I want to care, I really, really do by Big $ follow@northcoastposse
I need to start off by saying that I have spent my entire life supporting each and every Cleveland franchise through thick and thin (and I’m talking “Travis Benjamin’s ankles” thin). As a kid, I was obsessed with the Alex Cole-era Indians. As a grown man, I lived and died with the Joey Graham Cavs. For the life of me though, I am having a near-impossible time finding a reason to care about the Orange-er era Browns. I expect losses and have rid my fantasy team of everything Cleveland (yes, my Browns allegiance has led to some terrible fantasy finishes). Even as my passion fades on the surface, I still know that each Sunday my eyes will be glued to the t.v. (or if in Columbus, my ears to the app). So with that said, I have to drum up some personal investment to keep these 3-hour engagements from being as meaningless as they are disappointing.
So my plan is to exorcise some demons through a rant on who I believe are the “5 J’s” of my Browns frustration, rest during the bye week and come back somewhat refreshed and with a glimmer of interest* in the future of professional football in Cleveland. (*Hope is too lofty a goal.)
With that said, let me embark on what I hope to be a cathartic run down of the 5 J’s. My interest would definitely be fast tracked if any combination of these “J’s” exited the Browns
Johnny: Ok, even I’m sick of how much I dislike this guy. However, any way I slice it, I just don’t like this guy. Off the field, he appears to be an insufferable, spoiled prick who lacks self- awareness. On the field he’s a vertically challenged, riverboat gambler who is not capable of making a read past his 1st option. Teams will be more than happy to give up useless quick slants in man to man, because they know at least once per game Johnny is going to turn the ball over under duress. Once he completes a few, the switch to zone will leave Johnny in the pocket looking like a 2nd grader who lost his parents at Sears. Also, I highly doubt his frail frame will allow him to finish off the end of season run that has his fan base so pumped. The over/under on when a concussion or rib injury sidelines him is two games.
Joe Thomas: I can almost hear the collective gasps as I dare blaspheme in such a manner. I’ve seen the gif’s which highlight his above average pass-blocking skills. When dude is on, he is a technique freak. However, I’ve also witnessed grass stains on his back a whole bunch this year. Joe T. is also a lynch pin of the unit responsible for guiding the Browns run offense. How’s that going? I can’t possibly fathom what value an 8 year OT on the decline adds to a team who is so far away from being competitive. Full disclosure, I’ve been anti–Joe since draft day. It’s my belief that if a team, organization, or company is willing to invest millions of dollars in you, you show up, shake hands, hold up jerseys etc. I thought the fishing excursion was an exercise in smugness. I’m pretty sure Joe could have found time for family trips once his name was on the dotted line.
Jimmy Haslam: I’m no Farmer or Haslam fan, but I find ol’ Jimbo to be the person most responsible for the debacle we are witnessing. It’s he who decided to pair a first time G.M. with a first time coach with the extra bonus being that they had zero rapport. Not only that, these two knuckleheads were surrounded by a bunch of other novices. It shouldn’t take a genius, let alone an owner who spent time with the Steelers organization, to realize this strategy had some serious holes in it. Jimmy is pretty good at being handed valuable things from his daddy and staying rich, not too sure building successful organizations is in his wheelhouse.
Justin Gilbert: Do I really need to elaborate?
Josh Gordon: Ah, the forgotten J. This offense was humming along with a solid hometown boy at the helm, then Cheech came back to town. His talent does not override his distraction. Maybe the Fred Martin Superstore can ink him to a multi-year deal peddling Elantra’s, saving The Browns from being further cursed.
Ok, I feel a bit better. I plan on kicking back and enjoying the bye week as we have OSU/MSU and the Survivor Series (go K.O.) to serve as a distraction to professional football in Cleveland. Plus, Duke Johnson Jr. seems pretty cool.