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Ed Puskas: Of traditions and turkeys


Published: Thu, November 23, 2017 @ 12:05 a.m.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

That was the first exclamation point I can remember using in print because I try to obey Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Good Writing.

Leonard’s No. 5: Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.

I can follow the rules, but I can’t vouch for the quality of the writing to follow.

Back to Thanksgiving, when we celebrate family, friends, fellowship and football and throwing down copious amounts of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Then we nap and repeat the cycle until the leftovers are gone.

We also move — for one precious day — from taking all that is good for granted to giving thanks for the blessings we have.

If you’re a Cleveland Browns fan, feel free to sit this one out. Of course, be thankful for family, friends, good health and the fact that you’re still drawing breath, but there hasn’t been much to be thankful for when it comes to The Factory of Sadness.

(Do I need to pay Warren’s own Mike Polk Jr. a royalty for using that reference? Just curious.)

But believe it or not, there are some Browns-related things I’m thankful for today:

Josh Gordon’s return: The talented wide receiver once dominated the NFL, then nearly ruined his career with alcohol and drugs. But he’s back with the Browns and eligible to play on Dec. 3.

Because he has been suspended or banned for so long, a lot of people have forgotten how good Gordon was. And remember, he copped to being stoned or under the influence of alcohol in every football game he ever played.

How good can a sober, in-shape Gordon be? We get to find out on Dec. 3.

The one win: Christmas Eve, 2016. Instead of wrapping presents and baking cookies, my daughter Erin and I spent the night before Christmas (OK, it was a day game) watching the Browns play the San Diego Chargers last season.

Hue Jackson may be 1-25 as the Browns head coach, but Erin is undefeated at FirstEnergy Stadium.

No Pat Shurmur: Yes, Browns fans, it could be worse. Remember that Pat Shurmur once coached the Browns.

Shurmur was the anti-Mike Leach. Instead of hearing Leach talk and wanting more, you heard Shurmur talk and begged for the presser to end. Or better yet, for access to Stewie Griffin’s time machine so you could go back in time and make like Vincent Van Gogh — twice.

Speaking of Shurmur, it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without turkeys. Lots and lots of turkeys. Here are just a few:

Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma QB, who I’m in no hurry to shake hands with.

LaVar Ball, whose 15 minutes of fame have dragged on far too long.

Jimmy Haslam, who has been treating Browns fans like we’re truck drivers.

Sashi Brown, who will probably draft Mayfield No. 1 if he is still working in Berea in April.

Write Vindicator Sports Editor Ed Puskas at epuskas@vindy.com and follow him on Twittter, @EdPuskas_Vindy.


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