It just never seems to end.
The 2008 Cleveland Browns season has to be arguably one of the worst runs in a very long time. It's easily the worst since the return in 1999.
And while it seems illogical to assume the team mutually agreed in August to have such an awful downward spiral, the way things are going, can anything else explain it?
If one needed a definition for Murphy's Law, he or she need look no further than the past year for the Browns. In fact, the question should no longer be "what happened?" but instead "what didn't happen?"
We've had standouts from last season do nothing but under-perform this year. We had a coach receive a nod of approval, only to be sitting on a hot seat with a temperature that could only rival the sun itself. We went from supporting Derek Anderson, to backing Brady Quinn, and then were forced to admit that, yes, Ken Dorsey really is our starting quarterback. Our GM is apparently still at the age where schoolyard threats are cool, and he's also forcing out our most reliable receiver.
And now, as if someone asked to make things worse, Braylon Edwards is showing off his immaturity again, claiming fans and media don't like him simply because he went to Michigan.
All of this really begs the question: Did the Browns fans do something to deserve this?
Did our undying support week-in and week-out for a normally less than stellar squad anger somebody? Did the fans' choice to practically make the Browns the lifeblood of the city merit being raked over the coals every Sunday? Is it a sin to think that, since 2007 was such a great time, we'd maybe get to see it again?
Apparently the answer to all of these questions is yes. What else could explain the plague that has become the 2008 season?
Last year, Braylon Edwards was breaking records and proudly singing "Hang On Sloopy" on the sidelines. Now he's dropping everything and assuming we're frustrated because he can never remove Michigan from his resume.
Last year, the Dawg Pound got it's intimidation back, as the Browns were relatively unstoppable at home. Now, it's a comedy club for opposing teams.
Last year "Believeland" was a war cry. Now, it's a punchline.
So, I ask again, what did we do to deserve this?
We saw what Derek Anderson did last year and used that to cement the belief that he actually could be a good starting QB. We heard head coach Romeo Crennel receive a contract extension and thought, "Good call." And we sat at Browns training camp chanting "Super Bowl" because, according to various analysts, it didn't seem terribly insane to do.
After that frighteningly positive offseason, we're left with this. Fans who once barked proudly now compare watching a Browns game to something from a Saw movie. And now we have a player claiming we boo only because we didn't like where he went to school?
Grow up, Braylon, as well as any player who has a bone to pick with how we react every week. If anyone else has a qualm with the fans, keep it to yourself. Honestly, nobody on that team has the right to attack how we've handled this season.
How should we be to blame for assuming our woes could finally come to an end after such a solid 2007 season? In reality, it's not an understatement to say we deserve medals of honor for the fact that some of us still get decked out in jerseys and hats every game (and yes, one of my jerseys is No. 17).
Browns fans stick around through everything: lopsided rivalries, lake-effect snow, and just about anything else that could break a weaker fanbase. So you'll have to forgive me if I take offense to someone having an issue with boos. The truth is, we've seen enough this year to make one wonder if anyone actually intends on going to the season opener in 2009.
The point of it all is that Browns fans deserve better. We deserve more than one flash-in-the-pan positive season sandwiched between multiple years of ineptitude. And we certainly deserve a team with players who shut up and do their job well.
That's what we've earned. What we get is a weekly experience that rivals Iraqi prison camps.
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