While surfing CBS Sports, I came across a recent article written by Pete Prisco titled the NFL's "Ultimate Power Rankings." At first I thought it would just be a current ranking of all 32 teams heading into next season, but the rankings are intended to have more meaning:
What, you say? Here's the deal. We've decided to rank the NFL's teams 1-32 based on how they stack up as a franchise -- both now and in history.
Prisco admits that he knows he will get a lot of hate mail for his decisions. And, before he started, he had a disclaimer about one team: the Cleveland Browns:
It's hard to gauge the Cleveland Browns because the new Browns haven't done anything, but the old Browns won a ton of titles. The problem is that team moved to Baltimore, but the records stayed in Cleveland. That makes it tough.
So, what did Prisco decide to do? He credited Cleveland's history to the team that sits at No. 13 overall on his list, the Baltimore Ravens.
13. Baltimore Ravens: They have one Super Bowl victory in Baltimore, but they had great success in Cleveland before moving. GM Ozzie Newsome is one of the game's best minds, and they have an owner in Steve Bisciotti who gets the current game. They also have loyal fans and a top-tier stadium. They get extra points because the stadium is close to Vaccaro's Bakery, the only place I've ever had cannoli dip.
30. Cleveland Browns: This is the new Browns because we know the old Browns, the team that moved to Baltimore, won titles. They did keep that history, but even doing so they haven't won a title since 1964. The new Browns haven't done much since coming back. The fan base is still strong, though. Ownership has made some strange moves, which brings it into question.
If Prisco is going to give all of the other teams in the league their respective histories, then why is it fair to specifically distinguish between the old Browns and the new Browns? I know most of you don't want to get into the tiresome Baltimore vs. Cleveland debate again, but these rankings just seem like a big slap in the face to a team with great history.