The Dawn of a New Era. For Reals. We Closing the Loop.

Huzzah! The 2012 Brownies duck the ignominy of a franchise-record losing streak, a possible winless season, and maybe drafting quarterbacks in the first round two years in a row. Basking in the glow of competence, y’all!

It’s interesting, people seemed to feel very confident overall the Browns were going to win this game, despite the Bengals generally being the better team. On Cleveland.com, something like 57% of people thought they were going to win. Several other sources picked them as well. Hm. Wishful thinking? Perhaps it was a sign–the team had managed to be competitive, sometimes with strong defense and other times with an offense that appeared to working. Maybe new narrative in play–one of the youngest teams in the league comes together, just at the moment that the aging juggernauts of the division begin their inexorable declines. And this win was the first moment of the decade in which the AFC North and several Super Bowls finally belong to Cleveland? I saw the movie Looper over the weekend (it’s quite good, though hard for the father of a young son to watch at times), and by the rubric of the movie, this vision of the future is one possible vision, made fuzzy by constantly shifting probabilities. Writing this very very narrowly-read blog post has shifted the future just a little (actually, prolly not). Maybe Weeden stumbles across it while Googling his name. Maybe he’s inspired to not stare down his receivers so much. Things are becoming clearer now: 3-13?

“Oh my goodness, it was like a big weight off everybody’s shoulders,” said Joe Haden, who returned from his four-game suspension for taking meth (okay, it was Adderall–still meth, more or less). “It felt like we won the Super Bowl, honestly. Everybody’s excited.”

Oof. That quote brought a little smile to my face until I realized how sad that must sound to teams and fans that have actually won titles or gone to the playoffs regularly in the last decade or so. I like Haden a lot, but it’s like a little kid putting on a suit that’s way too big for him and marching around the room handing out business cards. It’s just a little too adorable. Charles Woodson wants to pat him on the head.

I like this one a little better: “It says they never give up,” said Cribbs (of the Cleveland fans). “We were 0-5 and they’re still packing the house. That’s why this is Believeland and we’re right there with them.”

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