Here we are again Browns fans.
Those of you who are about the same age as me (34), know that we have seen our fair share of good and bad. Mostly bad, but hey...let's not complain. Well, not too much anyway. We remember bits and pieces of the Kardiac Kids featuring Brian Sipe and Ozzie Newsome. Early elementary school memories. That got us hooked. I actually watched the Red Right 88 fiasco back in '80 at the tender age of (5). I was being riled-up from the start. I was intrigued nonetheless.
Then came the Browns I learned to know and love hopelessly and endlessly. Bernie Kosar burst out onto the scene in the nick of time. Me and my buddies were getting tired of pretending we were either Gary Danielson or Paul McDonald in the backyard throwing the football around. Bernie was and still is "one of us." We felt it then too.
You could sense Bernie's desire for victory and the rest of the team fought to appease him and Coach Marty.
Middle elementary school memories. Boy...those teams were good. I am not kidding when I say that my life revolved around the Cleveland Browns at the time. Kosar, Mack, Byner, Slaughter, Langhorne, Brennan, Dixon, Minnifield, Wright, Johnson and Matthews were just a few of my heroes. We came up short, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Growing and learning.
The Belichick years mark the times I was leaving high school and getting into college.
I learned that no matter how hard I cheered and cared...my Brownies could still leave. And, so they went. Mr. Modell decided that moving the team was the only decision to make. So, we were left alone without a football team. It felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. I was betrayed. It felt up to par in comparison when I got dumped by my first girlfriend. And, let me tell you...that hurt pretty darn bad.
Learning and growing.
I was out in the world trying to find myself and growing more mature without my Browns to watch on Sunday. I waited patiently for them to return and when they did I was anxious. Like a young man sitting near the back of the church on his wedding day; my love was waiting for me so we could spend the rest of our lives together. I knew that there would be bumps on this road of rebirth. Nothing comes easy for Cleveland fans. Take the lumps and keep on believing, because that is all we got.
We worked ourselves out of the initial comeback phase of Palmer and then Davis. OUCH! Romeo was just a mistake that set us back a few years. We had that one good season, but it seems like more of a fluke than a reality. Mangini may have been a successful coach about twenty years ago with his philosophy, but I think time has passed him by.
So, here I am. I am grown up now. I am married with a house and two children. I've been to the "show" and seen "the strings." I now know that we are on the right track with Holmgren and Heckert. A strong front office is so important to the success of an organization. I have faith that they will make the right decisions and bring us playmakers and a sound strategy. I've seen the ups and downs. I've felt the thrills and defeats. I'm now ready to experience the next chapter. This chapter is going to be fun. I deserve it. You deserve it. We all deserve it.