Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

Veruca Salt is clearly a Browns fan

I want you to get me an Oompa Loompa right away!

I wanted to be the first to find a Golden Ticket, Daddy!

I want it now! What’s the matter with those twerps down there?

***

We were surprised – even though we shouldn’t be – at the level of acidity in the comments being thrown at the Browns today in the wake of Sunday’s loss to the Ravens.

Which leads us to a simple question: have you been watching the Browns this year?

While we’re not happy with the record or the performance on Sunday, we were more upset with the loss to the Rams, as that is a team the Browns are better than (or at least equal to).

But against the AFC North? This team isn’t good enough to win in the division.

But that’s nothing new, or at least nothing new since 1999.

The Browns have been abysmal against division foes since returning, be it the AFC North or the old AFC Central. This year they are 0-3, losing by an average of 9 points per game.

That fits into what they’ve done every year since 1999:

  • 1999: 1-9 in the division, average loss by 17.2 points per game
  • 2000: 2-8, average loss by 23.2 points
  • 2001: 5-5, average loss by 11 points
  • 2002, 3-3, average loss 3.7 points
  • 2003, 2-4, average loss 17.3 points
  • 2004, 2-4, average loss 12.3 points
  • 2005, 1-5, average loss 16.8 points
  • 2006, 0-6, average loss 13.7 points
  • 2007, 3-3, average loss 11.7 points
  • 2008, 1-5, average loss 15.4 points
  • 2009, 1-5, average loss 14.4 points
  • 2010, 1-5, average loss 13.8 points

If anything, the current team is just carrying on a dubious tradition laid down by their predecessors. And those numbers from the past few years pokes a big hole in the myth that this team was “competitive.”

For every fluke win over New England, there is a corresponding beat down by the Steelers. For every surprise Monday night win over the Giants, we get a shutout loss to the Bengals.

That’s Browns football.

And just as its going to take a bit more time for general manager Tom Heckert to fix the mistakes of his predecessors – and there were a lot – it’s going to take this franchise time to learn how to win in the toughest division in the NFL.

“I think it’s just like everything you do,” coach Pat Shurmur said in his Monday news conference. “You just keep plugging ahead and this thing will turn when we least expect it. We just keep pushing. You just keep pushing. Again, I saw some eyes roll in here, so I can tell that maybe doesn’t sink in real well. But, I will say this all you do is keep pushing. I don’t have the memory of what’s happened before. I do know this though, I’ve been around teams that have won and have built winners. You just be patient.”

The Browns are not going to win until they can win consistently within the division. And they are not going to consistently win within the division until they get some better talent on the field.

Browns fans have been patient seemingly forever, what’s a few more years if it means the team finally gets in right?

***

First off, God doesn’t care who wins a football game. We’ve understood that for a long time, although there are still people who struggle with that concept.

Having said that, we admit to being puzzled by what is going on with Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.

Tebow’s ongoing and seemingly unexplainable success led us to post a question on Twitter during the Browns game:

Why does Tebow’s God like him more than McCoy’s God likes the Browns quarterback?

***

Finally, we recently read a short article in Sports Illustrated about St. John’s football coach John Gagliardi, who has coached the team for 63 years.

The article talked about how Gagliardi has had success – an NCAA-record 484 wins and four national titles – by treating his players with respect.

Further proof that you don’t have to be a douche bag to be a good football coach.

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4 thoughts on “Veruca Salt is clearly a Browns fan

  1. The Browns will not compete until they get it right and stick with something. It is not possible to hire ANYONE and turn this around in a year or two. Not with the Browns roster, no way. The team has gaping holes in need of starters, period. We're looking at years of successful drafts just to get starters in place, then they have to build depth.

    The reason the Ravens/Steelers don't ever seem to have to rebuild is because those teams are established. Every time the Browns turn-over the front office, they're hitting the reset button. The team is an expansion team that's never been given a chance to get off the ground.

    Unfortunately, I would have rather stuck it out with Mangini than this Shurmur guy. I was excited at the beginning of the year when I heard the players talking and saw Thomas sign-up long term. I don't know what happened, though. What a train wreck.

  2. Agree.

    As much as it hurts to say it, the team needs time. There's no way they undo years of bad decisions and reboots of the team in just a year or two.

    Holmgren better be taking notes so he can sit down with Shurmur after the season is over and go over what went wrong this year and work out a plan to get it going next season.

  3. jhf44lk on said:

    Another great article! I felt the worst after the Rams game then I have in long time. I watched the whole Ravens game (I live in Charlotte and to my surprise they were on National tv)for the first time since the opener. I hate to see them lose anytime, but they gave up a lot of big plays against the Ravens and did not make any big plays. The Ravens are better right now but you are right, this will take some time and I am good with that. I still think Colt is going to be ok if he survives this season. Bill Livingston is wrong and time will reveal all things.

  4. Charlotte, huh? My father in law lives in Cary and we love visiting him in the summer. Gives us a chance to visit the beach for a few days plus just love the Carolinas.

    Now I want sweet tea and BBQ!

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