With the impending lockout looming (which just sounds ridiculous to even type), football fans are starving for a way to divert their attention from the media circus surrounding the collection of greedy bastards—players and owners alike.
I recognize the ability to cover the draft is an easy way to fill the appetite of said football fans, but to be perfectly honest, my evaluation or opinion of college talent, in any shape or form, should ever be heard by anyone other than maybe my mirror and my old man. Not to say I don't love college football, but I've never held a stop watch, broke down tape, operated a JUGS machine, or worn Astroglide in my hair a la Mel Kiper. If you have the ability to sit on your couch, drink beer, yell at the TV, pass gas, and second guess every coaching decision, then you are just as qualified as me to evaluate talent, which is saying you're not truly qualified.
What I can dissect is the future, because it's completely hypothetical and I won't be proven wrong until months, or years, from now when no one besides myself will even remember this article even existed.
Sounds bulletproof right?
I'm a diehard, passionate, unapologetic Browns fan. There is no need to go into what this means, because if you are too, you already know.
We as fans have hung our hats on the idea that as soon as one season ends, the optimism of the next season begins. It is what we do as Browns fans. Unfortunately, with the labor negotiations going as smoothly as a domestic dispute with Chris Brown, we are forced to search for some kind of meaning to this off-season. Let's bust out the magic-8 ball and see what the future could hold if everything goes right... for once.
Bo and Luke Duke: There has never been a more formidable hillbilly combination than the two wise-cracking billies that lit up the small screen in the 80's. Enter Peyton Hillis and Colt McCoy. These guys make Jared Allan look like "My Cousin Vinny". They are the type of guys that could steal my (imaginary) girlfriend and I wouldn't feel bad about it. "Well they do seem to be southern gentleman, can't really blame her". Now, does the fact that they are billies make them any more likable? Probably not, but at least it's a discernible characteristic. Bill Laimbeer might be the biggest prick in the history of sports, but at least he was unique. Fans gravitate towards unique people and we get to watch the two roughnecks trade tins of Copenhagen and team MVP honors for at least the next 6 years, if everything goes right.
Holmgert: Now onto the other diabolical duo that will help thwart the enemies. I have to admit, I thought there was no way a guy like Mike Holmgen could handle being just a GM. That's like having Chef Gordon Ramsay stand in a "Denny's" kitchen and not want to tweak a entree here and there. I mean, the guy is one of the best coaches in the last thirty years and he refuses to mettle with the coaching duties. You gotta hand it to him, it must have been killing him to watch Mangini pound the ball into the line 40 times a game, but he let him do it. If this guy hits on the next two drafts the way he did this last one, we will be sitting pretty for the next ten years, if everything goes right.
Offensive line: Thomas, Steinbach, Mack. Nough said. The left side is as air tight as the jail I recently did time in. We've got 66.6% percent of our line figured out, and it's the Colts blindside! Right tackles are fairly easy to pick up in the mid-rounds of the draft and they are generally guys who couldn't cut it at left tackle. It's a pressing need, but one that is rather easy to shore up with some solid draft evaluation, which again, I know nothing about. We are a solid right guard and tackle away being one of the best lines in football, if everything goes right.
Secondary: Have you guys seen Haden in and around Cleveland? This guy loves Cleveland more than Bruce Drennan. Not only that (which is enough for me to love him anyway), the guy is a bona fide star waiting to happen. Throw in TJ Ward acting like Eric Turner (god rest his soul) and maybe a Patrick Peterson, you have the makings of a three-way Pro Bowl secondary. Probably should have used something other than "three way" but dang it, you know what I mean! This could be the biggest strength of all, if everything goes right.
Optimism: Forget "If everything goes right". It will go right! We got to drop the losers mentality and start believing we can turn this damn thing around. Granted, we have every reason to believe Murphy's Law. "Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong". (Not to insult anyone's intelligence but I had to write it down just to remind myself exactly what Mr. Murphy's law was again) But a vast majority of us have been buying into this mentality for too long and where has it taken us? Getting wronged! Let's try a different approach. Let's believe that brighter days are ahead and we are going to be an NFL championship city soon enough. I know its only a mentality and it stands to reason that it should have no baring on what happens between the lines, but what if it does? It cant hurt to be optimistic right? Will hearts break into smaller pieces if we stink again? No, we will dust ourselves off and say, "next year Pittsburgh!" When everything goes right.....