635 Reasons to Love Cleveland

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Remember that girlfriend you had in high school who was constantly pulling you around by the leash? She’d break your heart one week only to pick up all the pieces inside the next? And every time you thought you’d finally learned your lesson, every time you’d talked yourself into never going back to her, she would make the scene, flip your script and play you for the fool again?

The Miami Dolphins are that high school girlfriend.

They are my harmful chemical of a romance gone full metal jacket. They are my cholera on cleats, my seasick Orion . . . my Orwellian O’Brien. When I ask for ‘mo they give me Poe. They promise me the world, and they give me Hoboken.

I’m not being a dick about this. I realize there are other fan bases that have it much worse than me. Like Beliebers, and QVC speed dialers . . . and oh yes, those peeps who insist on seeing Kelly Ripa live even though it’s a known fact she is the Goddess of the undead.

As far as sports goes? There ain’t no team in any professional sport that has done less with more than my Dolphins. They have money, J. Lo and an area code that can sell mango flavored snow cones in the middle of winter. Imagine the Dolphins were Vera Farmiga with the mind of Stephen Hawking and the bank account of Bill Gates. And then imagine, if you will, that this perfect specimen plays the cymbals in a Winger cover band.

Since the aughts of this millennium, Miami has proven less potent than an octogenarian who’s all outta penis pills. And never mind they’re 2-0 to start this season, and never mind I picked ’em to make the postseason, and never mind they play the Raiders. At home. My Dolphins are still going to find a way to fuck up this football equivalent of a glass of water.

So what?

The Cleveland Browns won a football game Thursday night! For the first time since Christmas Eve . . . of 2016. Basically, almost two calendar years have passed since Cleveland had something to boast about that didn’t rhyme with LeBron James.

Cleveland’s Browns are bringing the fun; something my Dolphins have been lacking ever since Dan Marino stopped pitching masterpieces. In a league where men behave like crybabies, dynasties become TMZ curiosities and marginal talents like Isaiah Crowell of the Jets choreograph embarrassing touchdown celebrations in losses, and then are not man enough to own up to their stupidity, the Browns are content with just playing football.

They’ve got a young brash quarterback with balls of steel, who seems to really dig the big moment. And in spite of his bad boy past, Baker Mayfield has thus far handled the dupes in the media with more aplomb than veterans such as Antonio Brown could dream of. In a post game interview on ESPN, Baker laughed off Scott Van Pelt’s suggestion that the quarterback get himself some free beer and party hardy.

It didn’t occur to the interviewer to pump his frat boy brakes, in spite of the fact the Browns have been Team Rehab (See Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon) over the last few years. And that’s because Van Pelt is a tone deaf goof, as are too many of his peers at the four letter. It was obvious that the kid out of Oklahoma was the adult in the room inside that moment.

So this Baker Mayfield kid’s got poise, and his team has ups. And in a best case scenario, the Browns use this year to get somewhere much better than middle of the road. That’s where the Dolphins have resided for the last couple decades, and it’s no fun. At all.

Maybe there will come a day when the Browns will behave like most of the other teams out there; comprised of divas and crybabies whose intrigue has nothing to do with football. But for right now, the Browns are more satisfying than free beer.

Drink up, Cleveland.