Every season, millions of football fans suffer from false hope. There is no known cure.
Such is the case in Cleveland as in every football town, and there is no one in town weighed down by more false hope from his fans than second-year quarterback Colt McCoy.
Cleveland fans, starved for a championship and desperate for a hero, have often cast McCoy as a Herculean figure capable of just about any feat. Comparisons to Joe Montana and Drew Brees have rushed forth. McCoy has suddenly been put in the position of being unable to fill his own shoes, even if those shoes only existed in a mythical sense.
Thus, to say expectations for McCoy's sophomore season are exceedingly high is almost an understatement. Granted, there are plenty of fans who see McCoy's future in a much more realistic light (and even those who think he won't even be able to hack it at all), but for the most part the McCoy supporters seem to have gotten a bit overzealous.
Being a McCoy believer myself, I can certainly understand the temptation. He's smart. He's talented. He has an outstanding football mind. And mostly, he's a competitor who really, really wants to win. If you see a bit of Bernie in him, you're probably not off-base.
While a lot of the expectations for McCoy are downright absurd, there's a faction out there with the equally inaccurate belief that he isn't an NFL-caliber quarterback. Those of this persuasion, like those who have placed McCoy on a pedestal, have some valid points. But in reality, things probably lie much closer to the middle for McCoy.
Here are six predictions for McCoy's 2011 season as we count down the final hours until the Browns' opening game. Be sure to leave your own predictions for McCoy in the comments below!