Brian Tarcy: The Mirage

It's the summer blockbuster season, and we've got the fever here at the OBR! This latest entry from Brian Tarcy has it all: lust, pathos, nostalgia, drama, space aliens (Brian, mostly), explosions, more lust (Brian again). All this, in eye-popping High-Definition Verdana Font, but without the smelly dude eating the ice from his three gallon Mega-Large drink in the row behind you.

Back when I was a longhaired public gum chewer, I went to college and I am sure when I was there that I threw a football around and pretended to be my favorite Browns quarterback of all time, Bill Nelson. This is storybook stuff, someone call ESPN.

And when I was a boy, I dreamed I would be the quarterback of the Cleveland Browns.

Sound familiar?

My story is true, therefore compelling. One year in late October I wore a decorative orange helmet and stalked my neighbors, begging for candy. So what do you say? Please, can I have the job? I read the job description – obviously.

Therefore please hand me the job for sentimental reasons. I grew up closer to Municipal Stadium than anyone else competing for the job. That should settle it then, no?

Sure, I've never even been drafted but I've handled that situation with class, don't you think? Yes, whatever "it" is, I've clearly got it. And it's causing a rash.

Just after Joe Thomas' boat did not sink, my symptoms returned.

I suffer from grand delusions, and a staph infection by proxy. My infection returned after my most recent lobotomy. And yes, I usually get two lobotomies a year (coincidentally, right after each Steelers game) because I got the lifetime coupon when I ordered my Tim Couch jersey.

The nice thing about having a lobotomy is that I can say anything and then simply declare, "Oh, that's just the lobotomy talking." I do this all the time in bars.

But I digress because my subject today is the football team that is soon to be the world champions, the Cleveland Browns. After the greatest draft in the history of football was over, I began looking for a job so that I would have one to call into and ask for the day off after the Super Bowl.

That's right, this is serious stuff. I am putting my career on the line. In fact, I'm at this moment looking for a career to put on the line. That's how serious I take this year's version of the Cleveland Browns.

And that brings me back to my childhood dream.

The dream has been the same for all 352 years (in curmudgeon years) of my life. This year, the Cleveland Browns will win the Super Bowl.

I know, it's crazy, and that is why I am writing this from inside a padded room. But as best as I can gather from news reports, Joe Thomas' boat did not sink and Brady Quinn did not visit a strip club with a cocaine-snorting pit bull carrying an illegal handgun. Call me a dreamer. Call me a Browns fan. I call these great signs.

I've repeated the mantra of potential from Mike Phipps through Mike Junkin, and on to Tim Couch and Courtney Brown. I know the song and I know all the lyrics. It's a number one hit stuck at the bottom of the charts. That's right, this team has potential.

But everything changes. That's not crazy. That's a fact. And that's the sum total of my logical reason to start planning for the upcoming parade. I always dreamed of going to a parade. Haven't you?

The parade of potential that has drifted through Cleveland since 1999 has always been under a dark cloud but now the sun is shining and there's finally a meat-and-potatoes football player leading the way.

I'm glad Joe Thomas' boat didn't sink. I'm also happy that he was out on the boat in the first place because that's the kind of guy who should be playing for the Cleveland Browns.

And yes, it's tremendous that Brady Quinn and Charlie Frye both dreamt of being the Browns quarterback but despite how I began this, I hope that's not the most important qualification for the job because if it is, seriously, I deserve the job more.

Brady Quinn gets it.

Perhaps that's the impressive thing about the kid quarterback. I started draft day not knowing much about the Notre Dame quarterback but not liking him just the same. And then as that day wore on and he displayed more class than most ten-year veterans on their best day, I began rooting hard for Phil Savage to pull off the trade that he did.

And so, the question is this: is Brady Quinn the best quarterback on the Browns roster? So far, I prefer Derek Anderson. But maybe that's why I'm not an NFL coach.

However, I do have potential.

Brian Tarcy has collaborated on more than a dozen books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to Football by Joe Theismann. Look for Tarcy's new book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to NASCAR, in the fall.

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