Friday, December 31, 2010

Stay or Go Browns

I’ve been a Cleveland Browns fan for three years and I’m beginning to understand the ‘Maybe next year’ line.
By the time I moved to Cleveland in October of 2007, I’d been a football fan for about a year, but had not yet picked a team to follow.
Being from Connecticut, I could have easily chosen a well-known, and very successful team; the New England Patriots. But since I now considered Ohio my home, it seemed natural to choose the Browns.
I happily cheered for the Browns that first season, as they finished 10-6. I even stood in a blizzard in Buffalo while the Browns upset the Bills with a field goal kick; the silence in that stadium was priceless.
I was on board with my team, thought they weren’t half bad and looked ahead to the next season.
Though, the next season was a letdown and I soon realized the common place mudslinging that goes with poor performance from the Browns. With quarterback controversies and debates about whether Romeo was staying or going, it was a downer to say the very least.
Personally I liked D.A. way better than B.Q. and frankly, I thought that if anyone should go, it ought to be Romeo. But diehard Cleveland fans stood by their man. And finally, when Romeo was told to hit the road, I was overjoyed!
When Eric Mangini came aboard I was excited and relieved. It looked like the Browns were finally getting what they really wanted and needed, a new coach! But to my dismay, I figured out Cleveland is as hard on their coaches, as they are brutal on their quarter backs. Negative gossip about Mangini began his first day on the job and I would soon learn that this type of talk was just what Cleveland did. History would show that coach turnovers in Cleveland were just as plentiful as ball turnovers. No Good.
I had to wonder how the Browns could accomplish anything without consistency or stability?!!
Well, apparently they can’t. Because it seems history is about to repeat itself once again. I have been in Cleveland for three years and the Browns have had two different head coaches in that time, and the buzz is if they don’t win (or at the very least, play well) this Sunday against the Steelers, there may be another new coach on the horizon.
I might not know a whole lot about football, but isn’t this supposed to be a man’s sport? So, why all the drama!? It’s too bad, sports should be fun, not play out like a soap opera.
Let’s look at this logically.
The Browns have made some small steps in the right direction. From what I recall the Browns used to be a second half team. They’d come to the first half, but didn’t really play until the second half. They couldn’t catch the football to save their lives and they had no defense at all! Now the Browns can actually keep possession of the ball for longer, can actually hold off the other team and they can catch balls and run touchdowns from time to time! They’ve made some interesting plays and left experienced, winning, coaches scratching their heads. The Browns are becoming competitive!
Isn’t that progress? Isn’t that what Cleveland asked for? If you ask me, the Browns deserve an award for ‘Most Improved’ and Mangini deserves an award for putting up with the garbage.
Can’t people see, you cannot shine up an old car in a day; it takes months, sometimes years to restore a classic back to its original state. And upon inspection, sometimes the damage is deeper than what meets the eye.
This team has an awful story filled with emotional turmoil  and baggage. We've made some progress but some things haven’t changed.
How about the fact that another one of our coaches is again being fried. I am so tired of hearing about whether Mangini should be ‘allowed’ to stay or go. I wonder, has anybody ever given it a thought, maybe Mangini might not want to stay? Because let me tell you, if I had to work with the world hanging over me, breathing down my neck, threatening my job every day… I’d quit! Who in the world wants to worry that they could be canned any day, no matter if they tried or not? That’s just higher ups bullying for a better outcome. Problem is, it’s not good management and will never get the results Cleveland wants and needs.
What do we expect of our coach if we badger him after every game? Give the guy a break and let him do his job. No, the Browns aren’t on a winning streak, but they can’t be expected to. What, after just two seasons Mangini should have the Brown’s doing a complete 180? It’s just not possible.
Even at the hands of Bill Belichick, the Browns were no stars. The record shows that this is how the Browns play. They're like a roller coaster; up and down and unpredicatable, both on the field and in the front office. If we want to see major improvements than what we need is time.
My feelings?
Since it seems that the owners are obviously the biggest finger pointers here, using their trigger finger to fire coaches every few years, they might want to take notice, as they do this, there’s always three fingers pointing back at themselves.
If the Browns fire Mangini after just two seasons they will be repeating history and I think the saying goes like this: Keep doing what you’ve always done, keep getting what you’ve always got.
My advice?
If the Browns are truly unhappy with Mangini as a coach, next time they should be more selective next time because desperate is as desperate does. Additionally, they might want to instill some belief in their coach for once, rather than doubt. It’s not real good for moral.
But, what do I know…I’m just a fan.
“One thing that could be a problem is breaking old habits. It’s not that you don’t understand what the new responsibilities or plays are, but just the fact that you’ve been doing something a long time and you’re kind o fused to doing it, it’s a habit, and that’s not what’s required in the other system and that means kind of undoing something before you can even start to do something new.”-A quote by Bill Belichick


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