Wait 'Till Next Year...or the Year After...or the Year After That...
"I can't, I can't, I can't stand losing" - The Police
Here we are, three days removed from it, and people here in Cleveland are still talking about the Christmas Eve Massacre down at the lakefront. Mercifully, the NFL regular season ends this Sunday, and while about half of the teams still have a fighting shot at the postseason, the Browns players already have their one-way plane tickets punched for home after the Texans game.
(Overheard at last Sunday's massacre, from a drunken Browns fan to some Tampa fans sitting behind us who were cheering exuberantly: "Congratulations for winning the pillow fight, you losers.")
I actually think many of the players had their tickets punched before last week's game, Fan Appreciation Day for the fans at the Stadium. Over 69,000 fans spent part of their Christmas Eve for a team that 1:) Pooch-punted on its opening possession, instead of kicking a 44-yard field goal; 2:) Failed to score an offensive touchdown and threw four interceptions; 3:) Saw top receiver Braylon Edwards suspended for most of the first half for reportedly being late for a team meeting, than drop two passes that Captain Hook could have held onto, and finish with seven more yards than I did for the game; 4:) Allow Tampa to win its first road game of the year, with third-string quarterback and Cleveland native Tim Rattay leading the way.
To make things better, second-string quarterback Derek Anderson injured his shoulder and will miss the finale against Houston. Ken Dorsey will start in his place. Ken Dorsey. Excuse me for a moment while I stab myself in the spleen.
(Intermission, part two: Braylon Edwards, he who had two catches for seven yards Sunday, has his own website, www.braylonedwards.com. I am begging you to go to his site. Watch the intro video. Check out his photo galleries. Listen to the rap song about him, "B-Easy", playing in the background. Then look at his career stats. Even people in the Browns organization are laughing at this. Hey, Braylon? How many games have you played in, bud? And how many have we won? And what have you done to help this team win those handful of games?
The team gave away a bunch of free stuff to random fans. On the video board, one "lucky" fan received a game-worn, and autographed, Braylon Edwards jersey. It was booed quite loudly. One fan even joked that the jersey was probably pretty clean, seeing as how he hardly played Sunday and sure as heck didn't put forth much effort.)
Some time ago I put together a playlist on iTunes that I call my "Browns Losing Music". (You can also insert Cavs, Indians, Buckeyes or your team of choice into the title.) These are some of the songs in my collection that make me contemplate hurling myself off the Valley View bridge or driving my car into the Olentangy. Here's a sampling of some songs (I have 69 total, over 5 hours!) and why they made the cut. If you have any suggestions of more songs, let me know. And yes, I realize I'm too emotionally attached to my teams - it's called being a single, college-aged guy. Deal with it. Anyway:
"100 Years" by Five For Fighting: 100 years. Hmm. Probably the next time a Cleveland team wins a title.
"The Long and Winding Road" by The Beatles: "And still they lead me back..." Paul McCartney sings. Yeah, the Browns led me and 69,000 other fans back to the Stadium last Sunday and that was how we were rewarded.
"I'm A Loser" by The Beatles: Kinda self-explanatory there.
"Life Ain't Always Beautiful" by Gary Allan: Especially if you root for Cleveland teams. Plus, what's a playlist for depressing music without some country?
"The Unforgiven" by Metallic: "New blood joins this earth/And quickly he's subdued/Through constant pain disgrace.../Deprived of all his thoughts/The young man struggles on and on." Basically, any child who grew up in Cleveland after 1964.
"Jumper" by Third Eye Blind: Also self-explanatory.
"Changes" by Tupac: You know what, Tupac? Still I see no changes here, either. Just losing season after losing season.
"Mad World" by Michael Andrews: This song is more famous for being on the "Gears of War" video game ad. Just haunting, absolutely haunting. Kind of like the thought of starting Ken Dorsey at quarterback. I think fans are actually clamoring to have the likes of Todd Philcox, Mike Phipps and Spergon Wynn back. Ken Dorsey...I just threw up on my keyboard thinking about him starting this week. I really don't mind him playing, though - it should just be with the Toronto Argonauts in the CFL or the Berlin Thunder in NFL Europe, that's all.
"What Hurts the Most" by Rascal Flatts: (with apologies to Rascal Flatts) "It's hard to deal with the pain of losing every week/But I'm doin' it/It's hard knowing that the future's always lookin' bleak/Still harder/Gettin' up, gettin' dressed, knowin' that your team's regressed/But I know I can't do it all over/We would trade, give away, all our good players/All that's left are total strangers..."
Needless to say, this will be a very interesting day of football. Will it ever be necessary for me to create a "Browns Winning Music" playlist? We'll save that for another day. For now, let's see if the Browns can win their final pillow fight of the season.