Joni Mitchell wrote and sang about the “Circle Game” many, many years ago.
The seasons go round and round and the painted ponies go up and down. That kind of stuff.
The idea is that sometimes life takes us in circles and journeys wind up where they began. That’s the undeniably overwhelming feeling I have as I take over as the Browns reporter for ESPN.com.
This circle began long ago in Lakewood, Ohio, and St. Ignatius (the high school of a certain Browns quarterback) and proceeded through college, grad school and too many great jobs and great events to name. In this time, it’s become evident that the ability to type is a blessing. And when somebody can list on his résumé that he’s covered Super Bowls, Wimbledon, LeBron James, the Winter Olympics in Nagano and the Cleveland Indians with Tito Francona ... he’s pretty dadgum blessed.
This particular career opportunity brings me back where one very important and enjoyable circle began, the beat I started when I returned home to the Cleveland area in 1998 -- covering and writing about the Browns. It’s the team I’ve been following and writing about in some way, shape or form for 14 years.
I’ve always believed that the topic is far more important than the writer, but those of you who have been with me on this journey the past many years know I do this with energy and honesty, but also with a sense of fun and, yes, occasional irreverence.
So don’t be expecting Joni Mitchell’s poetry.
As this circle comes round, I promise to cover the Browns with as much energy as a dumpy Irish guy can bring. It’s an honor to be in this space. It feels right, and I’ll do my best to make sure we all have a good time on the way.