Now you've done it, Browns fans! This time there is no getting around or avoiding the issue. You have made the abominable happen, and your villainous offenses have stunk the heavens high! You have hurt Braylon Edwards' feelings.
For all of you Browns fans that have either had to shell out money, or work hard to be able to afford a ticket to a game and have a special time out with your family or friends, only to see it go to waste by the lackluster play of this team...Braylon has a message for you.
He could care less.
That's what he told the media after the Browns' 30-10 defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles Monday night. Braylon said: "I could care less about the fans and the media. People are talking about trading me and the (expletive) going on with out team."
Nice gesture, is it not?
To make matters worse, you have even gone so far with your insults of him that he feels like he is "unappreciated" and that he is a marked man just because he went to the University of Michigan. Shame on you, Browns fans. How could you do such a thing to a man of such prestige and power!? It is your tongues, though, that he says are the biggest sword to his heart.
"When things go good there are hecklers. It hurts to hear people talk about getting rid of me. When I hear that I'm like all right, if that's what you guys want."
So with that, Browns fans, Braylon has spoken. He hears you and you have his attention. Now all of you get in line and apologize to him. After all his failures this season, are your faults right? His dropped balls are a product of your booing.
On second thought, let's do a little survey among Browns fans and see what they have to say about the matter. Ready?
Attention all Browns fans: If you think that your No. 1 wide receiver, who for the second year in a row is leading the league in dropped passes and took until Week Three to actually get into the end zone, ought to be calling out you the fans who have actually been behind him up until now—raise your left hand. Interesting...no one.
All right, Browns fans: If you have any intention of taking responsibility or excusing another atrocious season from Braylon, raise your right hand. Let's see...no one again!
Last chance, Browns fans. If you think that Braylon should keep to himself, go out, actually catch a few balls, and score a few touchdowns and make you be quiet—raise both your hands and make some noise. Wow, everyone!
Braylon, do you really want to take the fans and the media in this city on? If the answer to that question is yes, then go right ahead and try. We are more than welcoming and accepting of your challenge. Understand this, though: If you think that you are dealing with a bunch of angry football fans now, you do not even know the half of it. Just wait until the season ends and you are 4-12 or 5-11. Then you will know what a city full of angry football fans is.
Also understand that you are not here because it is your inalienable right to be playing professional football. You were brought here to help a struggling franchise try to get back on the map. The whole reason it made sense to bring you here through the 2005 NFL Draft was because while you did have somewhat of a history of dropping footballs, you were known as the type of player that could change a game and make a big impact at anytime.
You were supposed to bring life to a receiving corps that desperately needed a facelift.
Since you have gotten here, you have been quite the nightmare to put up with at times. You have had a giant holdout. You have called your teammates out in the media. You have had unprofessional explosions on the sideline that were caught by national-television cameras. It is you YOURSELF who has made this experience unpleasant, if that is truly how you feel. IT IS NOT THE FANS' FAULT.
In some NFL cities, the fans who have teams start out with high expectations and then have to watch the season take a turn for the worse may be thrilled to take a 4-12, 5-11 or 6-10 finish because it means a good draft pick.
That, however, does not fly in places like Buffalo, Oakland, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, or here in Cleveland where football is like a religion to some. Especially when the fans have had to endure what we in Cleveland have the last nine seasons.
Take some advice, Braylon. You are in a unique position where you get to play for a team that is one of the most storied franchises in NFL history and has some of the best fans you will ever play for or in front of.
Having a chance to turn this franchise around and being part of it when it does finally turn the corner is the opportunity of a lifetime! You're blowing this by being unprofessional. You are not in college anymore, so start embracing what you have, not where you are at—and act like a professional!
Believe it or not, Braylon, you are loved by the fans here and they want you to be here. Don't blow the opportunity that you have now by disrespecting the fans here, bolting for another team, and then coming back in another team's uniform under bad terms with the fans.
If that is the type of divorce that you choose from this team and city, the fans will never let you forget about it, and it will haunt you for the rest of your career. The ball is in your court now.
Choose, but choose wisely.
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