Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Great Lakes Classic

The Browns came away with a victory last night in the fabled "Great Lakes Classic." Defensively, it looks like the Browns just might have something going on. Offensively, they've still got miles to go, and it would be nice to see them hold onto the football, but there were some bright spots. Frye played better than he did last week, and Harrison gave the guys at Channel 3 a chance to run the Eric Metcalf highlight tape they've been saving since the Browns drafted him.

It's still just a meaningless preseason game, and that makes it hard to come up with much more to say about it. So instead, I'll take the easy way out and make fun of the Great Lakes Classic concept.

A "Great Lakes Classic" is what happens when the marketing departments of two perennial NFL doormats try to figure out a way to drum up interest in preseason games without actually spending any money. Somebody apparently got the bright idea to create the appearance of a rivalry between two teams that aren't in the same conference and that haven't played in a championship game in a combined total of over 90 seasons. How? By dredging up memories of that magical time before color TV when the two teams didn't suck.

You know how, in most suburban self-esteem tee-ball leagues, every kid gets a trophy even if his or her team stinks worse than three day old road kill? (Yay! Timmy!) It strikes me that this is the NFL's answer to that -- it gives two teams with zero chance of winning the Lombardi Trophy something to put in the trophy case. (Yay! Randy!)

That brings me to one thing that's absolutely great about this game, and that's the trophy the winner gets (pictured above). The trophy is unquestionably the butt-ugliest in all of sports, but that makes it strangely endearing. It has sort of a "Big Mouth Billy Bass meets the Edmund Fitzgerald" quality to it, doesn't it?

So Browns fans, cheer up. We may not see our heroes hoist the Lombardi Trophy anytime in our own or our children's lifetimes, but at least we can console ourselves with the thought that somewhere in a Berea trophy case, there's a cheesy looking rusty hulk with the team's name on it.

And if that's not a metaphor for the last seven years of Browns football, I don't know what is.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Jerome Harrison looked gooooood. Should be interesting to see who'll be the number two... him or Suggs. I would think that Droughnes, despite his legal problems would still be the number one.