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Joe Haden believes a championship Browns team would trump all—even the Cavs

Jason Miller / USA TODAY Sports

Joe Haden is a huge Cavs fan. Though he never attended an NBA game before coming to Cleveland, he’s one of the court-side mainstays, even while wearing his walking boot. While the Cavaliers just beat the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Finals series Thursday night, tHaden said he believes a championship football team in Cleveland would trump anything, including the wine and gold winning the championship.

Per ohio.com’s Nate Ulrich:

“That’s not even a question. I talk to [Cavaliers forward] Tristan [Thompson] all the time. He knows if the Browns were winning like the Cavs are, it’d be a whole different vibe. Not to knock it at all, but it just is what it is. So just being able to know how much love they show the Cavs and how much the fans are still supporting the Browns, even though we haven’t really gave them anything to be proud of, it just shows that when we do flip it around, it’s going to be special. We know that. We honestly seriously do.”

Haden may be right.  The city of Cleveland is a football town. But at this rate, it’s hard to imagine the Browns becoming competitive at any point soon, let alone a Super Bowl contender. Since their return to the shores of Lake Erie in 1999, they have just one playoff appearance and two winning seasons. They may have head coach Hue Jackson now leading the way, but the disappointing Browns franchise doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon, at least on paper.

Either way, the cornerback, while he would be ecstatic if LeBron James and company brought a professional sports title to Cleveland for the first time since 1964 — as documented in 30 for 30’s “Believeland” — knows the importance of having a good Browns team in The Land. With the additions the team has made during the offseason, Haden feels as though the new-look version of the Browns has the chance to be something special, it will just take time.

“Seeing how the fans are, seeing how much they really, really love and support the team and they just want a winner and they stay behind the Browns, even though we keep taking all these [losses]. I feel with the team we have now, with the coaching staff we have now, everybody has an opportunity to change that, to make this thing special.”

Haden knows a championship Browns team would trump everything else, but he also realizes how important any championship would be to the city of Cleveland which is one of the many reasons why he is a big Cavs supporter. A football town, sure, but everything has seemed to turn into a wine and gold, especially come June.

  • BKJD

    I’d like to but I don’t think I can make it for the Cavs next month.

  • BKJD

    Personally I’d be most excited for an Indians win but the answer for the region is definitely Browns.

  • BKJD

    He already is top 3. He’s above Russell.

  • architrance

    I just question – hypothetically – if another franchise wins a title (or more), wouldn’t it would fundamentally shift the fan base’s prime allegiances? All 3 teams are tortured, to some degree, but the Browns still carry (for some) the memory of the last Championship. Whatever hypothetical ‘Ship it is that breaks the streak will become instant legend, The franchise that gets us over that goal is going to be held on a different level than the other two, no doubt about it. 52 years of futility for the Browns, 68 for the Tribe or 46 for the Cavs. Whoever gets it first is going to set the tone for the future of the city, and the Browns are the furthest away out of all 3.

    Yes, a Browns Super Bowl win would be huge. But how long before that happens? And will the curse be broken and the spotlight stolen by the time it finally does? I personally find the Super Bowl overrated and think a long series – Finals or World’s that’s actually IN Cleveland, that could potentially be won AT HOME, in front of the fans would be bigger. Maybe it’s a nice gesture by Haden to Browns fans, but if it’s true I really think people need to wake up and get behind this Cavs team. The Browns are still a pipe dream at this point.

  • architrance

    AGREED.

  • architrance

    So – Yes. If both teams won a Championship tomorrow, the Browns would be a bigger deal to the City. But only one of them has that potential RIGHT NOW. *IF* the Browns can ever compete for something again and another Cleveland team has won one or more, I just can’t imagine it meaning as much…

  • architrance

    It’s an individual award, it can’t possibly mean anywhere near the same thing. I’d happily put the Cleveland Crunch ahead of him.

  • architrance

    I’m pretty sure Cardale Jones looked into the camera immediately after winning and said “This is for Cleveland,” or something to that effect.

  • JNeids

    Oh thank god I thought I was the only one who thinks DWade is grossly overrated. The only thing that separates him from Melo (in my admittedly uneducated mind) is that Wade played with better teammates.

    I almost threw it out there this morning that Irving should be getting as much love as Wade used to. I realize Irving floundered on cellar-dwelling teams without James whereas Wade has still made the playoffs, but Wade’s teammates >>> Irving’s.

  • fremont

    If you’re talking about the Harbor Inn on Portage Lakes, it’s still there but now called something else…..

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  • woofersus

    Yeah, there’s certainly a bigger deal made about whatever team is the best in the moment, and any of the big three winning a championship would change the narrative about Cleveland sports, but I still think this is ultimately a football town at its core. People would say, “at least we have the Cavs” during a nightmare Browns season, but if the Browns someday do win a championship it will be a bigger deal to more people, even if the Cavs break the drought first.

    Interestingly enough, the Cavs and Indians seem to have a wider reach outside of Cleveland than the Browns. There seem to be more Indians fans than Reds fans in central ohio, while Columbus shades more toward Cincinnati when it comes to football, even before the Bengals became decent. (although there’s also a great deal of “What’s the NFL?” in Columbus too, given the Buckeyes are basically a religion here) And of course we know about all the Steelers fandom in eastern Ohio. So when the Cavs and Indians are good, you see more people come out of the woodwork as casual fans, while Browns ans are the most Cleveland-centric and steady in number. I think its those folks who will make a potential Browns championship a bigger deal.

  • RGB

    It was on the west side of what used to be The Flats.

  • scripty

    WAKEMAN, OH