Browns Bounce-Back

I wanted to write about the Browns’ improbable — in fact, impossible — come-from-behind overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens today as soon as the game ended, but I was so stunned by the result that my fingers refused to function.

Let’s face it — no one expected the Browns to beat the Ravens in Baltimore.  The last time it happened, George W. Bush was President.  And for the Browns, it was probably 1,000 head coaches and 1,000 starting quarterbacks ago.  But today, they did it.

Russell informs me that the Browns defense has the highest payroll in the NFL.  You couldn’t tell that by today’s game, when the Browns got gashed on the ground and made Joe Flacco and his second-string receivers look like studs.  But the Ravens inexplicably became conservative when they had the chance to score the clinching touchdown in regulation, the Browns D made a stop to get the game to overtime, and then it forced a three-and-out to get the offense the ball and a chance for the winning field goal.  I’ve never seen a defense so soft against the run and so incapable of sacking the quarterback or forcing turnovers — but the Browns won, anyway.

And how about Browns’ quarterback Josh McCown (or, as UJ has called him in moments of weakness, “McClown”)?  He’s put up big numbers in the past three games, he threw for more than 400 yards today, he led the offense on several key drives, he didn’t throw an interception, and he spreads the ball around to skill players who can actually make plays.  The notion that the Browns would score more than 30 against the vaunted Ravens defense is absurd — but with McCown at the helm they did so, anyway.

Of course, Browns fans everywhere are pumped about the victory and are looking forward to more offensive fireworks to come.  I’m going up to the game next weekend, for a matchup against Denver that is perfectly set up to be a horrible disappointment.  Don’t blame me for my pessimisn . . . I’m just a world-weary Browns fan who’s seen the little sparks of hope in seasons past die horrible, soul-crushing deaths before.

So I’m not even going to think about next week’s game.  For now, I’m just going to enjoy the ride.


IMG_7139_2It’s always interesting when a new restaurant opens in your neighborhood.  And the initial visit is often the crucial one — when first impressions that could become lasting habits are  formed.  Friday night Kish and I went to Copious, a new restaurant and entertainment venue on High Street in German Village, and it passed the crucial “first taste” test.

First, a note about the ambiance.  Copious has a very bright feel and open floor plan, with colorful artwork and not much in the way of interior walls, especially in the dining area. The design creates a kind of bustling sensation, with plenty of background murmuring from nearby tables, that you often find in big-city bistros.  In short, it’s not the kind of dim, quiet place, with secluded nooks and crannies, that you would want to frequent if, say, you were one of those Ashley Madison schmucks having an affair.  When we were there the place was crowded with the younger set and codgerdom alike, and everyone seemed to be having a good time.

The food was also very much to my liking, and for that matter, so were the prices.  I ordered the smoked Ohio brisket, which our waiter advised is one of Copious’ most popular dishes.  Having consumed it with relish, I can see why.  The brisket was melt-in-your-mouth moist and well-seasoned, and I particularly liked the “smoked walnut and mayfield road creamery bleu cheese cake” that accompanied the dish, which was a sharp, tart counterpoint to the savory meat. Kish had the shrimp and grits and reported that it also was excellent.

Kudos, too, to Copious for the reasonable portion size, which was just right for me.  I’m tired of being served plates covered end-to-end with groaning portions of food that couldn’t possibly be eaten by a normal person, and it’s nice to see a restaurant that is moving in the direction of portion control sanity.  Perhaps for that reason, the prices were quite affordable, and even with before-dinner drinks and a shared dessert — a moist piece of blueberry maple milk cake that was very tasty — our bill was below $60.

Copious has a companion venue, called Notes, that is under the restaurant and offers a full calendar of live music.  We didn’t drop in on Friday, but I’m glad to see a live music venue in the ‘hood.  I have no doubt that we’ll be checking out Notes in the near future.