Reading the morning newswire, one would think that Sir Laurence Olivier was going to start at quarterback for the Browns.
It's that much of a Shakespearean drama.
Steve Doerschuck suggests the presence of a home-field curse that would do the three witches in MacBeth proud. The Plain Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot documents the team's ineffectiveness in the "Puppy Pound" completely enough to make it seem a monumental tragedy of King Lear proportions. News-Herald and Bernie's Insiders Magazine writer Jeff Schudel paints a portrait of Tim Couch that makes me think of the conflicted central character of Hamlet, except that Tim Couch is a lot taller than Mel Gibson.
In case you haven't noticed, I use every opportunity I can find to take a shot at Mel. It's a personal thing. Sorry.
Anyhow, the drama is ratcheted up to ten in the morning wire, but there isn't a lot in the way of new information. It's mostly resets of the events leading up to today's battle at Cleveland Browns Stadium.
Some of the most useful information is, once again, kept off the web via Hal Lebovitz's column. Hal writes this week that Al Davis, who was exposed yesterday on these pages as a Red Lectroid from the 10th Dimension, has been on the warpath about the team's loss against the Chicago Bears. Expect the Raiders to be playing this game like their Super Bowl.
Have you heard that before? Yes... it is exactly what was being said before the Bengals came to town.
Hal also quotes an NFL scout who feels that, despite last week's performance, Kelly Holcomb is still a better quarterback than Tim Couch. The scout spoke to the Oakland Raiders organization, and they feel that Couch still throws the ball sidearm too much, and that some balls can be batted down. Expect the see Raiders linemen making sure that their arms are up as they rush the quarterback.
Hal also offers that the Browns secret in the secondary last week was that they switched away from playing Cover-2 to go with more of a man-to-man approach in the secondary.
On yet another personal note, I won't be at the game today. This will be the second regular-season game I've missed, but some family commitments and bad luck have intervened with my weekend plans, so I won't be there.
I get the feeling that the crowd will be into it today, though, unless the Raiders come out fast and Couch screws up early. Browns fans are as anxious as the team to clear up the fog of doom which seems to hang over the place. Remember, most of the Raiders have to use hearing aids, which they take out before they go onto the field, so you have to be extra loud to pester them.
Oh, and maybe Carmen and crew will have read my Bernies Insiders column and taken my advice not to blast Official Pork Product and Barking Lot announcements at paying fans at ear-shattering levels. Yeah, right.
Be loud, be proud and never give up hope. If there's one thing the last couple of weeks have taught us, it's that the game is never over until the final gun. See you in the chat room later....