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Journey of a Browns Fan

Cody is a new online writer. His work often focuses on sports theory, sports management, and analysis.

Browns QB Baker Mayfield

Browns QB Baker Mayfield

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The Struggle

Anyone who doesn’t live under a rock knows that more often than not, the Cleveland Browns are the laughing stock of the entire NFL. I was not even alive the last time the Browns won a playoff game. Apart from this year, we have only had two winning seasons since returning in 1999, and I was not old enough to remember either of them. In fact, my first ever memory of the Browns was listening to the reaction on the radio after we had drafted Colt McCoy in 2010. Even though Joe Haden was our first round pick, for whatever reason I only remember hearing about Colt McCoy. I can’t quite recall the exact moment when I realized losing was in our nature. Perhaps it was the infamous “kick six” on Monday Night Football vs the Ravens in 2015. Maybe it was the never-ending list of first round draft busts, which includes Johnny Manziel, Corey Coleman, Justin Gilbert, and Trent Richardson just to name a few. Although, I think it was the consistent pattern of senseless behavior seen by this franchise, that oftentimes results in national embarrassment and humiliation. Where is the logic in firing Rob Chudzinski after his first year of a four and twelve season? Yet the guy who goes one and thirty-one is brought back for a THIRD season. Although, maybe Jimmy Haslam wanted to tank for a few years as if we haven’t already been losing for the past fifteen. Then came the 2014 draft, which has to go down as not only the worst draft in Browns history, but quite possibly the worst draft in NFL history. The Browns were very active on draft night, earning us Justin Gilbert and former Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, quite possibly two of the biggest busts in Browns history. While the 2014 draft was forgettable, our fundamental mentality has not been forgotten. As a result of being brought up in the hideous Cleveland Browns culture, I have made the following conclusions.

  • If you are a career backup quarterback, come to the Cleveland Browns for the green light to become a starter.
  • If you are a coordinator or a positions coach, come to the Cleveland Browns for the opportunity to become a first time head coach, even if you have no qualifications to be a head coach
  • If you’re a washed up veteran looking for one final payday come to the Cleveland Browns.
journey-of-a-browns-fan

Winning for Once

It very well maybe because of all the discouragement we Cleveland Browns fans have had to face over the past twenty years, that it feels amazing to finally be in the playoff conversation for once. Especially for the younger fans, we have never been alive to know what it’s like to have a legitimate football team in our town. Every Sunday now, I wake up with genuine excitement and adrenaline to watch the Browns play. Additionally, I wake up every day excited to listen to Tony Rizzo and even Aaron Goldhammer on 850 ESPN Cleveland. It feels extra special knowing that unlike many of my friends, I actually stayed loyal to the Browns, and didn’t follow another team. I never thought switching teams was an option. I was born in Cleveland and brought up with the highs and lows of being a Browns fan, mostly the lows though. Even though it was exhausting to have to follow this team for my entire life up until now, I stuck with them because that’s what a commitment is. I was there during the lowest of lows throughout their winless season, and I’m still right here celebrating with them as they’re flourishing. For several years, I never thought the Browns would find a way out of their losing culture, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel after all.


journey-of-a-browns-fan

Who knows how long this will last. We should still retain the same key players on our current roster for next season. In my opinion, the Odell Beckham Jr. situation is very interesting. Baker Mayfield clearly plays better with OBJ off the field, although OBJ is still under contract with the Browns for at least three more seasons. With his underwhelming stats and off the field drama, I truly wonder which team, if any, would give up anything valuable for OBJ. Either way, the Browns are still positioned to be somewhat serious contenders next season as well. And believe me, I’m not one of those overly optimistic fans. It’s hard to believe, but there are actually fans here that think the Browns will make the playoffs every year. Fortunately, the time has finally come. The Browns are here to stay as one of the NFL’s heavy hitters.


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© 2020 Cody Piunno

Comments

Jesse Unk from Ohio on December 09, 2020:

Great stuff. Good to see young writers on here, and especially young Browns fans. Keep up the good work! Make sure to updste this when we make our run in the postseason!

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