If you’re wondering how on Earth the Cleveland Browns are going to ride into Baltimore and steal a win tonight, I won’t be able to provide you any concrete reason or statistical basis for hope.
What I will say, though, is that this is quickly turning into one of the weirdest seasons ever.
The Browns have a new owner, but he’s not the owner yet. They’re waiting for the league to approve his purchase of the team next month, and meanwhile, Mike Holmgren, Tom Heckert, and Pat Shurmur walk on egg shells as they audition for their future boss.
The first quarter of the season has been marked with an asterisk due to the bizarre and inconsistent game management of the replacement referees. Now, of course, the Browns will play host to the first game featuring the return of the professional refs (and on national TV, no less).
And on top of all that, the franchise will march into Baltimore to face its ghost, and the ghost of its former owner Art Modell, whose passing we never even had a chance to digest given everything else that’s going on.
When is the last time you can remember a team grappling with one of these issues, let alone three?
Think about all that is going on around the team right now the next time you complain that they’re 0-3 (or 0-4 after tonight). It’s weird enough starting a rookie quarterback who is nearly 29 years old and trading three draft picks to move up one spot to take a running back third overall, but there’s some additional mojo at play here with a combination of circumstances that is not going to repeat itself.
And that my friends, is reason enough for me to believe that we’re about to see a shocker tonight. This might go down as the weirdest season in the history of the Browns, so a win in Baltimore would fit right in.