Those of us in Ohio have always known that The Ohio State University Marching Band is the Best Damn Band In The Land. Now, thanks to the Bus Riding Conservative and this video showing the band skimming across the waters of Lake Erie on their way to a celebration of the War of 1812 at Put-in-Bay, we know that TBDBITL is also TBDBOTW.
The Browns sucked in their first home game, and they sucked even worse in their second game. After starting the season 0-2 and scoring precisely one touchdown, the Browns today traded their only legitimate offensive skill player, running back Trent Richardson.
When I heard about the trade on the radio driving home tonight, the announcers acted surprised. They shouldn’t have been. Trading Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a first-round draft choice means the Browns have given up on the season after only two games of futility — which is just a little bit earlier than in past seasons. This week they will start a third-stringer at quarterback, cast-offs and nobodies at running back, and receivers who can’t catch the ball. They’re clearly aiming to break the Seattle Seahawks’ record for fewest points scored by an NFL team in a 16-game season — 140 points. Does anyone honestly see this Browns team scoring 140 points?
This Browns organization is laughable, but the real joke is on me, Russell, and the rest of the poor diehard fans and Browns Backers who shelled out for season tickets this year. What fools we were! We should have realized what everybody else knows — this franchise is the most inept, dysfunctional, pathetic, mismanaged team in the history of professional sports. It’s appalling that they’ve taken the money of season ticket holders and given us a product that could well be the worst offensive team in modern NFL history — and then driven home the spike even farther by trading away the one player who gave us a glimmer of hope.
The Browns organization and front office could not have done more to completely crush the hopes and aspirations of Browns fans than making the trade they did today. They clearly are counting on the loyalty of Browns fans, who have patiently endured season after season of train wrecks and stuck with the team because it’s in their orange-and-brown blood. I’m one of those poor, hopelessly hooked fans, and in the past I’ve shook my head and laughed off the blunders and the mishaps and cursed bad luck. But not today.
The trade today reveals a team that doesn’t give a shit about its fans, or the money they’ve spent. The way this team is treating its loyal fans is unconscionable. The Cleveland Browns organization just sucks.
I’m going to be spending some time in France in a few months, so I’ve decided to brush up on my French language skills. Actually, calling them “skills” isn’t quite accurate — unless the meaning of “skills” can be stretched to include a capability that really doesn’t exist. I can read a little French, and I remember that jambon means ham, but that’s really about as far as it goes.
I took French in junior high school, in high school, and at OSU until I met my language requirements. Despite these years of patient instruction, I never moved past the most basic levels. Not surprisingly, my French class memories don’t involve having rapid-fire conversations with proud and dazzled teachers. Instead, I remember trying to get some “extra credit” by helping my high school French teacher decorate her classroom for Christmas. To my befuddlement, she wanted me to hang up the letters of the alphabet. After I did so, she asked me if I got the reference. When gave her a confused look in response, she gestured at the letters, barked out a short Gallic laugh, and said “No L!” I shrugged at this weak example of French humor, then remembered that sophisticates in that country considered Jerry Lewis a genius.
In college, our pleasant if somewhat beefy French instructor wanted to give the class an example of the importance of precise pronunciation. She explained that, during a recent visit to Paris, she was being pestered by a beret-wearing, cigarette-smoking man. She meant to dismiss him with a gruff cochon, which means pig, but instead she said couchons, which unfortunately suggested a desire to do the horizontal bop. She then barked out a short Gallic laugh as the members of the class snickered at her embarrassing predicament. The only other things I remember from my college French classes are that we students thought mangez mes sous-vetements, which means “eat my shorts,” was a hilarious insult even though the exasperated teacher pointed out that the French never use that phrase, and we also put n’est ce pas? at the end of every conceivable statement because it at least ended our halting sentences with a smooth closing.
So, trying to get up to speed on French in a few months is probably futile — especially since studies indicate that trying to acquire new language skills becomes more difficult with age. I’m going to try anyway. I’ve reserved some French language instruction CDs from the library and am going to listen to them on our morning walks. I’m starting with French for Dummies. The title is a bit insulting — but it’s probably accurate, n’est ce pas?