While watching the Browns today and for many Sundays over the years, something hit me over the head. The Cleveland Browns are really an amazing team.
You have to be tough to be a Browns fan more than any other NFL team, and it's all due to to the fact that they are amazing! The Browns have quietly become the mark of football consistency. The Browns somehow manage to play the exact same game every single Sunday. How any team can do that is truly amazing. It's not the wins or losses, but it's the game itself. No matter who we are playing, where, or conditions, the game goes like this:
We play well in the first quarter on offense, but let a couple chances get away, and score about 3 or 6 points. Defense keeps us in the game. Second quarter, we play worse than the first on offense, defense keeps us in the game. Browns are in it at halftime, and are in a position to win. As the game goes on, we get worse on offense (a lost worse), and the game changes momentum. And at about the 6 to 8 minute mark to go in the game, the other team scores the clinching touchdown with a long and time consuming drive that we will not overcome. We lose another tough one. Sound familiar?
We drop passes, miss opportunities and get untimely penalties. And then when we need to stop them late, we can't. Even though we have all day long. It really is amazing how they do it. The Browns seldom get blown out by anyone. Nor do they ever run someone off the field themselves. You would think over the course of a decade or two this would happen. It happens to every other NFL team both ways. Even the Super Bowl Champs get run out of the stadium once in a while, but not the Browns. And I think that is the fans source of frustration.
In our world of Twitter Guy and Facebook Fan, there are a whole new batch of football "experts". You know the guy that played football in high school and now watch ESPN or the NFL network so they think they know they game? They post ridiculous rantings about the Browns, the coaches, even the owners or general managers and what they would do if they were in charge. In reading it, it is clear you can tell they are frustrated and they don't know why. It's probably because of the amazing-ness of the Browns. These guys and the rest of us, are watching the same game every single week. And that's hard to do.
It's breathtaking. How any team, in any sport, in any era can play the exact same game every week is the stuff of legends. And it's just not good enough to win most of the time. And you notice too, it makes no difference who we play or where we play it. If we play the Super Bowl champs on the road like we did today. Or last week when we played the lowly Dolphins at home in perfect weather, the result is the same. We lose by a few points.
In honest reflection you do have to admit, what the Browns do every week, is far harder than NOT doing it. No team does what the Browns do, win or lose. Even the other bottom feeders score 30 points a number of times a year, trouble is they give up 40. The Browns do neither. Same with the elite teams and the middle teams. But not the Browns, who are in their own category now. They have a different plan for each game and opponent as they are a professional franchise with qualified coaches and staff. Of this I have no doubt. They just somehow always manage to play the exact game this week, they played last week, and next week - every week.
When you think about it honestly, they are The Amazing Browns.