in my September 4th column that "QB controversies destroy franchises, fan bases and my fondness for football." And, like clockwork, Coach Pettine's eventual cave to Manziel would cause more damage in Cleveland than Ebola ever could.


Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning were can't miss-top picks, immediate starters, Pro-Bowlers and playoff winners within two seasons. They were also drafted fourteen years apart. In between, the first round of the NFL draft yielded Tim Couch, Akili Smith, Cade McNown, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Patrick Ramsey, Kyle Bowler, Rex Grossman, Byron Leftwich, JP Losman, Jason Campbell, Vince Young, (go make yourself a sandwich and I'll be finished with this list by the time you return) Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn, Jamarcus Russell, Josh Freeman, Blaine Gabbert, Jake Locker, Christian Ponder, Brandon Weeden, Tim Tebow, Robert Griffin, and, later, an undersized party animal out of Texas A&M that facilitated his own drafting by texting our recently-fired QB coach. Don't misunderstand: I'm not underestimating the importance of the position and I've obviously cherry-picked over first-rounders like Joe Flacco, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Big Ben, Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford and Cam Newton....but somehow the exception became the consensus fan formula for identifying a Quarterback. 

You're mostly wasting your breath informing Clevelanders that undrafted Tony Romo and Rodgers spent three years in the NFL before becoming starters. Tom Brady, sixth round poster boy, got his chance because of injury. Russell Wilson was a third rounder and the Seahawks made him earn it. Even Drew Brees couldn't crack round one. See, there are many ways to skin the football-kitten, but a legion of front office fuck-ups with BROWNS on their business cards couldn't find fortune no matter the method. You have to wonder if those pathetic Suits, past and present, are simply a fateful extension of our largely-ignorant fan base. Based on our sardonic reaction to a semi-successful bridge-QB from Lakewood, do we even deserve prosperity? 

So this weekend, like always, we'll look with wide-eyed amazement at some other city's stud signal-caller, like pre-botox Courtney Cox in the "Born in the USA" video. But there won't be any smiling hand coming through our television screen, offering to pull us out of our daydream with quirky, rhythmic snapping. No, this year, we already got what we wished for back on draft day...remember


Cowboys (+6) over Packers, 4 Dimes
Colts (+7) over Broncos, 2 Dimes
Patriots (-7) over Ratbirds, 1 Dime
Seahwaks (-11) over Panthers, 1 Dime

Season: 2-2 (even)


Who is the Vox?

SamVox is not a professional handicapper, but a premier one. He has been gambling his entire adult life and has experienced every sickening turn and nasty twist of fate (think Tony Romo, fumbled hold) that occurs during a football season. What distinguishes the Vox is his amazing intuition, astoundingly long memory, attention to detail and preparation, aversion to propaganda and access to the industry's sharpest bettors. He is a two time Pick'Em champion and went 144-125-14 against the spread with his Vox Lox over six seasons for a net profit of over 35 units.