Earlier this month, Portsmouth Mayor Jim Kalb learned that he, like plenty of other incumbents currently, were not going to be re-elected.  However, Kalb didn’t just lose his re-election… he came in third… in a three-candidate race…. where one of the candidates was a write-in.  And yet, Mayor Kalb could take some solice  in knowing that thanks to the Cleveland Browns last night he no longer has the most embarrassing and humiliating defeat in Ohio.

Nothing associated with the Cleveland Browns worked . . . not even the fans’ “protest” by staying out until after the opening kickoff.  Even though ESPN broadcast for last night’s game was all-football guys, it got so bad in the third quarter that they started showing highlights of LeBron James as if to lament that they, too, wish a Cavs game was on to watch instead. 


When that ran out, they resorted to showing highlights of the analysts’ football days, included Chucky’s tenure at the Dayton Flyers.  One commentator joked that the footage was the biggest offensive play they’d had seen all night, and the rest laughed because he was right.

While the Browns’ defense was passable, the offense was a joke.  There was no game plan except not to screw up, and the Browns couldn’t even do THAT.  How does Brady Quinn get sacked on a three-man rush?  I saw the replay and I still can’t figure out how an offensive lineman allows that to happen unless it’s like those bloopers when the left and center field players assume the other will make a play on the ball.

Brady Quinn didn’t throw two interceptions.  Browns receivers tipped perfectly catchable balls to the Ravens.  The offense was as predictable as Jim Tressel, except you substitute the screen pass for the run.  I understand doing some screens to get Brady’s confidence up by giving him some receptions to take off the blitz pressure, but it’s counterproductive when a) your receivers can’t turn and catch, b) it only takes three-man rush to sack your QB.

Then, there’s the running TD when the Browns had only 10 defenders on the field.  How does a team run the no huddle, but it’s defense get caught unaware when it’s been run on them?  How does Mangini justify chewing out his Defensive Coordinator (who seems to be the only functional party in this dysfunctional franchise) when all Mangini had to do was make a T with his hands?  Is he too busy figuring out what other has-beens and never was from the Jets he wants next that he can’t be bothered that his defense isn’t on the field?

Some think after last night Mangini’s days at Cleveland are numbered.  I actually think the opposite:  what pedigreed coach would want to take responsibility for cleaning up THAT mess you saw last night?  There was a team that refused, absolutely went out of its way, refused to show any talent whatsoever.   The only bright spot of the night was to see Ray Lewis call out Brady Quinn for a “cheap shot” in biggest ironic moment in Lewis’ career.

Given that the Titans’ owner was fined $250,000 for making obscene gestures to the Buffalo Bills from his luxury box, you have to wonder how much the NFL will fine Randy Lerner for the obscene gesture he made to all Browns’ fans by letting that team take the field and perform as they did.

Rant aside, anyone but me notice that in a weekend in which all AFC North teams played in intra-division play, nobody scored a passing TD?  Also, my Miami Redhawks nearly upset U.K. in mens basketball last night.  This either means that Miami is a sleeper team, or U.K. is shaky (or both).  Frankly, I don’t see how U.K. didn’t get called for a penalty which should have given Miami a chance to send it into overtime.  Regardless, it’s impressive for a school like Miami to play U.K. at home and play like they did.