Braylon Edwards Biting Off More Than He Can Chew With Browns Fans

Nicholas GalizioCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2010

TORONTO - DECEMBER 3: Braylon Edwards #17 of the New York Jets drops a pass in the second quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Rogers Centre on December 3, 2009 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Braylon Edwards just can’t get over Cleveland.

With the free agency landscape the way it is throughout sports in America, it’s usually best to just cut ties, remember the good times, and move on.

However, after reading Braylon Edwards’ latest diatribe against the city of Cleveland, it appears that just like Braylon trying to haul in a pass—my hands are tied.

The good times are now distant memories.

Edwards' constant lack of accountability and relentless disrespect towards the great, loyal people who reside near the shores of Lake Erie has quite simply gotten out of hand.

In a NY Times article written by Greg Bishop, Edwards continues to show his true colors as a prima donna, me-first type of player. Lately, he’s been tossing around blame left and right like footballs bouncing off his face mask.

Rather than writing an article mentioning his improved hands, route-running, or leadership during Jets training camp, Greg Bishop decided to scribble more about Braylon’s new overgrown beard and chit chat about how the city of Cleveland possibly ruined his life.

It appears he also has his own mother fighting his battles for him through the media.

“He has a sense of renewal,” his mother, Malesa Plater, said. “He came from a team that was always looking for a savior to a team that knows how to win.”

I didn’t realize that backing into the playoffs with a 9-7 record while playing against second and third stringers for the final two weeks of the regular season made you a "team that knows how to win." And for the record, Cleveland doesn’t want a savior…we just want a championship.

The championship we one day hope to celebrate will be what saves us. One solitary person need not apply.

Plater went on to say, “No one would understand what he’s been through unless you’ve been drowning.”

How, exactly, is there a correlation between a couple of losing seasons and drowning?  It‘s laughable that his Mom used that word to describe his situation. What a drama queen. It’s not difficult to see where Braylon gets it from.

Braylon is tired of losing? Well, then will someone please tell him to talk to Shaun Rogers, who has never played on a team with a winning record in all nine of his NFL seasons. Really, how bad could it have been?

He became a multimillionaire before he became a bust.


Aromatherapy Session

“There’s nothing going on in Cleveland. There’s no real estate. There’s no social life, no social networking,” Edwards said. “All the people who have something going on leave Cleveland. So Cleveland has nothing, and I came in there with a New York-type of essence. So what? That was the attitude I came in with. Like, this is who I am. They didn’t like the flash.”

This just reiterates the notion that he doesn’t “get it” and probably never will. Especially now, because he finally has his muse—the big, bright lights of New York City.

By the way, what exactly is “a New York-type of essence”? I’m interested. Is it the pleasant aroma of urine and garbage in the air throughout most areas of downtown New York City?

He already had the superstar mentality before he actually put in the hard work to actually become a superstar. This is just further proof of his obnoxiously glaring, over-inflated sense of entitlement.

It stinks so bad, you can see it in the air like green brush strokes depicting stench in a Looney Tunes cartoon.

Braylon wants some real estate? Here’s an idea…maybe he should go back to Detroit and find some there.

The fact that he actually mentions "social networking" is enough to show everyone where his priorities lie.

And for the record, Cleveland fans absolutely love "The Flash"—as in Cleveland’s successful version of the Wildcat featuring Josh Cribbs.


What am I, Chopped Liver?

“The low point came in a 23-20 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last Oct. 4, when Edwards went without a catch for the first time in his career. On the ride home, Plater had never seen him so depressed. He looked tired, beaten, miserable. Everybody, even his neighbors, Edwards said, could see that.”

“My career is over,” he told Plater. “I’m going to be stuck here for the rest of my career.”

Who knew it? Apparently, every time a receiver in the NFL goes without a catch during a game, it means his career is over.

Rather than sulk over it, maybe he should have bucked up and gone back to look over the tape to see what he could have corrected.

I see that his neighbors even noticed how miserable he was. That’s nice. Afterwards, Edwards then blamed his neighbors and their trees for all the leaves piling up in his backyard.


Do-It-Yourself Advice

From the NY Times article, Greg Bishop went on to write, “Each year, it seemed, brought new coaches, or new coordinators, but expectations never changed. He felt burdened by the constant shuffling, the upheaval, the idea that he could, that he should, fix all of it.”

Edwards said, “I’d be stuck in a less than mediocre team, organization, system, forever.”

This sounds like narcissistic self-loathing at its absolute worst. Good or bad, he always needs to be the focal point and is constantly trying to force everyone into feeling sorry for him.

Why exactly did he feel so burdened? He’s a wide receiver. Run your routes, make your reads, catch the ball, and block for your teammates.

He didn‘t need to "fix all of it," he just needed to fix his crippled hands. Or, maybe fix his drive towards becoming a better player and teammate. Be a leader, play better, catch better. He never did any of these things.

The man is a great athlete, but he’s not a football player.

Time for a "did you know." In 2008, he actually led the league in dropped passes with 16.

Rather than doing self-reflective, melancholy interviews criticizing everyone else, maybe he should be spending a little more time catching footballs on the JUGS machine.

Better yet, what about building a rapport with his young quarterback Mark Sanchez? Benefiting someone else is a novel idea, but given his past, it’s something that most likely never even crossed his mind.


Does This Dress Make Me Look Fat?

Another aspect he needed, and still currently needs to fix is his focus…especially on the field.

A perfect example of this is when NFL safety Will Demps spilled the beans about an on-field encounter with Edwards back in 2008. Instead of looking for defensive tendencies in his opponent, what would you know, Edwards decided to look for modeling tips instead.

"Last year, I was with the Texans, and when we played the Browns, Braylon Edwards asked me between plays if we could talk after the game about modeling and acting."

It sure sounds like his head was in the game, doesn’t it? He finished with a whopping three catches for 38 yards. I guess he was too busy pondering his next purchase of makeup to worry about silly things like football.

Who knows? Maybe he’ll get a supporting role in Zoolander 2. I can easily see an orange-mocha frappuccino in his future.


The Blame Game

After the Jets overtime loss against Indianapolis in the AFC Championship Game, he still couldn’t keep his "Yooper yapper" shut as he threw his offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer under the bus.

"No disrespect, but you witnessed the game. I don’t call the plays, I just run them.”

Schottenheimer later replied, “the comments, quite honestly, blindsided me.”

Edwards claims he was misunderstood, but his quotes sound fairly straightforward and straight to the point. Whenever things don’t go well, he blames somebody or something else.

This has been true during his tenure in Cleveland, and is now carrying over into his time in New York…and it hasn’t even been one calendar year yet.

He also blamed his "passion for the game" for his sideline temper tantrum against Cincinnati in 2006.

He even blamed Clevelanders' negative perception of him on the fact that he played for the University of Michigan, but I’ll touch upon that in a bit.

Jets fans will get used to it over time. They should have a sense of it, because he wasted no time in blaming the lights for his drop against the Bills last season.

Being in New York City, he better wear some shades with all those bright lights or he won’t even be able to catch a cab.

Recently, it was discovered that he secretly fathered a child with America's Next Top Model contestant Nik Pace—who is now suing him for up to $70,000 a month in child support.

What’s he going to blame next, the condom?


The Amazing Race

Back on August 9, 2008 Braylon decided to race Donte Stallworth after practice as a friendly bet. The catch was, that Stallworth still got to wear his cleats while Edwards ran shoeless.

The result?

Stallworth accidentally stepped on Edwards’ foot, cutting it, which required stitches. He eventually missed over two weeks of training camp.

That was a stupid bet to make. He really dropped the ball on that one.

I’m just surprised he didn’t blame his thin skin for it being such a deep cut.


Real Reasons for the Bad Blood

Arriving at his first news conference in a Bentley and fancy Italian suit, Edwards apparently left the wrong first impression after the draft in 2006.

In her NY Times interview Plater said, “Blue-collar Cleveland never forgot that. He was the most hated man there.”

I’ve been a Browns fan for a long time, and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of this. Apparently, everybody "forgot that." In fact, I don’t think anyone ever remembered it to begin with.

"Hate" certainly is a brash word, isn’t it? During Edwards’ time in Cleveland, I’d say that he was disliked by some of the fanbase, sure…but with this recent charade, it’s definitely teetering on hate.

Taking a page from Braylon’s finger-pointing strategy, his father Stan Edwards also seems to think that Cleveland fans hated him, but his reasoning is because his son played for Michigan.

That’s an interesting take, but extremely unjustified.

No Browns fan ever said negative things or disliked players such as Steve Everitt, Leroy Hoard, Aaron Shea, or Derrick Alexander—all of whom played at Michigan and were also drafted by the Browns.

You may have heard something at first, which was most likely good-natured ribbing, but other than that, there was never a peep about it.

As a matter of fact, looking back, Leroy Hoard was a fan favorite for a long time.

This perception has never held any water, yet Braylon and his father bring it up over and over again. It’s time to give it a rest.

You want the real scoop? It’s really very simple. Cleveland fans disliked him because he wasn’t a team player, held everyone else accountable for his own mistakes, and consistently dropped crucial, easy passes like his hands were slathered in Crisco.

That’s why.

Cleveland is a blue-collar town, no doubt about it. All we ask it that you give it your best and try to be a consummate team player. That’s all. Just do those two things and you’ll be loved. Do those two things while succeeding, and you’ll really be loved.

Brian Sipe, Bernie Kosar, Leroy Hoard, and Josh Cribbs are perfect examples.

For some reason, Braylon could never fathom this simple concept.

The sooner he gets that through his head, the sooner he can move on. He literally sounds like an ex going through a difficult transition period after a breakup.


Closing Time

This entire process of lashing out is merely fuel for Braylon’s own false sense of security. Suppose he actually believed the real reasons why Cleveland fans had a sour view on him.

Based upon his ultra-sensitive persona he’d probably run away and curl up into a ball someplace dark.

It’s simply a self-created defense-mechanism. Basically, envision Braylon cupping his hands over his ears and going, “La! La! La! La!”

I’m starting to feel like his psychiatrist. I’ve got to wrap this session up, kind of like Braylon’s…

Ah, forget it...I'm done.

Whether it’s asking for modeling tips during a game, hurting himself goofing around at practice, or playing the Michigan card, Braylon Edwards simply lacks the will and passion to ever be an elite wide receiver in the NFL.

No matter what happens to him, “Edwards Scissorhands” continues to point the finger at everyone and everything rather than owning up to his own poor play...but all of Cleveland has a finger for Braylon, too.

Guess which one.


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