Jim Brown. Otto Graham. Lou Groza. Ozzie Newsome. The Cleveland Browns did at one time have a tremendous history led by some of the game’s all-time great players. Much of the success of the Browns came in the 1950’s with three NFL Championships and then one in the 1960’s. Since then, things haven’t exactly been “successful.” Two brutal AFC Title Game losses in the ’80’s have given way to some really ugly times along Lake Erie.
When things don’t go well, it’s easy for fans to look for anything to feel better about themselves. I’ve met many Browns’ fans and most are good people who just kind of shake their head and realize they are in no position to talk smack about any other team. But then, like any fan base, there are those who will celebrate literally anything despite how ridiculous it may be. That could be a huge performance from a player, a “one of kind” play or maybe it’s just a simple assault of an opposing player.
This week, a Browns’ fan shared a tweet that showed him with a new, custom blanket given to him by his son. If you haven’t seen it, then allow me to show you this masterpiece.
So my father's day gift from my son came in the mail today lol. pic.twitter.com/Hhv2OU4ntr
— Mr.Orange1 (@Mr0range1) June 26, 2020
So Let’s Break This Down
Rather than celebrate the fact that his beloved team won this game over the hated Steelers, this fan instead is choosing to honor a star player for attempting to bludgeon a rival’s backup QB. Had this been Ben Roethlisberger instead of Mason Rudolph would it be different? I think certainly it would have don’t you? Big Ben after all has more wins in the Browns’ own stadium than any of their quarterbacks do so it would make sense.
But what about JuJu Smith-Schuster and Vontaze Burdict?!? Ah yes, the famous image of JuJu standing over the Bengals’ linebacker after dropping him to the turf with a vicious block for which he was penalized. “You guys celebrate that!!” Is a cry I’ve heard from Cleveland fans. First of all, Burfict had already made himself “Enemy Number One” among Steelers Nation and within the locker room. Was Mason Rudolph the Browns’ main “enemy?” I don’t think so. The history with Burfict was already so established that to do anything other than celebrate it would have been criminal.
Speaking of “criminal…” The actions of Smith-Schuster came within the confines of the game. The choices made by Myles Garrett were not. If I took a motorcycle helmet off of a guy and slammed him in the head with it I wouldn’t just be “suspended for the season.” I would be facing criminal charges. We’ve already been down this road so I’ll move on.
But this is what it has come to for Cleveland fans right now. Despite a loaded roster last year they finished in third in the AFC North. This coming season they are even more loaded which should be what their fans are talking about. Instead, it’s blankets. Blankets with a picture of a Steelers’ backup quarterback having a helmet swung at him by a star player of the Browns. I swear, this really was a proud franchise at one time.