Salt For Your Proverbial Wounds

brownsfalconsThe Browns (0-2) travel to Baltimore (2-0) this week for another beat down at the hands of Ray Lewis and the rest of the Ravens. We know the history there, but that isn’t the wound salt I offer up today.

Instead, I turn your attention to New England. No, this actually isn’t about Bill Belichick either. (There are a lot of wounds that could be salted aren’t there?) This week the Patriots (1-1) welcome the Atlanta Falcons (2-0). For many of us who are old enough to remember the Kardiac Kids, we remember the Falcons as an also-ran type of team with a few good years. We think of Steve Bartkowski, Bill Fralic and Gerald Riggs. But never did Cleveland fans think of the Falcons as a dangerous team, at least until the Browns were gone and Atlanta went to the Super Bowl with Dan Reeves at the helm.

The Falcons went to the Super Bowl during the 1998 season, coincidentally the last year the Browns were on hiatus. As the Browns came back in the league in ’99, the Falcons found themselves in shambles, going from the Super Bowl to a 5-11 season. They had hit bottom once again. The Browns, basically an expansion team won two games that year.

The 2000 season saw the Falcons regress to 4-12, as the Browns improved by a win to 3-13 (Stick with me, there is a point coming). In 2001, both teams finished with 7-9 records. They had pulled even. In 2002 (I know, get to it. You have to see the history though to fully appreciate the point) both teams won nine games and went to the playoffs.

And now here’s the point: Atlanta has had it’s share of ups and downs. They too have fired coaches, and had a QB scandal the likes of which Cleveland has never seen. Even ‘diminished skills’ can’t compare to what Atlanta went through with Michael Vick. Don’t forget the Bobby Petrino fiasco – He’s the coach that quit 13 games into the season to go back and coach college ball.  Even through all of that, which I must say is Cleveland-level sports catastrophe, the Falcons manage to rebuild and make a playoff run every three years.

Since the Browns and Falcons were both in the playoffs that 2002 season, the Browns are 33-65 and the Falcons 48-50 but with two playoff appearances. The Falcons are on their fourth head coach since ’02. The Browns are on their third.

The Falcons have an excellent young quarterback in Matt Ryan. They have a dangerous running back in Michael Turner, who they didn’t have to draft and develop themselves. They have a solid defense and a good offensive line. They haven’t found a Tom Brady in the back end of the draft either. They do make wise decisions with their first round selections however.

If only the Browns could be more like the Falcons. Wow. That’s a sentence I never thought I would utter growing up.

  • Boomhauer

    If only the Browns could be like any other team except for the Raiders, Lions, or Bengals.

  • Brad in ATL

    I live within walking distance to the GA Dome. My wife and her friends are all season ticket holders and heap the abuse every Sunday evening when I come home from watching another Browns debacle. I’ve thought about leaving the Browns and becoming a full fledged Falcons backer but even though I’ve been living down here since ’91 I still can’t do it. Now I know how battered wives feel when trying to leave an abusive husband.

    The one thing the Falcons did right the Browns keep doing wrong is hiring from the good part of the NE organization tree. We take their over-rated asst coaches and the Falcons take front office people who know how to draft and pick up good free agents.

  • Chris M

    “The Falcons went to the Super Bowl during the 1988 season, coincidentally the last year the Browns were on hiatus.

    IF YOU WERE A TRUE BROWNS FAN, YOU WOULD KNOW THIS WAS ACTUALLY 1998. ERNEST BYNER’S HANDS WERE ON HIATUS IN 1988.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com/ Rick

    Typo. Been fixed. Thanks.

  • MIKE

    if only they could be like any team other than, well, the browns :(

  • Isis

    The Falcons are LED by the very same EXECUTIVE VP that was scheduled for an interview with Lerner prior to the hiring of Mangini. Once Mangini was announced as hired, McKay CANCELLED his interview (as did every other VP candidate).

    Want another example? The Dolphins were at the same stage as the Browns two years ago, both laggard teams/organizations. The Dolphins hired an EXECUTIVE VP (Parcells) and then a coach.

    Of course……one can always “hope” that Randy Lerner has the accumen both in hiring a coach and then letting that coach run without an EXECUTIVE VP and a GM. Football organizations be damned.

  • JNeids

    ^—-Googling “accumen”…

  • Omega King

    @#2 – “Now I know how battered wives feel when trying to leave an abusive husband.”

    That’s ludicrous. What a dumb statement to make. Being a Browns fan does in no way compare to how a battered wife feels in any way shape or form. What a totally ignorant and shallow thing to say.

  • Brad in ATL

    Lighten up Omega, good lord. It’s called a figure of speech, look it up.

    Isis I never reply to your usual ignorance but Rich Mckay was THE reason they brought in Thomas Dimitroff. McKay’s drafts made Savage look like Bill Polian and his free agent signings made him persona non grata. Anyone remember the P Price signing which at the time was the largest free agent contract ever given to a WR? How about that LB from Baltimore? I can’t even remember his name shows you how much of an impact he had. McKay is a good media and PR guy, that is it.

  • Omega King

    Sure it’s a figure of speech, so is saying, “I know what a pinata feels like”. The point is, there’s nothing funny or light-hearted about domestic abuse, whether you want to accept it or not. It’s horrific, and to even compare any aspect of being a sports fan to it is minimizing the seriousness of spousal abuse.

    I don’t care if I come across as too serious, or if you don’t accept what I have to say. I refuse to be silent while something like domestic violence is trivialized.

  • Painesville

    Lighten up, Francis.

    …or should I say, Francies?

  • SoCal Buckeye

    @Brad
    Loving the analogy man!! I was crackin up as soon as I read it!!

    @Omega
    WTF do you care so much about spousal abuse anyways! Chill out bro! Maybe you should stay off of the internet, you do know that it’s full of bad things that trivialize every F’d up thing that happens in this world.

  • go cavs

    Omega,

    What happened, did your wife beat you up?

  • Omega King

    Wow…

  • Pingback: While We’re Waiting… Browns History, Eric Wedge, Russian Invasion, and CP3/LBJ | WaitingForNextYear