“The Best to the Worst-Browns Fans”
It was so long ago, they were so good.
It’s the only thing they have to grasp, Cleveland Browns fans. They remember back then and have to deal with the frightful times of this team now.
Municipal Stadium, and it’s 82,000-thousand seats, on the edge of Lake Erie, is long gone. And so is good football too in Cleveland.
The Browns are (0-14) as they host the Chargers. They are about to become only the 2nd team in NFL history, and that dates back to the 1920’s, to likely go (0-16) in a season. The Detroit Lions were the only other one.
Hard to imagine teams like the Pottsville Maroons, Duluth Eskmos, Decatur Staleys. They were all in the NFL ‘back in the day’. and all pretty bad, but not this bad.
The NFL has seen the misfit Chicago Cardinals. They observed the John McKay-Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They’ve lived thru the end of the Al Davis-Raiders regime.
But this is something, especially for a franchise that once had Hall of Famer Paul Brown as Coach and GM. Once had Otto Grahame. Once had Jim Brown.
It was the home of Brian Sipe and the Cardiac Kids. Home of Martyball (Schottenheimer) and the Dog Pound.
The city and its fans lived thru the Art Modell move of the franchise. They built a new stadium, got an expansion team, kept the name and the colors.
And that was the last thing they accomplished, and that was 1999.
Since then, a revolving door of coaches, from Chris Palmer to Butch Davis. A young Bill Belicheck to a failing Eric Mangini. Short term mistakes like Mike Pettine and Rob Chudzinski. And now, a struggling Hue Jackson.
Add on turmoil filled ownership, from the current regime of Jim Haslam, to the more recent run of the Lerner family, and of course the terrible end to all the things Art Modell hoped to be, but could not accomplish.
Their last championship was in 1964. Since they came back in 1999, the franchise is (87-189)…second worst only to the Raiders decade plus run when they went (56-136).
It’s been a horror show of bad drafts, some bad luck with injuries, but in the big picture, just a badly run franchise.
They chose Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch with a lst round pick in 1999. He was the future,but they were so bad, he got so beat up, he left the NFL.
They have gone thru 25-different starting quarterbacks since returning to play in 1999. So much for continuity…25-QBs in a 17-year span. This year, they’uve used five different starters because of injuries, and actually used a 6th, when former Ohio State QB-Terrelle Pryor, moved from tight end to QB for part of a game.
On Saturday, Robert Griffin III, trying to resurrect is career, starts vs San Diego.
Browns football gave us Johnny Manziel, his ego and issues. The dragged out people like Jeff Garcia and Kelly Holcomb. Played courageous guys like Josh McCown and Bryan Hoyer, till they got hurt.
Sampled the likes of Colt McCoy, Brady Quinn and Ty Detmer.
Somebody must remember Spurgeon Wynn and Charley Frye?
It’s unbelievable that an organization could make so many mistakes.
Of recent washout vintage, 6-of their last 9-first round picks are gone.
Cornerback Justin Gilbert, nose-tackle Phil Taylor, running back Trent Richardson, quarterback Brandon Weeden, pass rusher Bark Mingo, defensive end Courtney Brown, and of course, Johnny Football, Manziel.
Add to that the recurring drug problems of oft-suspended receiver Josh Gordon and the failures of people like Kellen Winslow, Greg Little and Jabaal Sheard.
It must be so hard to be a Joe Thomas, or a Joe Haden, what little quality is left from past drafts.
This was a franchise that passed on LaDainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees amongst others.
Yes they’re stockpiling alot of draft picks, but that is never a guaranteed it works out.
So tough to be a Browns fan. You ache for that city, for the Browns are the ‘fabric’ of the city. They rallied the city when the steel mills shutdown and the rubber industry vacated.
What we see tomorrow is far removed from what we used to see, yesteryear.
Memories of Frank Ryan and Gary Collins, Don Colo and Bob Gain, are what keep bringing people back. Greg Pruitt, Doug Dieken, and Ozzie Newsome still tug at your heart, when your heart aches with the current product on hand.
Even Milt Plum looks better now than what the Browns have today.
Truly that old Cleveland slur, “Mistake on the Lake” properly fits the NFL franchise on Lakeshore Drive right now.