Passan: Rooting Reversal

Rich goes inside the mind of a Browns fan rooting against his team Sunday night...

Inside the mind of a Cleveland Browns fan hoping his favorite team in the whole wide world loses to the Miami Dolphins Sunday night.

I love this team. I love it with a passion. But these guys are killing me this season. Another game, another loss. I can't stand Mondays anymore. They've become unbearable.

The Browns haven't done much right this season. But tonight, they have a chance to do something for the good of the team.


Blasphemous? Of course. But the present needs to be sacrificed to have a shot at a bright future.

This is a lost season. I know the misery will stop in less than a week. In the meantime, holes must be filled. The Browns need – no, they crave – playmakers.

And the best way to get them is to select as high in the college draft as possible. But in order to draft second, losing to the Dolphins tonight is imperative. Go Fins.

A loss to the Dolphins insures that we get the second pick of every round in the draft next April. Think about that. The spoils of losing produce a positive ending.

OK, let the game begin.

Hey, why are the Dolphins throwing on third-and-one from their 43 on this first series? Three-and-out. Shoot.

Looks as though Lee Suggs is gonna get a lot of work for the Browns tonight. Sixteen yards on his first three carries. He looks good. We need a mistake.

Thank you, Luke McCown. Interception. Right into the hands of Patrick Surtain. Time for the defense to slacken off.

Holy cow. Five plays and the Fins score. Great pass from A.J. Feeley to Derrius Thompson. Threaded the ball between Lewis Sanders and Earl Little. Six minutes into the game and it's 7-0.

Time for the Miami defense to get a stop. Time for the Browns' offense to screw up again. And there it is. Steve Heiden – false start on second-and-three at the Cleveland 45. Predictable.

Hey, what's this? McCown scrambling around. Gets loose and throws a bomb across his body. Probably throwing it away. No, wait. There's Dennis Northcutt. What's he doing there? Damn. He's going all the way. Fifty-seven yards. Tie game. Nuts.

Still early. The Dolphins upset the Patriots last Monday. Stop worrying.

The Browns sure do look good on defense. Or do the Dolphins look bad?

It's becoming more obvious that the Browns plan to hand the ball to Suggs a lot. Surely, the Dolphins can figure that out. Hell, he's run the ball seven straight times to start the Browns' third series.

Third-and-seven at the 46 and McCown (surprise, surprise) throws an incompletion. What? Morlon Greenwood is called for interference? Cheesy call.

Need to stop Suggs. Finally, the D gets tough and forces a punt. Time for a long, time-consuming Miami drive.

Hey, what's gotten into the Browns' defensive line? They're actually getting a pass rush on Feeley. Time to tighten up the pass protection. Too late.

How did Gerard Warren get so deep into the backfield? No! He stripped the ball. Somebody from Miami fall on it. Not you, Chaun Thompson. First-and-10 Browns at the Miami 17. This is not looking good.

Suggs from the 17, from the 13, from the seven. Need a fumble here. Suggs from the three to the two and . . . fumble!! Big scramble. Bodies flying. The inevitable scrum.

Sammy Knight of the Dolphins emerges with the ball.Great.

What? Terry Robiskie challenges the call? Save it, Terry. Sure looks like the ball comes out before Suggs hits the ground. Hold your breath. What's taking the zebra so long?

All right. Dolphins ball.

Hey, there's ESPN's Suzy Kolber interviewing Jeff Garcia. Asking some pretty tough questions, too. Sure knows her stuff.

Back to the game.

Browns' D bends a little. Feeley looks more confident with each snap. Solid third-down pass to Marty Booker to keep the drive going near midfield. Keep it going, guys.

Throw it again. Oops, wrong call. What the hell is Warren doing in the backfield again? Fumble. Browns ball. Shoot.

Flag. Thank you, Anthony Henry. Couldn't keep your paws off that receiver. Illegal contact. A lot of good it does. Dolphins punt.

Suggs again and . . . fumble! Damn. Out of bounds at the Cleveland 29. Can't catch a break.

After 30 minutes, it's 7-7 and very apparent why these teams are 3-11. They stink. At least on offense.

The second half has to be better. Gotta produce something meaningful.

Whoa! Didn't take long. Opening kickoff and . . . fumble! Richard Alston and the ball part ways at the Cleveland 37. Dolphins ball.

The Browns' defense has got to be demoralized. Wrong. What a time to get tough.

Fourth-and-two at the Browns' 29. Time for an Olindo Mare field goal. No, don't go for it. Kick it. Feeley  pass to Booker. Nice play. Now, punch it in. Ram it down the Browns' throats. I want that second pick.

What the hell are you doing? A pass to Sammy Morris out of the backfield? Loses five yards. The Browns are invigorated. Now maybe a Mare field goal. Good, he's lining up for a 47-yarder.

What's this? Direct snap to Mare. He's gonna throw it! No, he's gonna punt it! A punt?

Not to worry. The Browns somehow will find a way to self-destruct. Still plenty of time left. Suggs still running hard and often and holding on to the ball. Need another mistake. Need McCown to throw a pass.

Finally, an ugly duck. Dolphins pick it off. Fall down. No, don't lateral. OK, fall down. No, don't lateral. OK, fall down. Don't . . . Damn. Fumble. Browns recover. Gain of 29 yards. Gotta put that one in the playbook.

Browns driving again. Gotta hold 'em here. They're at the 25. Phil Dawson on. Block that kick; block that kick.

It's high enough, it's far enough. Doink. Bless you, right upright. Still 7-7.

Not looking good. Dolphins struggling on offense. The Browns, believe it or not, have not had a three-and-out in the first three quarters. Amazing.

Could the Browns screw this thing up and actually win? They're still in it after three.

Now, it's really getting silly. It appears as though neither team wants to win this one. The ineptitude is ratcheted up to a whole new level. Dropped passes. Punters with no clue.

Even Mike Patrick and his buddies in the ESPN booth are mocking these teams. "We have developed a giggle and there's a lot of time left," Patrick says with nine minutes left in the game. Later, he says he's "left slack-jawed by some of these (coaching) decisions."

Gotta say it. Suggs is a warrior tonight. Thirty-eight carries, a club record, for 143 yards.

Still, it's 7-7 with less than two minutes left. Fins ball at their 28.Gotta do it now. Don't send this abortion to overtime.

Passes to Gilmore and McMichael, sandwiched around four Morris touches and the Dolphins are at the Cleveland 33. Gotta hurry. Clock running down. Gotta get closer. Time for one more play. Damn. Another Feeley incompletion.

OK, Mare. It's time to kick the Browns into the second slot next April. Fifty-one yards. You can do it.

Good snap, good hold, solid kick. Drifting left. No-o-o. Straighten out. All right! Just inside the left upright. Phew, that was close. Final: 10-7.

OK, I'm done rooting against the Browns. It was difficult and it was strange. Won't ever do it again.

It's 11:35. I'm happy, I'm tired and I'm going to bed.

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