The Browns and the Undeniable Beauty of Imperfection

The Browns and the Undeniable Beauty of Imperfection

Rod Bluhm
3 years ago
3 min read
The Browns and the Undeniable Beauty of Imperfection

Hope and anticipation can lead to extravagant expectations. 

Looking ahead to a season with an improved team can resemble watching a movie about someone’s perfect life. Our team takes the field amid bright sunshine and rainbows with Thunderstruck by AC/DC blaring in the background. Circus animals roam freely defending the home turf. The opponents slowly enter looking disheveled, weary, and extremely undersized. The enormous blood-thirsty crowd extends a thumbs up toward the field. As they slowly turn their thumbs down, the home team screams rabidly and the visitors shudder in fear. Yes, our imaginations can lead us toward the path of impossibility.

Reality has taught us that perfection rarely exists in football. Jim Brown, the greatest of all time, fumbled 57 times in his glorious career. Tom Brady has thrown 193 interceptions in the regular season. Jerry Rice dropped passes. Football coaches and players attempt to be as close to perfect as they can be, but perfection is almost never achieved, not even for a short span. 

Fear not. This isn’t another warning to temper expectations. As Browns fans, we have paid our dues by watching a lot of bad football over the past 20 years. Now we have seen the assembly of an incredibly talented roster. There was nothing wrong with allowing our imaginations to dream of near perfection in Cleveland. It felt great and we deserved it.

The thing we must remember is that perfection can be impressive, but imperfection can also take our breath away. Mountains are generally asymmetrical, as are clouds and almost everything else you’ll find in nature. 

Perfection? No thanks. 

Give me a player who has overcome the odds, like Baker Mayfield. Give me a player who has endured physical setbacks and has come back even stronger, like Nick Chubb. I want to pull for a guy like Myles Garrett who did something that seemed unforgivable on a national stage, but found the strength to be an even better person afterward.

We watch football for many reasons. For most of us, it provides an escape from the daily grind. It’s natural to want our team to be superhuman, yet we all know they are people just like us. That can be a frightening concept initially. Most of us know we might not perform very well on a national level. We have so much hope wrapped up in this team. Realizing they are regular people allows you to forgive an interception or a fumble a little more easily.

Trying to find the proper balance between our dreams of near perfection and the reality of football is not easy. It is easier to look for the beauty that can be found in the imperfection of football.

Look at a football. Watch a football roll. It will never roll the same way twice. That is special. The ball makes the game a difficult proposition.

When Nick Chubb fumbled against the Chiefs on Sunday, it hurt the Browns. No one was more upset than Nick Chubb. The beauty of imperfection was seen in the expression on Nick’s face and felt by every Browns fan. No one blamed him. Things happen in a football game. Chubb will have an outstanding season because he won’t let that fumble define him.

Coaching a team is not an exact science. Kevin Stafanski has proven to be an excellent young coach. However, he still has a lot to learn through experience. You can call it trial and error. That sounds awful, but how else can he see what works best. There will be times that things will work very well even when they probably shouldn’t. 

A football game can come down to a bad call, a turnover, a missed kick or a dropped pass. These are all a part of the game. Nothing is automatic in football. Watch for greatness to blossom from the imperfection that was the first game for the Browns this season. This ride will not be perfect, but it will be filled with great moments that could come from broken plays or missed assignments. That is football.

Share article on: