...the talk around town is “Cleveland Is Back”.
In 2002 the Pittsburgh Steelers hosted a playoff game against the Cleveland Browns, a game in which Pittsburgh beat the Browns by a score of 36-33. The significance of this game, other than the fact our favorite team won, is it would be the last time the Browns make the playoffs.
During that stretch the Cleveland Browns have finished at the bottom of the division 14 out of the last 16 seasons with an average of 4.625 wins. In 2007, the Browns won 10 games marking the only season with double-digit wins, and the only season finishing above .500.
It wasn’t always bad in Cleveland
In 1946 the Browns became members of the AAFC (All-Ameican Football Conference) and won 4 straight AAFC Championships.
In 1950 the Browns joined the National Football League after the AAFC folded and went on to win 4 Championships, appearing in 7 more. To say they were dominant is an understatement.
The Browns also had a nice run in the 1980’s winning the AFC Central 5 times and making the playoffs 6 times during that decade. However, never making it to the Super Bowl. Yes, I’m back to rubbing salt in the wounds...
Back to Bad
...then in 1995, the owner of the Browns, Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore, creating the Purple Browns, aka the Baltimore Ravens. As a fan I would have lost my cookies and hopefully some of the more historic members of our community can elaborate on this momentous moment in history. I was busy still playing as much ball as I could, and didn’t follow the league as much as I do now.
Like I said, it would have been a terrible thing for any fan, but for a fan that lived in that city it had to be devastating. I do feel bad for them looking at it in that manner but it’s still Cleveland so enough of that.
In 1999, the city of Cleveland once again had a football team and the Browns were back, well maybe in the sense of having a football team. The 2002 season must have felt great for the faithful and they are faithful because of what followed. Minus the the 2007 season, 15 seasons of disappointing football. Hiring and firing of head coaches, drafting quarterback after quarterback.
...Brian Hoyer, Josh McCown, Johnny Manziel, Cody Kessler, Deshone Kiser and last but not least Baker Mayfield.
Sorry couldn’t find an updated version of that kid’s jersey.
Coming off a season in which the Browns went 7-8-1, and looking as if they have the future of their franchise under center, the fan base was already living in the hype of a decade plus bounce back and when Odell Beckham Jr. was acquired in a trade from the New York Giants. That was the point where even the odds makers had the Browns as favorites to win the AFC North.
I’m glad for the Browns fans, they deserve it. I will admit they have a good team on paper, but the game isn’t won on paper. We should know that ourselves, as Steelers fans, I’m just not ready to turn the AFC North over to Cleveland. I’m glad that their may be an old time rivalry brewing, the Steelers have been holding up their end of it — they have been waiting on you Cleveland.
Don’t sing, it bring it.