Party Like it’s 1999 (and 2000)

Hue Jackson is the 2010’s version of Chris Palmer. I’m going to go ahead and say it. Eric Mangini was the late 2000’s version of Chris Palmer, and Chris Palmer was, well, Chris Palmer. The Browns made a mistake when they fired Mangini after the 2010 Season and hired on Pat Shurmur, who had never even been a coordinator in this league. Backtrack to a decade earlier, the Browns fired Chris Palmer in favor of Butch Davis. The similarities I see between Palmer’s Browns and Jackson’s Browns are astounding.

Want a run down?

1: Each coach had thrust a young quarterback into action, which in my opinion is a good move, considering all quarterbacks go through the same phases.

2: In Palmer’s second season, the Browns led the league in injuries. They aren’t doing so this year, but Myles Garrett, Jamie Collins, Corey Coleman, and possibly Danny Shelton will miss Sunday’s game. That’s four of twenty-two starters.

3: In their second season as Head Coach, a defensive end, Courtney Brown and Myles Garrett, respectively, were taken Number One Overall in the NFL Draft.

4: In their second season, the offense failed to score points (161 in 2000), and the Browns are currently averaging around 18.5 after three games this season, one of the lower marks in the league.

5: There’s already uncertainty (perceived) in the front office regarding the coach, similar to what Palmer faced in 2000.

We all know what happened after 2000. Palmer was fired, Davis was hired. After the conclusion of the 2000 season, Palmer met with then Owner Al Lerner, General Manager Dwight Clark, and CEO Carmen Policy. Lerner asked Palmer how many games he thought the Browns would win next year, and Palmer responded with six. He was let go a few weeks after that meeting. Enter Butch Davis, who was a respected college coach.

After leading the league in injuries in 2000, Davis’ Browns led the league in injuries in 2001 and 2003. One of the excuses for firing Palmer was Browns Management thought his practices were too tough, which caused the injuries. Too bad they hired someone who ran even more physical practices. Davis’ players also lacked discipline, with too many penalties and too many late hits on defense. They were a cocky bunch, and while the current Browns defense will hit you hard and talk some trash, they’re a disciplined bunch. Many of the penalties have been on the offensive side of the ball. Want an example of the lack of discipline imposed by Davis on his players? In Week One of the 2002 season, the Browns led the Kansas City Chiefs 39-37, and ended the game on a quarterback sack, only for linebacker Dwayne Rudd to remove his helmet prematurely, prompting an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. The Chiefs won the game, 40-39, after being granted a last second field goal.

But what is my real message here? The fact that Davis came in and cleaned house, getting rid of Palmer’s players. Sure, many of those he got rid of deserved to be gone. But was it fair to Tim Couch, who today is labeled a bust? Couch had a magical 2002 season in the win-loss column, but Kelly Holcomb played so well in a relief role, Davis couldn’t figure out who the quarterback should be moving forward. After granting Holcomb the starting job in 2003, he proved to the NFL why he was a career back-up. With his confidence shot, Couch never became a viable NFL player again. But what about 2002, when Couch went 8-6 as a starter, and 7-3 down the stretch? He had a breakout season the year before in 2001, yet when Davis found ‘his guy’ in Holcomb, Couch became an afterthought. Want to have more fun? Since the 2003 quarterback controversy, the Browns have had twenty-two different guys line up under center. Butch Davis created a chain reaction that has yet to be solved.

Know who Chris Palmer was targeting with the third pick in the 2001 NFL Draft? It wasn’t “Big Money” defensive tackle, Gerard Warren, who flamed out in Cleveland after four seasons. It was running back LaDanian Tomlinson. You can only wonder what could’ve been with Tomlinson lining up behind Tim Couch, with Kevin Johnson and Dennis Northcutt lined up at receiver. The running game would’ve opened the passing game. The Browns had a playmaking defense in 2001, and they barely missed the playoffs. Insert Tomlinson, and the Browns make the playoffs that season, or close to, with Chris Palmer. Palmer said the Browns were capable of winning six games in 2001, and they won seven, which is the same in the minds of many.

Here we sit in 2017, with Hue Jackson sitting at 1-18. At this time in 2000, Chris Palmer was 4-15, but would finish the season 1-12. Again, there are rumblings among fans that Jackson needs to go, and there’s no way they can keep him after a 1-18 start. Yet Browns fans have short memories, forgetting this front office tore apart the roster back in 2016, the year Jackson was hired. Last season, there was nothing going to keep the Browns from being anything but a terrible team. This season, they’re hit hard with injuries, but if one sits there and tells me they haven’t improved, they’re either blind, ignorant, or they don’t know football. All me to give another rundown.

1: DeShone Kizer looks like a young Peyton Manning, and this year’s version of Jared Goff. Manning still holds the NFL record for most interceptions in a season for a rookie with 28, but like Manning, Kizer has given the offense life. Three of his seven interceptions occurred in the red zone. And in case one didn’t notice, he threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. In fact, he’s run for two touchdowns, and has produced five touchdowns in three games. Name another Browns quarterback who could say that in the last fifteen seasons. I can think of one (Derek Anderson).

2: This is the youngest team in the league by average age. The Browns average age this season is 24.1, this means the team as a whole are younger than I. In fact, I’m older than two-thirds of their team. I should mention I’m twenty-six.

3: The offensive line is going to be one of the best in the league. Sure, they struggled as a unit, but Kevin Zeitler and JC Tretter are new to the table, and Joel Bitonio is coming off a long layoff. Right tackle Shon Coleman is in his first season as a starter. Of course, they’re going to struggle.

4: Duke Johnson is the jack of all trades, who may evolve into becoming a queen on a chessboard. There are rumors he may overtake Isaiah Crowell as the starting running back, and Duke Johnson can play anywhere on the field, also seeing time at receiver both split out and in the slot. Speaking of running backs, there’s another ultra-talented back coming out of school in 2018, a kid named Saquon Barkley. Dear Sashi Brown, don’t make the same mistake Butch Davis made back in 2001. Package your two first round picks, Crowell, and a second-round pick, move up to number one and snag the kid. He’s going to be better than Zeke Elliott.

5: Myles Garrett (R), Danny Shelton (3), Emmanuel Ogbah (2), Trevon Coley (1), Joe Schobert (2), Chris Kirskey (4), Jabrill Peppers (R), Derrick Kindred (2), and Briean Boddy-Calhoun (2) are all in their fourth season or less. Add in Jamie Collins and Jamar Taylor, every single Browns starter on defense is in their fifth season or less, the oldest being Collins and Taylor, who are twenty-seven.

6: The closet is bare at receiver, but Rashard Higgins and Jordan Leslie are showing signs of being darkhorses. Higgins had a great game Week Two against Baltimore, and Leslie made a catch last week to rival Cole Beasley’s from Week One. Corey Coleman is out with a broken hand, but Josh Gordon may finally see the field for the first time in three seasons. If both Coleman and Gordon can return, the passing game just became dynamic. The Browns also are rotating three tight-ends in Randall Telfer, Seth DeValve, and David Njoku. Telfer is in his third season, DeValve is in his second season, and Njoku is a rookie.

If you look at the numbers provided in this rundown, I’m not entirely sure why anyone is panicking at the moment. The Browns are 0-3, and they’ve looked good at times, and bad at times. However, this team isn’t built to win this year. If they win four games, it’s a success. If they’re in six of the twelve games they would lose, it’s a success, and in case one hasn’t been keeping track, they lost by three twice this season. For a young team full of rookies, second year players, and an average age of 24.1, this isn’t half bad. My message is to continue with Hue Jackson. If the Cleveland front office lets him go, they made a huge mistake.

 

The Top Ten Cleveland Browns Since 1999

The Browns have struggled to put a viable product onto the field since 1999. Many might ask whether I’m joking about this post, as even the most die-hard NFL fan would have a tough time naming ten relevant Browns who’ve succeeded enough to warrant recognition on a Top Ten List. However, there is hope despite the fact the Browns are 88-203 since returning to the league. Many may find it more appropriate to do a Top Ten Browns of All-Time kind of list, where guys such as Paul Brown, Jim Brown, Brian Sipe, and Bernie Kosar would easily make such a list. Clay Matthews, Otto Graham, Bill Willis, Lou Groza, Gary Collins, Paul Warfield, and others would easily warrant consideration. Ironically, it’d be tough to find ten players to end up a cut above the others, especially during the 1950’s, 60’s, and 80’s. There are simply too many to fit into a top ten. For that, I needed a challenge, so I took the last eighteen years since the expansion season of 1999 to bring to you the Top Ten Cleveland Browns Since 1999.

 

10) Josh Gordon, WR: 2012-present- Despite his endless suspensions, Josh Gordon put together one of the best seasons in NFL History back in 2013. After an initial suspension cost him the first two games of 2013, Gordon returned to dominate the league with 87 receptions, 9 touchdowns, and over 1,600 receiving yards. The jury is still out on Gordon’s return, and he’s only a two-year-wonder. If he can get his act together, Josh Gordon can move up the ranks on this list.

9) Daylon McCutcheon, CB: 1999-2006- Daylon McCutcheon was the longest lasting player from the original 1999 team who wasn’t a specialist (Phil Dawson). A third round pick out of USC, McCutcheon posted a respectable 7 sacks and 12 interceptions in seven seasons with the Browns. Known for his physicality, he made 463 tackles before being released in March 2007.

8) Kevin Johnson, WR: 1999-2003- Many wonder what could have been with Kevin Johnson had the Browns kept Head Coach Chris Palmer, who drafted Johnson in the second round of the 1999 NFL Draft. Johnson is best known for being the one to haul in a last second Hail Mary to give the Browns their first win in the Expansion Era. Johnson was known among fans as Tim Couch’s favorite weapon until 2003, when Couch was benched for Kelly Holcomb. Johnson also clashed with Palmer’s successor, Butch Davis, ultimately leading to his release in the middle of the 2003 season, justified by Davis as, “Not being a good blocker.”

7) Tim Couch, QB: 1999-2003- Tim Couch may land on several lists of All-Time NFL Draft Busts, but few remember his magical 2002 season, where he went 8-6 as a starter, going 7-3 down the mid to late season stretch, leading the Browns to their only playoff appearance in the last two decades. Couch is also the last (and only) Browns quarterback since 1999 to have started all sixteen games in a single season (2001), and start the season opener for three straight seasons. To this day, he’s one of the most highly respected Cleveland Browns among the fan base.

6) Kellen Winslow, TE: 2004-2008- A broken fibula and motorcycle accident marred Winslow’s first two seasons, but when he returned in 2006, he proved he wasn’t broken. Winslow tied a team record in receptions, hauling in 89 receptions in 2006. In 2007, he became part of a dynamic trio with quarterback Derek Anderson and receiver Braylon Edwards.

5) Jamir Miller, OLB: 1999-2003- One can’t say enough about Jamir Miller. The outside linebacker was signed as a free agent back in 1999, and was easily the team’s most talented player. In 2001, Miller recorded 13 sacks, becoming the Browns first and only Pro Bowl player of the Expansion Era until 2007.

4) Joe Haden, CB: 2010-2017- Joe Haden’s career started with a bang, recording six interceptions in 2010. From 2010 to 2014, he was one of the NFL’s best corners, making the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014. Injuries have derailed Haden since and the artist known as Mr. Cleveland has since moved on to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers, enabling the Cleveland Cavaliers season ticket holder to remain close to his shoe companies, located in his first football town.

3) D’Qwell Jackson, MLB: 2006-2012- When one thinks of D’Qwell Jackson, they think of a warrior. Jackson missed all of 2009 and 2010 with a pectoral injury, only to return in 2011 to continue where he left off, leading the NFL with 158 tackles. In 2014, after moving onto Indianapolis, Jackson led the AFC with 140 tackles, and followed up in 2015 with 150.

2) Phil Dawson, Kicker: 1999-2012- Phil Dawson, at age 42, continues to kick in the NFL. Dawson’s first big break came in 1999 when the Browns upset the Steeler at Three Rivers Stadium on a last second field goal. Dawson was the last remaining player from the Browns Expansion Era, moving on to San Francisco in 2013. Dawson may be best remembered with his unusual field goals, where he had two in 2007 bounce off the crossbar. The first, initially being called ‘no-good,’ was reversed after a long review, leading to a new rule in the NFL dubbed, “The Phil Dawson Rule.”

1) Joe Thomas, Offensive Tackle: 2007-present- Everyone in slots two through ten were competing for second. In fact, it would be hard to keep Joe Thomas off the NFL’s All-Decade team for both the 2000’s and 2010’s. Thomas is the Tom Brady of NFL Offensive Tackles, having set what is believed to be the longest consecutive snap streak in NFL History, well over 10,000. In fact, Thomas has never missed an NFL snap in his eleven seasons, and is one of only a handful of players to have been selected to the Pro Bowl every time in their first ten seasons. Thomas will retire one day, and five years after his retirement, he’ll be a first ballot NFL Hall of Famer. He’s arguably the greatest Offensive Tackle to ever play the game.

I Love the Republic, but I Hate the Empire

The consensus of those believing standing during the National Anthem is required claim we must recognize the “privilege for living in the greatest country on Earth.” Yet, when I turn and look at America’s problems, I see this as a case of cognitive dissonance. Those who either grew up, lived through, or were teenagers during the Reagan years were taught to take great pride in their flag and to never question the actions of their country. Ditto for the previous generations, but Regan stepped it up a notch. I’ll give the man credit on one front: He as good as ended The Cold War, which was a huge weight lifted off the world’s back. These people were taught to never question a few things. For one, they were taught to never question anything the Christian Bible said, with the threat of Hell running amok, and for another, they were taught to never question the actions of their country and to submit to authority because it’s written in the King James Bible. The fact that parents were permitted to use a bit more violence on their children than they are today cemented fear in them, disguised as respect.

I have a few unfortunate truths to get off my chest today, because I’m going to severely question the parenting styles of generations of parents, so I’ll likely offend a few people. However, one group that must be recognized are those who took place in the counterculture movement of the 1960’s, paving the way for more of the social freedoms we have today by throwing it into the mainstream. For one, many who attended church on Sunday and still do to this day hold a Bible in their hand and always reference it, but what they fail to understand is the King James Version, along with many versions before that, were written to fit the political views of the one authorizing the copy. For that, the Bible has been blown so far out of proportion over the years we can’t differentiate the truth from lies. Threaten a brainwashed kid with eternal Hell from birth, and you just completed the first step in building a sheep nation. With this in mind, and with a Bible (without references to any other historic document preceding it), stating to pray for authority, and treat them with fear, respect, and trembling, it was easy for many Christians of the day, and to this day, to become war hawks. People in the Middle East want to kill us? Without looking into the issue in the slightest, these sheep will fiercely support war. North Korea, a third-world nation, looking to build a weapon of mass destruction? They lobby us to exert military force, despite its unconstitutionality. The same thing happened in Desert Storm back in 1991 and during the Iraq War from 2003 to 2011. Both times, not a single shred of WMD evidence existed, and a lot of tax dollars wasted.

When military recruitment started to dwindle in the late 2000’s, the Department of Defense started wasting American tax dollars to put on crony shows involving NFL players, police, the military, and other “patriotic” performances in order to boost military recruitment. That’s right, it wasn’t the NFL doing this, it was the Department of Defense, and it started back in 2009. Many sheep who believe players must be required to stand during the National Anthem because it’s a job description have not the slightest idea how this came about, but they’re okay with it because they claim it shows patriotism. Well, standing for a symbol isn’t patriotism, and for the Christian community, how is it not idol worship? The Department of Defense did this in order to increase recruitment, which it could then use to fuel its own special interests overseas. America hasn’t liberated any country on its own. Ever. America is incapable of defeating third-world militias in Afghanistan, and it took eight years to draw even in Iraq. They lost in Vietnam, they were backed by about one-hundred countries in World War II after England, France, and USSR had a head start, and they didn’t enter World War I until the tide had turned into the favor of the Allied Powers.

Today, America is an Empire, which began after World War II, when they had an excuse to place military bases in Germany, Italy, and Japan, the catalysts of World War II, but these bases last in these countries to this day. In other words, they’re being occupied. Their crime? Starting a war seventy-eight years ago. We have bases in South Korea and we’ll always engaging in military drills. While Kim Jong un continues to kill his people, and be the rogue cancer that he is, I can honestly see why he wants a military of epic proportions. If you had a bully in your backyard throwing constant threats at you, you’d want a powerful weapon too. Ditto for Iran back in the day, when their nuclear program was up and running.

I’m going to quote Obi-Wan Kenobi when I say, “My loyalty is with the Republic.” This issue, in my opinion, is the Civil War version of Star Wars. This isn’t about standing for a flag because people died defending it. No one died in defense of the flag since 1814, though a compelling argument can be made about the Civil War. If another country invades us on American soil, then people are dying defending it, but you can’t take the offensive strategy and claim you’re defending the flag and freedom. Those with issues of ethnocentrism and cognitive dissonance would disagree, but they don’t know any better, nor do they want to.

As for myself, I love the Republic, for which it stands, but I hate the Evil Empire we have become. For that, kneeling during the National Anthem is more than just protesting social injustice. It’s protesting an Empire which as blatantly, over the last one-hundred or so years, overstepped its boundaries. My warning to America: Every single Empire in the history of the world has fallen. Let’s withdraw this Empire, because we don’t need bases in Germany, Australia, Japan, Italy, France, or anywhere else in the world. We must look to Switzerland, who couldn’t care less who oversteps their boundaries, they’re going to shoot you down. However, they’re only going to do so if you cross their borders. They aren’t about to invade anyone, though if they wished to, they easily could.

Once, I Had a Dream: The Story of Once

I’ve touched up on Once on several previous posts, but I want to dedicate this one to my four-hundred and seventy-page manuscript. For one, I cherish each of my main characters, and it’s a large main cast. In fact, I have several different characters of different personalities with one goal in the manuscript: liberty. What’s more? I can relate the manuscript to what’s going on today, as each of these characters are college athletes, looking to make a bold statement, in the heated battle against an Empire.

Once was created when I saw social injustice going on in America long before NFL players started protesting the National Anthem. In fact, after binge reading my history text for hours, I saw the mass injustice taking place in the sixties and seventies. After absorbing what I’d read, it came to me we’re facing the same exact issues in today’s America. Furthermore, the Department of Defense is using athletes to promote military recruitment in to fund an empire, the American Empire. Yet today the players are fighting back, eerily like my college athletes looking to build a movement against an evil Empire. A movement which involves the unity of one school: Summit University, where the bulk of my manuscript takes place.

Sure, I had other influences, but the social injustice in America, coupled with the spread of American Imperialism fueled my motivation to write Once: The Uprising of Columbia. Sure, the manuscript has fantasy, as it’s my chosen genre in which to write, with action, adventure, and a touch of romance. Yet, as mentioned before, it’s a tale of unity, for teammates, a family, of different backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses and races, to come together as one, as they prepare to put their athletic careers on hold in order to fight off an overreaching empire.

Once: The Uprising of Columbia are the crossroads where Harry Potter meets Avatar, the Last Airbender. There’s also a little bit of Star Wars sprinkled within the work, along with other influences, as I’ve covered a few months back. It was a fun project that I continue to edit, and each time I do edit, I have a blast reading this work, as it preaches the message of unity, and that no mortal human being can ever take our rights away, under any circumstance.

Sure, I have a small allegory under the story, but the main message is loud and clear. It’s something I’ve had on my mind for years. The fact it’s finally finished, coupled with the spreading of awareness of social injustice in the NFL today, it’s my hope the message of true liberty will be spread. Individual liberty, where each and every American has the right to free speech, without an oversized government, or oversized corporation, breathing down their necks, telling them what to do, when to do, and how to do.

Propaganda of D.O.D.

I severely denounce what Donald Trump said on Friday Night. Trump attempted to do two things:

One: Exert corporate socialism over individual Americans.

Two: Continue to spread propaganda started in 2009.

Before 2009, NFL players were never required to stand for the National Anthem. In fact, they weren’t even on the field. The United States Department of Defense paid NFL teams, with your tax dollars, is why this is going on in the NFL. These players have every right to protest. They’re being used as pawns, by an overreaching government looking to increase military recruitment, which is something President Donald Trump desires. Why? The man wants to go to war in about five different countries, all over the world. He wants a fight in East Asia, South America, the Middle East, and even Eurasia. The man needs Americans soldiers to do tours in Germany, Australia, and Japan. That’s right, we have military bases in Australia. Sounds imperialistic to me.

So, when people tell NFL players to keep politics out of football and to themselves, remember who put it there in the first place. Your own government, with your tax dollars, to help fuel an overreaching empire. Hmmm, is that what America’s all about? No, because the Founding Fathers broke away from the bombastic British Empire so this kind of stuff didn’t happen. And it is. And most Americans are blindly following their “President,” urging corporations to fire employees exercising First Amendment Rights, which although rights may be waived, the Bill of Rights may not be waived. It’s unconstitutional to do so, and if you believe it is constitutional, you need to check the First Amendment.

Stop blaming the players for protesting the fact that they’re pawns. Sure, they’re being paid to entertain, but think of the backgrounds they came from. Now they’re pawns? And you want to boycott these pawns to expand an empire which has greatly overreached its boundaries, and has overstayed its welcome in over one-hundred and fifty countries? Look, if you fall into this crowd, you wouldn’t have been an American Patriot; you would’ve been a Loyal Subject to King George III. That’s the truth, and sometimes, the truth hurts.

You’re boycotting freedom, you’re boycotting because you believe America should expand its overreaching empire into places it has no business being in. NFL players are looked to as heroes, and kids see that. When they see players standing side by side with the military, it entices them to join the military, not to defend and spread freedom, but to spread an overreaching imperial empire for special interests. That’s wrong. The Department of Defense is wrong, by using your tax dollars in to carry out this mass overreach in places it has no business sticking its nose in. If you boycott the NFL, you’re supporting an Empire, and your loyalties lie not with the republic.

I’m currently in the closing stages of completing my first manuscript, a long manuscript, in which a formerly ignorant to reality college athlete sees the horrors and oppression associated with the Empire controlling his colony; controlling his land. This evil Empire, much like America, has stuck its nose in places it has no business belonging. My main protagonist learns this the hard way, and he fights this evil Empire, which continually spreads its iron fist overseas. The tyrannical Colonial Supreme Leader notices his antics, and comes after him. My protagonist, with his three best friends and two cousins, flee to the unoccupied region, in to gear up for a fight against this evil Empire, and finally bring them down, to put them in their place, and to ignite a new, free nation, devoid of rule by a higher power and authority of mortal men.

The connection I’ve made between the Department of Defense’s spending of your tax dollars to fund these unnecessary events and my manuscript, Once: The Uprising of Columbia, is recent, but it has reinforced my purpose. Today, I’m working on two things: a query and a short synopsis, in hopes this manuscript becomes the next great book series, in which America, and the American people, may rediscover themselves.

The America I Want to Live In

I’m not the kind of guy to tell people what they want to hear. I’ll leave that to fake friends and people who want something out of you before they abandon you when they get what they want. Sure, it may not make me a popular guy but I couldn’t care less about winning a popularity contest, especially in the Heartland. This past Sunday, NFL players, NBA players, and even an MLB player made bold statements not only against Donald Trump, but against social injustice which has haunted America from generation to generation.

I read a statement which talked about America terrorizing and enslaving an entire race for over three hundred years. For the next one-hundred years, they banned them from our own privileges. These days, we fill two-third of our jail cells with them, where most of these crimes happen to be victimless. Does that sound like a free country? Of course not. What about Native Americans, who have been and are still treated with distaste by most. Either that or they’re simply forgotten, as the near extinct race primarily exists in us descendants who may have a dash of Native American blood in us. That’s me. Again, freedom isn’t free if things like this are going on within our own borders.

I’m tired of hearing people telling us these professional athletes are walking all over those who died for our freedom. Who are they talking about? Those who went into Desert Storm? Vietnam? Korea? Afghanistan? You’re saying a Third World Country is threatening our freedom? How can a Third World Country threaten the freedom of what’s supposed to be the best trained military on Earth? It doesn’t add up in my opinion. Okay, so what about World War I? World War II? Hitler was blitzing across Germany when the United States stepped in, right? Read about European History, the Americans played a minute role in the liberation of Europe. Italian Resistance Forces played a massive role in the liberation of Italy. Allied Powers greatly outnumbered Hitler and his Axis Powers. It wasn’t about freedom. It was about becoming a superpower. How do we know this? Franklin D. Roosevelt and his Administration knew of an incoming attack on the United States from Japan. It was America’s excuse to get involved in World War II, and emerge as a superpower. It wasn’t about freedom, because ten years later, the Americans turned their back on their Iranian allies. Why? Oil.

Today, we see the vestiges of America’s betrayal on Iran, where Britain was also involved. Why does so-called terrorism exist? It’s because they want us out of their land, so they’re going to fight for their own liberation, because America’s somehow incapable of defeating Third-World Coalitions in Third-World Countries. It makes you wonder what we’re really doing in Afghanistan and in Iraq. It takes eight years to defeat Iraqi Forces? I don’t believe it. We’re still in Afghanistan after sixteen years, fighting coalition forces? I don’t believe that, either.

Contrary to popular belief, we were neither defending nor fighting for freedom. It’s sad that we’re told this, and I truly believe our vets believe we’re doing great things. Perhaps even our military believes that. I have nothing against them, and never will. Heck, I respect vets because they’re willing to risk everything, something most of us aren’t willing to do. Kudos to them, and they deserve that kind of respect. I’ll never hold anything against vets of World War II, Vietnam, Desert Storm, or Afghanistan. They believe we’re doing something great, but we aren’t.

We’re spreading our own special interests, disguised as fighting to free and liberate other nations, something I have a problem with. When you tout yourself as the Greatest in the World, you don’t lie to your people, and you don’t use thousands of people, especially young people, for your own sick self-interests. The military has a duty to protect and defend. Well, protect and defend. Bring them back, set up the bases here. Set up a missile defense system here in case anyone wishes to try us. That’s the America I want. Don’t tell these poor people to go kill innocent people because they’re suspected of being our enemies all in the name of freedom! You’re using our military for self-gain, and that’s wrong.

Now, professional athletes are taking the duty of spreading the message and exercising their First Amendment Right, as they should, in any way they see fit. And vice versa, you shall exercise your First Amendment Right in any way you see fit. Don’t like what they’re doing on a Sunday afternoon? Don’t watch professional football! No one’s forcing you to do so. I personally don’t support Jerry Jones in releasing players who kneel during the Anthem. Why? Because doing so promotes something called Corporate Socialism, which America is suffering of. Yet we should be required to stand to recognize freedom? What freedom? When there are certain races in America being oppressed, to this day in 2017, and to have a President, who’s supposed to lead our nation, bash them, what do you expect?

Look, most of us have not the slightest idea what it’s like to be a minority. You’re put into a group. You’re put into a caste. I have Native American blood, but I identify as white, as only one-sixteenth of my blood is Native American. But you’re automatically labeled, whether us, as the majority race, are realizing this or not. And it isn’t just a single race. It’s all minority races. We unconsciously label them, and it’s not right. Yet, you want to force them to stand and “show respect” to the flag of a nation that’s oppressed them? Think about that for a second.

You want to take politics out of sports? Why? So you can be carefree on Sunday, and act like the problems in this country don’t exist because you’re of majority status and it doesn’t affect you? You really need to re-evaluate your life. You really do. You claim to support America, but you fail to recognize the First Amendment of your own Constitution? Are you kidding me? You’re saying if you don’t like America, then leave? What if the American Patriots of the eighteenth century did that? What if every Founding Father just went somewhere else? Think about that!

Look, you can disagree with everything I’ve said here, but for once in your life, question what you’ve been taught. I guarantee many of those who try to “require” people to stand for the National Anthem have yet to question what you’ve been told, likely out of fear or that ‘r’ word, which had been thrown around all day this past Sunday. Question everything you’ve been taught, beginning with the existence of God, as Thomas Jefferson once said. Read more, analyze more, question more. What’s the other side of the story? Why did the history books only write about one side of the story? Have you ever asked yourself these critical questions?

If you haven’t begun questioning what you’ve been taught, start doing so. Question what your parents tell you. It’s not disrespect! It’s being enlightened, and being open-minded. Hey, if you want to remain in your comfort bubble, feel free! I, for one, have questioned what I’ve been taught. There’s only one truth and one way, and whether or not it’s Jesus Christ I’m not entirely sure. I do know one thing: I don’t want to die on my knees and find out there isn’t anything after this life. I’m going to live on my feet, and make America the America I want to live in. I love the land, but I hate what people are doing, and I hate the fact they’re completely disregarding the Constitution of the United States. Don’t let the actions of our Founding Fathers die in vain. Honor them, and honor your gods, by being great, and doing great things to preserve the true message of America: That all men are created equal, with liberty, true liberty, and justice for all.

One Crazy NFL Sunday!

Before I begin, I would like to thank all the players, coaches, owners, and fans who took the time today to spread the awareness of freedom of speech, guaranteed to us by the First Amendment of the Constitution. This is a reminder we need to continue to allow freedom ring in a country where all men are created equal. We must also band together and continue this fight against a tyrannical leader who is using his given power in an attempt to create a nation fueled by corporate socialism, in an attempt to tell us what to do, when to do, and how to do. We must stand up for America and true, core American values, of what is given to us by the Constitution of the United States, so help us God.

The Browns were down twenty-eight to seven in the second quarter, and it looked like that time of year again. You know, the annual blowout which will set the team back eons once more. But it didn’t. the Cleveland Browns fought back, led by a rookie quarterback in DeShone Kizer. The defense stepped up big in the second half, and the offense came to life. Once again, the team was down big, but they failed to give up. They didn’t surrender. And they brought the game to within three points.

Once again, I saw good in the Browns, who were really banged up, missing receiver Corey Coleman, outside linebacker Jamie Collins, and defensive end Myles Garrett. This was a banged-up team who once more stepped up when it mattered most. Down by twenty-one, the Browns fought. Down by seventeen in the fourth quarter, the Browns continued to fight the good fight. It just wasn’t enough on this late-September’s Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis. Once again, for the third week in a row, the Browns lost. Once again, for the third week in a row, they fought with vigor. But the defense gave up too many points in the first half to recover.

Again, DeShone Kizer completed less than fifty percent of his passes, and threw three more picks (one on the final play of the game). Yet, he still showed grit, toughness, and poise. He’s the best quarterback the Browns have had since Derek Anderson in 2007, when he had a Pro Bowl season. Coach Hue Jackson, Owner Jimmy Haslam, and the entire Cleveland Browns organization must stick with Kizer. The kid has grown since his debut against Pittsburgh earlier in the month. Sure, he’ll likely lead the league in interceptions. Sure, his passer rating is going to be low. But as for me, his stats resemble that of a young Peyton Manning. A young Peyton Manning who can run, and extend plays with his legs. Kizer has thus far impressed me, and he’s doing it with an underwhelming receiving corps. Reminiscent to what Tim Couch had. The difference? Kizer’s keeping the team in the game and he’s leading the charge.

Jamie Collins and Myles Garrett will likely be back next week against Cincinnati. Good, because they’re going to be needed. The Browns’ passing game was mauled early in the first half, but they got it together. This team will mesh. In many ways, they remind me of the 2009 Browns, who started the season at 1-11, and rallied to win their final four games. The difference? That was an aging football team who signed role players in the previous offseason. This team is young, hot, and ready to mesh when the time comes. And with an aging Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco, the Browns may be the King of the North sooner than many think.