WFNY Time Machine – My January 2009 Letter to Braylon Edwards

In January 2009, I wrote a letter to Braylon Edwards.  We had just finished Romeo Crennel’s disappointing tenure with the team.  Eric Mangini was hired and Braylon and the Browns really had a chance to start over.  Except Braylon never really started over.  He came back even worse.  He fought Mangini and the new team discipline every step of the way.  He got in trouble off the field, which finally ended his tenure as a Cleveland Brown, but it didn’t have to be that way.  If only he would have read my letter maybe I would have posted a nice picture rather than an animated one of him dropping the ball for the Jets.

Braylon,

Boy, that escalated quickly… I mean, that really got out of hand fast.  First, you started dropping passes.  Then we started booing you and making fun of you.  Then we even started mocking your commercial endeavors like 5 hour energy.  Then you yelled at us for hating you because you were from Michigan and claimed to have carried the Browns to a ten win season.  And then we kept going making you the punchline of all our jokes until you basically became the only one to blame from this season other than Romeo Crennel.

Look, it never should have gotten to that point.  You had a tough year.  There were some bad breaks.  Both your QB’s went down and had tough seasons.  Your offensive coordinator seemed to have a sophomore slump as well.  You didn’t have anybody to draw attention away from you as Stallworth was out and nobody emerged as a third wide receiver this year.  On top of that, Winslow was hurt, which just meant a defense could lean just a bit more in your direction.

See, I gave him an out.  Yes, he was a scapegoat for the bad season, but I knew we were being a bit unreasonable.  I just wanted him to understand our perspective.

At the same time, we paid a lot of money to lose a lot of games this year as fans.  We had our hopes up that our ten win season was a starting point, not the mountain top.  We thought we had two good options at QB, and we thought we might just be able to challenge for an elusive playoff spot this season.  You have to understand that our disappointment was going to manifest itself in an ugly fashion.  And sure our drinking really doesn’t make us any more rational as fans.

See, if we both take responsibility, it creates a common ground where we can move on positively.

Still, you dropped a lot of balls that you could have caught.  But, oh heck.

Can we just drop this whole… Sorry.  Bad choice of words.  Can we just squash it?  As it turns out, you need us and we need you.  We are willing to push aside all the negativity of the last year, and move on to next year in hopes of righting this sinking ship.  We know that you have room to improve, but so do we.  Deep down, while we aren’t responsible for your play this season, we know that our overwhelming negativity doesn’t really help to fix anything, either.

It is the kind of acidic and self-destructive behavior that has come to define the Cleveland Browns and their fanbase.  I think you probably can identify, as you also show some self-destructive behavior at times.

Well, let’s not beat a dead horse.  Let’s just see if we can move on and get this team turned around with Eric Mangini and company next year.  OK?  We will get our self-respect back as a football team and you will gain all the marketability and success you desire in your football-playing life.  If you win, we win.

C’mon.

Let’s hug it out.

Well, it was never meant to be.  Braylon got himself traded, and he still is holding the grudge today.  Then again, we are still tweeting jokes about him with “drops” as the punchline.  I would like to think that because Braylon is a jerk we have the moral high ground.  Then again, we can be pretty jerky ourselves.  He started it though, right? :-)

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Braylon…meet TJ.
    TJ…Braylon.

  • J-Dub

    The funny thing about Braylon’s ‘war with Cleveland’ is that nobody in Cleveland really cares. We wasted a draft pick on him which we’re used to. He played well for a year, turned into a bust with an attitude problem, and he was promptly shipped out of town for what I thought was fair compensation. I think he’s an overrated degenerate and I’ll never be a fan, but only in his mind is this still a relevent topic.

  • Chris

    Cleveland fans are very quick to turn… I don’t know if that’s a Cleveland trait or if it’s more universal, but I often find myself thinking we need more patience.

    Really, I can’t blame Clevelanders, though. We’ve had this toxic mish-mash of hope, disappointment, anxiety and rejection for decades now. Is it any wonder we’re so bitter? Hopefully a superbowl or two will fix that right up.

  • oribiasi

    Boy makes me mad when I think we could have had any of the following offensive Pro-Bowlers instead of Mr. Edwards:

    1. Roddy White
    2. Aaron Rodgers
    3. Vincent Jackson
    4. Frank Gore
    5. Ronnie Brown

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda…

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    If the Browns were looking horrible and everything was miserable, the Braylon returning to Cleveland storyline might be somewhat important to me, but I don’t really care. He’s ancient history. His success or failure doesn’t mean anything to me, though, I’d rather see him fail because he’s a dummy and an egotistical jerk.

  • jimkanicki

    agreed with robbie. it’s both laughable and pathetic that he is trying to make this game about him. bring my popcorn??! trying to be t-o now? perfect role model for you, B.E., and says it all.

    he really has no self-awareness. sad, in a way.

  • 216in614

    ya. there are a lot of more talented, more conceited, ex-cleveland sports stars we could be hating if thats your thing(south beach).

    im so high on the browns lately i could give 2 poos about braylon

  • jimkanicki

    i know the wfny proprietors follow @jerodmsf so this link on braylon will find its way here. but what the hell.. here is the definitive assessment of braylon’s prep for the browns game:

    http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/2010/11/photo-story-braylon-edwards-prepares-for-his-return-to-cleveland/

  • TSR3000

    Let’s not give this dude anymore attention, please.

    I am much more worried about LT, Holmes, Keller, etc.

  • Dave

    TSR3000: Are you saying Helen Keller could catch better than Edwards?

  • MrCleaveland

    Somebody from Cleveland e-mailed Jim Rome yesterday and said that he knew Braylon likes popcorn because of all the butter he has on his fingers!

  • stin4u

    haha jim that link is hilarious.

  • Max

    @J-Dub- no one in Cleveland really cares? I think WFNY is about to set a record for “Consecutive days with a pst about a former player who is quite obviously a jacka$s and not worthy of our time”

    Can I get some stuff on players and team still IN Cleveland that I actually care about? Thanks!

  • Harv 21

    Even if he burns Wright and Brown for two long TDS and reacts like Rod Tidwell in the end zone, wouldn’t bother me at all. Can only pity someone with so wide a gap between his abilities and accomplishments.

    But the relentless display of ego is amusing. At least LeBron has the excuse of a thousand syncophants since he was 13, tens of millions in annual income and being the centerpiece of a major corp’s ad campaigns. Braylon just has this completely unjustified sense of entitlement rattling around in his empty head. For his own sake hope he never grows up, or he might die from embarrassment.

  • JNeids

    In “The League,” anytime anyone says “a marathon,” someone replies “a what?” It would be great if Sunday, anytime the PA announcer says his name, the entire stadium says in unison “who?”

  • Josh

    Joe Thomas – Wisconsin (Big 10 Rival)
    Colt McCoy – Texas (beat OSU in Bowl Game)
    Joe Haden – Florida (Beat OSU in BCS Title game – and NCAA tourney)

    these are 3 cornerstones that we will be cheering for for YEARS to come… Someone tell Braylon he cares a lot more about this than we do!

  • REEPJP

    Saw on the Four Letter that Marcus Bernard collapsed after practice today…hopefully he’s alright

  • jimkanicki

    josh, ill go you one further:

    Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!
    Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!
    Woooooooo. Pig. Sooie!
    BROWNS!

    is going to become the favorite cheer at CBS if hillis keeps up his play.

  • Omar’s Magic Glove

    This is my favorite Braylon Edwards play (or lack there of) of all time in this video. If I were Mark Sanchez I would email Braylon this video every day after hearing him say I hadn’t earned the right to complain.

    http://www.youtube.com/?v=Dia9XzZoOfQwatch

    C’Mon Man! Hilarious!

  • sleepless in cincinnati

    I like the article but am torn – I am of the belief that ignoring these fools (lbj, braylon, the jerk from sandusky, jay leno, nick swardson’s new show Pretend Time, etc) and not supporting any product for which they sponsor is the best way to make our voices heard. Zings and ‘boom-roasted’, although more fun, don’t work as well.

    imho.