In a world with so many variables, sports fandom is really pretty black and white. That’s what makes following sports so great. Unfortunately, if you’re a diehard Browns fan like myself the lines between black and white have become so blurred over the past 10+ years since the teams return into the NFL in 1999. Maybe that’s just because we have forgotten what consistent winning feels like. Instead of spending our time talking about matchups from week to week and what it’s going to take to “WIN THE GAME” (thanks Herm Edwards) in Cleveland we spend our time talking about ALL the other variables.
It’s been a weird couple of months for Browns fans going back to the draft in April. The team, in desperate need of someone, ANYONE, who can catch a football… decides to draft a running back with their 1st pick in the draft, and then took a quarterback with their 2nd. Sure we picked up a WR in the draft in Travis Benjamin who was responsible for our greatest offensive play last week but let me remind you… that play had nothing to do with catching a football. Then we trade a 2nd round draft pick in next year’s draft for a WR in the conditional draft who didn’t play football all of last year. (Josh Gordon) However, as we always do, we believed all of this was going to help us win games.
That takes us to Lerner’s announcement that he will be selling the team to Steelers fan, Jimmy Haslem. All of the sudden, if feels like we are going from a rebuilding stage under the Holmgren regime, to another inevitable rebuilding stage under a regime to be announced. (although we now know that Joe Banner will be a key peice in the new puzzle)
Most recently, we were reminded of when our favorite team was stolen away from us, with all the tribute videos of the late Art Modell. For heaven’s sake, it was such a rotten move that even his own family didn’t want his ‘legacy’ to be ‘honored’ during our home opener last week.
Now, after arguably the worst start for any rookie QB in the history of the sport of professional football, we have fans begging to put Colt McCoy back in!? (Hey, at least McCoy didn't get stuck under the American flag in pre-game) Not to mention, that our 1st overall pick Trent Richardson appeared lost on the football field. (Though I believe we are willing to chalk that up to rust since the guy didn’t play a down in preseason) If nothing else, seeing Richardson destroy Eagle’s safety Kurt Coleman with his helmet popping colision was just awesome.
All of these things happened like a whirlwind over the past few months and now more than ever, it just feels like complete chaos. The fans have so many questions, we don’t even know where to begin. Should Childress be calling the plays? Does Shurmer have an obligation to play McCoy if Weeden continues to struggle? Does Haden really have A.D.D.? Is Richardson going to be the beast we expect him to be? What will Haslem do when he takes over the reins in October?
If “you play to win the game” then what exactly are we doing? Are we overcomplicating things in Cleveland? Are we really cursed? Does any of this matter? What seems most lost to me (in my own opinion) is you and I… the fan. How do we fit into the picture? Is anyone listening to us? We’ve been defending this team day-in/day-out for years! Personally, I’m not sure how much of this revolving door, circus like sideshow I can take.
So I ask you… where do you stand with the Browns?