Have the Cleveland Browns been living underground lately? I haven’t taken notice of them since 2007. In the last five seasons, Cleveland’s dismal 23-57 record has left them seemingly nonexistent. I didn’t even know who their head coach was going into this season.
It’s getting a bit chilly in the midwest, so I broke out my newspaper blanket this evening and a headline from Dec. 9, 2012 caught my attention. “Browns Devour Chiefs 30-7,” it read. Hmmm… I must have already pulled a brown paper bag over my head for the winter last year and missed it, I thought. The Kansas City Chiefs were 2-11 at the time and on their way to being the poorest team in franchise history.
A Dec. 20, 2009 article was about two desperate 3-11 teams running into each other in a vacant lot at 1 Arrowhead Drive in Kansas City, Mo. It concluded that the Browns were “feeling satisfied” with their 41-34 victory. I decided to walk to the library and do some research.
I learned that Rob Chudzinski is Cleveland’s coach and that he’s worked under former Chiefs head coaches Marty Schottenheimer and Romeo Crennel. He was Schottenheimer’s tight end coach with the San Diego Chargers in 2005. Despite humiliating the two-time defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots 41-17 and going 9-7, the Chargers missed the playoffs.
Chudzinski was Romeo’s offensive coordinator in the aforementioned ’07 season in Cleveland. That year, the Browns went 10-6, but the Tennessee Titans put the last remaining AFC Wild Card spot in their shopping cart and strolled away. The New York Giants went on to win Super Bowl XLII over the undefeated Patriots.
Cleveland’s coach is known as “Chud.” If you search it on the web, you’ll find yourself reading about a horror flick titled C.H.U.D., an acronym for Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller. In it, creatures who live under the streets of New York City come out of manholes and feed on the homeless.
Chiefs fans, myself included, have been dreaming of a winter spent sleeping comfortably under the warmth of the 7-0 security blanket our team has so finely knitted for us this fall. Don’t expect to be all cuddled up enjoying a romantic comedy on Sunday. There’s a hungry Chud coming to town, and he could leave us with nightmares. Let us not forget that at this time last year, we were lying in a cold, wet gutter, waiting for something to rise from it.
It’s the time of year for horror films.