Home > Team, Have a Seat > What’s up Cleveland Browns?

What’s up Cleveland Browns?

When you think of the Cleveland Browns, what comes to mind? A lot of things come to my mind, most of them negative, others have expressed the same. So what did they do to build such a bad image?

To their credit, the Browns typically dont draft players with problems off the field, nor do they trade for them. That does not, however, mean they are a popular team or a positive team in the public’s eye. The Browns have had a losing record all but three seasons since 1990. Before that, it was nearly the exact opposite. Losing causes a lack of interest, losing on a regular basis causes a lack of interest on a regular basis. It is a surprise to some extent that people haven’t forgotten about the Browns. Perhaps its only that they are actually at the game and on the field wearing brown helmets to remind us, that and the announcer still says Cleveland Browns when they run onto the field, unless he reasonably forgot who they were.

The Cleveland Browns have a local rival in the Cincinnati Bengals, but despite the possibilities of greater interest through a rivalry, both teams are lacking in winning seasons over the last two decades. It is hard to care, even about a local rivalry, when both teams suck. The Bengals, despite playing as bad as the Browns in the last couple decades, have taken quite a different approach to their team, in that they have drafted and traded for players with significant problems off the field. They say any press is good press, but not even the Bengals off the field problems are attracting enough interest, at least not enough for their fans to care about the Browns rivalry. It is mostly true that every fan wants their team to just be better than their rival, especially local rivals, though you wouldn’t know it looking in on the Browns or their fans.

Perhaps the most commonly known problem of the Browns is Jim Brown. Jim Brown is the one name every football fan can and probably does think of when someone mentions the Browns, and to be fair his name comes up when the best players in history are mentioned, especially running backs. Always critical, always blunt, Jim Brown says what he wants when he wants when it comes to the Browns. He has criticized the Browns front office on more than one ocassion. Recently he criticized the newly drafted Browns running back Trent Richardson. Richardson said he thinks Brown was trying to motivate him, and that we will see his motivation worked. I am not so quick to write off anything Jim Brown says as motivation, considering how he makes his statements about the Browns in general. The new Browns owner seems to be making immediate culture changes, having brought back Jim Brown and making both Brown and Mike Holmgren speak publicly about Jim Brown spending time with the Browns and possibly being welcomed into their locker room again, and don’t forget banning Brown to begin with has been blamed on Mike Holmgren for years, though I don’t know of anyone that disagreed with the move, Brown’s attitude wasn’t exactly the kind of thing you wanted around your players, considering what Jim Brown was saying about the team at the time. Jim Brown also does not appear to be a Mike Holmgren fan, Holmgren of course being the GM for the Browns during the recent and mostly consecutive losing seasons.

That brings us to the next piece of this puzzle, General Manager Mike Holmgren. What has he done that is positive for the Browns? The Browns had a long history of strong players, the kind of players you wouldn’t want to be infront of on game day. What happened in the last two decades that changed that? Draft picks came and went, potential big names came and went, it is now almost to the point that if the Browns draft anyone then we can expect them to leave and thrive elsewhere or to stay and play poorly. There has been an interesting change, however, with the Browns that could shake up the front office as well as the future of the Browns. The team has been bought by a life long Steelers fan, conveniently after the team’s most promising draft pick in recent years with Trent Richardson, and after the team drafted a more experienced 28yr old Colt McCo.. I mean Brandon Weeden at QB. The new owner, based off comments made seemingly randomly by Mike Holmgren after the sale of the team, could be leaving the door open for Holmgren’s dismissal on purpose. I for one am not sure that would be a bad thing. Unless Holmgren drafted Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden, and had all of his other ‘turned out to be a star’ draft picks overridden by the others guys in the draft room on draft night, then it may be a good thing for a change in the position that largely contributes to and in some ways determines the future of your team.

Browns fans are scattered online as well, not so much in that there are Browns fans everywhere across the country, but more that there are fewer Browns fans commenting on sports sites than there are for most teams, if not all teams. Its one thing to have more Ravens fans than Browns fans commenting on articles about your team, and Saints fans in the last few months, but Steelers fans? Everyone knows Steelers fans like to rub it in the noses of losing teams, especially low scoring teams, and everyone knows they do it without prejudice. But come on Browns fans, come on. Really? Where is your ‘Represent!’? If any other fans, especially Steelers fans, go around commenting in groups on articles for decent or winning teams you will see some immediate push back from that team’s fans. Not so often for Browns fans. You would think with such a consistently bad record, that people wouldnt troll the Browns article comments, but I guess its easy to kick them when they are down. Its like Browns fans are sleeping, or they are the most nonconfrontational fans in all of the NFL.

Wake up Browns fans! Your team needs you to boast for them! Your team needs you to lift them out of bed and onto the field! Your team needs you to make your presence known, and they might just follow. We all know they aren’t doing much without you.

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