Fan View: Season Preview

Jeff B. takes a look at his hopes for the '09 season, and wishes just once that the shoe was on the Steelers' other foot...

It's a battle between my common sense and my emotions this year.

Common sense tells me that:

*The Browns are unsettled at too many positions to make a major impact.
*Offense is all about rhythm and timing so the early part of the season will be rough until many of the new offensive players get acclimated to working as a unit.
*Perhaps it isn't even the right offensive unit (IE, they haven't found the right QB yet) so early season struggles could turn into entire season struggles.
*The Browns are still an offseason or two (or three) away from putting all the parts in place they need.
*The AFC North is getting harder with the Steelers looking tough again, Baltimore improving now that Joe Flacco has a year under his belt and even Cincinnati looks better.
*Anything between 4-12 and 8-8 is likely for this team.  8-8 would be a break-out-the-champagne, the-team-didn't-have-a-losing-season celebration

So, I'm not expecting much.

However, read this text I got on Saturday night from a Steeler buddy who just LOVES taking every opportunity he can to needle me.  Before you read this, keep in mind that we were talking about a fantasy draft we were both in and he took the opportunity to connect the Steelers to that somehow.  He knows how much I can't stand talking about the Steelers and especially all their success, so he, of course, loves to hit me over the head with it whenever he can.

Me:  "We are 50 hours away from the draft"

Him:  "That's awesome bro!  I honestly feel the Steelers will be substantially better this year!"

Now, how does "50 hours away from the draft" naturally segue into a conversation about Pittsburgh?

Well, if you live in Erie, PA and you have a bunch of Steeler friends, they find a way to segue any random conversation into something about Pittsburgh.

I could have told him that I was studying for a career as a quality inspector at a hot dog manufacturing plant and he would have found a way to segue to the Steelers.

That is pretty much my lot in life in this town.  Not only do the Browns have to lose all the time, but I have to hear about how much the Steelers win.

Unfortunately I'm reduced to saying things like "Oh yeah, well I hope you DON'T WIN THE SUPER BOWL this year."

Pretty weak smack talk compared to their retort:  "Hope you end the year with the same 3 QBs and coach you started with."

This long explanation has a point.

I know, common sense wise, that the Browns have NO shot this year at the playoffs.

I know that the team is rebuilding.

I know that its going to be a tough year and they'll probably go 1-5 in the North, with 2 losses each to the Ravens and Steelers and a split with the Bengals.

However, emotionally, after all the crapburgers my Steeler friends have force fed me since the return, I'M HOPING AGAINST HOPE THAT THEY HAVE ONE OF THOSE MELTDOWN SEASONS THAT WE ALWAYS HAVE TO ENDURE.

Just one 4-12 season for the Black and Gold where everything goes wrong is all I'm asking.  Couple that with a 12-4 for the Browns where everything goes right.

Shouldn't we deserve at least that?  Since the return, the Browns have made the playoffs once while Pittsburgh has won 2 Super Bowls.  In the one playoff appearance, you remember who knocked the Browns out.

No wonder I take so much abuse.

I'm ready for more of it this season.

I'm even fully prepared for it.

But I'm hoping, just once, not to get it.

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