Enjoying Browns bye week: While We’re Waiting


Happy Tuesday, WFNY!

It’s the Cleveland Browns’ bye week, the second-best week of the year in the Browns universe, only behind the week of the draft. I don’t really watch the Browns too much these days, anyway, but it’s nice to have a full day of non-Browns football on my TV on Sunday. I don’t know, it’s just fun to watch real franchises play NFL football sometimes.

In other Cleveland sports situations, we have the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavs were supposed to be our pleasant distraction from the Browns. Instead, we have a nightmare start to the season. I know, every time we say anything negative about the Cavs around here, everyone is quick to remind us that the regular season doesn’t matter. I was worried last regular season and the Cavs still made it to the Finals. I’m sure everything will turn out just fine again this year.

But man, the Cavs are really bad right now. If you want to just blame it on Isaiah Thomas and Derrick Rose injuries, that’s fine. I’m sure the Cavs will be significantly better once IT returns, no doubt. The problem is, the Cavs are bad in some ways that getting IT back won’t help. Specifically, I’m talking about defense.

Everything you need to know about the Cavs’ defense this season is perfectly summed up in this tweet:

From Shump’s half-hearted attempt at fighting through the screen to Kevin Love and LeBron James both essentially just standing and watching Jrue Holiday get around Tristan Thompson for an easy, uncontested layup, it’s just an awful piece of film. The worst part is, this isn’t just one isolated play. This is the caliber of effort and defense this team is routinely putting forth. It’s not ideal, to say the least.

So yeah, the Browns are next-level lousy, but the Cavaliers haven’t been much better this season. So, the question is, with this being Browns bye week, what are you going to do this weekend without the Browns? On Sunday, at 3:00 in the afternoon, you could watch the Cavaliers play the Atlanta Hawks and see if Ty Lue is able to get the team to play any better on defense. But what else? Well, here are a few suggestions I’ll offer:

  • Watch season two of Stranger Things. (This part is 100% spoiler-free) If you didn’t binge watch it all over a day and a half like I did last weekend, this weekend is a perfect chance to keep up. I fell in love with the show after watching the first season. The cast is incredible, the writing is pretty decent, the directing is top notch, and visually the show nails the aesthetics of life in the 80s, at least as much as I remember of them. I wasn’t sure, though, if a second season was really needed. I was worried that maybe it would feel forced. Much to my surprise, I found myself preferring this second season over the original. I thought the writing was significantly improved, the story was better, the character development was better, and some of the scenes in this season will be highly remembered.
  • Play Super Mario Odyssey. If you have a Nintendo Switch, the latest installment in the Mario series is out. For many of us who grew up with the NES, Mario is the defining platforming series of our lives. Odyssey continues that legacy while paying homage throughout to both the beloved Mario 64 experience as well the original 2D Mario feel from the NES days. If you don’t own a Switch, now is the time to get one. If you enjoy playing video games in any way, the Switch has arguably the two best games of the year in Super Mario Odyssey and the latest Zelda installment, Breath of the Wild. I think Breath of the Wild is arguably the greatest video game ever made, and Odyssey is not far behind it.
  • Mow the lawn. It’s the time of year where I straddle the fence on whether or not I need to mow my lawn again. In all honesty, it’s probably going to need one more good mow, so this weekend could be the perfect time to take care of that if I can dodge the rain.
  • Catch up on recent music releases. 2017 has been an interesting year in music. I don’t think history will look back on this as a particularly great year for music, but there have been some pretty strong albums to come out in the last few weeks. We touched on 80s nostalgia above, but if 90s nostalgia is more your thing and you look back on Hole and Courtney Love as fondly as I do (no sarcasm here, seriously), then you should check out the new Bully album, Losing. Beck put out an album titled Colors which I think is his finest work in quite a long time. The latest Foo Fighters album is pretty good. But my favorite album of the last couple months is, of course, the new Queens of the Stone Age album, Villains.

  • Catch up on even more sleep. Yes, we change our clocks this weekend, giving us that much-cherished extra hour of sleep. But is just one extra hour enough? Sunday is a great day to just put football on TV and doze in and out of sleep as you please. Let’s be honest, you’re probably sleeping during Browns anyway.

There’s plenty of other options, of course. Just speaking generally, you can use the time to catch up on things you’ve been putting off. If you’re at all like me, football season can sometimes be a little overwhelming because football eats into so much of your weekend time. There are definitely some things I put off to make time for football. With the Browns being on a bye week, we have all the free time this Sunday we need. Here’s to making the most of this Browns-free weekend!