Here we are Browns fans. The season is upon us. We have the same chance as everyone else to be a playoff team (as a Browns fan Super Bowl team is not even in my vocabulary) but why not us? Why can’t this year be our year? I keep asking myself why we can’t get a couple lucky bounces- okay a lot of lucky bounces. Maybe play a couple teams that overlook us; who knows? If we can’t dream now when we are all even chances are we won’t be able to dream later.
Browns vs. Vikings week one you have a 39 year old quarterback who’s been known to throw picks for no other reason but to say hey, my name is Brett Favre, I’m a gunslinger, girls over forty love me. You have a coach Brad Childress when watching him coach actually makes you think that Romeo will get another job (girls over forty do not dig him). It’s a dream. It could happen any given Sunday. Look at the Dolphins from last year who went from 1-15 the previous season to 11-5. It could happen. Anything is possible.
So I woke up after the win against Favre’s Vikings and started thinking; how did an under average team such as the Dolphins manage to go 11-5 with a quarterback (Chad Pennington) who makes Brady Quinn’s arm look like Jake Cutler’s, with a best receiver in Ted Ginn who is five foot ten and can’t run routes, with one of their running backs (Ricky Williams)that is so high on weed he makes “The Dude” look like The Pope. A defensive line that lost its best player (Jason Taylor) etc… you get the point. They were not exactly the Cowboys of the nineties.
Then it dawned on me. The Dolphins didn’t go into any game saying, “Hey, we are better than them, we are going to beat them on both sides of the ball and dominate the game”. Rather Tony Sparano told his team, “We are going to do everything in our power to win this football game, to gain an extra yard and to gain any advantage possible”. Sparano created the wildcat not because it was the most technically sound way to play the game of football, but just because it gave him a chance for his team to get an edge. With out-of-the-box coaching and a mentality that we will do anything to win(and with the testicular fortitude to buck the status quo) they surprised and shocked the NFL.
So Eric, what do you think? Do you have it in you? Do you think you could throw out all your “there is a right and wrong way to play to the game philosophy”, to give the Browns a chance to win a football game? Do not get me wrong, I would love to see a Brown’s team that can beat teams up, win games on pure talent, and football smarts alone. Just this Browns team doesn’t have the personnel to win like that.
Now I know what you all are thinking. Don’t we want to build a team on technically sound football even if we have to wait a couple years to be good? Would you not rather see a technically sound 6-10 Browns team that looks like if we added a couple of fixer uppers we could (gulp?) make the playoffs, or (double gulp??) win a playoff game? The answer is yes, that’s the dream for the city of Cleveland. Let us start dreaming anew not like we are always building for the future Clevelanders, but like the winners we all deserve to be. Just because the rest of the NFL thinks we’re a bunch of losers doesn’t mean we have to play like one. On the contrary, it will show us and teach the players something that is surely needed, the “we will do anything to win and gain any advantage no matter how big or small” mentality. In my opinion there is nothing better to teach than that- to have an organization that runs on these principles. More often than not organizations that run on these principles (i.e.Patriots, Steelers), win now and our power houses for years to come by playing and doing anything to win a game. Take the Steelers win in the Super bowl against the Seahawks. The biggest play in the game was a trick play that saw WR Antoine Randle-El throw a touchdown pass to WR Hines Ward, so in a game in which they were outplayed they managed to win because they had a coach who did anything possible to get a victory. The coach all us Browns fans coveted; a guy by the name of Bill Cowher.
So dream with me Browns fans. Let us dream that this is the year we turn into a city of winners. Let us say NO to anyone who says the word building block, or that we are rebuilding (Mark Shapiro). We can dream of a team that plays and cares to win as much as we do. Here is my rage to anybody who believes that building for the future is more important than winning football games now. To anybody in the Browns organization who believes that winning is somewhere in the future, and tries to convince us that we have a grand master plan. So let us dream Browns fans. Let us dream that dreams is not all that we have left. GO BROWNS