There comes a time in the life of a sports fan when reality must officially set in. No, I am not talking about the Browns team being bad. I mean, they ARE bad. We know that to be reality. The reality that I am referencing now is that Braylon Edwards might never be able to play for this team ever again after this year. After exploding into the blogosphere with vitriolic comments following Monday night’s latest orange and brown debacle, Braylon decided this hit single needed a b-side. (Let’s hope it doesn’t turn into a maxi-single.)
“I’m not Paul Warfield, Webster Slaughter or Jim Brown. I’ve given my all to this city for four years, and I realize it will never be enough. I went to the Pro Bowl last year and resurrected this team from the darkness, and nobody cared.”
“People in this town believe they are entitled to too much. They have been disrespectful to me and my family. I’ve gone out in public with my family and have had to deal with being called foul names. My parents have been called vulgar things at restaurants.”
“My biggest problem is that I actually give a damn. I’m always rushing back from surgeries and injuries, never missing games or practices. But through this, I’ve learned how to overcome adversity. I’m also proud of how my foundation has taken off. I’ve been doing all this community service in Cleveland … my charity efforts will only be in Detroit from now on.”
To quote Scooby Doo; “Ruh Roh!”
Now, I am going to try not to go off on a rampage against Braylon Edwards even though I think he is wrong to make these comments. I am not even saying that what he says is untrue in terms of fans making comments to him and his family in public. I am going to take the unemotional middle of the road stance and just try to report that this Sunday is going to be U – G – L – Y gruesome at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Braylon took this gasoline-soaked bonfire of a season and without a care, lit the match and tossed it right in the middle. Again, I am not saying he is right or wrong, but there is no reason that he needed to open his mouth and follow up what he said after Monday night.
On top of that, how is it that this Browns’ organization is so out of control that they let press have access to Braylon Edwards again to continue to pour salt in the wounds of Browns fans everywhere? See, that’s the part that Braylon misses with his statements about coming back from injuries quickly and trying his hardest. The fans who are out there booing his poor play this year are spending life-changing amounts of money year-in and year-out to be miserable. Even in their best season as fans since 1999, they didn’t get to watch a playoff game at home. This whole deal is a two-way street and as Rock, Scott and some of my other WFNY colleagues have pointed out Braylon doesn’t take any personal responsibility for his play and how it has contributed to this submarined year.
One thing is for sure, though. A continued relationship between Braylon Edwards and the city of Cleveland is going to be near impossible going forward. I can’t imagine the apology that would be good enough for Browns fans to forgive, forget and move on. And maybe that is Braylon’s goal in all of this. Maybe he is trying to get out of here by making it impossible for Cleveland to keep him like Willis McGahee did with Buffalo. The big difference of course is that even while forcing a trade out of Buffalo McGahee performed on the field.
I have never, in my life, seen a team that had so many situations where I was left wondering, “In a perfect world, how would all this work?” and yet having no idea how to fix it. There is no handbook for this team right now. They defy all logic and reason.
(Oh, I almost forgot. Please keep it clean in the comments, people. This is a family-friendly site!)