WWW

The Browns are Bad Because: While We’re Waiting…

Happy Thursday, WFNY readers. Not to be too “inside baseball,” but this post was mostly written on Wednesday night. Sorry to shatter the illusion that these articles are spontaneously generated from your author’s skull in the form of hypertext markup language as they appear on your computer screen.

Monday seems to be the consensus reigning Worst Day of the Week champion, but Wednesday has to be in contention for WDW: Worst Day of the Week. It is by definition the day of the week with the greatest proximity from the weekend, equidistant between the preceding weekend and the following weekend. If you’re seized by a sudden bout of despair on Wednesday, it’s like Wile E. Coyote looking down in midair between cliff ledges — there’s no weekend to grasp for, just a long descent to the desert floor below. For those of you that work irregular hours or weird shifts, trust that I’ve been there too and accept my apology that the world is indifferent to the depressive rhythms of your schedule. It’s unfair. Anyway, the Indians will persist despite the disheartening departure of Carlos Santana, the Cavaliers have had a fun and feisty December, and the Browns are … well, more on them in a second. While we’re waiting for them …

The Browns are bad. The worst team in the NFL, to be exact, at 0-14 and 1-29 in two seasons. Why are they so bad, though? Who’s to blame? Browns fans chase their own tails ad infinitum arguing about who’s more to blame: ownership, the front office, the coaches, or the players. Hue can’t win because he has no players! The front office picked multiple players who aren’t grossly unqualified, they just needed more time! The players have been put in a position to fail by Hue Jackson! Jimmy Haslam- well, no one defends Haslam.

Earlier this week, Waiting for Next Year’s Jake Burns wrote how the parties to blame for the Browns’ failure is, well, all of them. Summarily, “Organizations don’t win only one game in a near two year span without having multiple failures throughout multiple different levels.” The timing of Burns’ diagnosis is fitting, as I have been thinking about this same issue for several weeks — I’d like to echo and graphically illustrate his points. Browns fans bring themselves within one Dorito of a pulmonary embolism arguing about which of a group of dummies is the dumbest. It’s like arguing about which episode of The Big Bang Theory is the worst. They’re all bad! And we should all feel bad for having watched them.

What the Browns are is a feedback loop of misery, sadness, failure, and (for fans) shame-related consumption. A feedback loop is a relationship in which the outputs of a system circle back into the system as inputs. If you’ve ever taken an engineering class in college, you may have seen a block diagram of a feedback loop like the one below. Often in feedback loops — depending on how the components are related — things compound on one another. In a positive feedback loop, good things tend to get better, and in a negative feedback loop bad things tend to get worse until something drastic changes. Being rich is a positive feedback loop. A rich person is better situated to invest and spend their money — with inconsequential recurring expenses — to become even richer. A negative feedback is listening to the Smiths. Am I sad because I’m listening to the Smiths, or am I listening to the Smiths because I’m sad? Well, both.

In my last edition of “While We’re Waiting…” I discussed the surreality of potential Browns’ goodness, and the cosmological necessity of their badness. In this edition I am introducing the Browns Cycle of Suckitude, a feedback loop explaining why the Browns are so bad. Abbreviated as BCOS, it also represents the circular logical exercise Browns fans engage in every Sunday with one another. “Why are the Browns so bad?” “I don’t know. Because they are.” Well now they’re also bad because BCOS.

Look at the diagram below. In reality, you can count the things making a good or bad football team on two hands. There’s ownership’s role — hiring/firing, creating organizational structure — the front office’s role — assembling a roster via the draft, and “roster moves” like making trades and signing free agents — the coaches’ role — mentoring players, instructing them, and making game plans — and the players’ role — working in the film room and weight room to train and develop, and executing on Sundays, as well as the special role in American football of the quarterback, who by himself can improve improve the team through his play and leadership. There’s plenty of nuance to each area, but that’s really all there is to it.

The above diagram can be altered by adding and subtracting lines, moving some boxes, etc. But the point remains the same. It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner or even a Cracker Jack prize winner to understand it broadly. Some of the parties between ownership, the front office, the coaches, and the players may be less culpable than the others. But they’re all to blame. While some party may be less reprehensible than the others, they are all bad, and none of them are independently and sufficiently adequate to break the downward spiral into metaphorical football hell. I’ve illustrated how the loop works for the Browns below.

The New York Jets, the Chicago Bears, and Denver Broncos are all objectively gross football teams — and they’ve all won at least four more games than the Browns. The Jets even borrowed the Browns’ quarterback from last year in an act of self-sabotage: and they’ve managed to win five games! Idiots manage to win five-to-nine football games every … single … season. All they need to do is break free from the Browns Cycle of Suckitude to achieve mediocrity. Which the Browns cannot do. So waste no further time arguing whether Jimmy Haslam, Sashi Brown, Hue Jackson, or the players suck. As the Browns Cycle of Suckitude illustrates, they all suck.

The Calvin and Hobbes Strip of the Day. I’m with Calvin — given the pace of technological progress, artificial intelligence, neural networks, and autobots, machines should solve all problems and render biological humans obsolete in what, 20 years? Let’s go play outside.

And now for the random 90s song of the day. Music connects time and space in mysterious and curious ways. For instance, I recently got on a Hunky Dory kick, listening repeatedly to the 1971 David Bowie album. Why Hunky Dory? Why now? I have no earthly idea. My best guess is that “hunky-dory” is a compound word with comedic aspirations, which makes it always sound like a good idea. But the album is also excellent and features classics such as “Changes,” “Oh! You Pretty Things,” “Life on Mars?” “Kooks,” “Queen Bitch,”1 and what would eventually became today’s Random 90s Song of the Day. Hunky Dory,what did I hear? Dinosaur Jr.’s 1991 cover/rewrite of the Hunky Dory staple “Quicksand.” Bowie’s 1971 version is jarringly naked and unglamorous for a Bowie song. Although it has some piano and other flourishes beyond the acoustic guitar, it lacks the glittery flamboyance that was the hallmark of Stardust-era Bowie. Dinosaur Jr.’s 1991 reimagining — which J. Mascis wrote after a car accident as detailed in the clip from 2016 with Sean Lennon below — adds a slightly sinister edge and a little giddy-up. What’s this you say? A 2016 version of a cover of a 1971 song in the Random 90s Song of the Day? The R90sSotD interprets its own rules liberally. As long as there is some temporal anchor to the 1990s, the song is eligible. Still dissatisfied? Well here’s a surprisingly poignant “Quicksand” cover by Seal — yeah, that Seal! — from 1996, free of charge. I hope you’re happy. Also, don’t forget to follow the Random 90s Song of the Day for a daily dose of vitamin 90s, now live @R90sSotD on Twitter.

I’m not a prophet or a stone age man
Just a mortal with potential of a superman
I’m living on
I’m tethered to the logic of Homo Sapien 

  1. Expertly deployed by Wes Anderson to stylize Bill Murray and introduce the credits in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. []

  • RGB
  • Chris

    “And Khloe Kardashian’s legion of loyal fans could not stop lavishing congratulations and praise of the stunning star and her boyfriend Tristan Thomas”

    Nah, RGB… we’re good. It’s someone else.

  • MartyDaVille

    Aha! A kindred soul who also thinks Big Bang is stupid! I didn’t know there were others. We should meet clandestinely in a back-alley dive somewhere. This also goes for Modern Family, which was once very good but which, like other very good shows have, ran out of very good and settled for stupid.

    As for the Browns, I’ve changed my opinion on Hue. He’s got to go. He’s determined to win it his way (passing “attack”) even though his way isn’t working — because it can’t work. But he’s not smart enough to adapt. He’s a System Zombie. Go coach the Bengals, Hue. You deserve each other.

  • Chris

    With you on Hue. In the Sashi vs Hue showdown, I sided with Hue. Now that Sashi is gone, I’ve grown increasingly tired of Hue’s bullsh**

  • BenRM

    In the land of ruined QBs, I don’t think a coach has ever ruined a QB the way that Hue has with Kizer.

  • Chris

    No doubt. But it started well before Hue ever made a gameplan or in-game decision with Kizer. Hue completely botched training camp (Sashi deserves some blame too). Hue should have never pumped up the “Kessler is the guy” narrative if he didn’t believe it. If it took Hue until September to realize that Cody wasn’t going to cut it… that’s on Hue. Similar story with Brock, although no one really had high expectations.

    Instead, Hue panders to these two jagaloons and pisses away an entire training camp and preseason for the youngest starting QB in NFL history. Kizer never had a chance.

  • tigersbrowns2

    speaking of David Bowie … TB2’s greatest male ROCK singers of all-time :

    1 – Freddie Mercury
    2 – Paul Rodgers
    3 – David Bowie
    4 – John Lennon
    5 – Elvis Presley
    6 – Paul McCartney
    7 – Steve Perry
    8 – Burton Cummings
    9 – Geoff Tate
    10- Layne Staley

  • Chris

    No Chris Cornell or Eddie Vedder?

  • tigersbrowns2
  • Chris

    Damn… or Robert Plant?

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi CHRIS … i’m very old-school … at least Tate & Staley made it on my list. Cornell is great & Vedder is very unique & sings with a lot of passion.

    my list is subjective & everyone will have a different one.

  • Chris
  • Harv

    At this point it’s on us if we believe anything that Hue proclaims, whether positive (“the earth moved”; “trust me”), negative (“it’s time for both Josh and the org to move on”), or strategic (“he’s going to play through better or worse”). Hue’s nothing if not a salesman, and he doesn’t expect it to be taken literally (i.e., true) so much as the hoped for outcome.

  • tigersbrowns2

    see revision above !

  • tigersbrowns2

    LOL

  • BenRM

    The Babe! The Babe Power!

  • BenRM

    The sad part is, I actually think Kizer has a shot. But not with this crap.

  • Harv

    Your diagram isn’t appearing for me, but the league has embedded elements intended to defeat a cycle of suckitude: the draft. Unlike baseball, it doesn’t entrust the team to develop high schoolers, but presents a buffet of amateurs developed by college programs. The only remaining thing a sucky team must do is figure out what’s nutritious, delicious and balances the rest of its menu. Cyborg Sashi decided to go all-you-can-eat, betting that multiple plates would make up for his total unfamiliarity with food. Which is how we end up with 4 receivers taken in a single draft, one of whom – the 15th player taken in the entire country – has a chance to be a #2 guy on a mediocre team.

  • tigersbrowns2
  • tigersbrowns2

    hi BEN … you’ve been pretty hard on Kizer & deservedly so … I’m slightly surprised to hear you say that.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi HARV … you’re making me hungry.

  • RGB

    Odds are that 1 of 4 random WRs would work out, right?
    Analytics.

  • MartyDaVille

    Excuse me, teebee, but there’s no one named Mick on your first draft there.

  • CBiscuit

    The STDs were pumping through his body as early as last year…and the life sapping powers of those Kursed, vile women had already taken effect. That guy never had a chance. And likewise, we may have missed our window in trading him then.

  • Chris

    Tristan for Melo

    *runs out of room, locks door behind*

  • Show of hands: Who can see the images in the post and who can’t?

    I ask because i’m seeing them on desktop, but can’t see them at all on mobile, and Harv mentioned below he can’t see them either.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi MARTY … my list was singers , not front-men … i never considered Jagger as having a great , or even good , singing voice … that’s just me. I would put David Lee Roth & some others in this category as well . Mick is a GREAT front man & show man.

    you will find Bob Dylan on top of some lists & I’ve never considered him a great singer … he’s a great song writer , but not a great singer … that’s only my opinion. and i love the Traveling Wilburys.

    the Stones are considered the greatest rock band of all time … and you can’t argue with that. as a musician , it is really hard for me to listen to the Stones playing live … it’s really rough, imo … I have much respect for Keith Richards as a guitarist & Mick Taylor was pretty good as well … the rest of the band is very average as musicians … especially when you compare them to Led Zeppelin , Deep Purple & even the Beatles.

    I would personally have The Beatles as the best rock band ever … and my personal favorites are Led Zeppelin , The Beatles & Aerosmith (mostly the first 5 albums).

    don’t get me wrong , the Stones have their place in rock history & some real die-hard fans … and it’s all good , as far as I’m concerned. mine is only one person’s opinion.

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi SCOTT … i can’t see a pic at the very top of the article , but i do see the pics Sean Lennon & Seal.

  • BenRM

    I’m just trying to be fair. He sucks in game, but he shouldn’t be in the game. He was raw. That was the book on him when he was drafted.You don’t toss raw players to the wolves ASAP. The Chiefs have treated Mahomes so much better.

    IMO, Kizer is the best Browns rookie I’ve seen since Couch. But Hue murdered him by playing him, calling terrible plays for him, and treating him like a yo-yo.

    Kizer is a dude who basically needed to not start for about 3 years. Now, whether you spend a second round pick to draft that guy when you’re QB starved is another issue.

  • tigersbrowns2

    … good post.

  • Harv

    same as Tiger. On a desktop I can see the vid links below but not the top pic, which I assume is Kyle’s diagram.

  • BenRM

    I can, but I’ve been clearing my cache like every day for WFNY purposes.

  • Pat Leonard

    I see no image at the top, but can see the videos.

  • swig

    I despise that Big Bang is popular. Although the laugh track is a non-starter for me so I haven’t even seen a full episode.

  • tigersbrowns2

    … same here.

  • Pat Leonard

    This is a fun idea… I’ll add some more favorites of mine (rock bands only):
    – Dave Matthews (kidding!)
    – Bono (U2)
    – Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters)
    – Michael Stipe (R.E.M.)
    – Ricky Wilson (Kaiser Chiefs)
    – Courtney Taylor-Taylor (The Dandy Warhols)

  • tigersbrowns2

    hi PAT … and to show you how seriously old-school i really am , I truly have never heard of Kaiser Chiefs … I have heard of The Dandy Warhols , but I’ve never heard of any of their songs.

    Now I will have to go to You Tube to check-out some of their songs.

  • Pat Leonard

    Yeah that was why I was sure to put them as personal favorites. There are a lot fewer rock bands than there used to be, so I had to expand to some bands that aren’t quite full mainstream.

  • MartyDaVille

    I couldn’t see the second BCOS diagram (the one with the Xs) or the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon the first time I visited this page, but when I came back to it later, they were there.

    Also, new stories were not showing up on your home page earlier this week, but this has gotten a little better today.

    I’m on a desktop computer.

  • tigersbrowns2

    … it must be the Russians or North Koreans at-work.

  • Pat Leonard

    I’m going to keep editing the comment and adding more as I think of them.

  • rtpinfla

    I have also changed my opinion of Hue. Yes Sashi short changed him in the QB/receiving category but gave him a good O line and 2 good running backs. Last week was the real turning point for me on Hue. After that scoring drive to completely abandon the run that worked extremely well? It’s like he was actually trying to lose. All year he’s had a different reason to not run but it’s now clear he NEVER had that intention. That wouldn’t be a problem if he had even part of a passing game at his disposal. He has had NONE most of the season and can’t use JG because his QB is simply awful and regressing at an accelerated pace.
    You are 100% correct he is a system guy and simply can’t adapt. As said by (I think) Faulkner, ” A man in crisis falls back on what he knows best, A murderer to murder, a thief to theft, and a liar to lying. I would add Hue Jackson to the passing game.
    As an aside, There was this shot of him on TV with this look on his face. it looked like I imagine I would look if I just realized I lost my house to the craps table in Vegas and was REALLLLY hoping to win it all back on 8 the hard way on the next roll. He really looked dazed and panicked.
    I was all for coaching continuity but now would not complain if he was showed the door.

  • tsm

    Jim Morrison

  • tsm

    I can

  • tigersbrowns2

    ahhhh , yes … the poet with the ravishing good looks … good choice.

  • Steve

    A missed part of the cycle – fans who line up to hand over their paychecks every time a coach or GM is replaced, because, seriously, no I really mean it this time, it is totally going to work.

    There is little incentive for Haslam to stop being a dope. Considering that, why should we expect him to actually sit down and put some hard work into this?

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  • WFNY_DP

    “the Stones are considered the greatest rock band of all time … and you can’t argue with that.”

    Hold my beer

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