Here come the Gladiators: The catharsis starts in 2008.
Now that the Browns have revealed themselves to be utterly invincible, Cleveland football fans may be experiencing an unfamiliar, empty feeling. Sunday used to be the opportunity for Browns’ fans to vent all of the week’s built-up anger and despair. You turn on the TV, scream at Derek Anderson’s image for three hours, and smash the remote over your knee—an unbeatable cathartic process. Now, they're actually ... winning.
What's an emotionally damaged guy to do?
Well, if you’re fiending fumbles and interceptions as reasons to not speak to your wife over Sunday dinner, there’s help on the way. The arena football team moving to Cleveland from Las Vegas is, by all accounts, remarkably bad at arena football.
The Gladiators finished dead last in the AFL last year, going 2-14. Now there’s a hallowed record of ineptitude and true rage-ventilation potential. The Browns haven’t been that bad since ’99. “We do suck right now,” coach Danton Barto said after their eighth loss last year, “so we’ve got to find a way to turn it around.” Now that’s an attitude we can throw sharp objects at, especially since they certainly didn’t find a way to turn it around. The team is so awful, other teams in the division it’s leaving are mourning the loss. “Those trips to Las Vegas—an an easy win, usually,” writes a Salt Lake Tribune
scribe, “are gone for the Utah Blaze.” If somebody in Utah feels comfortable making fun of something, you know it’s awful.
Brian Jones, Josh Rue, Thabiti Davis; remember these names. Assuming they’ll be on the team next year, these are the stars of the Gladiators, and the people who will cause you to hurl your crushed remote into your fish tank. The game may be wierdly different—50 yard fields, skinny goal posts, etc.—but the losing should feel comfortingly similar. -- Gus Garcia-Roberts