Today we watched the final Brown’s game of the season with John and Jackie. It was a sad ending to a bad season. The Browns had plenty of chances to do something good – the Steelers turned the ball over three times – but just couldn’t take advantage of it. Not a single touchdown. Lots of bad passes. Lots of dropped balls.
Of course, it doesn’t help that half the Browns starters were injured today. But when I watch the Steelers, I wonder how they can consistently win games and be close to the playoffs and the Browns stay so bad year after year. Watching the games has been just plain depressing. Tom and I had to work most Sundays during the fall, and it was a relief not to watch the Browns find another way to lose.
I like Coach Pettine and there are some excellent players on the Browns. Johnny Manziel is not one of them. I hope he is gone before next season. He has been a constant distraction for the team and he doesn’t care about working hard and learning. I think the Browns would be better off hiring a proven quarterback (or finding a way to keep Josh McCown healthy) and drafting other position players. They haven’t had any success drafting quarterbacks but have made some good choices otherwise. We need to improve the whole team: throwing a rookie quarterback into situations where they are going to be sacked repeatedly will not help them stay healthy, learn, and grow.
I expect that we will be starting over again next year: new coach and new general manager. Probably three new quarterbacks. Lots of new players because the good ones who are with the team now want to leave and play for teams that have some hope of winning.
I can be a fan for a losing team, but I have reached the limit of my patience with the Browns. They keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. They seem to have a culture of under performing and don’t know how to change it. The “Factory of Sadness” video on youtube that came out in 2011 expressed my feelings exactly, and it has only gotten worse since then. This was the fourth year in a row that the third-string quarterback started the final game of the season. Cleveland has had 24 different starting quarterbacks since they came back as an expansion team. Thinking this has been a bad ending to a sad season has become a habit for Browns’ fans who are as loyal as any fan base in the NFL.
But I think I will look for a new team. Maybe one with a former Cleveland head coach. Or one with a former Cleveland quarterback. There are plenty of those in the playoffs this year. And Tom and I will be in South Carolina next week, less than an hour from Charlotte, North Carolina. I hear they have a pretty good team this year. I need a team that doesn’t have a sad ending to every season.