I am a Cleveland Browns fan, I have endured futility for 5 decades as a fan. They were good in the '70s with Sam Rutigliano, Brian Sipe, and the Kardiac kids. In the 80's they had Bernie Kosar and Marty Schottenheimer that played their way to 3 AFC Championship Games, only to be denied by the ONE TEAM that was their kryptonite, and that would be the John Elway-led Denver Broncos. In the '90s they had Bill Belichick as the head coach and Nick Saban as Defensive Coordinator and finished with an 11-5 record in 1994, earning a playoff birth only to get beat by Pittsburgh in the divisional round, who would eventually go on to the Super Bowl that year (they lost to the Cowboys). In 1995 they were picked to win the AFC and make a run for the Super Bowl championship, but fArt Model took the team to Baltimore where they would eventually become the Ravens, win two Super Bowls, the first in 2000, and the second in 2012. In the 25 years since they were stolen from the city of Cleveland, the Browns were first welcomed back into the league in 1999 and have been the poster child for futility for the last 21 years, fielding bad teams in all but 2002 when they made the playoffs, only to be beaten by the Steelers 36-33. Fast-forward to 2020, they have a newfound sense of pride, a new direction, and a winning attitude. After 5 weeks into the 2020 season, COVID or not, they are 4-1 and are considered playoff contenders once again. Led by Head Coach Kevin Stefanski, QB Baker Mayfield pro-bowl WR's Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry, RB's Nick Chubb and Tyreek Hill, not to mention probably the best defensive lineman (sorry Aaron Donald) in the game, Myles Garrett, the Browns are contenders once again. I am excited about this team's potential for the remainder of the season, especially with the hated Steelers coming up this week. This will be the true test of this team and I can't wait for Kickoff on Sunday.
Now, my co-hosts on The Sports Nerds show will be quick to jump on me and troll this post, but my fandom will not be deterred because for the first time since that 1994 tam, the Browns are 4-1, they are good, exciting to watch, and have not blown games in the 4th quarter as they have in the past. I know that @jongolson is secretly rooting for them because they are part of what we call the rust belt of teams (Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit) and he loves it when these teams are doing well, especially his beloved Buffalo Bills, who are also enjoying a great season this year. Could there be a Buffalo-Cleveland AFC Championship Game in our future?...
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