A couple weeks ago Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan started a small controversy after losing a game when he implied that the rest of the season was going to be treated like a tryout to see who would be on the team for years to come. The immediate response to him apparently giving up on the season was swift and angry. Shanahan later tried to claim that he was not implying anything of the sort, but fans were not interested in listening.
After watching that drama unfold over the media you would think that the other 31 teams would have learned a lesson from Shanahan's flub. So far it appears that at least 30 of them did; everyone but the Cleveland Browns.
The Browns have had a rough season so far. They are 2-8 and staring the possibility of earning the No. 1 pick in the 2013 draft. While that may sound good, the Browns are so full of holes that figuring out who to take is going to be a challenge. If their promotion for this Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers is any indication the team has give up and accepted the concept of losing.
How do we know this? Have there been hours of confessionals released online from players and coaches admitting they suck? Absolutely not; the team is going for a more symbolic approach.
They are going to wave the white flag.
A team representative recently sent a tweet encouraging fans to arrive early on Friday so they could pick up their free inflatable flags; one that happens to be white.
In all fairness, the flags are covered with writing so it is not like they are going to be literally waving 70,000+ white flags. That being said you have to wonder why the team didn't opt to go with brown or burnt orange. Nothing could be implied by using those colors.
Instead we will see what will appear like a massive surrender.
The sad thing is not the perceived surrender, but how quickly public perception grasped onto the notion. Yes, the Browns are a dismal 2-8, but they are not that bad. Of their eight losses four were by a touchdown or less with three coming by 10. Only one could be perceived as a blow out. Trent Richardson, Brandon Weeden, and Josh Gordon give the Browns a solid core on offense; their own "triplets" who are playing better and better every week.
Give or take a few bad plays in several of those games and the outcome of each and the overall record of the Browns could be very different than it is. Maybe then these flags could be seen for what they actually are--just another promotion.