The 2012 Browns season gets off to a surprising start with a 28-20 victory over the heavily favored Eagles. Much to everyones surprise, the young upstart team and it's roster laden with rookies and second year players continues to play strong, reaching the midpoint of the season with an impressive 6-2 record, including two division wins.
The Seasons second half starts with back to back wins against a strong Patriots team, and another highly regarded NFC Powerhouse.
At this point in the season, Trent Richardson and Brandon Weedon are beginning to be talked about as Co-Rookie of The Year candidates, and surprisingly even Coach Shurmer is being mentioned in Coach Of The Year talks. The season wraps up with three more wins in the last 6 games and with an amazing 11-5 record, the unthinkable happens. The young team that most pundits had winning one or two games this season makes the playoffs.
The First round of the playoffs brings Bill Belichick and his 10-6 Patriots to Cleveland Browns Stadium. In another shocker - and in the season following Art Modells death, the team continues to exercise history's demons and defeats New England, 20-13.
The celebration over the Browns first playoff win in the New Era is short lived. Rekindling the old rivalry, even after two regular season losses to them, the intensity of a Browns - Steelers playoff matchup ignites the city in ways not seen since Bernie Kosar's teams of the 80's.
Songs about the team play on on the radio. Bernie-Bernie to the tune of Wooly Bully is replaced by Brandon-Brandon. Cleveland football as it was meant to be.
Alas, youth finally catches up to our Browns and they are eliminated from the playoffs by the dreaded Steelers in a 29-9 loss.
Fans are encouraged. In the offseason, many in the national media - including Sports Illustrated pick the Browns as Super Bowl contenders for the first time in decades.
Three months later, new team owner Jimmy Hsslem announces his plan to move the Browns to Los Angeles at the end of the 2013 season.
How would you feel?
Before some of you "younger" Browns fans judge the reaction to Ar Modells death by some of the older generation of Browns fans. Play that scenario out in your head. Read it again and realize, I didn't make these numbers or situations up. The players, dates and a few of the teams have been changed, but the records, situations and emotions all follow the events of the 1994 season exactly.
Some of us don't want to hear "Just let it go already". It's not that simple.