A Moratorium Call on the Cleveland Browns

big-dogOK, I know this site is dedicated to ALL Cleveland sports, and in trying to bring you the most updated information all day, every day, it behooves us to go across all sporting lines.

Look at what is going on with our Cavaliers and Indians right now. Last night, the best team in the NBA, YOUR Cleveland Cavaliers, set a franchise record with their 58th win of the season. They look more and more everyday like the lock #1 seed in the Eastern Conference and if they can keep up this tremendous pace, could have home court advantage throughout the NBA Finals.

Lebron James playing at an MVP level, leading his team to a preposterous 33-1 home court record. Danny Ferry has put together the best supporting cast of his tenure (the Mo Williams for Damon Jones trade was GENIUS) and their depth is the envy of the NBA. The wine and gold seem to be on a mission.

As for the Indians, Spring Training at the beautiful new Goodyear, Arizona complex is still a few weeks from completion, but things are starting to take shape. Scott Lewis jumped to the front of the pack and grabbed a spot in the rotation. Anthony Reyes has been healthy and effective as well. Carl Pavano, who struggled early on, opened eyes yesterday with six innings of two run ball (I’m still very concerned about him). Kerry Wood is ready to take the ball for the ninth. The bullpen depth is among the best in the league.

Grady Sizemore is raking, hitting over .400 this spring. Jhonny Peralta is absolutely killing the ball and seems happy to be set at shortstop. Mark DeRosa and Shin-Soo Choo are back from successful stints at the WBC. Victor Martinez looks back to full strength and ready to return to his role as the emotional leader of the Tribe. Sure, Travis Hafner is still a major concern, but Eric Wedge’s 1-9, top to bottom lineup shouldn’t fall into the April and May swoon it did last season.

The Cleveland State Vikings basketball team just finished an NCAA Tournament where they were the darlings of the first weekend after thrashing Wake Forest in the first round. There is just so much to like about the sports scene in this town right now. So much positivity going on.

Yet, why is it that with all of these wonderful things happening, people in this town STILL want to talk Browns Football first? It sickens me. So much so that I am calling for a moratorium on all Browns talk until draft day. Answer me this, what have they done for you to deserve this much attention?

(SIDE NOTE: This doesn’t mean WFNY will go Browns-free, but I certainly will.)

Last night, I was watching More Sports and Les Levine on Time Warner Cable. Les spent the first segment talking about the Cavs pursuit of their 58th win and Scott Lewis winning the final rotation spot. Naturally, the first caller out of the box says “hey Les, did you hear the Browns are going to bring in Brett Favre as an instructor at Training Camp?”


Shaun Rogers showing up for voluntary workouts is front page news in this town, despite the fact that the season is still six months away and even with Rogers being so dominant, the Browns still finished 4-12. When David Patten is signed to play WR, it’s bigger news than Lewis beating out Aaron Laffey for a spot in Eric Wedge’s rotation.

What universe are we living in where the worst team in town by leaps and bounds – a team on its third regime in 10 years and has been to exactly one playoff game – still is the first love of the championship starved fans? My passion for the organization is at an all-time low. Instead of wasting my time with the signings of no-names like RB Noah Herron, I concern myself with whether or not Travis Hafner is going to return to form or how fast Wally Szczerbiak can recover from his tweaked knee.

You should all be feeling the same.

So to all WFNY readers, I implore you, sideline the Browns talk and give your love an attention to the team who ACTUALLY HAVE A CHANCE to win something. I am speaking of the Cavaliers and the Indians.

  • http://www.jrosen.wordpress.com Jacob Rosen

    Great column here. It is always hard for me to talk Cleveland Browns, and I am part of the younger generation where the Indians were all we had. It was Mark Price and the goofy looking Cavaliers, the amazing Indians, or the faint memory of a football franchise.

    The NFL is an incredibly successful industry, and I love football, especially fantasy football, but it is hard for me to really support any team. Call me a bandwagon fan if you want, but it will be hard for me to really ever fully support the Browns.

  • mgbode

    40+ replies and counting on why people want or don’t want to talk about the Browns

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    I’m confused…when did Russ get to decide who writes for WFNY?

    You know, the Plain Dealer had one author write a column a couple days ago saying the Browns should absolutely trade Braylon Edwards. (Terry Pluto) Then today (or yesterday, can’t remember) another Plain Dealer author writes suggesting that Edwards is actually worth holding on to. (Livingston)

    It’s called opinion. So TD chose to use the Moratorium approach to get his point across that we should celebrate the good (Cavs, Indians) instead of agonizing over the bad (Browns).

    I love that you (Russ) admit that you only follow the Cavs and Indians when they are winning, but then call out Browns fans as ‘fair weather’.

  • Jason

    I can’t stand the argument that “The Browns are who are” or the Browns “represent” Cleveland. The Browns are f*ckin’ terrible with God awful leadership from the top-down.

    It’s a loser mentality that permeates the city far too often. How about we’re represented by a superstar who lives up to the hype, surrounded by a fantastic supporting cast on and off the court, and A+ leadership all the way down?

  • mgbode

    “terrible with God awful leadership from the top-down”

    what represents Cleveland civil leaders better than that?

  • D-Train

    yes, cleveland is a football town, no question.

    yes, a super bowl would probably mean more than an nba finals championship or a world series.

    and while that is nice, why do people have to ask, why do they have to beat the dead horse?

    i couldn’t agree more, let’s talk browns when there’s browns to talk, right now i have zero interest in what the browns are doing. and the browns are my favorite pro sports team.

    and while the browns are my top team, i’m more of a cleveland fan, than a browns fan, and right now all the focus should be on these cavaliers, who are, like you said, leaps and bounds ahead of the browns.

    don’t worry folks, they’ll be there, they ain’t goin anywhere.

    the only interest with them i have is these 3 top-50 picks. and what can you possibly talk about until they are taken?

  • http://www.clevelandleader.com Kevin H.

    TD – I agree and wrote almost the exact same thing 2 days ago on Cleveland Leader. It’s just silly to me, but you can see from many of the responses that a lot of people just have no interest in anything but the Browns. I don’t get it, but that’s the way it is. I don’t think the organization is worthy of the attention, while the Cavs have done everything right and are going to end the championship drought in this town. All the while, the Browns will still be trying to decide who’s going to be the QB. Oh well.

    Tom – The Wonder Years reference was genius.

  • Omega King

    I used to post by the tag Jason – how original – but I notice that someone else’s name is Jason. So, I’ve decided to change my handle.

    I think that right now, people are so fascinated by the Browns because it’s such a train-wreck. If it was a well-run organization with a recent history of winning, nobody would care about the Herron or Patten signings because we would assume they would be cogs in a well-run machine. As it is, everything the Browns do gets analyzed because they’re so dysfunctional.

    Anyway, I for one am enjoying the Cavs, and will pay attention to the Tribe more when the season starts. Once fantasy football starts gearing up will I even think about football seriously. Go CAVS!!

  • Glaumdawg

    @ #28 – I went to Wright State. UD basketball is huge in Dayton, but their fans are somewhat obnoxious. And they begin leaving home games with like 10 minutes to play, regardless of how close the game is.

    And I think Russ overreacted a bit.

  • Brian

    Denial? We’re not in denial! Last time I checked the Browns won the Super Bowl.

  • Glaumdawg

    And for what it’s worth, this is by FAR and AWAY my favorite Browns/Cleveland sports website. This site has recaptured the feel of the old BrownsTNG site that morphed into TheOBR and subsequently lost most of it’s charm. I love the commentary here and the different opinions. Speaking of which, what happened to RandyOSU?

  • http://gooddoctorzeus.blogspot.com DocZeus

    I was born in 1983 and thus, I have no fond memories of the Cleveland Browns. I was too young to remember the Bernie Kosar years (and thus, I was spared some of the psychotic pathos that Clevelanders form from “The Fumble”, “The Drive” & “Red Right 88”) and my earliest memories of rooting for the Browns were the abysmal Vinnie Testaverde years prior to Art Modell ripping the Browns away and moving to Cleveland. When the Browns returned, I was excited as hell but ten years of complete and utter incompetence from the Lerner organization have placed the Browns dead last in my pecking order for teams that matter. The Indians will always be first in my heart due to my fond memories of growing up in Cleveland during the 90s Indians reign, the Cavs second due to my love of Mark Price and the Richfield Coliseum, Ohio State Football third, and Syracuse Basketball forth (We won the championship the first year I went to college there) and the Browns are dead last and falling.

    Mangini seems like an incompetent schmuck and even more of a sideshow than the rudderless Crennel years. I’ve just about had with the Browns who never earned my loyalty aside from regional ties.

  • mgbode

    @56 – what could we talk about before they are taken?

    Here’s a sampling of things we should be discussing:

    1. Who to take with those 3 picks.

    2. How to acquire more picks (possible trade downs)
    A. If Monroe or J.Smith drops to us (Philly)
    B. If Stafford drops to us (SF, TB, Minny)
    C. If Crabtree drops to us (Oakland, JAX, SF)
    D. If those are the top 4 picks (Curry is #1 on some teams boards)

    3. Which current players we should consider trading or not trading (DA, Quinn, Edwards) to get even more picks.

    4. Any other spare FAs that we should consider (I believe Leftwhich hasn’t found a home yet if we do trade Quinn or DA).

  • mgbode

    “Mangini seems like an incompetent schmuck and even more of a sideshow than the rudderless Crennel years.”

    This is the stuff that makes me laugh.

    Mangini had winning records 2 of his 3 years in NY. That is not incompetent. In fact, after they beat the Titans and before Favre hurt his bicep, they were the favorites in Vegas to win the superbowl (it only lasted a week…but it was in November).

    Side show? What exactly has been a side-show. The only thing that can even be mentioned is the Shaun Rogers thing, but he showed up for VOLUNTARY WORKOUTS (sure a few days late, but many players in the NFL don’t go at all). Things are apparently ironed out and the season is months away.

    Other than that, things have been quiet as the Winslow trade happened before there were even rumors he was on the block and the Edwards rumors came out from the Giants end (and we rebuffed them even by their own admission).

    The biggest side show in Cleveland sports is the media that reports it (not including this site as this is more from a fans perspective, which is why I like it).

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig

    The cool thing about this site is that everyone who comes here can have an opinion and argue (usually) while dealing with the topics at hand and not focusing on individual attacks. No single writer here speaks for the site when they write an opinion about article about a team, or event, or whatever. If I wanted to publish an article saying the opposite of what TD wrote here, I could do it first thing tomorrow.

    This site runs on varying opinions and they differ frequently, if not excruciatingly at times. But the site also runs on its culture of openness and civility. In order to disagree with someone’s opinion, you don’t have to attack the man who delivered the opinion. And also, don’t think that the varying opinions around here don’t tend to rub off on you after a while. I am a different sports fan today than I was before I started writing here because of the interactions with the WFNY writers.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com TD


    1. “Ha! Yeah, you’re not new, you’ve been here for four months. Heh”

    -The site is a year old

    2. “If TD truly backs up this opinion, I think he should leave this site or WFNY should simply stop writing about Browns, if they stand behind this editorial.”

    -you must not have read the part where I said it’s not that WFNY will go Browns-free, just I will.

    3. “Telling me who I should root for is BS.”

    -Im not LITERALLY telling you what to here here, guy. If I said, “go jump off a bridge” you’d take that literally too? Of course you wouldn’t.

    The defense rests. Goodnight now.

  • kingdiesel

    As Eric the Actor would say: “Bye for Now”.

  • TSR3000

    Don’t tell me what to feel, internet.

  • CJG

    Something I think is a deeper issue here is….is it a good thing to be able to follow the events of your team all year? Obviously a business like the NFL stands to profit from it, but what about fans? One of my favorite sports days is Opening day, because there has been deprivation from baseball for months. It’s like eating the same food everyday all year. Say what piety you want about being a fan, but you can have too much of something.

    Anyways, good article TD.

  • Cee L

    Listen, I’ve watched and supported the Cavs since the 80’s and I appreciate what the Cavs are doing.

    BUT , the NBA is the shadiest league out there these days . Between the bogus trades that so blatantly “help” big markets and the officiating scandals–well, I sometimes wonder if my time and energy isn’t more suited toward following professional wrestling.

    We love, what we love. No matter how bad the Browns get, I have more faith in the NFL as an entity than the NBA or MLB.

  • Bill

    Not a good post TD. Its not that nobody is talking Cavs, Cleveland talks Browns all year long. I think you know this, but your being a little naive.

  • CAVSn6

    i hate art modell

  • Janet

    TD are you like 20? There is nothing that can compare to the love affair with the Browns if you are a seasoned fan. Love, Mom

  • Jeremy

    I’m sorry but what has the Indians done so far that warrant them to be in the same breath as the Cavs. I am as big a Tribe fan as the next guy, but come on guys. They went from one game of the WS to a .500 season. Larry Dolan is a cheap skate who won’t let Shapiro spend money. Shapiro has done a great job with he has to work with. The Indians are closer to the Browns, than the Cavs until they show me otherwise. Lets hope they do just that.

    I guess as an organization the Tribe has it right. It sucks the owner with the least money of the three in Cleveland is the one without a salary cap to deal with. Sorry for babbling GO CLEVELAND SPORTS!!!

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Denny

    Dear curmudgeonly old folks:

    Times change. The Browns left town and honestly, they never really came back. You talk about the golden years of Brown, Graham, Kosar, Matthews, etc. That hasn’t be a reality in a long, long time.

    I’m 25. I grew up mainly with the Tribe. I never was huge into the Browns. The golden days were gone by the time I could comprehend things. My parents aren’t from Ohio. So I never grew up with “the fever”. To me, Cleveland is a baseball town. It’s not the same for everyone. People have OPINIONS – get over it.

    This site has nine writers. There’s a reason why the writer’s name is at the top of the post – because they aren’t necessarily everyone’s opinion. To take the site to task because of one writer is asinine.

  • Dirtywax

    I personally loved the article. Summed up my feelings very well. I’m sort of with Rizzo when he says he’s “Divorced” from the Browns. I can’t get into them whatsoever.

    I truly feel awful for the people ignoring the greatness that is Lebron and the Cavaliers. I’ll never see anything like it again.

  • DCBucks

    Great article TD. I have been skipping over any and all Browns posts not only on WFNY, but everywhere else as well. I grew up with the Kardiac Kids and Kosar and Byner and Mack. These were the Browns worth falling in love with and cheering through thick and thin. Quite frankly the hollow shell that returned to Cleveland is anything but the Cleveland Browns. They may wear the colors and carry the name, but the organization is a joke. Year in and year out they turn Cleveland stadium into a three ring circus. Let’s see how they can embarrass the city of Cleveland this year.

    I for one am done with the Browns until they’re a knee away from a Super Bowl. I’ve put in my time with nothing to show for it.

    Go Cavs. You deserve my hard earned dollars, my cheers, and my adulation.

  • Jarrad

    That is what makes us true fans of the Cleveland Browns though- no matter how horrible they are, we still love them and love to talk about them. They are like a horrible girlfriend to us. They let us down every single week, but we can’t take our eyes off of them and keep coming back. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Indians and the Cavs as much as the next guy. The Browns should always be on everyones mind. And WHEN they do win the big one, we can all just smile at the fact that we have been there during the worst and the best. Only then can we, as Cleveland Fans, live the rest of our days out as happy human beings.

  • Chuck

    @ kingdiesel #67
    Baba Booey!

  • MacNip

    I will be talking Browns…that’s for sure. I love speculating and trying to come up with ways to improve the team through the draft. Roster moves, trades, etc. are more exciting than the actual games themselves. At least in my opinion

  • Jeremy

    This is what makes us the greatest fans around. Look at Boston for instance. When the Celtics were horrible did they show up? NO! Back in the day when the Patriots were a joke did they go? NO! When the Red Sox were terrible all they did was complain about the curse and not show up and support that team. Now they are good so they show up and claim to be the best fans. That is BS they are just a bunch of bandwagon fans! Detroit is the same way. We are there through thick and thin!!!!

  • Ryan

    A. MEN. We were driving up to the Cavs game last week, and turned on 850, and the talk was about the Browns. I am a season ticket holder, and enjoy the Browns as much as anyone, but at this point, who cares. Look what the Cavs are doing!!

    On the flip side, it is the same anywhere. Boston likes the Pats/Bruins and Celts, but would still almost go for the Sahx to win; here in Chicago, Cubs, yes, in parts, but just about everyone dials in about DA Bears; Bucks/Brewcrew, nice, but Pack year round; DC, Redskins. Same everywhere, but when someone is winning and having a great season as the Cavs, even the Bears talk subsides for the most part.

  • brwnsgrl

    Anyone who spends more than 5 minutes in Columbus knows that no matter what time of year it is, its all about Buckeye football. Even when the OSU basketball team made it to the NCAA finals a couple of years ago. Even now, with the Blue Jackets possibly getting into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. And while I know its not exactly the same, in some ways, it is. A city latches onto a team, and it becomes their identity. Its just unfortunate that the Browns are in such a sad state right now.

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