Doc Gonzo: Blowing Snow

The good doctor fights the ravages of winter, while the winter of our Browns goes on...

Life has a way of applying the thumbscrews in such a way that we eventually accept the frustrations with little more than some sotto voce expletives.

That makes the little victories that much more savory.

Especially over Mother Nature, a cruel vixen whose relentless winter blitz on Thursday was, to me, a red cape to a bull.

Man for centuries has been enamored with nature's savage, unrestrained beauty. We write poems and paint pretty pictures of the outdoors and weather. Yet the force that gives us stunning sunsets and gentle Caribbean waves lapping at warm sands can also dump a foot of snow in four hours on my driveway.

In the past, such an icy blast of nastiness would have sent me into a black rage and deep funk at the thought of hours of back-breaking shoveling.

Not now.

For all nature's might efforts, man can still get the upper hand.

In my case, victory over the elements comes in the form of one of our species most wondrous inventions: the snowblower.

Bring it on, Mother Nature. My two-stage Craftsman -- nicknamed "Snowkillah" and soon to have shark's teeth painted around the mouth -- is a wickedly efficient machine whose sole purpose is to defeat the powdery obstacle. It does its job well, making quick work of drifts brought on by lake-effect nonsense on Thursday.

I have plenty of gas and the electric starter works like a charm.

I win.

On the other hand, it's not snowing in Miami, where the Cleveland Browns will be on display Sunday night. The entire football-watching world can tune in to see what might be the worst football game of the season. The Dolphins, coming off a shocking victory over New England, host a Browns team that has no business being on the same field.

We should hope a blizzard hits Florida and the game in cancelled. Enough with the embarrassment. No matter how bad the Browns are, I still get a thrill every time I see those orange helmets, but COME ON. How does a Browns team lose in a snowstorm to a team from Southern California? How do they lose when the other team throws just six passes? (I know, I know: By letting them complete four of them, including allowing the league's best tight end to score untouched from 72 yards out.)

It's just silly at this point. This may in fact be the worst Browns team, ever.

The 1999 and 2000 team's at least had the expansion excuse. Not now. It's been six years. This level of decrepitude is staggering. The problems remain the same every week: Cleveland players are not as smart, fast or strong as their opponents.

It's simply unfathomable to me that anyone could want any member of this coaching staff, or all but a select few of the players, to return in 2005. Many of these people will be out of football next year, and deservedly so. They've robbed us of real Browns football, and in its place have given us this disgusting fraud.

The residue of defeat stains everything about this franchise, and I wonder if it won't take a priest and exorcism to expel the demons. A good first step would be a clean slate. Fire them all.

This isn't Cincinnati, where mediocre is a way of life.

This is Cleveland, which stands alone together against a mocking world.

Thankfully, it's almost over. The bad men will soon be gone, and spring will bring us hope of a new coach, a new front office and new players — men that will honor the sanctity of the orange helmet.

And best of all: No snow.


Former Ohio newspaper reporter and editor Bill Shea writes the Doc Gonzo column for Bernies Insiders each Thursday. He will snowblow your driveway for free, if by "free" you mean $1,000.  Write him at

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