IT'S GAMEDAY!!!

Today the Browns are in Baltimore to face the repulsive Baltimore Ratbirds, led by Head Coach Brian Billick (shown here reliving his favorite scenes from "Finding Nemo" while his team was getting pasted by the Steelers). Webmaster Art Bietz offers up a page of useful info, as well as his completely objective and thoroughly analytical view of today's contest.

Cleveland Browns vs. Baltimore Ratbirds
Sept. 14, 2003
1:00PM EST
Ratbird Stadium
Capacity: 69,084

 

Click for Crackmore, MD Forecast

EVENTS AND INFORMATION
Bernie's Insiders chat room is far and away the most popular Browns chat room on the Internet. Completely free, with no registration required, a minimum of nitwits, and frequent visits from the BerniesInsiders.com gang.

Television

CBS Stations

Announcers:
Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman

Will be seen in about 11% of the U.S.
 

Radio

Here is our listing of Browns radio affiliates.

WMMS is the team's flagship station. They seem to still be carrying a free live feed right here. The Browns carry a live NFL feed and charge for it, per a dictate by the NFL. Tell the NFL to stuff its greed and instead support independent and fan-based coverage of Cleveland football.

The Hard Facts
Hot News | Roster | Schedule | Depth Chart | Transactions | Practice Squad / Injured Reserve | Injury Report

Modell is a wanker
 
Morning Reading List

Browns, Ravens have some questions - ABJ

Ravens Have Scores to Settle - Byners Insiders

The Canton Rep's Gameday Thing - Canton Rep

Ravens confident J. Lewis can carry team to first win - Crackmore Sun

Time to deliver the goods - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Browns to See Steady Dose of Lewis - Canton Rep
 

Art's Game Preview

Line: Ratbirds by 2

Here's what matters: The Ratbirds Suck.

There's nothing remotely likeable about this team. Shockingly, I know a number of Rat fans, and they're a decent lot, if a bit mentally scarred by the burden of rationalizing team-swiping.

The team they follow, however, is the most despicable bunch ever to waddle onto an NFL field. Despite a one-off Super Bowl championship led by Ray Lewis and the late-hit posse, and featuring the most inept offense ever to ride coattails to the Lombardi, the team's history has been one of almost-laughable failure and ineptitude. The only thing the team really has going for them, now that Marvin Lewis has found even Washington and the Nati preferable (how embarrassing), is Ozzie Newsome's canny leadership as GM, and Phil Savage's excellent ability to spot talent.

The remainder of the Baltimore Ratbirds maintain an almost legendary pomposity. Brian Billick's head is the size of a watermelon due to the chronic effects of self-adoration, Ray Lewis wants running backs to "fear" him despite his propensity for wearing poofy feathery boas, and now we have Jamal Lewis babbling on about setting an NFL rushing record.

These guys need to be slapped around. Bad.

The Browns have done very well against the Ratbirds in recent years, sweeping them in 2001 and splitting with them in 2002 (almost coming back to beat them in the first game).

I expect Butch Davis to extend his record against the Rats to 4-1 today, primarily due to the Browns superiority at the quarterback position.

Kyle Boller has a couple of things working against him. First off all, he looks more impressive in workouts than on the field. He had less than a 50% completion percentage at Cal, and looked confused in the first game against the Steelers - a team Kelly Holcomb shredded for over 400 yards last time we looked. The Browns do a lot of movement on the line, which should befuddle Boller some more. In addition, he has Brian "The Quarterback Guru" Billick constantly telling him what he needs to do to improve, which will likely result in Boller's head exploding by Week 10.

Look for Kelly Holcomb to adapt to the Cover-2 he saw employed against him by the Colts. Holcomb is bright, over his his first-start jitters, and has too talented a receiver corps to repeat last week's performance.

There are two things that concern me: One is the aforementioned Lewis, who will set an NFL rushing record against us. Oh wait, that's his opinion and he's clearly a dolt.

Still, Lewis will present a handful for the Browns, but I look for him to finish with just over 100 yards today. My bigger concern is actually Todd Heap, who will be matched up against linebackers most of the day, and should be effective if Boller has time to throw him the ball. If the Browns can keep an eye on Heap enough to neutralize him and get some three-and-outs, this game should be winnable.

As you will read in this week's magazine column, I'm giving up trying to predict NFL games. But I'm looking forward to a terrific match-up today. GO BROWNS!!!

- AB


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