That's why I think the NFL (and maybe all college football programs outside of the SEC and Ohio State) ought to let fans be more involved, or work harder to make preseason games entertaining. Bring bands in. Have giveaways. Pick one fan out of the crowd and let him or her be the kicker on point-after attempts. Let a player's mom call the plays for a quarter.
It's not like anything gets accomplished in the games: coaches are always saying how they don't really run their "real" offense or defense for fear other teams will get tape on them and figure out how to defend them, a double-edged sword of a strategy because yeah, your opponents have slightly less of a clue how you'll play (assuming that you have completely changed things up from last year and the year before) but your team hasn't really practiced its schemes, either, which is why I always say the season doesn't really count until about week 4.
(And the let's not show them our schemes only matters for the first 1-3 opponents, anyway; the teams you play in week 7, say, will have plenty of tape no matter what you did in the preseason.)
So here's what you should think about the Cleveland Browns this year:
What I Know About Them Without Researching: Oh, man, nothing. Do they have that one running back, Peyton Hillis? Why do I think the Browns have a guy named Peyton Hillis and why do I think he was on The Dan Patrick Show last year defending himself against claims that he was milking a so-called injury as a contract ploy?
That is quite honestly every single thing I know about the Browns. Oh, and that they play in Cleveland. I got that, too.
What Somebody Else Said About Them: So I googled Dan Patrick Peyton Hillis and I was right: Kind of. Hillis claimed he was too sick to play last year's week 3 game against the Dolphins, but was then slammed for seeming to say that if he was making $10,000,000 a year he might have been able to suit up. by ProFootballTalk. Then, early this year, Hill "discussed his whiteness" on the Dan Patrick Show:
“I try not be covenant to it."
Hillis said, making no sense whatsoever. He also discussed nicknames he's been given, so let's list some of those. Back in 2010, the DawgPoundDaily had a poll to pick a nickname for Hillis, and here were the results:
The Albino Rhino (35%, 227 Votes)
The Hilldebeest (17%, 109 Votes)
None of the Above (Add Yours in the Comment Section) (15%, 99 Votes)
Bamm-Bamm (12%, 78 Votes)
The Hulk (9%, 62 Votes)
Run for the Hillis (4%, 24 Votes)
The White Ford Bronco (3%, 18 Votes)
Brown Bronco (3%, 17 Votes)
The Pasty Punisher (2%, 14 Votes)
The White Wallop (1%, 5 Votes)
The Ashen Bash (0%, 0 Votes)
Let's reflect on how far we've gotten, in a post-racial America, since the election of Obama in 2008, an event that drove about 25% of the white people in America to spend the next four years voting against every single government program that didn't involve shooting Arabs while proclaiming that their opposition was based on taxes, not skin color, with our progress being shown by the fact that we can expressly focus on the race of a running back.
More importantly, perhaps, let's consider the state of mind of the 18 people who thought The White Ford Bronco was an appropriate nickname, period: "Hey, you know what's the best way to honor a white running back based solely on his race? To remind people that a black guy killed a white woman once and got away with it."
The third-runner up, you'll note, is "Add Yours In The Comment Section," and if you read the comment section you'll see that 99 people did not add theirs, and most of the comments section is a celebration of Hillis' whiteness. Except for the guy who suggested "Brown Thunder." I guess he didn't get the memo. (PS, Brown Thunder guy: You like him because he's white.)
What 1980s One Hit Wonder Song Describes The Browns This Year? How can I predict a record that adequately reflects the sentiment I don't care, nobody does with an undercurrent of Cleveland loves the white folks? Let's say 5-11, and here's their song:
Stand By Me, by Mickey Gilley:
It's okay, Cleveland: This is the white guy version. You'll love it.
St. Louis Rams