Turmoil happens annually around this time. With Peggy being a Buckeye fan, and me pledged to Notre Dame, if it isn’t an argument over which one is the better, then it’s over the Brownies going all the way. Therein lies the problem.
You see, the Cleveland Browns’ undefeated preseason may have swamped me with premature symptoms of wild Delusions of Grandeur.
Regardless, all I wanted to say was that "after the pre-season I think the Brownies could go all the w…" But swiftly pointing her finger my way, the wife admonished me with the words, "Frank Weaver Jr., don’t?"
"Uh oh!" I whispered to Sadie Lou, our Black Lab who’s more like an amalgamated mutt. "I think I’m in trouble."
Those words sought understanding but were completely ignored. It was as if I didn’t exist, or else the hound suddenly went deaf. Instead, she went back to her piece of rawhide and continued chomping at a record clip, paying no attention to my sudden state of hopelessness.
In defense I said to the wife, "What!? I was only going to say, I hope the Browns go al…."
She stopped me in mid-sentence. "Every time you say that Frank, we lose." Then she reminded me, "Remember 1995, ’97 and 2016 with the Tribe. Remember ‘86 with the Browns and 2017 with the Cavs. When you don’t say anything, they win," she said. "Think back. The ’16 Cavs. The Tribe when they just set the new club win streak record. The Donald’s win over Hillary.
"This time you were only thinking. When that happens you still get in trouble. And you get the Browns in trouble, too! That’s why they lost by just three points, Sunday. So give everyone a break. Just don’t say it."
But they were undefeated," I responded, emphasizing undefeated.
"Frank, they were preseason games," she stressed. "They were only exhibitions. They’re played to get players in shape for the real games - the ones that count. Those games don’t count. Only Sunday’s game counted."
"Now just a doggone, hogtied, blasted minute there, my Dear," I interrupted, stopping her cold but trying to soften my words with ‘my Dear.’
"It’s the first time in 31 years they’ve gone undefeated in preseason. That was when they went 12-4 in the regular season and advanced in the playoffs to the conference game against Denver - only to be stopped short by a QB who engineered the infamous ‘Drive,’ and whose name I refuse to utter."
"It’s Elway, Frank. John Elway," she interjected. "C’mon, let’s hear you say Elway." Then, a bit annoyed, she added, "Good grief, you sound like the late Woody Hayes, Ohio State’s head football coach from the past half century. He refused to say the name, Michigan. Instead, he’d always refer to them as, ‘that team up north.’ Besides, what difference does it make. With or without Elway, they would’ve still found a way to lose."
Not so fast, dear. You have nothing to base that on. To wit: In 1950, their first year in the NFL, the went 5-0 in preseason, 10-2 in the regular season, and then beat Los Angeles for the NFL championship.
"Maybe so," she continued arguing, "but they didn’t have to play Denver or more importantly, John Elway with his wonderful smile.
"Of course not. Denver didn’t have a team in 1950, but most importantly, that toothy quarterback with the Jimmy Carter grin wasn’t even born."
"But they had Paul Brown - a real coach!" Having said that, she left the room, leaving me alone in the company of the hound.
At least I’m with someone from the dog pound, I thought, "Pass the corn chips and avocado dip, Sadie Lou, and let’s hope the Brownies always go all the way against that team from western Pennsylvania!"
The hound looked my way, snarled once, barked and then went back to sleep.
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