First and foremost, let me just say, congratulations on the dreaminess. Seriously, well done!! Question: do you go to bed every night and say a prayer of thanks to God above for making you so adorable? Do you? Well, no worries, I do it FOR you!
Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Joan, the girl who was sitting just a few rows back from where you were standing on the sidelines at the Bengals vs. Browns game back in October. I'm the girl who yelled "We love you, Brady!!" at the top of her lungs. Remember? What am I saying? Of COURSE you remember! I mean, you probably don't hear that screamed from the stands very often, being a professional athlete with a hot body, dreamy face and all. Girls are probably very silent and nonplussed when you're around. Well, I'm the one who yelled that one time! I know you heard me, too, because although you didn't turn around, you gave me a friendly, acknowledging wave over your head. I giggled like a thirteen year old school girl for the rest of the game!
Actually, the guys in my Browns Backers group make fun of the way I get a little "squeal-ly" when you appear onscreen during the games. My fat, beer-swilling fellow fans roll their eyes at me and say, "You know, Joan, I hate to tell you this, but Brady Quinn is GAY!!" I tell them that, being a member of the musical theater community for several years, NO ONE has better "gay-dar" than ME, and that Brady Quinn definitely does not "play for the pink team." I remind them, however, that I am a middle-aged, MARRIED woman who is ridiculously and completely in love with her husband. Sorry to tell you, but the chances of you and I "hooking-up" are nonexistent. So, I really don't have any interest at all in your partner/gender preference. I just really, really enjoy the view. My husband is actually just fine with this, as he enjoys the viewing pleasure that Hillary Swank provides (he LOVED her in Million Dollar Baby!), and since there is no "hooking-up danger" there as well, we've decided it's all mutually acceptable!
But your dreaminess is not what prompted me to write this to you today (But, seriously, for the last time: Well done!!). I'm writing to thank you for being the classiest man in football right now, even though the press will never acknowledge it.
It started when you were the star quarterback for Notre Dame College. You were a talented, smart player, and everyone was predicting you'd be among the first picked in the upcoming NFL draft. The media threw a bunch of microphones in your face and asked, "Which team would you most like to play for?" You never hesitated, you said you'd love more than anything to play for your home town of Cleveland, because you grew up a Browns fan and always dreamed of wearing that plain orange helmet someday. We loved you immediately.
Now, as you know, the Browns were (and still are) a pretty rotten team. Most high draft picks in the past (ex: John Elway) made no secret of the fact that they very much wanted to AVOID playing for Cleveland. You said it would be a dream come true. At a time when Cleveland Cavaliers basketball star, Lebron James, also a Cleveland-area native, was wearing Yankee caps to Indians games and tossing footballs with players of Browns' OPPONENTS before games, you said, "I want to bring a championship to Cleveland. I know how long those fans have been waiting, I'm ONE of them!" Sigh.
But your classiness was put to an extreme test this year. You passed with flying colors. Even though Browns' starter Derek Anderson proved to be an abysmal quarterback last year, the new coach, Eric Mangini, insisted on creating a "quarterback controversy" during the entire pre-season THIS year. "Mangenious" refused to name the 2009 starting quarterback until just days before the regular season began. This meant you got exactly HALF the practice time with your starters as every other quarterback in the league, because you were splitting it with Derek. Did you complain? Not once. Your answer to all the media prodding on the issue was always the same, "I just need to focus on doing my best out there. I'm working really hard to perform to the best of my ability." Nice. I can't even imagine what the long delay of naming a starter did to your mental psyche. It had to be pretty brutal to know deep down your coach didn't have much confidence in your ability, otherwise he would've named you far sooner. You responded by working harder.
And let's face it, you had a pretty rough start. Your timing was off and you didn't have a great, explosive beginning, but you never stopped working. We fans believed you'd get it eventually. But you didn't get the chance to improve, because Coach Mangini benched you half-way through the third game of the season and named Derek "Anderception" the new starter. You had every right to be royally ticked-off, you never let it show.
Once again, the media stuck those mikes in your face. Your response? "I'm disappointed. I know I can be better. I have to work harder." I know first hand how well you behaved after being benched. I was in the stands for the next game (that's when I yelled to you, remember?). I watched you all through the pre-game work-out and stretching (by the way: HECK of an extension with the stretching! I was a dancer for YEARS and couldn't get my leg that far over my head. Nice! But, I digress...). Your rapport with your teammates on the sidelines was clearly genuine. You slapped backs, shook hands, and were completely involved in the game, no "diva-sulking" on the bench for you!
The worst part was, Derek continued to perform horrifically as quarterback. His passer-rating was the worst in Cleveland Browns history. He threw several interceptions every game, fumbled snaps, and turned us into the laughing stock of our division. Yet, when Coach Mangini was questioned, "WHY in the world are you STILL going to start Derek this week instead of Brady?" his response was, "I still think Derek gives us the best chance to win." Ouch! How PAINFUL was that for you to hear? Your response? "I'm just going to do my best to be ready to play if Coach needs me." Wow.
So Brady, although you've been physically and mentally abused by this team for which you grew-up cheering, I want to be sure and say "thank you," before you finally (FINALLY!!) get to start the game this Monday night. Thank you for never throwing your hands up in disgust at being handled so ineptly. Thank you for refusing to give up, and for never walking away from this belligerent coach, even though it's exactly what he deserved. I know you probably did it all for personal reasons, be we Browns fans would like to think you also did it for us, for our city that, frankly, just couldn't bear the heartbreak of losing someone who's been such a champion for us.
It's going to be a tough game this Monday night. You're going up against Satan's (aka: Art Modell's) team, the franchise owned by the man who broke our hearts when he moved the Browns out of Cleveland back in '96. This team, though evil, is skilled, and their defense is pretty brutal. You've got the supreme disadvantage of being asked to play on a floundering team led by a clueless coach, while the whole nation watches on prime time television. Believe me, we Browns fans aren't expecting miracles. But listen, whatever the score, know that we're proud of you. We're proud not necessarily of the way you've played, but of the way you've behaved. You are an awesome representative of the town we, like you, love immensely. Thanks for making us look so classy (and, of course, DREAMY!!) Go get 'em!
Thanks for reading!!