Thoughts on the Browns: Beating the Bungles, Road Trippin’ to Indy

How good has this guy looked the past few weeks? I’m lovin’ it.

Long time no talk, as has unfortunately become the norm. I solemnly swear that some day this will be my job and I will be able to post interesting things daily for all of my adoring fans. School and other things have gotten in the way of my ability to share every fleeting thought I have (there’s way too many of them everyday) about the situation of the sports organizations in our fair city. I recently followed the I-480 bridge on twitter, and you should too if you don’t, because it is hilarious. Anyway, the Brownies picked up big win numero uno last weekend. The highlights are here in case you missed this glorious day (and if you missed the link, click on the word “here”). Me and my roommate were in a local bar with some Bengals fans, because people here in Louisville all root for Cincinnati in everything, which is annoying. We probably made way too much noise and were likely also annoying, but upon further review it was all necessary and completely reasonable.

I’d like to first mention that what I have been talking about all season, partially due to my bias for this man, is that the return of Joe Haden is a huge reason that the Browns took this one. Joe played like a man possessed as we may have expected him to, and having him check A.J. Green allowed for Sheldon Brown and Buster Skrine to slide back into what they do better. Both of those guys (particularly Brown) played exceptionally well and made Dalton look foolish on many occasions. With that, it is safe to say that Cleveland not only split the Battle of Ohio, but we split the first annual Battle of the Ginger Quarterbacks. How does THAT feel, Cincinnati?

Here’s a few (take “few” with a grain of salt) more notes on last week’s game and this past week:

– Joe Haden’s back. Go buy a Lockdown Joe tee at

– Read this earlier in the week: T-Rich will be wearing a flack jacket this week at Indy, but should be good to go. On the same note, seeing Hardesty get some extended action was encouraging. He got downhill quickly and moved the chains. Nice option behind Richardson. Also, I seriously thought for a while that a “flank” muscle was one of those muscles that only Trent has that normal humans don’t (they exist, don’t be naive).

– Using next year’s 2nd-rounder in this year’s supplemental draft on Josh Gordon is looking pretty stinkin’ good right now. What will be interesting to see in the rest of this season is how defenses adjust to the fact that Gordon has now burned opposing teams for 2 long TDs. OC Brad Childress talked about it earlier this week, and it’s definitely something to pay attention to. One would think they would pay a little more attention on the outside. Travis Benjamin is on the mend as well, and the two of them could pose some serious threats to any secondary.

– Last post included a Weeden Watch, so here’s this week’s edition to officially make it a thing: Weeds was the superior ginger, and made Dalton look like the rookie. As he settles in and gains chemistry with the weapons he has (yes I said WEAPONS on OFFENSE, hope you were sitting down when you read that), his performance overall is only going to improve. Mo Mass and Benjamin getting back to full health will only expedite this. In case you somehow still miss Colt McCoy, at least Republican VP hopeful Paul Ryan still had him on his mind when he told Weeden he did a good job during his time at Texas (campaign trail gaffs, gotta love em).

Rumblin’ Bumblin’ Stumblin’

-We already covered the defensive backs excelling with the return of Joe Haden, but some other good news on that side of the ball is that Ahtyba Rubin is on the mend. Despite being pieced together differently every week, the defensive unit has performed relatively well. This is especially true because of the newcomers the Browns have had to rely on in the likes of LJ Fort, James-Michael Johnson, Craig Robertson, Billy Winn, and others. Speaking of Winn, how quick and agile was that run after the fumble recovery? Take a peek at that sleek machine on the left.

– Josh Cribbs has not lost his mind in the return game. He turned in a good performance and looked dangerous as usual. I would hate to see Cribbs go out due to lack of productivity, because he’s a fan favorite and we all love him.

– The Jimmy Haslam era is officially underway, and of course it started with a win. This guy’s a winner, and a main reason why Pilot gas stations will be a frequent stop for me on trips up and down I-71 from this point forward. I’m ecstatic to see what he will bring to the team as an owner, and look forward to having a more visible owner with a higher profile. It was awesome to read about the conversations he has already had with guys like Bob Kraft. Hearing that he got a round of applause from the owners after his unanimous approval is even cooler. There’s nothing to hold against Randy Lerner. He made hires that he thought were going to better the franchise, and quite frankly they all blew up in his face. It was time for new ownership, and this week we’ve already seen the shake-up begin with the departure of Mike Holmgren and the arrival of Joe Banner. Time will tell, but the fact that Condoleezza Rice and Paul Ryan have already been to a practice tells me Haslam is big time and will do what it takes to get the franchise on the track it needs to be on. Having a background with the Rooney’s and Pittsburgh can only help. As much as we all hate them, their organization is remarkably consistent and a model for the league.

That does it for my long-winded list of thoughts from the past week. I’ve been bottling all of my excitement up after that great win. I don’t know about you, but my mood this week has been better just knowing that this team finally put it together and got a W. This turns our thoughts to this Sunday, when my Cleveland dudes here at UofL and I will make the short trek up to Indianapolis to watch Weeden remind Andrew Luck who won last year’s Fiesta Bowl en route to win number two. Be sure to follow my Twitter account on Sunday for pictures and mindless updates on our road trip. This will be the first ever Cleveland event actually attended by yours truly since the creation of Believing Since 1999, so you’re in for a treat on Twitter and in the post following the Indy game (I think).

Since I’ve already written plenty and desperately wish that I had this kind of motivation for my numerous school papers that are about to all be due within days of each other, I’ll wrap it up with this week’s Believing Since 1999 prediction for Sunday’s game vs. the Colts: Dawson knocks down a 51-yarder, Weeden finds Gordon again, adds in another with a red zone strike to Watson, and Richardson racks up 100+ with a goal-line score. Luck will find Fleener once for a score, and they’ll do some Stanford thing that nobody else gets cause they’re all nerdy weirdos in Palo Alto. Haden will pick him off once as well. That’s gonna be it for the Colts offense, and if my math is right, that will add up to a 24-7 Browns win in front of the University of Louisville Browns Fan Club of America (ULBFCA for short).

Stay tuned. We’re about to put on for Cleveland on Sunday. Our contingent is comprised of my two Cleveland guys (Medina to be specific), one of their Cleveland guys, and a Colts fan that we decided could come with (he’ll be dealing with a mix of Browns decals, car flags, and Cleveland Rocks on the way down). We paid WAY too much for those upper deck seats, but we don’t care at all and are going to use the opportunity to the fullest (hurts so good, StubHub). Also, I feel like we should all wear skirts because the game will be played inside, but I guess you can’t have everything. Looking forward to seeing a new stadium.

Go Browns.


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