5

5.  Five.  Cinq.  A quintet.  It’s not a big number.  It’s just halfway to ten. The Count on Sesame Street likes it, but that’s probably about it.

So why is 5 significant?  It is, if you are a Browns fan, because today the Browns won their fifth game of the season.  It was another nail-biter against a team that has sucked, but a win is a win is a win.

So what, you say.  Five wins is no big deal — and you’re right.  Except that, since they’ve come back to the NFL in 1999, the Browns have failed to reach five wins seven times — including last year.  They’ve failed to exceed five wins 11 times.  Since 2008, their win totals have been 4, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4.

Pathetic, isn’t it?  Astonishing that, through sheer fluke, the Browns wouldn’t regularly reach six wins — but they haven’t.

So let’s not overlook the importance of the number 5.  Now let’s just hope we get to 6.

An Extra Hour

“Spring ahead, fall back.”  The shifting of hours and the changing of clocks in connection with Daylight Savings Time has been going on for as long as I can remember.

As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve come to appreciate the “fall back” part of the process more and more.  What the heck!  It’s autumn, and it’s getting colder.  Why not stay snug in your warm bed for an extra hour?  And after staying out later than normal last night, getting home after midnight after enjoying the Buckeyes’ drubbing of Illinois at Ohio Stadium, the extra hour of shut-eye is even more welcome.  The fact that it’s a shivery 28 degrees outside just confirms the wisdom of this timekeeping sleight-of-hand.

So I’d like to thank the ever-creative Benjamin Franklin, who came up with the concept of Daylight Savings Time in 1784 as a method to save on candles.  I’d like to thank the New Zealanders, Brits, and Germans who helped to popularize the idea, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who implemented the idea in America as a war-time measure during World War II.  And I’d like to thank the United States Congress, which enacted the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to finally implement Daylight Savings Time as we now know it.

Ben Franklin was all of 78 years old when he came up with the idea for shifting clocks to save a candle or two.  You think the idea might have been motivated by the notion of getting an extra hour of sleep on a cold autumn morning?