Random Thoughts from a Wasted Mind

More fan commentary from long-time Browns follower Dale Galbraith...

No more boos

When Patriot's return man Bethel Johnson returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown, the Browns heard a chorus of boos. Those would be the last boos they would hear on a day they were beat in every phase of the game. Fans became lethargic. They no longer wanted to spend any energy toward the game on the field, not even to boo.

When William Green fumbled on the third play from scrimmage in the 2nd half and defensive back Randall Gay returned it for a touchdown, fans started their mass exit. The exodus continued slowly throughout the remainder of the game.

At one point in the third quarter there were more orange seats then people. A Patriots flag on an upper deck wall glistened every time the sun poked its head through the clouds. It was an appropriate symbol of the Pats supremacy on the field that day.

Then late in the 3rd quarter Belechick stuck in the final dagger when Tom Brady hit David Patten with a 44-yard touchdown strike. Fittingly it was Patten who delivered the blow. The sure-handed Patten was a Brown in 2000, but Butch Davis didn't retain him when he took over in 2001.

The Patriots could have scored more, but compassionately Belechick held them back in the 4th quarter. He pulled as many starters as he could and passed on attempting a field goal. The fans that were left were grateful for the touch of class.

Late in the 4th quarter the gulls began to circle above. They were waiting for their moment to swoop down on an abandoned stadium and feed on the scraps left by the fans. These same fans  were so full of hope at the beginning of the season. 

There was an empty row between my wife and me, and the five fans sitting two rows down. The GE Smith Band was playing the blues. A man from the group below said, "This is like being at a funeral."

Actually the 2004 Browns are on life support. We will have to suffer with them until January 2 when the plug is mercifully pulled on this season.

The curse

My hat is off to the Patriots fans I came in contact with at the game. Not one was boisterous about their teams' win. They seemed to sympathize with our suffering of yet another miserable season. Maybe they can relate to our situation because of the many years of disappointment caused by the Red Sox and "The Curse of the Bambino."  Now it is up to Browns fans to exorcize  "The Curse of Modell."

The Interim Job

Terry Robiskie is the 4th interim coach in Browns' history. Here are how the three previous interim coaches fared.

Dick Modzelewski took over for the last game in 1977 when Art Modell fired Forrest Gregg with the Browns at 6-7 for the season. The team responded with a 19-20 road loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Modell fired Sam Rutigliano with a mid-season record of 1-7 in 1984. Defensive Coordinator Marty Schottenheimer was named head coach. The Browns finished the year 5-11. Marty was the only interim coach to date to retain the position the following year. He coached the Browns through the end of the 1988 season. Injuries forced the Browns to use four different quarterbacks that year but they still managed a regular season record of 10-6, but after a 23-24 loss to the Houston Oilers in an AFC Wildcard game Art pushed the panic button. He fired Schottenheimer when the coach refused to make changes with his staff. Marty ended his stint with the Browns with a 44-27 record.  

During the 1990 season Jim Shofner replaced Bud Carson on November 4, the Browns were 2-6 at the time. The Browns managed only one more win that season beating the Atlanta Falcons 13-10 in the last home game. They finished the year 3-13.

Modzelewski and Shofner were the only former Browns players to be named head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Modzelewski played defensive tackle from 1964 through 1966. Modzelewski came to the Browns from the Giants and finished his playing career in Cleveland. He earned his only trip to the Pro-Bowl in his first year with the Browns. Shofner was a defensive back from 1958 through 1963. He was also the Browns' number one pick in the 1958 NFL Draft.

Robiskie's future with the Browns is still up in the air. My guess is that the Browns will win one, maybe two more games this season and Terry will not be the head coach in 2005. Hopefully the Browns will find a place for him in the organization.

Blue Star Service Flag

There is a white flag with a red border and blue star in the center waving below the Marines Flag at the Stadium. Many fans were wondering what the flag represented. It is a Blue Star Service Flag and it honors our men and women in the military during wartime.

The flag was designed by Captain Robert B. Quiesser, an Ohio National Guard veteran of the Mexican Border (1916).

During WWI families would place the flag in a window of their house if a family member was serving in the military during wartime.

The number of blue stars represented the number of family members serving. The blue stands for hope and pride.

When a family member paid the ultimate price, the blue star was replaced with a gold one to  represent sacrifice.

A silver star was used when a soldier came home due to disabling wounds sustained in combat.

You don't have to have a family member in the Armed Services to fly a Blue Star Service Flag.

The flag represents the hope that all of America's children in the military return home safe.

These flags can be purchased by the public at many websites.

Fan Plaques

In the concourse on the north side of Cleveland Browns Stadium there are numerous plaques on the wall honoring Browns fans. Fans have paid to put the names of loved ones on these plaques. In front of many of these plaques there are beer carts and other obstructions. The Browns need to reposition these obstructions so fans can have easy access to any of the plaques.

Free Stuff

I attended the Cavs game with the Raptors and I think I have discovered a way to increase the noise level at Cleveland Brown Stadium. Give away free stuff. The most noise I heard the entire game was when the Cavs gave away tee-shirts, pizza and lottery tickets during timeouts. Then because the Cavs scored 100 points fans were heard yelling, "Free chalupas at Taco Bell."

I think the Browns should do something similar. Here are a few of my ideas for the San Diego game:

  • Give away a free Whopper from Burger King if the Browns score more than 40 points.
  • Give the fans six chicken wings at Buffalo Wild Wings if the defense shuts out the opponent.  
  • Pass out a free survival kit consisting of a paper bag with face holes cut out, a voucher for one beer, and a button pin that reads, "I survived the 2004 season."
  • Give tee-shirts with "The Browns are #1" printed on the front and on the back "In next year's NFL Draft."

The free stuff would be nice but I would settle for a win.

The OBR Top Stories