Dear Brian Hoyer,
You do not know me personally, but my name is Rick Giavonette. I write for CLEsportstalk.net. Even though you do not know me, we have a lot in common. We were both born and raised in Northeast Ohio. We are the same age and we both graduated high school in ’04. I went to University School and you, of course, went to St. Ignatius. We only met on the field for baseball games, where Ignatius nudged out some victories against US. Regardless of our athletic histories, the one major thing we still have in common is that we are from Cleveland. For all of you reading this, I am considering Northeast Ohio as Cleveland, so you can relax. For now I am done bragging about how much I am similar to an NFL starting quarterback. I don’t need to keep hammering the point of how awesome I am.
The entire point of this letter is that you understand what it is like to be from Cleveland. You grew up hearing stories about The Drive, The Shot, and The Fumble. You have seen old videos of these heartbreaking Cleveland moments. You and I were both watching on TV as the Braves and Marlins broke our hearts. You remember Art Modell packing up the Browns and moving them to Baltimore. You have suffered the same heartbreak as I and every other Cleveland fan. You understand that the Browns have been in a shambles since 1999. The only difference between you and I (besides the money, fame, and NFL career) is that, you Brian, can change the momentum. You can create a new future.
Let’s be honest with ourselves: this is Johnny Manziel’s football team moving into the future. You are a free agent after this season, and in all likelihood you will be playing for a different NFL team next year. However, what you have right now, at this very second, is an opportunity that 99.9% of Cleveland sports fans will never have. You are the starting quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. You are the hometown boy playing in the NFL for your city and your team.
This is your show, and you can become a legend in Cleveland lore. You may only have one season to write this story, but that is one more season than I will ever have. Do you want to be the most talked about person in this city? On September 7th walk into Heinz Field and destroy the Steelers. I am so sick and tired of hearing about Dick Lebeau and how great he is at organizing a defense. I am sick and tired of Ben Roethlisberger beating the Browns. I am sick of Ohio residents rooting for the Steelers because they are good. I want you to score 100 against the Steelers. I want you to embarrass them. I want you to become a legend on September 7th.
Brian, you have two options. You can be an average run of the mill quarterback, and at the end of the season you will be free to sign with a new team. Or Brian…..or, you can dominate this season. You can take all the anger, sadness, and losing of the past and you can use it as fuel to drive you. You need to force this front office to say “maybe Brian is our guy”. You are playing with house money. There is really nothing to lose, but there is everything to gain. Do you know what this city would be like if you led the Browns to the playoffs? Fans would forget that LeBron is even back in Cleveland. The Browns would be the only thing that fans talk about. From water coolers, to break rooms, to hallways, to gas stations and bars, this city will only be talking about Brian Hoyer and the playoff bound Browns.
You have an opportunity that I, along with all of our readers, can only dream about. You have the keys to the kingdom. You have a pen with a blank sheet of paper. You can write a new history, and your own personal Cleveland legacy. Go out there on the field and as the kids these days say, “Ball out.” Go and be great, and show this city along with the national media what Cleveland is all about. No longer are we the mistake on the lake, we are a force to be reckoned with, and you, Brian, you are the spark that can ignite a new flame. A new flame that will burn bright long into the Cleveland night.
Written by Rick Giavonette
Follow me on Twitter @CST_RickG