After a 3-13 season in 2015, the Cleveland Browns quickly initiated a (slightly) controlled implosion sequence, like that on an outdated stadium or (more appropriately) a Vegas casino that had fallen into disrepair. Blown away in the dust and rubble was the core of the Mike Pettine-Ray Farmer administration. You’d be forgiven (and extremely fortunate) to have already forgotten the entirety of the the Pettine-Farmer regime, one which distinguished its dreary and playoff-free seasons from previous administrations only by especially poor drafting and exceptional haplessness.
But the Pettine-Farmer Era (or as I playfully call it, in a nod to Parliament Funkadelic, “P-Farm”) wasn’t all misery and self-flagellation. There was some great comedy there, too. For instance, because of the boundless generosity of Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer and the collective smarts of the rest of the league, Johnny Manziel will forever have spent his entire [ital] career as a Cleveland Brown. How rich is that?
Another great piece of comedy from P-Farm was General Manager Ray Farmer’s four-game suspension for texting the sidelines during a game in 2014, which is officially the closest anyone in the NFL has come to being suspended for behaving like a teenage girl (other than that time Tony Romo was caught throwing a kegger at AT&T Stadium when Jerry Jones was on vacation). During the 2015 season, I was fortunate to be able to use my national security and law enforcement contacts to obtain texts Ray Farmer sent during his suspension.
Now, finding myself missing Ray Farmer and nostalgic for his bumbling ways, I’ve again called upon my friend [redacted] at the Federal Bureau of [redacted] to backdoor now-departed GM Ray Farmer’s text messages sent during the Browns’ dismal 29-10 Week 1 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. Here they are, more texts from Ray Farmer.
12:25 p.m. ET
With no evidence of interest from the rest of the NFL with the stench of the Browns lingering on them, neither Ray Farmer nor Mike Pettine appear to have been hired by anyone affiliated with the league, not even in a token BS consultant or assistant role. Looking to enjoy some of Jimmy Haslam’s dead money, Ray Farmer and wife Vernet went on vacation to the Caribbean. Vernet Farmer wonders why Ray hasn’t come down to the beach as promised.
As the Browns were not being broadcast on the Secluded Caribbean Island Broadcast channel, Ray Farmer needed streaming access to someone’s DirecTV Sunday NFL Ticket account.
Farmer texts former Browns CEO and surprisingly entertaining Twitter follow Joe Banner, with whom he has become closer since his firing in January. The two of them are bonded by their mutual disdain for the Browns organization and complete lack of remorse over decisions they made on behalf of the Browns.
It didn’t take long for the Browns to show their impotence against the Eagles. In the first quarter, the Browns offense had two punts, one turnover on downs, and a total of seven yards. Reveling in the Browns’ misfortune, Farmer texts former compatriot Mike Pettine, if only to annoy him for old time’s sake.
After a back-and-forth second quarter and a 35-yard field goal by Patrick Murray (who?) at the start of the third quarter the Browns trailed the Eagles 10-13, and briefly looked they had a chance to win the game. That would be short-lived, but what would not be short-lived is Vernet Farmer’s frustrations with her embittered husband.
Before long (as Farmer had anticipated), the Browns shot themselves in the foot, or at least dropped a really heavy object on it. Cameron Erving launched a snap over the head of quarterback Robert Griffin III that did not stop (at least not within the confines of the football field). The Eagles received two points for a safety, and the Browns would not score for the remainder of the afternoon. Ray checks in with Pettine.
With the Browns utterly powerless to move the ball in the fourth quarter, Farmer again commiserates with Banner over the Browns’ misfortune.
Before long though, Ray Farmer begins to stop taking delight in the Browns’ failures. It had almost become too much. Then, went Robert Griffin III sustained a hit to the shoulder on an otherwise meaningless play with 3:49 remaining in the fourth quarter, it had become clear to Ray Farmer that Farmer’s vindictives had reached its breaking point, the terminus of his retribution.
When Farmer received a desperate text from Browns owner/witless billionaire Jimmy Haslam, Farmer’s serenity allowed him to give Haslam the response he didn’t want, but one the Browns needed.
Wow! Fake Ray Farmer came from another planet? And just like that, Fake Ray Farmer was never heard from again. No longer there to make light of the abomination the Browns have become by way of satirical text messages, the Cleveland Browns were, for the first time since 1999, ready to begin rebuilding … again.
Think of it as The Rerebuild.1 Sure, several, maybe even a dozen Browns fans missed Fake Ray Farmer. But rather than be sad that he left/died on the way back to his home planet, many took solace in the fact that they had ever met Fake Ray Farmer at all.
- Not to be confused with the Riri Build, Rihanna’s home remodeling reality TV show, still in development. [↩]