The Cleveland Browns enable yet another fan-on-fan cage match

Browns Fan Cage Match

Browns Fan Cage MatchWhat’s a Browns fan to do? The team had a bad year and doesn’t have a coach, so It’s a cage match between two schools of thought. In this corner, we have The Faithful!

“Everything’s fine! Would you prefer they settled on a coach who failed his way into a record worse than Pat Shurmur’s? It might be painful and a tiny bit embarrassing, but not nearly as embarrassing as settling for less. This is just proof that Jimmy Haslam won’t stand for such pitiful displays as what the Browns put up in 2013!”

In this corner, we’ve got the “Same old Browns!”

“Nothing is fine. They may not have been responsible for all the failures of the past, but the smell emanating from Berea is the same right now! Who fires a coach after just one year and expects to be able to find a decent candidate just a year later? Arrogance, ineptitude and failure will continue to rule the day!”

it's not your fault

As seen on WiffleGifs

I know I’ve referenced it at other times at this very website, but I’m going to do it again today. Browns fans, it’s not your fault. I mean it. It’s not your fault. Even if I disagree with 100% of your opinion, it’s not your fault and vice versa.

Yet, still it seems there’s nothing to do but fight among ourselves. We accuse each other of being more or less real as fans. We wield the word “faith” like a stratifying dagger.

As if the uncertainty that’s been delivered by the collection of people that currently masquerade as our historically favorite football team wasn’t bad enough, we must torture ourselves further by beating each other up. The burden of proof lies in those revamped Berea offices, not out here where we all presumably want the same basic things.

Just remember that given how little we actually know, nobody can know if they’re right or wrong. Even the most plugged in people with sources, know a very little bit about what’s actually happening. In good times, when things are going well, that serves as a comfort to fans. When things are decidedly bad or uncertain, it escalates negativity and paranoia. Even the most enlightened commentators that you trust have mere shades of the truth.

Remember that in the comments, on Facebook and on Twitter as you try to follow along with this team as it tries to become worthy of all of our love.

Same team.

  • mgbode

    I think everyone is just tired and wants to see them turn it around.

  • Garry_Owen

    I actually agree with a whole ton of this, but I reached a slightly different conclusion. After the JAX game, I was honestly done. I didn’t care anymore about the team, didn’t care whether they lost or won, had no investment in the games, and had decided to cancel Sunday Ticket for 2014.

    The thing that *sort of* got me back in was the firing of Chud. For me, it represented a change in course for both Haslam and Banner (and by extension, me). I have consistently joined the Browns’ FO (whatever FO it might be) preaching “patience, patience.” After that JAX game, my patience was gone. In my mind, firing Chud indicated that the ownership and FO was done, too. I honestly think that they are now investing in an immediate turn-around. I don’t know how they’ll do it, or if it’ll work, but I’ll give them the shot. For me though, like you, this is now a mental exercise and not one of the heart.

  • Natedawg86

    My left canteen will be wiskey as well, just in case. May want to amend the packing list, at least for squad leaders and above

  • Garry_Owen

    The ruck list comprises only about 25% capacity of the ruck. There’s room for personal discretion for the remaining 75%. That could be exra ammo, pogey bait, “Class 6,” whatever.
    [Canteen, huh? You know there’s more room in a camelbak, right?]

  • mgbode

    I prefer a bodebag myself.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    hell you can keep your other job. i don’t care if you send me walterfootball mock drafts. YOU CANT DO WORSE.

  • Natedawg86

    I can share the canteen if necessary, I don’t want another dudes lips on my camelbak

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    You better duck.

  • Natedawg86

    Is that the hip name for a fanny pack?

  • Natedawg86

    camelbaks are military issue so you have several if you had been in the military

  • Garry_Owen

    Thanks. I’m wearing Kevlar.

  • Garry_Owen

    Ah, you must be an NCO. Always looking out for the soldier.
    In that case, carry on. The CO will be sipping privately from his camelbak.

  • Steve_Not_Chad

    Which is also why you were given a down-tick.

  • mgbode

    it is the same thing / different name than a camelbak. I prefer the name bodebag for obvious reasons :)

  • Natedawg86

    Ha. Not in anymore, got out as a CPT. Lot of the troops thought I was prior service before becoming officer

  • Garry_Owen

    Ah, cool. Same here (though I was prior enlisted before OCS).

  • Fedup

    I sent this to my ticket representative today. I’ve had enough…

    Brian,

    As my ticket representative, I figured you are my only connection to the Cleveland Browns. What is going on with your employer? I’ve spent a lot of money over the years supporting this team and it has gone from awful to God***mn embarrassing! Banner and Lombardi are fools. They should have never hired Chud in the first place and every fan knew it. Now we have to start over……AGAIN! They switched to a 3-4 defense with talent that was better suited for the 4-3 for a coach that they kept for a year!!! This makes the Kokinis/Manigini mess look sane.

    If they draft Manziel…please take my tickets and give them to someone dumber than me. I can’t take the stupidity anymore.

    The stadium experience has been as bad as the team it fields, and now the “BIG” upgrade is a better TV. I can watch the game at home on a TV, why do I need a TV at the games?

    I want wifi so that I can look at my fantasy scores. I want cell service so that when my wife is having a difficult pregnancy and calls me while she’s on her way to the hospital I can receive the call (unlike last season)! I want hot pretzels that don’t taste like they’ve been dipped in Lake Erie. I want hot dogs that aren’t cold, and service that is fast and friendly.

    I feel more ripped off than AJ’s Trucking in Sh**hole, Nebraska.

    Please pass this on to your employers. And, if I were you I’d put my resume in at the Cleveland Indians or Cavs…they, while perennial losers, at least are not an embarrassment.

    Thank you,
    DK

  • NeedsFoodBadly

    The Browns will allow us to at last solve the paradox of Theseus’ ship! What our experience reveals is that if you replace all the parts of the ship, it is not indeed the same ship or even a ship at all. It in fact becomes a tremendous, smoking tire fire.

  • mgbode

    that sounds like a challenge. though one that I wouldn’t win based on last year.

    this is just going off my boards from last year without paying too much attention to anything other than who is available per round.

    2013, we’d have taken the trade the Bills took and gotten EJ*, Kiko (yes, I was high on both), but Wheaton instead of Marquis Goodwin-TX in the 3rd. And @ 222 – Marquess Goodwin instead of Chris Gragg (that Goodwin had some off-field issues for WSU but lots of talent).

    *Would Buffalo have taken EJ w/o a trade-down? If so, then Jarvis Jones was the highest guy on my board, but given our needs I also would have considered Xavier Rhodes. Let’s say I went with Rhodes in that case.

    Mathieu would have undeniably been my pick in the 3rd. Though I may have used the Wheaton pick too trade up and get him in the 2nd (I didn’t think he ever would have lasted that long).

    4th: either Jonathan Franklin(RB) or Barrett Jones(OG-C). neither had great rookie campaigns. probably Jones if I was worried about losing Mack.

    5th: DeVonte Holloman (LB) – was he hurt? I don’t remember why he lasted this late in the draft? I had him as a 2nd/3rd round guy?

    6th: Barcarri Rambo (SS) – just a value pick as I had him much higher.

    7th: Michael Buchanan(DE/OLB), Chris Faulk(OT-OG) – Faulk another guy I was high on. He was injured, but had decent upside if the injury wasn’t too severe. Apparently, it was though, so it may have changed my choice.

    Anyways, my picks would have been:

    Xavier Rhodes(CB)
    Kiko Alonso(ILB)
    Tyronn Mathieu(FS)
    Barrett Jones(OC-OG)
    DeVonte Holloman (ILB-OLB)
    Bacarri Rambo (SS)
    Michael Buchanan(DE/OLB)
    Chris Faulk(OG)
    Marques Goodwin(WR)

    So, not really much help at OG (as Jones disappointed) nor WR and I didn’t get a TE (though we didn’t end up needing one). Very happy with how it would have played out for our defense though.

    And, obviously, I missed out on the QB that I wanted (thought for sure EJ would last to late 1st round) and didn’t like ANY of the other guys.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    sounds to me like you drafted three starters. you’re hired.

  • mgbode

    I was already hired. I now want a raise :)

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    ok. i’ll comp your PFF Premium subscription.
    (you KNOW this reads like Mike Brown porn.)

  • mgbode

    Bengals Mike Brown would read the last one in horror! you are not forcing your own coaches to pay for web subscriptions?

    but agreed that his insistance that scouting departments are among the biggest wastes of $$$ in the NFL is being upheld here.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    2010 mangini beat defending SB champs at their place, beat that years AFC champs at home. took another playoff team (jets) to overtime before losing on a stuckey fumble. with colt mccoy at qb. they declined due to injuries which happened in that jets game.

    the perpetuation of the myth that 2010 team was not good is simply soft. it takes like 60 seconds at PFR to identify the bogusness. i’ll save you 30.
    http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/cle/2010.htm

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Craig Lyndall

    I don’t know what the Browns are to me anymore. This concept of ownership and how Haslam was thrust upon Cleveland has really worn on me in the last year. My head isn’t in a good place right now, if it ever was. I need something good to dilute the bitterness. The last time I found myself this bitter in my life, I quit my job and switched career paths completely.

  • WFNY_DP

    But, I *didn’t* say I’ve quit being a fan; I’m not trying to stop. I’ve said that I’ve quit sending them my money for tickets, and that I’m going to pay a little less attention to the daily minutiae of the coaching search, free agency, run up to the draft, etc. I’m still going to watch the games, and I’m still rooting for the laundry. I think I can live in that space, where I’m still a fan of the team but am not willing to overtly support the current FO with my financial investment.

    I think you’re conflating having a dream of the team winning someday with having to have “faith” in or to support the guys running the team. I don’t think we have to do that. I don’t think turning my back, so to speak, on Banner and Lombardi equates to me turning in my fan card.

    What I know is that “Faith” is not a word I can apply, at least not to the entire picture. I *don’t* have faith in the front office as it’s constructed, and thus by extension, I can’t just get on board with “someday this team WILL be a winner.” That’s like saying, “Someday I’ll be a millionaire married to a super model” without a true plan for that to actually happen.

    It’s a great dream to have, and as far as the Browns are concerned I have the same dream as you. But, we’re bound by the constraints of how this franchise is currently constructed in its front office, and until those men show me a cohesive plan for HOW they will make this team a winner, I’m not going to just blindly subscribe to them.

    My main issue with your argument–as it’s constructed here, anyway–is that there are no degrees on your spectrum. The way you’ve posed it here is that you’re either all-in, or that you’re giving up on the team. I don’t think that’s the case. I’m not going to start rooting for another team, I’m not going to stop watching the Browns, and I’m not going to completely stop paying attention to them.

    But, saying, “Just have faith” when the two men (three if you count Haslem, I guess) running the day to day operations of putting the team on the field have shown over the past year that they don’t seem to have a strong idea of how they want to build this team into a winner is a tough sell for me.

  • mgbode

    we all have our breaking points. I was getting nearer mine this year with the Cavs. Watching less games, commenting much less in those threads here. I’m hoping the acquisition of one of my favorite NBA players is the jolt that gets me fully back into being excited to watch them.

  • @TheDeePagel

    I tried to clear up my points in the previous post, but based on your rebuttal I think they aren’t coming across the way I intend. I have never advocated for blind faith, and I still don’t advocate it. I am simply saying that remaining a fan is the only thing I know how to do in this situation because the bottom line here is that none of us know the plan….I have problems with people saying they no longer are fans, because I just think that’s not true….who has to come on toa site like this and announce you’re done? Someone doing that is fooling themselves because if you’re truly done you wouldn’t be on this site.

    We are saying the same things here I guess my points are getting lost in the fray because reading your comment had me agreeing with all of it.

  • Marc

    One of my earliest memories (football or otherwise) is of Paul Warfield playing for us (2nd go-around.)

    I remember the kids on the playground at Kent Central School chanting “Cockroft sucks” the Monday after Red Right 88.

    I remember turning to my Dad in Section 4 at the stadium on January 11 1987 and asking him if we were going to wear our white uniforms in the Super Bowl when we put Denver down at the 2 on the kickoff after Brennan’s TD catch.

    I wrote 19s on the back of my sneakers when MIKE LOMBARDI and Belicheck ran Kosar out of town with us at 5-3 and only Todd Philcox as an alternative.

    I groaned through Drew Carey’s train wreck of a – whatever it was – on the field before that first regular season game in 1999.

    And you know what – the Lombardi hire/shuffle immediately into the GM role put me at the breaking point. This is the guy who ruined the “original band” and is now running the “new version with no original members” straight onto a tour schedule very heavy on County Fair appearances.

    This latest disaster? I’m past the breaking point. I won’t root for another football team. But I will not root for THIS team as long as it is run by Joe Banner, a loathesome, troll-like creature with no recognizable human attributes. I will not root for THIS team if Mike Lombardi is in any way associated with it.

    I won’t hate on any Browns fan who thinks otherwise. But these &%$%$#*&ers in charge have officially exhausted every last ounce of my goodwill for now. Them? I do hate. Intensely.

    Banner OUT. Lombardi OUT. And I’m back in. Even if it means rooting for an 0-16 team. Which is likely what it would be if these people are allowed much more time in positions of responsibility.

    Sorry for the extended rant. I guess I just needed somewhere to say it.