The Browns suck. I know, I know; tell you something you don’t know. Well, here’s a try: the losing starts with you, the fan.
The Road Man posted a great article asking a very simple question: who is to blame? Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of blame to go around, from Lerner to Savage to Crennel to the players. But allow me to point to something, mainly the packed stadium, week after week. The crowded parking lot, full of tailgaters. The abundance of Browns jerseys/gear around town. The inflatable yard ornaments. The flags waving. The blind optimism and free pass spilled every Sunday, year after year. As painful as it is, I listen to the post game every Sunday on WTAM. And every Sunday people call in saying the same thing: “we played hard”; “we’ll be ready to go next year with just a few additions in the offseason” and so on. It was so bad that after the Steelers loss, the host (the horrible Paul Ratto) actually blamed Joshua Cribbs, saying he returned the kickoff, putting a tired defense on the field when the Browns could’ve milked the clock. Uh, had he noticed that they had only put six offensive points on the board? Has he not noticed that the Browns offense is horrible, regardless of coordinator? And what may be worse, some fans called in and agreed with his point. They also blamed the refs, the weather and just about everything else – but not the Browns.
Another thing people still call in to defend is Charlie Frye. Why? Do you not notice he isn’t the quarterback of the future? Do you not notice he can’t scramble, runs into sacks, has no field vision and lacks the arm strength? Heck, even the PD’s Bill Livingston saw it. And he’s clueless. Remember Tim Couch? Frye will go that way in two years as well. Look at it like this: when you date someone, you can tell after a few months whether they’re “the one”. If they are, you keep dating. If not, you break-up. Think of this in relation to the QB – deep down, what does your gut tell you? You know that Frye isn’t the one. Yet he gets run out every week. And fans support him every week.
But I can’t say I completely blame the fans. Afterall, the team endorses losing just as much. Celebrating the Steelers near-win, Crennel gave the players a day off because they played so hard and were sore. Get that, football players sore. Who knew? And, despite being horribly exposed as completely inept against the no-huddle offense during the Steelers game, the Browns did nothing to improve a week later against the Bengals, falling prey to the same tactics. Maybe they should’ve practi…oh wait. That’s right. They didn’t. Because they were sore. And played so well despite losing.
And to that point, losing. It’s up to you fans. The organization obviously isn’t going to do anything to change it. Not as long as you’re selling out the stadium. Say what you want about Boston, New York, Philly, Chicago fans, et al; they foster a culture of winning. They don’t tolerate losing (Cubs aside). They’re vocal; they boo, pollute talk radio with complaints, hold signs, write letters, etc. And yes, I notice that some of those teams had long droughts of not winning a championship; but look at how many times those franchises were in contention. In the playoffs. In the championship series. Winning doesn’t start at the top; it starts at the bottom. With you. Losers.