April 20, 2014

A note to the Browns regarding the Ravens…

This week we heard some encouraging news that the team leaders decided to forego any days off in order to start prepping for the Ravens right away on Monday. Trust me when I tell you that Browns fans love to hear this kind of stuff. It helps bridge the gap between the level of desire that fans have for success and the lack of control we have over whether or not you can achieve that success. In light of that, I thought it might be instructive as you prepare for the Ravens to know just how Browns fans feel about this particular divisional match-up.
 
This game should be a rivalry and it just hasn’t been over the last decade. The Browns are the most dear franchise to the city of Cleveland and that’s partially because the Ravens were moved to Baltimore from here. I know some of you saw the NFL Network documentary about the 1995 Cleveland Browns, so I know it isn’t a completely foreign concept to most of you. Regardless, I thought it might be nice for us to try to put into words what it would mean for the Browns to take care of business this Sunday against a despised division rival heading into a bye week. I’ll go ahead and go first.
 

Craig -

Quite simply, we can’t stand the Ravens. A victory over that team would be almost on the same level as a victory over the Steelers. In some ways it would be even better though. While Browns fans don’t really cherish the rivalry with the Ravens, I think that has less to do with history and more to do with a lack of respect. You see as much as we hate the Steelers (purely in a sports rivalry hate kind of way,) we respect them. While we all still love Ozzie Newsome I don’t feel that same level of respect for the Ravens and how they go about their business. 

No matter how efficiently they build their team and run their business they will always be the city that stole our team. They will always be the people who used Art Modell without a care in the world for breaking our souls. They will always be the hypocrites who cried – justifiably so – when the Colts were ripped away from them and then responded by ripping the heart out of another city. They will seemingly never understand how hypocritical it is to despise the Irsay family and put Art Modell on a pedestal.

One victory won’t fix all of that of course. And I can’t expect you to understand all that water under the bridge, but just know that this is more than just a divisional match-up for Browns fans. A victory over this team this week would feel like more than just another win. And to carry it for more than a week with the bye? I can only imagine.

Rick-

When I think about the Ravens a few things jump out at me. You want to know why I hate the Ravens? Let’s start with the idea that the organization says they ‘left the name, colors and records in Cleveland.’ What a crock. We fought for those. We made phone calls to the league office. We jammed their fax machine and mail box with letters. At the last moment the Ravens gave up the fight, because the league was making them. And somehow they paint themselves as generous.

The sting of losing the team would have been lessened had the Ravens stunk for over a decade like the expansion franchise we got in return. Instead they went to the Super Bowl. And won. They won our championship. Cleveland hasn’t won a title since 1964 in any of the three major sports. Our drought should have ended on January 28, 2001. That was our team. The players our city should have had. Rob Burnett and Matt Stover had been Browns, and they were starting for the Ravens. Ozzie Newsome was a Cleveland legend, and now he was helping build a dynasty. Ray Lewis and Jonathan Ogden should have been our picks.

Watching the Ravens become the rival to the Steelers, and the Bengals hating Baltimore for never being able to beat them hurts. Please put it to them. Especially at home.

Ryan - 

The Ravens franchise is everything I wish the Browns could be. Around the league they are respected for their ownership, front office, coaching, defense, and my favorite, their home field advantage.

They are now considered the Steelers biggest rivalry, not us. I want teams around are division to hate us the same way we hate them. That starts with wins.

2-2 at home and 2 wins in the last 3 games are a starting point for this young club, but a win against a rival, at home, who leads our division would be another huge step in the right direction.  

More than anything, a win this week would mean respect. Respect is something the Browns and their fans lack throughout this country. I don’t want people’s pity, I want their respect.

Scott:

It all boils down to the Super Bowl. Had the Ravens not transformed into the defensive powerhouse that became a national nightmare; had they not essentially become won of the best teams in football seemingly overnight, this would not have to be penned. The colors and attitude and entitlement are enough. Adding in the winning and stability — and plenty of it — all while the Browns have essentially floated along the bottom of the pool, burning out quarterbacks and churning out front offices, and it’s time for it all to come to an end.

Time may heal all wounds, but in this case, the elderly keep aging. The future begins this Sunday.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Dwayne Bowe available?

  • Chuck

    Speak for yourself about loving Ozzie. He’s a traitor in my book. Can’t stand the sight of him, myself.

  • ryan97ou

    as a browns fan who grew up in youngstown and was in high school when the browns left (and was CRUSHED), and now have lived in baltimore for the past 10 years flying the orange and brown proudly (for all here to laugh at), NOTHING would make me happier than a win on sunday. nothing.

  • JK

    Agree 100%

  • Natedawg86

    Living in MD, I have noticed that there is a lot of support for the team, but it is more blind support in the fact that they have a large part of their fanbase buys clothing, and supports the team, but coan’t tell you who is on the team or what their record is. I also see many people laugh when they find out I am a Browns fan, not really knowing how they got their team in the first place. They have been spoiled by a football team that has had a regular season winning % of .553 (*.608 if you take out the 90s), been to 17 playoff games in the last 11 years, and 9 in the last 4. I think that they are on a high right now, but as we get better, I think they are going to start getting older, and their success will decline.
    I would rather have them laugh at me and say the Browns suck, then thanks for the team and Superbowl Championship.

  • Harv 21

    Ozzie should have instead done … what? Sold furniture in Cleveland? He was an ex-jock way down the totem pole in the FO that everyone assumed was hired as a favor for his contributions as a player. No one else but Modell was interested in him then.

  • Harv 21

    Not to pick nits but … Ogden was their franchise left tackle and had plenty to do with their run of success. The Ravens were in a position to draft him at #4 overall in ’96 because the Browns completely fell apart in ’95 after news of the move leaked. Had they stayed and continued playing about as well as before the leak Ogden would have been long off the draft board. Not doubting they would have been better than these Browns, but Ogden wouldn’t have been a Brown, Belichik wouldn’t have been fired and had a chance to reasses his first job failures, Modell would have insisted on drafting Lawrence Phillips and … oh, it’s a wonderful life.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    We throw around the term “statement win” a lot in the sports world, but if the Browns can win this game, it would certainly qualify as one. I truly believe that this game will set the tone for the remainder of the season, and if we win, could very well be the game that we all look back on as the game where we turned the proverbial corner.

  • BuckeyeDawg

    Agree. Can’t blame Ozzie for going with the team. Now…if Haslam makes him an equal or better offer to come back, and he stays in Baltimore…then we can get on his case a little….

  • AlexMathews

    Won’t happen.

  • bossman09

    It’s basically a fact that for the browns to win a supebowl after 1989, Modell had to go. His horrific business performance had killed the browns and the death spiral has started. It’s nice the think the the Ravens superbowl should have been ours, but t wouldn’t have happened without some significant changes to the 1995 organization.

  • charles ryals

    How would this rivalry be if they were the Baltimore Browns?

  • mgbode

    well, Baltimore’s LT now (McKinnie) is apparently being sued for $375K for strip club charges.
    ok, doesn’t really fit here, but it’s Hi Larry Us.

  • JK

    Bet that was a good night.

  • ryan97ou

    well that sucked.

  • Houston fan

    Just sounds like your butt hurt because the browns suck and the ravens kick ass. Lol grow up and just be happy you got your team back so quickly even if they do suck big donkey dick like the rest of Cleveland. Ohh they took are Super Bowl away… Your are forgetting a key fact that had they remained in Cleveland then the loser taint would of prevented any type of success.