Sunday, November 24, 2013

Freedom '13: Reaching the breaking point with the Browns

Just say no!
Today's game against that bullying big brother known as the Steelers may be the one that makes Browns' Sundays just another day of the week for many people. Instead of watching the un-killable Brandon Weeden start against the Jaguars next weekend, folks may take the time to winterize the car, paint the den, or visit the new atrium at the art museum; it's supposed to be very nice. 

Breaking up with the 2013 Browns doesn't make you disloyal, it makes you smart. Reports from FirstEnergy Stadium  had perhaps 60,000 people at today's game. Next week's meaningless contest against Jacksonville may have 30,000 empty seats, and if that transpires I would say, "Huzzah." 

As much as Cleveland is touted as a football town, maybe we're no longer just a gaggle of gormless Gomer Pyles grinning moronically at whatever turdburger this sorry franchise can dish out. Rows of ass-less seats would at least send ownership a message that we fans aren't complete schmucks. Even better, a  nice TV blackout would save us from three wasted hours watching a sad-making war of attrition between two putrid clubs.

It's difficult to even expend the energy to be mad at the Browns. There have been times when such losses as today's would have a cast a pall over my entire Monday. Now it's all boredom and weary disgust. While last week's pasting at Cincinnati was somewhat flukish -even if it was a typically Brownsian effort in finding a new way to lose - today was a good ol' fashioned grind-it-out defeat, the kind of dominating inter-division failure we have become accustomed to.

Truthfully, I bailed on the game after two quarters and change. My breaking point was 20-3, an insurmountable mountain of a point differential that these Browns had no chance of scaling. Shutting off the game wasn't exactly a freeing experience, but my icy apathy may have cracked if I'd stuck around to watch the nauseous spin of Terrible Towels, a site seen on the lakefront a dozen times too often since '99.

Now as the schedule enters that well-known final stretch where draft discussion supersedes playoff hopes, there are not many reasons to actively watch this team outside of misplaced devotion. I'd suggest fans to do the blasphemous and skip next week's game entirely. Call it a test run. See how it feels to be free of the Browns' clutches for one week, then evaluate whether or not you miss the mental equivalent of having your intestines pulled through your nostrils.

Fans should not have to put up with such pointless pain every year. Freedom from agony can be had at the simple push of a TV remote's "off" button. It's all up to us.