Old man winter is has arrived, evidenced by the bitterly cold weather that made things miserable for the hearty fans who braved the elements and were on hand for Sunday's 21-0 loss to the Chargers in the home finale.
The good news is that Christmas is less than a week away, meaning the end of this ho-ho-ho-rrible season is right around the corner.
Even better news is that it's time for Santa Derry to make his annual delivery of presents to your favorite Brownies. No, I'm not talking about those cute little girls who are members of a winning team and deserve our support and admiration.
Rather, I'm talking about the 2004 Cleveland Brownies, who are none of the above.
I'll let the real Santa deliver the goodies to the gals. I'm sure he'll have plenty of reasons to bring them everything on their wish lists.
As for the Brownies who have tried, without success, to entertain us each and every Sunday this fall, I'm afraid the old man in the red suit won't be in too much of a giving mood.
Turns out Santa apparently wagered a few Benjamins and a lot of Rudolphs on the Brownies to be the Super Bowl Champions this season. As Alf would say, "Haaaaw."
Santa made a list, checked it twice and found many Brownies who were naughty, not nice, both on and the field and off.
But just when it appeared Santa Derry would have no goodies to deliver this year, along came a little elf decked out in Browns gear. To get a visual, just imagine the one-time mascot of the team who now is slowly being phased back in.
Only this elf had grape-stained bare feet and a great suntan, making me think he spent more time in northern California than at the North Pole.
The little guy, who called himself Carmen, stood on a mound of money and whispered into my ear that he and good ol' St. Butch had formed the "quit on your team" club. Together, they had banked enough money to buy gifts for everyone, not to mention pay off nearly half of the national debt.
And because neither is capable of finishing what they started, Elf Carmen asked Santa Derry to deliver the goodies and complete the job.
So, without further ado and with tongue firmly planted in cheek, here are the gifts. Many, not surprisingly, have Jeff Garcia's name on the tag because St. Butch is very appreciative of the fact Jeff made it possible for the entire Davis clan to be home for the holidays.
The first item intended for Garcia is a case of "panic attack" pills from St. Butch's personal supply. Too bad St. Butch didn't have Jeff visit the team doctor the night before the Steelers game. And the Giants game. And the Jets game. And the …
Had that happened, maybe Jeff wouldn't have panicked in the pocket. Maybe he could have avoided the panic attacks that St. Butch says resulted in "skittish" performances.
Gift No. 2 goes to Gerard Warren. It's a case of Head and Shoulders shampoo. By having his own supply, maybe Gerard won't cause an uproar by talking about taking Ben Roethlisberger's head (and shoulders).
Hey, the next gift also goes to Jeff, but this one comes direct from Elf Carmen. It's the "heart" Garcia seems to have left behind in San Francisco. "Haaaw."
Next we have a full-length mirror from St. Butch to Earl Little. St. Butch knows that for Earl to get a good look at the player he thinks is the best free safety in the NFL, he need only look in a mirror.
What a surprise, the next gift goes to … Jeff Garcia. And it looks like good old St. Butch dished out some big bucks for this one. St. Butch gift-wrapped for Garcia the sailboat that won the most recent America's Cup.
Why, you ask? Because Garcia lacked leadership. Now he has it. First place boat. Leader-ship. Get it? "Haaaw."
Next we have a gift for offensive lineman Paul Zukauskas. It's a personal chauffeur who will be available to drive him to the local convenience store just in case he gets another case of the munchies at 2 a.m. Hey, sometimes you need a six-pack (or two) of beer while watching that night's horror flick titled "Browns vs. (Almost) Anybody."
Hey, Jeff, it's time for your next gift. It's a lifetime subscription to Playboy Magazine. If you look closely, you'll see your Playmate of the Year girlfriend, Carmella DeCesare, "baring" gifts that will likely appear unwrapped under your tree this year. "Haaaw."
Next, we have thousands upon thousands of megaphones to be handed out to all fans as they walk into Cleveland Browns Stadium. That would seem to be the only way the noise level at the sterile new facility will come close to the great old Lady on the Lake. Santa Derry misses the days when fans were allowed to be obnoxious, making for a true home field advantage.
Guess what, the next item is for … no, not Jeff Garcia … but rather the guy he replaced, Tim Couch. Tim, it's your own personal key to the city of Berea. It unlocks the door to every place in town, except the Browns practice facility, which still remains off-limits.
Santa recommends Tim sue the Browns and/or the NFL for ruining a career by locking you out of the workout facility. Hire Orlando Brown's attorney. Once you win your case, maybe you'll be able to buy the team from Randy Lerner and then you will be free to open any doors you might so desire.
And now, St. Butch, it's time for your former players and colleagues to deliver a few gifts of their own.
We'll begin with a number of items they purchased from Dale Carnegie's web site.
First off is the book titled, "How to Stop Worrying and Start Living." The way you did it, by taking the money and quitting on your team, didn't quite cut it with the guys you left behind.
Next is "How To Win Friends and Influence People." Earl Little and Ron Wolf chipped in to buy this classic.
Next up is the "Leadership Mastery Course." This version, which is out on cassette, was not the work of Jeff Garcia, but rather Dale Carnegie. Garcia's cassette was rejected due to lack of credibility.
Oh, I see Jeff Garcia has a gift for Elf Carmen. It's a case of his vintage 2004 "whine" which he uncorked all season. "Haaaw."
And Garcia also has one for St. Butch. It's an enormous poster with the famous words most often attributed (incorrectly) to P.T. Barnum: "There is a sucker born very minute."
Garcia made Davis think there was a signing war for his services. By doing so, he not only got millions of additional dollars, but also a starting job in the NFL that likely would not have happened if Davis wasn't so gullible.
There are many similarities between the Barnum and Bailey Circus and the "Davis and Garcia Circus" that was held at Cleveland Browns Stadium this year.
Clowns performing at both and astonished fans were often on their feet. At the Barnum and Bailey Circus it was because of death-defying acts. At the "Davis and Garcia Circus" the fans were on their feet … walking out of the ball park long before the final gun after witnessing victory-defying performances.
Finally, the last gift to be delivered by Santa Derry is one for every Browns fan out there. It's a bag full of patience.
It certainly will be needed as we wait for the new Browns to try again to get things right. Hopefully, the third time will be the charm.
In the meantime, have a wonderful holiday season.