Peyton Hillis – A Memoriam Circa 2010

9044009-largeThe year was 2010. It was the morning of week three. The Cleveland Browns were doing things that the Cleveland Browns typically do. Getting ready to lose a football game….

Jerome Harrison was the “featured tailback” and he stunk. I believe I was in six fantasy football leagues that year. I had Peyton Hillis as a sleeper in all six leagues. The Browns were not giving him the ball enough at this time. Week three though I took a chance and started Hillis in all six leagues despite the Browns playing the Baltimore Raven vaunted defense. He went off for 144 yards and touchdown on 22 carries one of which was this run. Also chipping in with 7 receptions for 36 yards.

A fantasy football star was born in Cleveland. At last a player with a Browns uniform that you could actually start and depend on for fantasy points.

This is the part where I tell you that I hate the Browns. I’ve hated them for my entire life. When I tell people this they usually say something like, “You must be a dirty Steelers fan then.” No quite the contrary. I actually like no NFL teams and do not like football in general. I have no dog in this fight except I thoroughly enjoy when the Browns lose football games. Generally speaking, most Sundays have been good days for me over the years .

My hate runs deep and is mostly there because of the “fans” of the Cleveland Browns. When I think of “typical Cleveland fan” I think of Browns fans. I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time on this because quite frankly I’m not going to write the 3000 word piece today about my disdain for this organization. I’m also not going to talk about the double standard these fans display that calls themselves Browns fans who also happen to be Indians fans on Opening Day and then the last week of September and the Playoffs if there happens to be an Indians team in contention.

Pretty much to sum it all up. I think of most Browns fans as somebody who is a “Dolan is cheap” Indians fan. I think that paints the best picture.

Anyway, Peyton Hillis. That dude was fun to watch in 2010. Just punishing everyone in sight. Along with all the help he was giving my fantasy teams he was a reason to watch the Browns on Sundays. The only reason in my opinion.

I am talking about Hillis because the New York Giants released the 29 year old on Wednesday. Whenever I see his name I get a little nostalgic about that 2010 season he had, catapulting me into the playoffs in many of my leagues.

It was week 10 in 2010 season and the Browns were coming off of consecutive wins over both the New Orleans Saints and the New England Patriots. Next up were the New York Jets. You had to be impressed by this display if you followed the NFL at all. The Saints and Patriots were both quality opponents.

I usually would meet up with some friends on Sunday’s and watch the games. I’m the guy that watches football with a laptop or iPad. The guy who cheers during commercial breaks of Browns games because somebody in a different game just scored a TD for one of my teams. I’m the guy who streams his defenses against the Browns each week. My friends were getting on me because I would cheer loudly for Hillis but not the team. I even created a location I would check into on Sunday’s called “Hillis Country”.

I sort of made a wager with my friends that if the Browns won this weekend I would pledge a years worth of fandom to the team. While it might sound kinda frontrunnerish those were the terms of the deal. It felt similar to when the mayors of both Super Bowl teams make their dumb bets about wearing the other teams jerseys around the office for a week. That is something that is pretty hacky but truth be told I think they were getting a little tired of my antics. I needed to do something to allow myself to be tolerated. So the bet was made.

But I knew I was safe. This was your Cleveland Browns we were talking about. They knew how to snatch defeat from the hands of victory. Then, right on que, Chansi Stucky fumbled in the red zone of overtime. I knew you wouldn’t let me down. Everything was okay, and I retained my hatred of the Cleveland Browns.

So will Peyton Hillis catch on with another team. Who knows? It was nice to replay those moments from 2010 though and I certainly appreciated watching him each week that season.

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