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The Mistake by the Lake

Brady Quinn

In the past four years, I have bemoaned the fact that I was forced to watch the Seattle Seahawks on a weekly basis. Perhaps because there are starving children in Africa who don’t get to watch any NFL games, God has decided to punish me by moving me 75 miles southwest of Cleveland, a.k.a. “The Mistake By The Lake” – where I am subjected to Cleveland Browns games every week.

It could very well be argued that the Browns are the worst team in the NFL. The Raiders have hope that Darren McFadden will eventually be a superstar. The Chiefs have a quarterback who nearly led a team to the playoffs last year. The Rams have Steven Jackson. The Lions have an exciting trio of play-makers on offense. Even the Buccaneers have won a championship in the last seven years.

The Browns, however, traded their two best offensive players (Kellen Winslow and Braylon Edwards), have a which-quarterback-is-less-awful controversy and have an aging Jamal Lewis at running back. The only exciting player on the team, Josh Cribbs, wants out. There are absolutely, positively, zero signs of life in Cleveland.

Which brings us to Monday night, November 16.

They play against the city that stole their team away. Normally, this would be a time for the city to unite against the villains who robbed them of their beloved Browns for three years. Instead, fans are  just hoping that the loss isn’t a complete blowout.

Cleveland Browns Fan

Enough said.

One season ticket holder has had enough. “Dawg Pound” Mike Randall is encouraging season ticket holders to stay away from their seats at the beginning of the game. His hope is that football fans across the country, will tune in to the opening kickoff – and see an empty stadium. The message will be loud and clear – Cleveland fans are tired of losing.

Surely, Browns owner Randy Lerner and the NFL will attempt to foil the protest. Perhaps Lerner will stage a pre-game giveaway to get fans in the stands. Maybe the NFL will instruct ESPN not to show any shots of the empty stadium.

It’s about time for a fan revolt in Cleveland. Browns fans are tired of being Bill Murray in “Ground Hog Day,” where every season seems the same as the last. A 10-6 record in 2007 did nothing  more than tease the fans into dreaming of a competitive team before sending them back to scouting the NFL draft in October.

The fan protest is something everyone can support. We spend too much time, money and emotion on the teams we love. Even if we don’t care about the Browns’ franchise, we know what it’s like to root for an awful team. I was a Colts fan in the early 90’s. I remember drafting Jeff George. I remember rooting for the only team in NFL history to have both the first AND second picks in a draft, only to come away with not one, but two busts (Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt). And so Cleveland fans, I know where you’re at. Maybe you’ll find your own Peyton Manning. But until management finds him, let them know that you’re not going to rest until things turn around.

The peasants in Cleveland are rising up. And it’s about time.

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  1. dwdowning619
    October 30, 2009 at 12:13 PM

    A running diary of me reading this post

    1:10 – Looks like the cover for BrokenQuarterBack Mountain
    1:11 – The Raiders have hope? McFadden has a been a bust. The team should actually use Run DMC at QB and just “Wildcat” every single play … if you’re gonna lose, you might as well lose
    1:12 – And I’m done … too bad I’m a fast reader. Actually, I do like the idea of fan boycotts, etc … but they must be reasonable and well-organized. A better idea would be to avoid the bathrooms the whole game and just go in the stands … or on the field if you are JaMarcus Russell.

  2. recoveringhumanity
    October 30, 2009 at 1:59 PM

    Though not original with me, I agree with the idea that the Ravens should wear their retro uniforms like other team have this season. This might allow Browns fans to feel that things are not as bad as they seem, even if it’s just for one brief manufactured moment.

  3. kmldog777
    November 5, 2009 at 1:21 PM

    Due to my selection to particpate in this contest,(aka-A crappier jungle smackoff) it should be of no surprise my first comment would be on Mr. Miller’s blog. It is not a mystery that I have boycotted this website since the time my speech was infringed upon by deleting my comment on Mr. Miller’s ridiculous article on college football’s bowl system being good for all. This was dissapointing, and despite Ben’s facebook sending a request to join Not in Hd every three days for the past 6 months, I have refused. In honor of our first amendment, my boy voltaire, and my one sided rivalry with Mr. Miller I have made my stand. Following this contest I will once again fade into the limelight. None-the-less I will put aside my disgust for the week and compete against my fellow fantasy rivals. I thought the best place to start would be once again on a Mr. Miller’s article. It will probably be deleted again, but in case it isn’t I would argue it is as bad as his fantasy football team. In the history of sports have fans ever made an adequate stand that we want to be winners? The leader of the Dawg Pound is John Thompson, which I only know because he is suing EA sports; but if anyone is going to get something to happen it would be him and not “Mike Randall?”. There is not much to say, cause this article is pretty worthless, the Browns are bad; so are the Clips, Pirates and Raiders. It is what it is. Maybe if Mr. Miller makes the drive 75 minutes northeast on november 16th to talk about how he stood hand in hand in the protest I will be impressed.

  4. stewmanji
    November 8, 2009 at 2:16 PM

    Why are Clevelanders so sad. It looks like you guys are going to get some casinos pretty soon which means you should be able to drown your sorrows in slots and blackjack. Also, if Cleveland knows how bad the Browns are, why don’t they go to Vegas and drop a couple of grand against the Browns and at least break even with the fact that the Browns suck but you have cash in your pocket.

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