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Thank you. Now, on with the silliness...
You will have to excuse Rumor Central for being absent during a superbly ludicrous week in Cleveland Browns rumor-mongering.
I have a legitimate excuse, though. See, I was in my basement sulking and occasionally absorbing my beloved Bushmills after the Browns lost in the last seconds to the Baltimore Ravens. For some reason, this horrible season has really knocked me for a loop more than previous horrible seasons.
Well, that’s not exactly true. My basement and man cave were wrecked during a flood in 2007 and I don’t go down there much. It’s just a bunch of empty concrete floors now. My basement is more metaphorical these days, and really means I was staring at my computer screen for hours trying to work up the energy to write about the awful and depressing Cleveland Browns. I started and threw away about a half-dozen columns on my Browns-related despair.
If there’s anything that could get me to emerge again, it’s watching the mainstream media pick up and run with a clearly limp rumor on Urban Meyer going to the Cleveland Browns.
The rumor started on a bro-tastic website called “Chatsports”, which you know is totally legit because it has “hottest sports fan” galleries scattered all over and has “job openings” for people who like to write for free.
Like every Browns story, it was picked up immediately in the Watercooler, where folks were just a tad skeptical and came up just as quickly in Ask the Insiders, where Lane Adkins promptly threw cold water all over it.
Showing less critical thinking than Browns fans, ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption promptly vomited the rumor up to their mass audience, mentioning the blog site’s name on the air, and making arguments about why it could be true. Likewise, Advance Digital (the same folks who run Cleveland.com) featured the rumor in an entirely straight-faced way on their NJ.com site.
So, is it real?
Of course not.
This morning, Meyer himself had to dispel the rumor, telling the Columbus Dispatch via a school release that he has “no interest whatsoever in any other position”.
Meyer has it made in Columbus, where he’s aiming to reload the Buckeyes after potentially sending a record number of first-round draft choices to the NFL. While the Browns may be willing to back up a Brink’s Truck for any top coach interested in taking on the moribund franchise, competing with Ohio State’s bankroll and positioning would be an immeasurably difficult task.
While Meyer hasn’t definitively ruled out the NFL as a possibility down the road, this hopefully puts an end to what will be the first of many crazy rumors about what the Browns will do this off-season.
Personally, now that I’m back in action, I think I’m going to crank up a Nick Saban-to-Browns rumor based on my sources in Strongsville’s real estate market. It’s all about the page views, after all.