Taylor's Pregame 12-Pack

As a Browns fan wrote to the OBR radio show earlier this week: "Taylor needs to turn his 12-pack into a keg for this team". That may be true, but at least this 12-pack will get you started...

Thoughts, notes, questions, suggestions and random snottiness as the Cleveland Browns head to the chopping block prepare to face the Cincinnati Bengals.

  • For some reason, as I embark on the fourth 12-pack of this start to yet another debacle the season -- and especially given the mildly positive tenor of last week's pregame tome -- I find the faint strains of the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" banging off the two-and-a-half corners of my brain that are still mildly functional.  Now, why would that be?  And how much money would you chip in to pay the CBS music man to fire up that very song as the Browns charge out of the tunnel this afternoon?

  • Change it had to come... We knew it all along...

    The Brady Quinn Era?  We hardly knew ye.  In light of the coaching staff having precious little faith in the person they declared the winner of a -- in hindsight --- poorly-executed quarterback competition, and forcing an uber-confident player into a shell he's never seen at any level, it makes perfect sense to make a switch.  In fact, it would've been asinine to not make a change.  Especially given the black-and-white results on the football field under this coaching staff the first three games.

  • We were liberated from the fall that's all... But the world looks just the same... And history ain't changed...

    So, now, Derek Anderson Version 2.0 has been wrought upon the city of Cleveland in an effort to liberate a team in early-season disarray.  Based on everything we've seen from DA during his time with the Browns, we can expect, with a certain degree of scientific certainty, some ups... and downs... and downs... and ups... and downs... and downs... and downs... are you getting the point yet?  I'm just curious as to what the over/under will be for Eric Mangini to have a heart attack -- literally -- on the sidelines following one of Bad DA's infamous "WTF was he thinking?!?!" plays.  Either that, or we'll have video proof that, yes, it's possible for a human head connected to the shoulders of an NFL coach to spontaneously combust.

  • We'll be fighting in the streets... With our children at our feet... And the morals that they worship will be gone...

    This has the potential to be one of the ugliest scenes in the short history of the no-longer-new Cleveland Browns Stadium.  Fans aren't exactly enamored with Anderson, and if Bad DA shows up wearing No. 3, and if the team as whole plays the way they have these first three games... well, let's just say that Lew Merletti's crack staff will have their hands full in the stands, in the concourses, in the streets, in the parking lots...

  • And the men who spurred us on... Sit in judgment of all wrong... They decide and the shotgun sings the song...

    (I'm pouring this beer out and leaving it blank in memory of the Quinn Era.  And the men who sat in judgment after three games.  And because this team makes me want to swallow a shotgun sometimes.)

    (No, not really.  Just kidding.  Maybe a glock, though.)

  • I'll tip my hat to the new constitution... Take a bow for the new revolution...

    Rob Ryan, I doff my ball cap in your general direction.  The fact that you had your balls lopped off during halftime of the second game makes you even more of a man in my eyes.  Hopefully, Mangini will allow them to grow back at some point this season so you can back to what it is you do best: use the defense as an offensive weapon.

  • There's nothing in the street... Looks any different to me...

    Think back to October of 1999.  Then quickly fast forward to the same month of this year.  Not a lot of difference, eh?  It's almost as if the past ten years -- the time that should've been spent building a roster, building a culture, building the foundation of a quality organization -- have been but a rumor.  Almost like they never existed because this organization is back to Square One.  Wait, is there a Square Zero?  If so, that would probably be more apt because Square One at least includes at least a sliver of hope for the fans.  Right now, there's precious little of that, if any.

  • And the parting on the left... Is now the parting on the right...

    The opposition's defensive lineman and linebackers are Moses, and the right side of the Browns' offensive line is, you guessed it, the Red Sea.  I know, I know.  I've been harping on the right side of the line since preseason.  And you know what?  I'm going to keep harping on it because the level of play on that side is a freaking embarrassment to Pop Warner ball, let alone the NFL.  Good thing Mangini and George Kokinis (chuckle) aren't responsible for the abomination that is Pork Chop and St. Whiff.  That'd be a bad sign.

  • Smile and grin at the change all around me... Pick up my guitar and play... Just like yesterday...

    Do you think, somewhere, Romeo Crennel and Phil Savage are kicked back, enjoying a beer together, and reveling in the misery of the first three games following their firing? (Of course, that's provided RAC is recovered enough physically from the injuries received after he was thrown under the bus by Savage.)  Not saying that they didn't deserve their fates, mind you, but damn, Mangini is making it hard not to be wistful over their departures.

  • I'll move myself and my family aside... If we happen to be left half alive...

    Mangini has not, despite some reports that would like to intimate as much, lost the locker room.  Yet.  But, make no mistake.  There are some unhappy, distressed, disillusioned members of the Mangini football family littering the Land of Lockers. That land is tattered, though. It's tattered. And if the season continues on its current trajectory, it will be ripped to shreds from every single seam. No pressure though, coach. None at all.

  • And I'll get on my knees and pray... We don't get fooled again... Don't get fooled again...

    How much longer is the fan base going to wait?  How much longer will they be willing to have a deaf ear turned to their prayers and the wool being pulled over their eyes by regime after regime after regime?  Trust me, Randy Lerner knows the fans' frustrations; hell, he feels them himself.  He knows that the same craptastic product cannot be put out on the field week after week, year after year.  He knows that unquestioned and unwavering support will wilt, is wilting.  He knows the consumers of his product are sick of being fooled again and again and again.  One way or the other, though, he will do what's right at the end of this season.  You can bet on it.

  • Meet the new boss... Same as the old boss...

    (What, you didn't think that line was in the offing at some point?)

    Three games into Year One of the Mangini Era, I defy anyone to point to anything that is an improvement over the Grandpa & Opie Show of the past four years.  In fact, I would have a hard time arguing against anyone who made the case that it is much, much worse in nearly every single facet.  But, still, it is just three games.  No permanent -- or concrete -- judgments can be gleaned from just 12 quarters of football.  However, if things don't show marked improvement before the end of the season, Mangini & Company may have a hard time explaining to the new owner exactly why they should be retained.


LAST CALL:
Bengals 126, Browns 2.  Fool me once, shame on me.  Fool me twice, shame on you.  Fool me thrice, shame back on me again.  Fool me a fourth time?  Shame on my parents for not aborting me.  Nope, won't get fooled again a fourth time.  I'm back to residing in Missouri.  Show me, Mangini.

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