2017 wasn’t so long ago when it comes to measured time. Yet for Browns fans, it feels like an eternity has passed. It’s been such a long time since Cleveland Browns fans have been in the position of supporting a winner. We came close in 2018, when we saw Baker Mayfield lead the team to a 7-8-1 record in a turn-around season. It’s only natural to get excited with all the moves made to better this team, but have we as fans taken things too far?
I did a poll on Twitter recently and the results showed that the average Browns fan expects 10 or 11 wins this season. That may sound about right given the team’s core and recent additions, but are we forgetting that this is the Browns we’re talking about? Something always happens, right? We still talk about how playoff games were lost and how our expectations generally go unfulfilled, sometimes for generations.
After all, the Browns will start the season with a rookie head coach, a second-year quarterback, a staff that is newly assembled and will need to learn to stay out of each other’s way and several new players who will be learning a new playbook. Where is all the optimism coming from? Shouldn’t we be worried about the Steelers and the Ravens among other teams on the AFC?
Here’s the difference. June 19, 2016, happened. December 7, 2017, happened. April 26, 2018, happened. The old way of thinking is gone in Cleveland. It’s been washed away with a championship and the rebuilding of this town’s pride and joy – the Cleveland Browns. We don’t have to watch painful losses anymore. We aren’t preordained to see blown draft pick after blown draft pick. Things are different in Cleveland. The national media may not recognize this yet, but we know it’s the case.
So let’s get back to the question at hand. Is all the banter, cockiness and bounteous prognostications from Browns fans on Twitter too much?
We’ve had our butts kicked around for so long on the football field that we are due to cash in some chips the other direction. So what if the fans from our division rivals don’t like it or don’t think our team has proven anything yet? We’ve heard from these guys for years. It’s our turn. If we happen to be speaking one season too soon, so be it.
This Browns team is for real. Soak it in. Bark it out. Enjoy every minute of it. If anyone doesn’t like it, well, I’ll bet they don’t wear orange and brown like we do.