Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/17/12

It's another gloomy day in Cleveland. After Sunday's road loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, the Cleveland Browns drop to 0-2 on the year.

For most teams in the NFL, this wouldn't be any reason to press the panic button and jump ship.

But the Browns have now lost their last eight contests, dating back to November of last year when they won a nail-biter over the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

I propose a simple formula: in order to win games, quarterback Brandon Weeden needs to throw for 322 yards and 2 TDs, tailback Trent Richardson must rack up 145 yards of total offense, and the team has to score 27 points.

But wait a second. The Browns did all that and more yesterday, yet still managed to leave Paul Brown Stadium with the short end of the stick.

Who's to blame for this? What's the cause of such misfortune?

It must be a curse. After all, Cleveland sports enthusiasts are more inclined to believe in spiritual superstitions than any other city's fans in professional sports. 

The drive, the fumble, the move; all sinister reminders of disappointment in Cleveland football history. Add one more to the list: the flag.

Remember last week when soldiers 'trapped' Weeden under the American flag tarp during pre-game ceremonies? At first, it appeared to be a mildly hilarious form of rookie hazing, but now, it might be a little more significant.

You see, when the tarp posed menacingly over the rookie quarterback, it summoned the evil spirits of the aforementioned curses. Images of Earnest Byner, John Elway, and Art Modell were brought to the surface of Cleveland Browns Stadium. 

And the sad thing is, there's no way to "reverse the curse." Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson and Browns Owner Jimmy Haslam III could burn the flag on the 50-yard-line, but let's be honest, that doesn't sound ethical.

A win against the Buffalo Bills at home this Sunday would be a step in the right direction, that's for sure. 

Cleveland needs a reason to smile. 



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