About 10:47 p.m on February 7, 2010, in Miami, Florida when a Gatorade-soaked Eric Mangini triumphantly raises the Lombardi Trophy, you and I and Eric will be the only ones able to say say, "I told you so in September."
Eric hasn't told anyone except, I hope, his team. But I am telling you and you can tell everyone: the Cleveland Browns are going to shock the world and win Super Bowl XLIV, and this is why and how.
Start with Charlie Weis, who used to collect Super Bowl rings the way I collect cheeseburger wrappers. Yes, that Charlie Weis – the guy who coached Tom Brady from the bench to the stratosphere. Well not all that long ago, Weis said that our own Brady - Brady Quinn - has that special "it" that leaders have and that "everything about him points to him being a successful quarterback in the NFL."
So there's that. The Browns have a great quarterback. Case closed.
Next is the fact that our offensive line – the most important part of football – will be the best in the NFL. With Alex Mack and Joe Thomas and the rest of the cohesive, powerful line protecting Quinn, and opening holes for Jamal Lewis and the two young guys, every Sunday will bring a Cleveland Browns beat down of the opponent.
The line will be so good that Stephen Hawking could run behind it, but instead Jamal Lewis will have one more big comeback year while the rest of the NFL is about to discover either Jerome Harrison or James Davis.
And then there are the wide receivers, whose success will be made easy by Quinn's brilliance but more because Good Braylon shows up all year finally fulfills expectations, and morphs into Great Braylon. Great Braylon can do anything. He's Terrell Owens in his prime – a game-changing wide receiver with better-than-adequate hands and spectacular play making ability featuring an uncanny way of always finding the end zone.
Add in the two rookies, three good tight ends, a good helping of Joshua Cribbs, and a dependable Mike Furrey and the analytical Quinn will have plenty of great options.
The defense is what will put the cardiac in these new Kardiac Kids. Expect a bend-but-don't break defense, reminiscent of the kind old-timers can tell you about. But it will be much more than that – relying on big plays. Our opportunistic defense will rise to the occasion on so many occasions that you will finally see that it is not coincidence, but rather karma finally finding Cleveland. Sometimes the ball just bounces your way for an entire season and this is the year.
Combine overdue luck with an opportunistic defense and a powerful beat-you-up offense led by the most prepared new starting quarterback since Aaron Rodgers, and you can easily see this Mirage. I am telling you so.
See Brian Tarcy's NFL picks at Whatzgonnahappen.com