After your performance the last 2 weeks, all evidence points to the fact that you read Clesportstalk.net. I say this because I wrote you an open letter about 3 weeks ago. Let’s call that, open letter part 1. Let’s call this open letter part 2. In my first letter I told you to seize the moment. You have an opportunity that little kids growing up in Cleveland can only dream about. You are the home town kid who is starting at Quarterback for the Cleveland Browns. I won’t lie Brian, you have this city very excited.
Now, I do have some issues I’d like to resolve in this open letter. I asked you to score 100 against the Steelers. As I recall you only scored 27 and you also took the loss. However! What you did against the Steelers in the 2nd half of that game, was the first excitement around this team since 2007. As that game progressed through the first half, I was already tempted to turn off the game and call this a season. Being down to Big Ben and the Stillers (not a typo, that is how people in Pittsburgh speak), all of my angry feelings about the Browns that have been brewing the last 5 seasons came to the surface. I was angry that I still follow a team that has been the worst in the NFL the last 5 seasons.
Then something happened. You guys made it a game. Before I could even process my anger, the score was tied. The defense looked sharp, the running game was stellar, and you were managing a great game. Granted, the game ended up being a loss, but it wasn’t a typical Browns loss. This one felt different. There was a sense of talent and resilience that previous teams hadn’t possessed. Then came this past Sunday. The projected #2 team in the NFC was in our building, and it was going to be a slaughter. Drew Brees was supposed to put up HUGE numbers, and this was going to be your 2nd to last game before Johnny took over after the bye week.
Brian, if there is one phrase I would use to describe you, it would be “Blue Collar”. That phrase is the same that is used to describe the people of this great city. Cleveland has had its fair share of problems and blight the last two decades. It hasn’t been a glamorous rebound, but this city has no doubt rebounded in the last five years. People actually want to live here, the food is tremendous, our hospitals are the best in the world, our beer is great, and people are actually living downtown. Brian, you are the embodiment of this city. Your rise to fame in the NFL hasn’t been glamorous. You have been a career backup with something to prove. Just like Cleveland.
Let’s be honest Brian. You are not winning games because you have thrown for 400 yards with 4 TDs per game. Now, I will say, your stats are not bad, actually they’re pretty impressive. Two games with no turnovers, a 60% completions percentage, and an 87.4 QB Rating. Well played sir, well played.
With the exception of Cleveland radio people (I’m talking about you, Booms and Goldhammer) No one in this city cares about your stats or how you win. All we care about is WINNING! I was downtown on Sunday partying on West 6th. As usual for the first game of the season, the streets and bars were jam packed with Browns fans. Then it happened; 2:46 left on the clock, and you took rein of the offense. I won’t lie, a little part of me was nervous the entire drive. I was 20% excited, and 80% ready to throw my beer across the bar if we lost. Low and behold Brian, you found a way to lead a drive and set us up for a game winning field goal.
After that win, the city was electric. I haven’t seen or felt that much energy since the Indians playoff game last season (Please don’t tell me it wasn’t a playoff game you whiny haters). The city was magical on Sunday. Complete strangers were hugging and high-fiving each other in the street hours after the game was over. That is how much the Browns mean to this city. I just compared the atmosphere on Sunday, a regular season NFL game in week 2, to an MLB Playoff game. That is insanity. This city needs the Browns to do well. This city is begging for the Browns to do well. We are a blue collar city and you are the Quarterback. I don’t care how you do it, we all just want to feel what we felt on Sunday over and over again. You have the keys to the car, now drop the top and enjoy the ride.
P.S. I noticed you haven’t written back yet. I expect a letter over the BYE week. At least tickets to a game, but hey, it’s your call.
Written by Rick Giavonette
Follow me on Twitter – @CST_RickG