Rich's Rant: Threading the Silly Season

If you want to find the answer to the Browns' challenges, it's somewhere on the OBR Forums...

It's silly season for Browns fans. That time of the National Football League calendar where common sense and reason take a vacation.

Yep, it's the offseason, that time of the year when the crazies of the Internet take over and propose some of the most bizarre, insane and otherwise nonsensical ideas.

They're not harmful. They're not mean-spirited, although some of the responses are. In some cases, they're humorous.

When the season ends for the Browns, the flag is dropped on the race to see who can come up with the most ridiculous idea as we all head toward a brand new era for the team.

Contributors fancy themselves as general managers, coaches and personnel experts. It's as though they have surreptitiously placed themselves in important positions and are eager to share their thoughts and opinions.

They are Mike Holmgren for a thread. They are Eric Mangini in another thread. And if that isn't enough, Tom Heckert is about to find out there are just as many zanies in Cleveland as there are in Philadelphia. Maybe more.

Everyone has an idea on how the Browns should be run. Nothing wrong with that except these people take themselves seriously.

Suggestions run rampant on a daily basis on this Web site. No, make that an hourly basis.

Wait long enough and you're bound to see a new one pop up in the Watercooler. It's not just inevitable. It's predictable.

Again, nothing wrong with that. It's fun and usually generates a variety of discussions depending on the topic. The nuttier the topic, the funnier the responses.

That's the great thing about the Internet. Anyone can weigh in anonymously with his or her views, sometimes stretching a thread to several pages. The hotter the topic, the longer the thread.

Some thread starters will put something out there just to get a rise out of those website denizens who can't resist responding. And it works a large majority of the time.

Among the most popular threads this offseason, now that Holmgren has landed in Cleveland, are those posters more than willing to share their ideas on how he should handle his job.

For example, one of the most passionate pleas for Holmgren is to do away with the brown pants the Browns wore on several occasions this past season. Never mind that there are some serious holes on the roster that need plugging. Never mind that club has a quarterback problem that needs fixing. Get rid of those damn pants, demand the fashion police.

The pants, obviously a source of embarrassment for a few fans, apparently were at least partially responsible for the 5-11 record this past season. Most posters don't care about the color of the pants, but that thread generated five pages. Five pages!!

A thread on the team's uniform often morphs into pleas for the elf, a logo on the helmet and cheerleaders. All in the good name of making the Browns a better football team. They are nothing more than harmless hot buttons that rear their ugly little heads every once in a while.

Another hot button is Joshua Cribbs, who engenders daily threads that run the spectrum of emotions. Pay the man has become the mantra for the underpaid special teams ace. Trade him, say others, and get as much as you can. All sides of the emotional aisle weigh in on that one.

Then there are other trade proposals. Lots and lots of trade proposals. Most of them – no, make that just about all of them – make no sense whatsoever.

Hey, Mike, this is what I would do if I had the roster. Here's who I would cut. Here's who I would trade. Here's who I would sign as a free agent. And here's who I would draft. Got it? And the responses, in some cases, are just as ridiculous.

Then there's this one: How 'bout trading the Browns' No. 1 draft choice to the Dallas Cowboys for Tony Romo? The rationale? The Browns get their starting quarterback and the Cowboys would then take Oklahoma's Sam Bradford – a regional fave – with the seventh pick. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Threads like that, however, have a short shelf life because most of the fans are savvy enough to know that's not going to happen and are quick to let the original poster know in no uncertain terms how loony he is.

And then there are the draftniks. Wannabe Mel Kiper Jrs., Rob Rangs, Scott Wrights, Rick Gosselins, Chris Steubers and Todd McShays. Oh  . . . and Brent Sobleskis. Can't ignore the OBR's resident draftnik.

Draft Joe Haden in the first round. The Browns need a lockdown cornerback.

No they don't. They need a safety who can intimidate. Lock onto Eric Berry or Taylor Mays.

What about the linebackers? Draft Rolando McClain. The Browns need athletic linebackers.

Are you kidding? The Browns need an offensive right tackle to bookend Joe Thomas. Draft Russell Okung. A monster.

Quarterback. First round. No-brainer.

Trade up. No, trade down.

How about best player available?

Wanna see my mock draft?

It's fun.

It's silly season.


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