I ooze confidence. I am a Browns' fan who believes in The Plan. When I spill milk, I laugh.
I live inside a silver lining drinking from a glass that is always half full and I believe that all is swell as pie. One time I lost my mind but it made me happy because I knew where to find a better one. I am a Browns' fan with confidence. Okay, I've lost my mind more than once.
Four more starters were injured. Any time a starter on this team is replaced by somebody else, the new player has a chance to be better than the guy who contributed to the 4-9 record, so clearly this is great news.
The offensive line will soon include Joe the landscaper and Ralphie, that tough-looking guy that works in the deli. It doesn't get any better than that. I mean it.
Meanwhile, every other team in the entire NFL already has at least 43 wins, most of them against the Browns. A dramatic finish to the season is shaping up - it will be super-duper exciting for fans of those other teams. But I ooze confidence – I have a remote control, and I know how to find the fishing shows, the Oprah Channel, and that cable-access show, "Grass Grows, Paint Dries." It's a great time to be a Browns' fan.
VIKINGS AT BEARS – When Kordell Stewart threw three interceptions last week, Bears' fans found out that he really can live up to the hype. So now the Bears opt for rookie hype by starting Rex Grossman, and rookie hype can be even more dangerous than Kordell hype. Vikings 23, Bears 19.
49ERS AT BENGALS – If you score 50 points one week and the next week you get to play the Bengals, you should be happy. But this year's Bengals are different, and last weeks' 50 points for San Francisco came against the Cardinals, so it doesn't count. Bengals 29, 49ers 10.
FALCONS AT COLTS – Dan Reeves just got treated like he's Bud Carson, and something is wrong with that. Falcons 30, Colts 28.
LIONS AT CHIEFS – There's nothing like a game against the Lions to improve your standing in those persnickety power-ranking polls. Chiefs 41, Lions 21.
JAGUARS AT PATRIOTS – Last week, Patriots' fans had so much fun tossing snow in the air that snow vendors are set up around the stadium because the NFL knows a marketing opportunity when it sees one. Patriots 29, Jaguars 13.
STEELERS AT JETS – The high hope that began the season for these two teams have been scaled down to dreams that each can beat it's pathetic opponent. Jets 23, Steelers 20.
SEAHAWKS AT RAMS – After getting early Christmas presents from Kelly Holcomb on Monday night, Aeneas Williams intercepts two more passes because he just realized it's fun. Rams 30, Seahawks 20.
TEXANS AT BUCCANEERS – When Warren Sapp landed after leaping one inch off the ground to catch a touchdown pass last week, scientists studied Richter scale readings. Buccaneers 24, Texans 3.
BROWNS AT BRONCOS – I wish Butch Davis would've known about Clinton Portis before he was drafted. Although the Browns let Portis run for 296 yards, they win because Tim Couch throws passes like he thinks he needs a raise, not a job. Browns 28, Broncos 14.
COWBOYS AT REDSKINS – On the same day he received his first social security check, Bruce Smith set the NFL sack record, proving that some seniors can remain productive members of society. Cowboys 20, Redskins 10.
PANTHERS AT CARDINALS – In fairness, the commissioner's office mandates that the Panthers must count to "five Mississippi" before rushing the quarterback. Panthers 100, Cardinals 2.
PACKERS AT CHARGERS – As the game starts, Marty Schottenheimer can't find a coin to flip so no one really knows who will be his starting quarterback. It doesn't matter. Packers 30, Chargers 13.
GIANTS AT SAINTS – Jim Fassell who once guaranteed his team would go to the playoffs and then took it to the Super Bowl, now has his job hanging n the balance. Since Kerry Collins is hurt, Fassell gets to start Jesse Palmer at quarterback, which doesn't prompt Fassell to guarantee anything. Saints 20, Giants 7.
EAGLES AT DOLPHINS – After losing to the hottest team in football, the Patriots, the Dolphins get to play the other hottest team in football in the Eagles. Dave Wannstedt petitions the league, asking to play the Browns instead. Eagles 17, Dolphins 10.
The Cleveland Browns looking glass that is the Bill Belichick-coached New England Patriots is a painful yet observable lesson. Give a good football coach space, and get someone to find his kind of talent, like Scott Pioli in New England, and you have a winning combination.
(Get Ozzie Newsome!)
Bill Belichick in charge of draft picks that turned into the likes of Touchdown-less Tommy Vardell was not good. Bill Belichick getting draft picks dropped to him (by Butch Davis) like Richard Seymour is good.
Butch Davis (see Miami, et. al.) is a good football coach. As for a talent evaluator, see William Green versus Clinton Portis, and Gerard Warren versus Richard Seymour. Given the look of this team – even with you as quarterback, and frankly, I think YOU would do as good a job as either of these knuckleheads - the only thing missing is an offensive line and this is a winning football team.
So here's what you do. Quit your job, call Butch Davis and tell him that you want to be next year's quarterback. Then advise him to get a bunch of offensive lineman in the off-season. And Bingo! – You're a millionaire.
This column is sponsored by angry reindeer that didn't make the cut.
Brian Tarcy collaborated on The Complete Idiot's Guide to Football with Joe Theismann, and many other books, including The Adventure of Leadership, with Hap Klopp, who started the outdoor adventure company, The North Face.