It’s been 11 years since the Cleveland Browns finished over .500. It’s been 16 years since their last playoff appearance. Since their return to the NFL in 1999, the Browns have finished with at least seven wins just four times. Only 27 years old, I truly do not remember Cleveland having a legitimate professional football franchise.
On most Sundays in the fall, I looked forward to watching the players on my fantasy football team and knew that for the majority of the season, the Browns would let me down during all 16 weekends that they played. In fact, at times, I looked forward to the one week during the season that I could watch other games at both 1 and 4 p.m. ET during the Browns bye week. It allowed me to actually watch some legitimate football. But this year is different.
This past weekend, I actually missed being able to watch the Browns.1 With them having their annual bye week, it was the first time in my life that I can admit that I missed being able to watch them due to their bye week.
Did you notice how you didn’t see anyone (or post on social media) about the Browns being so bad that they even lost to the bye week all day this past Sunday? I did. It’s because, for the first time in quite a while, Cleveland’s professional football team is progressing and not even the worst team in the NFL. With players such as Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson, Jarvis Landry, David Njoku, Myles Garrett, Denzel Ward, Damarious Randall, Larry Ogunjobi, Christian Kirksey, Jabrill Peppers, and Joe Schobert, among others, the Browns actually have some talent. Add in the fact that much of that talent is young and will continue to develop and improve and thinking about the Browns is actually somewhat exciting. The future is bright on the shores of Lake Erie.2
Think about this for a second: The Cleveland Browns seem to not only have a legitimate team again but a franchise quarterback as well. Read that over again. Let that sink in. It’s crazy to not only think about but to believe and say, right? They may only be 3-6-1, but even in their losses, the Browns have been really competitive. With Mayfield in the fold, they will likely have one of the most sought-after open head-coaching positions this offseason. Although it sounds bad, as the saying goes, many players and coaches used to go to the Browns for their careers to die. That’s what they were known for. Not anymore.
The Browns have made Fall Sundays Fun Again, and for that, I missed them during their bye week.