Former Browns starting Quarterback Derek Anderson was released yesterday following two dismal seasons as a part-time starter. In 2008 and 2009 he only started a handful of games, losing most of them, before either being benched or injured.
Ironically, Anderson was a Pro-Bowler in 2007, throwing 29 touchdown passes. However, the downfall and release isn't the thing grabbing headlines. Everyone knew that Anderson's release was a wrap.
However, he couldn't get out of town without giving his two-cents on the fans in Cleveland.
"The fans are ruthless and don't deserve a winner," Anderson wrote in an e-mail to The News-Herald , a suburban Cleveland newspaper. "I will never forget getting cheered when I was injured (a sprained MCL back in 2008).
"I know at times I wasn't great. I hope and pray I'm playing when my team comes to town and (we) roll them." He added.
Being a Ravens fan, I can say from a neutral standpoint that Derek Anderson was not out of line. You don't cheer when a player is injured. Period.
Now, I am well aware that the majority of fans didn't cheer, and every Brown fan I know wouldn't do that or didn't do that.
Personally, I was disgusted when I watched that; it made me sick to my stomach. However you can't judge a group of people based on one instance, so are Browns fans really ruthless? I say no. They are some of the the most loyal, although frustrated, fans in the NFL.
Some people will cite the infamous December 17th beer bottle incident in 2001, where angry Browns fans showered the field with beer bottles after a horrible call to end the game against Jacksonville.
However, this wasn't the first time a playing field has been pelted with objects, and it most certainly won't be the last.
I was at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore when a large number of drunk fans flung bottle caps onto the field. To this day, food servers take bottle caps of sodas in order to prevent such a thing happening today.
The fans are not in question, there is always a group of jerks that make bad decisions and do downright horrible things. Derek Anderson is being questioned. Why?
For speaking his mind.
For a person that was run out of town in a "don't let the door hit you on the way out" manner, I was not shocked when he vented. I'd be angry too if I had had to put up with either being dogged constantly and/or just being that bad .
He has a right to speak about his feelings, and his word were no harsher than his treatment in Cleveland. It wasn't long until he apologized for his words. In a statement released on March 10th, he said the following.
"Those of you who got to know me personally from covering the Browns over the past five years, know this was out of character for me," Anderson said. "I wasn't taken out of context, but I was speaking out of frustration after my career with the Browns came to a close.
I had some great times playing in Cleveland, especially during the 2007 season, and I met some great people and made many lifelong friends along the way. I'm looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life."
One can speculate how sincere this apology was, especially when he didn't go right out and say "I'm sorry". This wouldn't be the first case of a player giving an apology he didn't even mean.
However, no matter how many times he says he regrets what he said the damage has been done. Anderson won't be welcome in Cleveland anytime soon. When he and his new team come to "roll" the Browns, it won't be pretty walking out of the tunnel.
Why? Because he wasn't afraid to speak his mind and how he felt. Unfortunately he didn't realize the potential fallout from his words. As any football fan knows, talk is part of the game too.