The King James Bible speaks often of biblical figures girding their loins. Jeremiah 1:17, for example, reads: “Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise . . . ”
We don’t know precisely how loins were girded, of course. Some people think the long skirts men wore in those days were rolled up and tucked in somewhere, so that you didn’t trip on them. I suspect, however, that there was a bit more emphasis on . . . protection than that. In the old days of single combat, where a kid with a sling might be hurling stones at your most tender areas, you obviously wanted to make sure that your loins were well girded, indeed. Nothing like a flying chunk of rock in the groin (or the forehead) to take the wind out of your sails and lead to your prompt beheading.
We Browns fans are used to girding our loins. We’ve taken so many painful shots to the psychic privates, the mental loin-girding process has become second nature. Sound the clarion call of pessimism, keep your expectations absurdly low, and brush away any brimming feelings of hope. Only then will your inner loins be fully girded and you will be prepared for the series of gridiron catastrophes that are sure to be visited upon you and the rest of the Browns faithful.
I hope Browns fans will be paying special attention to the girding process this year, because I fear we are going to need all the girding we can get. With a rookie quarterback, a rookie tailback, a motley crew of receivers, and a defense that stands up against opposing rushing attacks like a cheesecloth curtain, playing in the most rugged division in professional football, the Browns and their fans are going to be taking a lot of shots to the solar plexus this season.
As was said in Job 38:3: “Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” Take heed, Browns fans! Let the loin-girding begin!