The only question we have left is if switching back to Derek Anderson in Sunday's embarrassing loss the to Texans is the Sarah Palin pick or the economic crisis.
Actually, the Sarah Palin pick already happened. A couple weeks ago, the Browns were in the midst of a season in which they could not get any traction. And while they did garner some press by beating the Giants (the "Celebrity" Ad), they did little to remain in the news. So they decided to throw a "hail mary pass" by turning to a young, attractive QB / Governor in order to fire up their base. Ideally, he/she was also supposed to appeal to independents/Braylon Edwards, but over time it didn't happen.
Initially the pick of the young go-getter looked like a great pick. Brady Quinn looked competent - even ... pit-bullesque? - in his first few games; Palin looked like a fierce attack "dawg" at the Republican National Convention. And just like McCain surged in the polls, Quinn led his team to a key road victory at Buffalo on Monday night in front of a national audience.
However, it should have been noted that the Browns didn't really ask Quinn to do anything improvisational or off-the-cuff. He was kept under pretty tight wraps since he didn't know much of the playbook, although he probably could see Canada from his house on Lake Erie. And once the Browns/McCain campaign loosened the strings a little, disaster ensued.
But, if Brady Quinn is playing the part of Sarah Palin, then we suppose that would make the Houston Texans Katie Couric: an unassuming, yet tactful opponent who simply allowed the Browns and Quinn to make mistake after mistake. In Sunday's game was the now infamous interview. The Texans and Sage Rosenfelds did his best by giving the ball back up, allowing the Browns to try to redeem themselves (this is the part where Couric said, "I'm going to ask one more time..."). But instead of doing so, the Browns rambled semi-coherently talking about the "umbrella of job creation" and "Syndric Steptoe" until the interview mercifully ended.
And then the Browns became erratic. Just like McCain decided to fly back to Washington and suspend his campaign soon after the economic meltdown, the Romeo Crennel decided to go back to Derek Anderson, lurching from one position to the other. It is at this point that the McCain campaign and the Browns season officially went off the rails.
Just like at McCain rallies, where people came to see Sarah Palin and then left soon after, the Browns stadium was nearly empty by the end of the game yesterday and we were all wondering to whom had we hitched our wagon.
Now, there are reports of infighting and finger pointing. Just like Bill Krystol advocated the firing of the entire campaign, so too are Browns fans clamoring for Crennel to be dismissed from this abomination. In fact, many are wistful of a former time when the McCain/Browns "brand" was more authentic (does that make Mike Murphy Bill Cowher, seen here, presumably not picking out a new kitten at the rescue shelter?).
Once the post-mortem for this season is done, we'll probably find out about how Brady Quinn is a "diva," the Browns spent $150,000 on Donte Stallworth (if only he came that cheap, and if only we too could donate him to charity), and that on balance, Brady Quinn energized the fans, but didn't really put up any extra points on the board.
So just as the Republicans are wondering who their leader in four years will be, we too are wondering if Brady Quinn is really the answer. Scripted and well-managed, he looks like he's got some potential, but left on his own accord it appears that he's not ready to be QB or president. He doesn't really grasp the broad realities of foreign policy or the zone blitz.
Let's just hope when the season is over, he chooses a little better location to conduct his post-season interview.