Friday, September 2, 2016

Nurse the Hate: Hate The Under

Life seldom goes as planned.  Control is only an illusion.  At any moment the floor can fall away under your feet and the bottom can drop out.  It’s all a tightrope walk on a windy day.  That’s why I really appreciate the distraction of sports.  While you struggle with whatever chaos life has thrown at you, it’s good to know of the absolute certainty of the pending failure of the Cleveland Browns.  Whatever personal struggle you are facing pales in comparison to the doomed fate of the Browns this and every year.   While one day you will emerge from crisis, it is somehow comforting to know that the Browns will remain in the pro football version of the Seventh Circle of Hell.  Death, taxes, Browns.  Certainty.

I went to a Browns training camp practice.  I have watched the pre-season games with moderate interest.  I have seen the talent or lack thereof on the roster.  I understand the front office.  I know the history of the team.  So when I saw the Las Vegas line of +115 for the Browns under 4.5 wins, I knew I had stumbled into an opportunity.  Life presents very few opportunities.  You’d better not bungle them all.  This is a big one. 

Sure, the Browns haven’t won the division since 1989.  That’s only 27 years.  However, we are talking about winning a measly 5 of 16 games in a season, not the division.  It’s been a decade since the Browns have won more than 5 games.  That 4-5 line is right where they have been historically.  What makes this such a lock you ask?  Let me tell you the way I see it…

The Browns have constructed a front office that believes in baseball theories of roster building.  While many people were very excited about the new sounding “analytics” theory they are bringing, “analytics” really means “statistics”.  I am going to look into it, but I believe "statistics" have been around for a few years.  The idea of analyzing data might not be new.  Baseball has always been a statistics exercise with brief periods of action.  Pitcher vs Batter.  Grind the stats.  Football is controlled chaos of 11 guys hitting 11 guys with a million variables influencing everything.  I’m suspicious of the baseball template on football. 

That being said, the new Browns management team somehow sold in this idea of burning the current roster to the ground not to “re-build” but “build”.  They continue to say in the press that “we’re not going to measure this season by wins and losses”.  That’s interesting because everyone else will.  What a sales job that was huh?  I am not sure why it is necessary to further destroy a team that went 3-13 and was second worst in the 32 team league.  Yet, they decided to cut or trade most veterans of value with a few exceptions to play “young players”.  This means that five defensive starters from a poor defensive team were replaced with low grade draft picks and unemployed football players that other teams didn’t need on their roster.  The Browns didn’t replace their past defensive starters with other team’s starters.  No, they replaced them with other team’s castoffs.  Consequently the defense has shown almost no ability to stop anyone. 
I think this Browns team might be a historically bad team with the outside shot of going 0-16.  What’s more, I think the organization would love for that to happen so they can make mistakes with more draft picks next year.  What a magical run this will be for the fans!  Don’t get left out of the fun.  If you are like me, you will take what is commonly referred to as a “strong position” on the UNDER win total.  I think even if certain teams suffer a tragic disaster like people weeping by a burning airline fuselage, it will still result in that team being able to throw together a team overnight of drifters that can hang in there with the Browns.  The Browns are coming to the table with almost nothing and they don't care.

Life is a wild ride of uncertainty, triumphs and disappointments.  This is certain.  I am going to spend 16 weeks actively rooting against the Browns, and at the end of it will roll around in so much money I will wet myself with giddiness.  Join me.  Please.


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