My wife and I are at a crossroads. We finally got our basement rec room/man cave remodeled after the waterproofing project that was completed three years ago. We're just about ready to put all of our Cleveland Browns memorabilia back on display but we're wondering if we should even bother.
Kelly and I have been together since the late 80's. That's back when the Browns were led by Bernie Kosar and came close to making it to a Super Bowl twice! We've seen good teams miss out on the big game because of "The Drive", and "The Fumble". Then "The Move" when then owner Art Modell move the team to Baltimore and named them The Ravens. Oh sure we were allowed back in the NFL in 1999 only to see the team struggle for the better part of two decades, and that's putting it lightly. In those years they've employed almost as many quarterbacks and Baskin & Robbins has flavors! Yet we fans keep coming back for more. We spent many of the last 30-plus years as members of various local Browns Backers clubs, too. Those meetings amounted to occasional gatherings of a couple dozen fans getting together to talk about the team and plan game trips and charity events. In retrospect, for us the Browns Backers were less a fan club and more a support group.
We're fans of the name on the front of the jersey as well as the back, at least for some of the players. We have lots of love for guys like Brian Sipe, Clay Matthews, Doug Dieken, Webster Slaughter and of course Bernie. Even this year's team has its likeable players like Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt, David Njoku, among others. We even liked Baker Mayfield and were upset when he was replaced by an accused sex offender Deshaun Watson who is set to return to the team after an 11 game suspension. No matter how many wins Watson leads us to there will always be a cloud of shame over the team. In his place, for a while anyway, is Jacoby Brissett (#7 above) who is not terrible, but is not great. Yesterday the Browns found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory for the second time this season to lose to the Falcons. On the bright side they're in a three-way tie for first place with Cincinnati and Baltimore in the AFC North.
So here we are in this perpetual state of mediocrity which is where the "Factory of Sadness" is located. Should we let our blind faith win out and put all of our Browns collectibles on display just so we can say we never gave up on The Brown & Orange? Or should we bail on this franchise that makes one bad decision after another after another after another?
What do you think? Seriously, what would you do if you were us? Let me know via email at email@example.com