Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 9/5/13
Grantland’s Bill Simmons released half of his NFL power rankings Thursday (the AFC). The Browns came in at number fifteen. “The stakes for Cleveland’s new brain trust, as pointed out by a Cincinnati reader named Clark: “Since 1999, the Browns have more staph infection lawsuits against them (2) than playoff appearances (1).” In other words, what’s the rush? If you imagine Browns fans as prisoners who have been confined to solitary since 1999, it makes a little more sense. When someone gets out of solitary (or in this case, 14 years of Butch Davis, Romeo Crennel, Tim Couch, Derek Anderson, Pat Shurmur, Brady Quinn, Chris Palmer, Colt McCoy and everyone else), they don’t need a fancy five-course meal right out of the gate. They’d be overjoyed with a juicy burger, some well-cooked fries and a fizzy soda. And that’s what the Browns are offering them this season: Instead of panicking and trying to win right away with one of those goofy Carson Palmer–type trades, they’re building around their lines, their defense, their running game, the Dawg Pound and a relentless series of 13-10 games. (UNDER!) It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I fully approve, and please don’t think this opinion was tainted by the fact that Browns GM Mike Lombardi came on my podcast at least 320 times since 2008. (Here’s how you know I’m in the bag for the Browns: We’re 2,300 words into this column and I haven’t made a joke yet about the new Dream Team … that’s right, Norv Turner and Brandon Weeden. I really do think the Browns can squeeze out 9-7. And also, that might be the score of every game they play.)” Definitely an interesting parallel between the 2013 Browns and a juicy burger for prison inmates. Of course, if the team ends up being more prison food, there could be a hunger strike. [Related: The Diff: kickers, running efficiency and the AFC North]
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