Okay, let’s get this out of the way right at the top – I am a Cleveland Browns fan.
I will wait for the snickering to stop.
All right, that’s enough. Look, I had no choice in this matter. I was conceived in Akron and raised in Northeast Ohio. They are pretty rabid about their Beloved Brownies. And I embraced that rabid…, uh, ity, and proudly donned the seal brown and orange right about the time the team was in the last throes of yearly dominance while that team 125 miles away rose to prominence. That ushered in a reversal of fortunes for the two teams, as the Browns went into hibernation, occasionally coming out with seasons like the 1980 Kardiac Kids and the unfathomable teases of the late 1980s Bernie Kosar teams which always got slapped back in the AFC Championship by John Horseteeth. The 1990s brought us Bill Belichick before he was a genius followed by the unthinkable – the team was taken away.
A new team masquerading as the ‘Cleveland Browns’ resurfaced in 1999 pushing the envelope of putridity to depths never before experienced.
Meanwhile that team 125 miles away got six Lombardi trophies.
Oh, and the team that left Cleveland in 1995? They got two.
My God I’m tired.
Yes, training camp has just begun, and yes, I am reading every bit of information about how Paul Kruger is looking awesome, how Barkevious Mingo is ready to decapitate opposing quarterbacks and how Trent Richardson is ready to churn out twenty touchdowns this year. And I am really trying to get my ‘tude on and go toe to toe with fans of other teams, about how THIS year it is going to be different.
Here come those snickers again.
And they have every right to snicker. 1964. Nineteen-freekin-sixty-four. That was the last time the Browns were the champs of the NFL. Forty-nine years ago. Jim Brown. Frank Ryan. Gary Collins. Names I have read about, but since I was only six years old at the time, never got to see play. I have proof in black and white footage of Collins catching three TDs in the title game as the Browns laid the lumber on the Colts, 27-0. My dad said it was awesome.
But me? I got Earnest Byner’s fumble and Art Modell’s greed as my memories.
I give up. Y’all win. There is nothing left in the smack tank with me anymore. We suck. We have sucked for a long time. Point your fingers and laugh. You will get no retort from me. I got no room to talk. What, am I gonna say how good Derek Anderson looked for half a season in 2007? How I thought Lee Suggs was going to win the rushing title?
Just because that’s the way things were doesn’t mean that’s the way things will be.
Remember that when we hoist that motherfucking Lombardi Trophy one day.
Then it will be my turn to laugh.