In the wake of the LeBron James situation one thing about sports fans has become clear, we can go from loving an athlete to hating them in the span of a sentence.
With the Cleveland Browns it is not hard to find recent examples, as players have seemed to have developed the habit of blasting both the team and the fans/city on their way out of town.
Not all go from hero to enemy for their words though, sometimes it is for how they performed while on the team, or for how they acted while they were here.
I’m sure some will say hate is a strong word, but with all the emotions tied to sports it seems like the right one. Besides a list called “10 Most Disliked Ex-Browns” just doesn’t sound as good.
With that here is a list of the 10 Most Hated Ex-Browns.
Many may argue that Roye doesn't belong on this list, and it was probably a controversial choice to include him. For me though it demonstrated how NOT to choose to end your career. If he was a superstar bolting in his prime to the Brown's biggest rivals he would never be forgiven.
While Roye played for many years at a high level for the Browns, signing with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers after his release alone is enough to earn him a spot on this list.
Although he was a productive receiver and punt returner for the Browns for a few years, mention the Browns years without a playoff win and he often takes the blame.
After a key drop against the Steelers in a 2003 playoff game his name has constantly been brought up as the reason for the loss. Despite the fact that the Browns had built up a substantial lead and blown it playing a prevent defense, he takes the majority of the blame.
It may be unfair, but Northcutt's name has become synonymous with "drop". Browns fans referencing him today occasionally use the nickname "Dropcutt". This is what happens when you blow a key play in the Browns most important game since their return, especially when it’s against rival Pittsburgh.
How does a guy who never played a down for the Cleveland Browns end up on a list of most hated ex-Browns? Partly because he never played a down for the Cleveland Browns.
After his much hyped free agent signing LeCharles suffered a knee injury on the very first snap on the first day of training camp and never played again.
Many rumors have claimed that it was a previous injury and he just wanted to collect another paycheck when he signed with Cleveland. Others say he injured it playing basketball the day before (likely a violation of his contract).
After his playing career ended he started hosting a radio show that has at times been very critical of the team. Now, five years later he is suing the team for a staph infection he contracted while recovering.
He and his lawyer claim it ruined his career, although his injury may have been career threatening on its own.
As if it wasn't bad enough Dilfer quarterbacked the hated Ravens to their only Super Bowl, the Cleveland Browns gave Trent Dilfer a shot to lead their offense as well.
Things in Cleveland didn't quite work out though, and he was benched after less than a season for a third-round rookie named Charlie Frye.
While Frye never played great he showed promise, including rookie of the week honors for his performance in a win at Oakland. It was enough for the Browns to decide Dilfer was expendable, trading him that offseason to San Francisco for backup QB Ken Dorsey.
Dilfer seemed to take this personally, and as an analyst he has directed more than a few cheap shots at the team. It seems he still holds a grudge against the Browns, and many fans think this prevents him from being objective about the team.
A first round pick with a Hall of Fame father, Winslow did not start his career the way anyone would have liked. An injury suffered during an onside kick attempt against Dallas in week two sidelined him for most of his rookie season.
While no one can fault him for that, what happened over the offseason still has Browns fans questioning what could have been.
Winslow suffered serious injuries when he crashed a motorcycle attempting to do tricks in a parking lot. After it became clear he would survive the questions immediately turned to his career. Would he be able to play? Effectively?
While he overcame the injuries to make the Pro Bowl in 2007 (and many think he deserved one or two more), he frequently had to sit out practices due to his knees.
After a public falling out between him and then GM Phil Savage it was speculated he would be traded during the 2009 offseason. While Savage was fired, he still wound up being traded and now plays for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
These days when Browns fans have a discussion about Winslow he is often considered a "cancer" for his attitude, and his intelligence is questioned due to his accident.
What really angers Browns fans though, is how good he could have been if had had just concentrated and put his passion and energy into football.
Vinny Testaverde's only transgression was replacing fan favorite QB and Cleveland Browns legend Bernie Kosar, but for that the hate keeps flowing.
While he put up decent numbers in Cleveland, including an 87.8 QB rating that tied Kosar's second best season with the Browns, he was never quite accepted by the fans.
Being an erratic passer was often a cause of his problems. For a guy who put up decent stats he threw a lot of interceptions though, including 18 during 14 games in 1994. By comparison Kosar never had more than 15
When Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore Testaverde became the first QB for the Ravens franchise, a distinction that didn’t help his popularity with Browns fans.
The Cleveland Browns only first round running back since 1999, Green may have scared the team away from the position.
Character concerns didn't scare away Butch Davis, who selected Green 16th overall in 2002 despite a couple college suspensions.
Sure enough Green was arrested for drunk driving and possession of marijuana in 2003 and suspended by the league. His career unraveled after that when he was stabbed during a domestic dispute.
His most notable action after that was a pre-game sideline fight against Joey Porter in 2004 that had both players ejected from the game.
There have been plenty of other recent busts, but Green makes the list because he ruined his career and himself with his actions.
Andre Rison, along with Kosar, is another example of an older player who still gets brought up a lot. He is often considered one of the Browns biggest free agent busts.
It's easy to see why, after four Pro Bowl's his one year on the Browns he had career lows up to that point in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.
It was the season Browns fans learned the team would be moving, and after frustration from his play and the fans reaction he lashed out, eventually saying he would be glad when the team got to Baltimore.
Obviously a sore subject, the comment has had a lasting impression and kept him towards the top of this list. Many Browns fans scoffed when he recently said he considers himself the best receiver to ever play the game.
Derek Anderson would probably make this list regardless, but after the Browns cut him he was able to cement his status as the second most-hated ex-Brown by sending an angry email.
With astounding inaccuracy and a high number of interceptions it became clear Anderson was holding on to the job only due to a fluke 2007 season in which he played well but struggled down the stretch.
During the offseason new team president Mike Holmgren and manager Tom Heckert brought in veteran QBs Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace to take over the position.
The signs his time with the team was up apparently did nothing to collect his emotions. After his release he sent an email to the "News-Herald" saying “The fans are ruthless and don't deserve a winner."
After years of suffering through the move and plenty of losing seasons the fans don’t feel the same way.
Braylon Edwards was trouble from the moment he was drafted. Looking back, the expression when he was picked says it all: he didn't want to be in Cleveland.
Now we know that to be the case, as Braylon has publicly stated he wanted to go to Miami one pick earlier. Maybe because a majority of Browns fans are also Ohio State fans and he played for rival Michigan, he felt the fans wouldn't accept him. It turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.
After two average years Braylon broke out in 2007, making a Pro Bowl while catching 80 receptions, 16 touchdowns, and making misplaced Derek Anderson passes look good.
The success didn't continue in 2008, Braylon's hands stopped working and ever since his name has become synonymous with drops. His frustration obviously got the best of him as he turned on the fans, accusing them of having a grudge because...well here is a part of the quote:
"Since day one, I've been a marked man coming from Michigan. It's just gone that way."
He also mentioned being "under-appreciated" even though he was in the middle of one of the worst seasons a number one wide receiver has had in recent memory.
After an altercation at a night club with a friend of LeBron James, Braylon was traded to the New York Jets where he has continued to run his mouth and take shots at Cleveland,. The latest speaking of the upcoming Jets-Browns game this season
"You know I've got a little chip on my shoulder the size of the golden nugget. So I can't wait to go out there (against the Browns)."
Here is some advice for you Braylon, expect plenty of boos when you step out onto the Cleveland Browns field, and you better be careful.
Draft picks Joe Haden and TJ Ward haven't played a down for the Browns and are already being asked to lay some hits on you. Here’s to hoping they hit hard, and hit often.