It was deja vu all over again. It seems like every year you can write the same story about the Browns season opener before the game is even played. It goes something like this: Everyone is pumped for the game, the season. Fans are out at the bars/tailgating early. Cleveland is covered in brown and orange. The excitement is at an all time high and everyone is having a great time… until the game starts. Then all that excitement blows up faster than Tom Brady’s knee or Donte Stallworth’s hamstring.
This has to stop. The Browns have opened at home every year since coming back to the NFL in 1999 and have lost every game but one. The lone win coming against the Ravens with Jeff Gracia as our quarterback. It’s ridiculous. I know the Browns haven’t been good in past years but to loss nine of 10 season openers at home is awful. I’m not going to look it up but I think they have been outscored something like 1,649 to 14 in those 10 to games. How do you not get your team ready to play in the first game of the season? Romeo is 0-3 in openers. He hasn’t beat Pittsburgh and he hasn’t won a big game (Cincy last year). The Browns made so many stupid plays and penalties yesterday you can’t help but think it has something to do with the man leading the way. And how do you kick a field goal down 28-7 with 10 minutes to play on a 4th-and-2? I’d say half the people in the stadium left after that call. Awful decision.
To sum up the game; there was more action in the crowd than there was on the field. Several fights broke out between Cowboy fans and Browns fans. (Surprisingly none involving me although I did my best to piss off as many Cowboy fans as I could, including little girls.) It was like being at an Indians game against the Red Sox or Yankees. There were so many Cowboy fans it pissed me off. And some Browns fans were even at the game with Cowboy fans. I would never, ever, everevereverever, take an opposing fan to a Browns game, or and professional sporting event.
As for the game itself, every part of the team where there was question marks during the preseason, those question and be answered with a simple “yes.” As in “yes, we aren’t very good.” Defense, not good. Linebackers, not good. Defensive backs, really not good. Coaching, not good. (How can you have so many illegal shift penalties? Stop running stupid shift formations with Syndric Steptoe and non-90210 Steve Sanders playing their first NFL games.) Offense’s health, not good. (Still don’t understand how you get hurt in pregame warm-ups.) Braylon’s hands, just don’t throw right at them. (Seriously, four drops? Your cut was on your foot, not your hands. I don’t care how long you were out, you should catch the ball. And, Braylon, FYI, you had more than the two drops you admitted too.)
OK, that’s enough. We all saw the game and all saw how much it sucked. Realistically, I don’t think many of us thought the Browns would win. With the tough opening two week schedule, going 1-1 would be a major plus. If the Browns can beat the Steelers next week, then no one will even talk about the Cowboys game again.
But yesterday wasn’t all bad. I went to the game with GFB, GFB-2, and GFD, or BIL-1, BIL-2 and FIL. We got to this exclusive, private tailgate party hosted by Miller Lite thanks to GFB’s buddy. Free food, free beer and Eric Metcalf. That’s right. The Eric Metcalf of “Metcalf up the middle for no gain” fame. He was there at the party signing autographs. (So was Reggie Langhorn and Leory Kelly, but who cares about a No. 2 wide receiver and a HOFer when there is Eric ‘Freakin’ Metcalf in the house.) Getting Metcalf’s autograph was almost worth the horrible show I was about to witness.
Here is Metcalf and I. And no, that isn’t a security guard outfit Eric is wearing.
The day could have been worse. We could have been the Detroit Lions and lose to Atlanta by 55 points.