The Browns Are Just So Umami

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It’s hard to find an apt way to describe the 2007 Browns’ season so far. Peter King, among others, had them pegged for one of the two worst teams in the league, and suddenly, they’re 9-5, sitting atop the NFC North with the Steelers, and on the verge of clinching a playoff berth. “Believeland," a phrase you might remember from the Indians’ playoff run, has been trotted out and plastered on T-shirts. Gus Johnson used the phrase during the broadcast yesterday, as well as giving a shout out to local radio host Tony Rizzo’s “Season of Dreams” phrase that began back in August to describe the rejuvenated Brownies. But for our money, there’s only one word to describe the 2007 Browns, and that’s umami. What’s that, you say? ... It’s not sweet, salty, sour, or bitter -- the four tastes known to mere mortals like Peter King and Gus Johnson. It’s the new fifth taste, discovered by scientists this year. According to this WSJ article, umami "is usually defined as a meaty, savory, satisfying taste.” Is there any better way to describe the Browns? Is Jamal Lewis not totally meaty? Do you not savor every catch Braylon Edwards makes? Is there anything more satisfying than watching a sleeveless, gloveless Derek Anderson slide through the snow after a shutout win? That's right: the Browns are completely umami. So don't be afraid. Use it. Just remember, if anyone asks, you got it from ... The Wall Street Journal. -- Vince Grzegorek

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