Browns fans…stand up. The time is now.

Former Browns RB Trent Richardson  (Photo: USA Today/Schwane)

Former Browns RB Trent Richardson
(Photo: USA Today/Schwane)

Wednesday, September 18th at 6:19 PM (EST), it was announced that the Cleveland Browns traded running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts.

At 6:20 PM, fans in Cleveland rose up out of their seats, went to their windows, and yelled… “We’re as mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!”

And who could blame them?

This is a football town. With a rich football history. Near a college known for producing some of the finest football talent in the league. And it’s appropriately located just north of the football holy land of Canton, Ohio, home to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Yet somehow, the football Gods have rained on the Browns and their fans for what feels like forever.

Let’s take a moment to reflect on the tragic history of the Cleveland Browns franchise.

1994 – The Cleveland Browns go 11-5 and make the playoffs for the first time in four years.

1995 – Browns owner Art Modell moves the team to Baltimore (replacing the Colts who moved to Indianapolis).

1999 – The Browns reenter the league with a new team and a new stadium. The team retains the Browns name and history, only to set a new record (worst in franchise history) when they finish the season 2-14.

2000 – The Baltimore Ravens (former Browns) go 12-4 and win the Super Bowl.

2001-2004 – The Browns’ former coach, Bill Belichick (fired in 1995), goes on to win three Super Bowls with the New England Patriots.

2010 – Though it has nothing to do with football or the Browns, Cleveland Cavaliers star basketball player LeBron James becomes a free agent and in a live broadcast on ESPN, The Decision, reveals that he is not resigning with the Cavaliers and is instead “taking his talents to South Beach…where they will win not one, not two, not three…NBA Championships.” So far, he has won two.

2012 – After more than a decade of mostly losing records under ownership of the Lerner family, the Cleveland Browns are sold to businessman Jimmy Haslam. Art Modell dies. And the Ravens go 10-6 and win another Super Bowl.

2013 – The FBI and IRS begin investigation into owner Jimmy Haslam’s Pilot Flying J corporation for conspiracy and fraud involving fuel rebates.

If ever there were a case for fans rallying together in a hostile takeover of their team…it is that of the Cleveland Browns. They certainly have the hostile part figured out.

My message to Browns fans:

Do not…

KEEP CALM

AND 

CARRY ON

 

Instead…

RAISE HELL

AND 

TAKE BACK YOUR TEAM

Good luck. And God bless.

XO

Disclosure: I am an Indianapolis Colts fan. I directly benefited from the Trent Richardson trade. However, my joy and excitement are slightly tempered by the sincere sorrow I feel for Browns fans. Good people. And great fans. You deserve better. And you will get better. Soon. I hope.

(Photo: Bleacher Report)

(Photo: Bleacher Report)

I’m sorry. I stand in solidarity with you. And I’ll be cheering for you.

Woof!

Monday Bloody Monday

Former NFL Coaches: Crennel (Chiefs), Reid (Eagles), Shurmur (Browns)

Former NFL Coaches: Crennel (Chiefs), Reid (Eagles), Shurmur (Browns)

We knew it was coming. We knew heads would roll. But who knew Black Monday would be this bloody?

By New Year’s Eve day, seven NFL head coaches and five general managers were unemployed. Dozens of coordinators and assistants followed. A post-regular-season house cleaning like we’ve never seen. More head coaches lost their jobs Monday than in the previous three seasons combined.

Some teams chose to start over completely, removing both the general manager and head coach. The Arizona Cardinals did so with Coach Ken Whisenhunt and General Manager Rod Graves. The Cleveland Browns with Coach Pat Shurmur and Manager Tom Heckert. And the Chargers followed suit with Coach Norv Turner and Manager A.J. Smith.

New Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Shad Khan chose to fire General Manager Gene Smith. And the New York Jets turned General Manager Mike Tannenbaum loose after a season that proved to be interesting, yet disappointing. No word yet on Jets Head Coach Rex Ryan’s future. In fact, we’re still waiting for his end of the season press conference.

Four other teams chose to part ways with their coaches: The Buffalo Bills with Chan Gailey, the Kansas City Chiefs with Romeo Crennel, the Eagles with Andy Reid, and the only real surprise…the Chicago Bears with Lovie Smith.

Smith’s firing created a backlash in the Bears locker room as well as the national sports media. Because…well, everybody loves Lovie. Both Tony Dungy (a close friend of Smith’s) and former Bears Coach Mike Ditka referred to the decision as “ridiculous.” Bears star Wide Receiver Devin Hester is reportedly so distraught by the news that he is pondering retirement.

One person who won’t be retiring…Lovie Smith. He is a hot commodity in the now busy market for NFL head coach shopping season.

So, what happens now? Does a game of musical coaches ensue…cut your guy and pick up the one to your right? It’s already started, with Andy Reid reportedly interviewing with the Chiefs today and Cardinals tomorrow.

And the bloodshed may not be over.

In the meantime, we’re still waiting…

Rex?

XO

 

Childress Feeling Comfortable in Brown

When former Minnesota Vikings Head Coach (and former Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Coordinator) Brad Childress signed on as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns, he didn’t just find a new job, he apparently found his signature color…brown.

Childress was photographed at practice wearing what could only be described as dark brown scrubs.  Maybe he’s following the old adage…don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want.  If so, we can only take that to mean one thing…Childress aspires to work for UPS.  Either that, or he’s taking a page out of Bill Belichick’s What Not to Wear as Coach.  Apparently what not to wear…is anything bordering on stylish.

I never thought I’d say this, but someone just made Belichick’s hoodie look a little bit sophisticated…

Stay classy, Chilly!

XO

 

We Salute

What do Americans love more than their football?  Their freedom.  On this Memorial Day, we honor and remember our NFL heroes who gave of themselves on and off the field.

Pat Tillman (Arizona Cardinals Safety, Arizona State University Linebacker) is the only NFL veteran killed in active duty since the Vietnam War.  Tillman turned down a three year, 3.6 million dollar offer from the Cardinals to enlist in the Army following the attacks of September 11, 2001.  He joined the U.S. Army Rangers in 2002 and served several tours of duty.  Corporal Patrick Daniel Tillman was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004.

Bob Kalsu (Buffalo Bills Guard and Bills’ Rookie of the Year 1968, University of Oklahoma Tackle) entered the Army following his rookie season to satisfy his ROTC requirements.  As a member of the 101st Airborne Division, Lieutenant Kalsu was killed in Vietnam on July 21, 1970.

Don Steinbrunner (Cleveland Browns Offensive Tackle, Washington State End) was called to serve in Vietnam following his rookie season in 1966.  Steinbrunner was also an assistant football coach at the Air Force Academy.  He served two years as an Air Force navigator and was offered a non combat position after being shot in the knee, but chose instead to return to his unit.  He reasoned he was better prepared to serve than most.  Major Steinbrunner’s plane was shot down over South Vietnam on July 20, 1967.  He was honored with a Purple Heart posthumously.

World War II

Cpl. Mike Basca (HB, Philadelphia, 1941), Lt. Charlie Behan (E, Detroit, 1942), Maj. Keith Birlem (E, Cardinals-Washington, 1939), Lt. Al Blozis (T, Giants, 1942-1944), Lt. Chuck Braidwood (E, Portsmouth-Cleveland-Cardinals-Cincinnati, 1930-1933), Lt. Young Bussey (QB, Bears, 1940-1941), Lt. Jack Chevigny (Coach, Cardinals, 1932), Capt. Ed Doyle (E, Frankford-Pottsville, 1924-1925), Lt. Col. Grassy Hinton (B, Staten Island, 1932), Capt. Smiley Johnson (G, Green Bay, 1940-1941), Lt. Eddie Kahn (G, Boston/Washington, 1935-1937), Sgt. Alex Ketzko (T, Detroit, 1943), Capt. Lee Kizzire (FB, Detroit, 1937), Lt. Jack Lummus (E, Giants, 1941), Bob Mackert (T, Rochester Jeffersons, 1925), Frank Maher (B, Pittsburgh-Cleveland Rams, 1941), Pvt. Jim Mooney (E-G-FB, Newark-Brooklyn-Cincinnati-St. Louis-Cardinals, 1930-1937), Lt. John O’Keefe (Front office, Philadelphia), Chief Spec. Gus Sonnenberg (B, Buffalo-Columbus-Detroit-Providence, 1923-1928, 1930), Lt. Len Supulski (E, Philadelphia, 1942), Lt. Don Wemple (E, Brooklyn, 1941), Lt. Chet Wetterlund (HB, Cardinals-Detroit, 1942), Capt. Waddy Young (E, Brooklyn, 1939-1940).  Courtesy: NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame

We remember you.  We thank you.  We salute you.  Today and every day.

XO