The Remote Report: Making Sense of the Cleveland Browns’ Bye Week


It’s been a bye week, so there shouldn’t be much to talk about, right?

Well, a motorcycle, a stupid Peyton Hillis comment, and a Greg Little playing-time move later and suddenly we’ve had a week full of non-stories-turned-huge-stories.

But something stood out for me in this bye week: Every year’s bye week brings the same thing. Every time I hang out with a Browns fan, we’ll talk about how it’s the bye week and blah blah blah until one of us says “Well, at least we can’t lose this week.”

It never fails. I would bet my life on it that you’ve heard that one at least four of the past five years.

But I didn’t hear it this year. Why not? Is it because we’ve sort of shown signs of life and are a mildly respectable 2-2 football team? Is it because I now live in Chicago and didn’t wear a Browns tee or hoodie this past week? Could it be because I slept until 1:30 central time last Sunday and didn’t share much football with anyone else?

These are all viable options, surely. But I want to believe that it’s because we’re trying to shed our loser-lifestyle. I’ve written about it before; we’re in this constant state of losing and we’ve become complacent. We don’t know anything else, so we make jokes and snarky comments about what’s going on with us – things like “at least we can’t lose this week.”

I won’t go so far as to say that we’re actually shedding that mentality, but I think we’re just getting sick of the crap. I know I am. I’m irritated about it. We continually hear that football is a business. That’s why they locked out this summer, because of a business dispute. So if this is a business, and they’re trying to sell me a product that doesn’t work particularly well, I have a right to be mad about it. So that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m done with “moral victories” or “yeah-but’s.” I don’t want to hear any more of this garbage excuse-making that we’re doing. And I know, I’ve done it too, but it’s over. I don’t see the point in getting mad and sporting an attitude anymore.

For example, I went to a Red Robin once and their food tasted like it had been digested and then vomited into my mouth, mama-bird style. I didn’t make smartass comments and then go back there every Sunday, I just stopped going there.

Now, this isn’t to say that I won’t continue loving the Browns – I most definitely will. But I’m not letting them get me down, and I choose to believe that others are feeling the same way. In my heart of hearts, I’m choosing to believe that the reason nobody gave any attitude about the Browns’ bye week was because everyone else was just looking at it the same way, with a general “meh” attitude.

And that’s okay, guys.

We’re all in one giant relationship with this team. Each of us is in a committed, long-term, spend-the-rest-of-your-lives-together relationship. I’m just done being the jealous boyfriend.