This season marks the 21st season since the Browns re-joined the NFL as an expansion team.1 In those 20 years, the futility has been almost unmatched. From season-ending injuries before the games even start to fumbling bumbling idiots running the show that obviously were underprepared, we have seen it all as Browns fans. So, in honor of all that we have gone through as Browns fans, I did that thing where I made a bot watch the 20 seasons of Browns football and then tell me how the season would open. I know it sounds dubious, like where would I find the time to do such a thing? Alas, here we are, with this totally scientific and not at all made up script of how a Browns start to the season would begin.
Berea, Browns training facility
Butch Pettgini sits across from General Manager Sashi Holmfarmer in a conference room of sorts, a TV on the wall and stacks of untouched paper in folders that haven’t been opened in between them. Pettgini is a nondescript white man in his 40’s or 50’s who is vaguely attractive but immemorable. Holmfarmer is overweight but in a way that looks decent, he is adorned in a Browns logo polo shirt and tie for reasons only his wife can tell.
Pettgini *holding a coffee cup that has definitely been dropped on numerous occasions*: It looks as though we might have a decent team this year, Mr. Holmfarmer. The boys are really coming together.
Holmfarmer *barbeque sauce dripping from his mouth*: I’d say so, looks like the rebuild finally took. We might be able to get past those pesky Squealers this year.
Pettgini *fumbling with the remote as he attempts to turn the obvious children’s programming off the TV before Holmfarmer sees*: Let’s look at some of the tape to refresh ourselves as to who is on our roster because we definitely know these people.
Holmfarmer *oblivious to life around him except his mustache and the food*: Yes, sounds good, let’s start with the quarterback.
Pettgini puts in a DVD, not a Blu-Ray, and presses play. Johnny Garcia, phenom of phenoms, bounds about a practice field in shorts, throwing the ball 80 yards, seemingly 40 of which were supplied by his good looks and charisma.
Pettgini: Here is Johnny Garcia, rookie out of the College of Miami of A&M. He wears jersey number 17 for reasons known only to him. He has arm strength for days, poise of champions, the ability to make teammates want to actually play in Cleveland.
Suddenly a phone rings, vibrating the table. Pettgini picks it up.
Pettgini: Yes this is Coach Butch. Wait what? You’re serious? My God. Ok thank you. *hangs up the phone nervously* That was the training staff. Johnny Garcia broke his arm while trying to high five a teammate too hard. He will miss the rest of his career due to inadequate care and simple bad luck.
Holmfarmer *barely finding the attention to look up from a cruller*: Harrumph. At least we have our backup, Brady Griffin III.
Pettgini *visibly nervous about having to start Brady GriffinIII*: I suppose so. Here is Griffin III *tries to flip to Griffin film but puts on Great British Bake Off. Holmfarmer is unphased.* Oh um hold on. *frantically fiddles with remote, finally gets correct game film* Here we are.
Griffin III is a veteran quarterback aged 46, has been in the NFL for 15 seasons and has had 13 knee surgeries. He has played for every team and played with 90% of NFL rosters. His arm resembles a limp noodle and he has to have his linemen carry him to the line of scrimmage like Byron Leftwich at Marshall. Griffin III overthrows wide receiver Kellen Northcutt Jr and tight end Cameron Barnidge. The running back tandem of Peyton Crowell and Trent McGahee visibly throw up from watching Griffin III attempt to throw a football and the way his body reacts to the movement, which is to say not gracefully.
Pettgini: Are you sure we have to start this guy? Behind the line of Joe Thomas, the living legend who shall never be besmirched, LeCharles Mack, and others…this won’t go so well.
Holmfarmer *Drinking straight from a keg of Diet Coke*: We have no other choice. This is the deal we have made, we signed the best available players despite having more cap space than money invested in the payroll. If he is not good enough, we will wait on next season, when we own every pick in the first round but will draft no one of consequence.
Pettgini *in the middle of throwing up from nerves*: But how do you know we will still have jobs next year?
Holmfarmer *finally looking up so show off an eye patch that had been hidden, gnarled skin around showing it was taken in some grotesque way that cannot be described*: It is the way it always has been. It is the way it always will be. Until he arrives. Baker of the May Fields.