I'm very nervous right now. The Cleveland Browns, perennial losers who fail so often it is just this side of statistically impossible, are currently in sole possession of first place in the AFC North. They're 6-3 so far, have won three in a row, have beaten two division rivals and only barely lost to the Ravens, and the quarterback, Cleveland native Brian Hoyer, is playing like...well, like an NFL quarterback. Which is not to say that is surprising for him, but it is surprising for any quarterback playing for the Browns.
This is a dangerous time for me. This not being my first rodeo, I have seen the Browns unexpectedly start strong many times before, only to have my hopes dashed halfway through the season when the entire offensive line gets injured, or the coach gets fired, or the team just generally shits the bed. And up until this point I have steadfastly refused to hope, even in the face of of win after win and the congratulatory words of my work colleagues (an extraordinary number of whom are NFL fans for reasons none of them have been able to sufficiently explain - no less than four people from my department were at the Jaguars/Cowboys game at Wembley yesterday (I was one of them)).
But yesterday, when the Steelers lost and the Browns found themselves in first place ALL BUY THEMSELVES, it happened. I started to hope. Not for glory, mind you - I'm not a fucking idiot. But for the playoffs. We could conceivably make the playoffs. I have conceived this. I hope.
Updates to follow in the coming weeks when my heart is inevitably crushed. Again.