Not a Care in the World

It's the day after, and the <B>Dark Cloud of Doom</B> that is supposed to follow me around after every Browns loss is surprisingly absent. It should have me in a deep funk by now, so I'm not quite sure why it has been delayed.

Usually, the Dark Cloud of Doom settles in within minutes after a Browns loss and follows me around until at least Tuesday evening. It generally hovers about a foot above my head and instantly obliterates any positive feelings with deadly accuracy. 

Visible only to a priviledged few who understand what it means to be a Browns fan, the Dark Cloud of Doom performs its work by transmitting a simple message which is appended to every thought. For example, when I have a pleasant thought like "It is a nice sunny day today", the Dark Cloud of Doom will instantly append the phrase "Yeah, but the Browns lost" to the end of the thought.

Here are some of the thoughts which have gone through my head this morning, along with the Dark Cloud of Doom additions I was expecting:

"There's a cheese danish left! Yeah, but the Browns lost"

"Cool! I've got about four hours I can spend doing irresponsible stuff on the site today! Yeah, but the Browns lost"

"I bet that stuff my wife bought will really take care of this lethal foot odor.  Yeah, but the Browns lost"

While pounding my usual gallon of coffee this morning, I gave long thought as to why the Dark Cloud of Doom is avoiding me this morning, and I have come up with the following list of possibilities:

  • ... because I just realized that we should have beaten a Steelers team that had two weeks to prepare, was highly motivated, and was playing on their home field. If it took quirky bounces and two injured cornerbacks to help us lose, we're going to do better than the Steelers in the long run.
  • ... because Butch Davis and Pete Garcia were right about Andre Davis.
  • ... because Tim Couch and Kelly Holcomb have handled this ersatz "quarterback controversy" with more class than those fanning the controversy deserve.
  • ... because the Ravens are coming to town, and there's no surer cure for bad vibes than a worse football team.
  • ... because Butch Davis and Pete Garcia were right about Kevin Bentley
  • ... because it's going to be funnier than heck to watch Steeler fans get all fired up about Tommy Maddox only to realize quickly that there was a reason he was in the XFL.
  • ... because Marty Morninwheg blew off that plane flight to Cleveland to stay in Detroit and negotiate with the Lions for the head coaching job.
  • ... because Butch Davis and Pete Garcia were right about Ben Taylor.
  • ... because the Indians season is finally over and I get the feeling that Mark Shapiro is a lot smarter than everyone thinks.
  • ... because I've listened to enough sports talk radio to not take it seriously at all.
  • ... because I know that that if I ever feel tempted to take sports talk radio seriously, my blood pressure would cause my head to explode before I could be as ignorantly opinionated as sports talkers are.
  • ... because Butch Davis and Pete Garcia were right about Andra Davis
  • ... because no matter how the Browns lost, or how many ways they could have won, or whether TV announcers are mindless homers, my youngest daughter will still light up with a big smile when she sees me.
  • ... because I still trust Butch Davis and Pete Garcia enough to think that they might be right about William Green.
  • ... because I stopped taking politics seriously about the same time I lost the ability to distinguish between political candidates and wrestlers in the WWF.
  • ... because the Bengals are still the Bengals
  • ... because Earl Holmes and Robert Griffith are fitting into this defense now, and we've stopped Eddie George and Jerome Bettis cold the last two weeks running.
  • ... because the Browns re-worked Kelly Holcomb's contract so that, no matter what happens to Tim, the bottom won't drop out in the next couple of years.
  • ... because we're in first place by a half-game, and we've got four games coming up where our opponents are the Bengals, Ravens, and Texans.
  • ... because it's a beautiful sunny day in Cleveland, but there's still that little edge to the air that let's you know it's fall.
  • ... because Gerard Warren and Orpheus Roye just kicked some butt yesterday.
  • ... because I still hope that the folks in the Browns front office are smart enough to eventually realize that they need the media, even pissant little web sites, as much as the media needs them.
  • ... because Butch Davis is still just in his second year as an NFL coach, and he's smart enough to learn from his mistakes.
  • ... because Brian Billick insisted on talking to Art Modell, so he is there and not here.
  • ... because I watched Shaun Alexander run roughshod over the Vikings Sunday night and he hadn't done anything all year. All of a sudden, he scores five touchdowns in a half. I hope that William Green was watching.
  • ... because Jamel White has shown me that hard work and determination pay off eventually, regardless of how many people say something can't be done.
  • ... because sooner or later, Carmen Policy and his friends in the front office will see that not only is tailgating a good thing but that they can make money off of it without stomping on those of us who aren't rich enough to afford a luxury suite.
  • ... because the coaching staff's focus on special teams and multi-purpose talent will allow us to win at least one extra game this year.
  • ... but most of all, because I'm a Browns fan. After what I've been through, a narrow loss to a stumbling Steelers team is a pimple on the butt of bad football fortune.

I'm a Browns fan. I've seen Super Bowl opportunities taken away before my eyes and have been forced to wait in line go to the bathroom in a trough. I've seen the grand rebirth of Browns football turn into a 43-0 farce. I've seen my whole team carted away because some old man was too stupid to avoid screwing up a sure thing.

I've been through all that. This ain't nuthin. Bring it on.

- AB


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