The Remote Report: Let Go of Your Feelings Toward the Ravens

If there’s one thing a Cleveland Browns fan knows, it’s spite. We fans carry spite in all kinds of ways towards all kinds of groups, people, and locations. As such, watching the Baltimore Ravens in the playoffs tends to bring up some unpleasant emotions from Browns fans.

But not from me.

On the one hand, it does sting my pride a little bit to know that the team Cleveland used to have has become a perennial contender less than a decade after skipping town on Art Modell’s tab. But the fact of the matter is that the Ravens aren’t the Browns. They just aren’t.

Even when they won the Super Bowl in 2000, the only holdover was Matt Stover, but everyone still acted like the Ravens were our stolen football team, winning a championship that Browns fans “deserved.” Now we get to watch them make the playoffs every year as we prepare ourselves for who the Browns will choose/mentally destroy in the upcoming draft.

So where do we draw the line? Do we get mad at the Cincinnati Bengals for picking Rey Maualuga after the Browns let him slip by in favor of Brian Robiskie? The Bengals had a pretty good defense this season, so there’s obviously a connection there, right? Do we get mad at the Pittsburgh Steelers for miraculously being the Rust Belt city to maintain a good professional football team? I mean, that clearly should have been the Browns.

These are stupid arguments. We’re not stupid people. We’re emotionally charged fans, we’re people who love football, and we’re people who do our best to maintain loyalty to a program that doesn’t do a lot for us in return.

So I say this: Don’t waste your time pretending to still be mad at the Ravens for being the ex-Browns. It’s okay. You can dislike them because they’re in the same division and they’re continually beating the Browns, but don’t be mad because they’re allegedly “our” team.

We, as fans, have more pressing issues to be upset about. We’re reading, writing, and talking about a team that, if you’re under 30 years old, has made the playoffs once since your formative years. We’re dealing with a team that finishes in the bottom five in either offense or defense (sometimes both) year in and year out. We’re avoiding concerning ourselves with a team that has had top-ten picks seemingly every year since 1999.

Not that I think I’m solving any problems with our fandom by saying we should worry more about in-house problems than what’s going on around us. I understand that we should point fingers wherever we can so that we’re not crippled with depression from the aforementioned history of this team. But with the Browns’ version of the Super Bowl coming soon (that’s the draft, of course), it’s hard not to take a look at this organization and realize that other teams are not our biggest problem.

So I say go ahead, Ravens. Play great football, win games. I don’t care. You’ve got nothing to do with my favorite football team other than sharing a division.

Curiously, it seems that a lot of my friends will root for the Big Ten when Ohio State isn’t playing so that it makes their conference look better, but no one would root for the Ravens to make the Browns’ division look tougher, right?

Anyway, best of luck in New England, Baltimore. I suspect you won’t need it because you’ve worried about yourselves long enough to figure this game out. Take note, Cleveland.

Go Browns.


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Tags: Baltimore Ravens Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns NFL NFL Draft Pittsburgh Steelers Playoffs Super Bowl

  • BrianHricik

    I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment on the Ravens. To me, they are more hated than the Pittsburgh Steelers(Rooney voted against the move). In fact, by your argument’s standard, we should not really care about the success of the Steelers either. I mean, it’s hardly been a heated rivalry since our return.

    The Ravens are, in reality, exactly what the Cleveland Browns c(sh/w)ould have become. A great part of their success lies on Ozzie Newsome’s(Browns HALL OF FAME tight end) shoulders. Are you suggesting that after the almost inevitable firing of Belichick, the regime wouldn’t have mapped out the exact same way in Cleveland still under Modell’s watch? He wouldn’t have hired Ozzie Newsome? Newsome wouldn’t have hired his staff? His staff wouldn’t have put the same players on the field given the same roster in front of him?

    Meanwhile, we’ve suffered the better part of 12 years of mediocrity with our team’s colors slapped on it, debasing the great tradition, that is Cleveland Browns football.

    I don’t see the connection to the references you make with either of the other teams in our division. There is clearly a difference between the Steelers and the Bengals compared to the Ravens.

    Your examples suggest that it’s just not a big deal that we had our team ripped from our city like our hearts from our chests and welcomed, in open arms, by a city who had the same thing happen to them, a bit hypocritical of them if you ask me.

    I always take it personally when they win, I relish seeing them lose. I want nothing but failure for a city and fan base, who sees nothing wrong with taking another’s team yet cries about the travesty of losing their own. Every Baltimore fan I talk to tries to minimize the effects of losing the Browns vs. losing the Colts, whatever gets you to sleep at night I guess. They all try to say get over it, that was years ago, ancient history.

    Well let me tell you, it’s fresh in my mind, especially when I see a team that regularly competes for Lombardi trophies and I’m served up rosters that find new and unique ways of humiliating loss and failure year in and year out.

    This wound isn’t going to scar until we are perennial contenders, it won’t heal until we win a super bowl. Then, and only then, will I put the Ravens on the list with the other AFCN contenders.

  • BrianHricik

    I have to respectfully disagree with your assessment on the Ravens. To me, they are more hated than the Pittsburgh Steelers(Rooney voted against the move). In fact, by your argument’s standard, we should not really care about the success of the Steelers either. I mean, it’s hardly been a heated rivalry since our return.

    The Ravens are, in reality, exactly what the Cleveland Browns c(sh/w)ould have become. A great part of their success lies on Ozzie Newsome’s(Browns HALL OF FAME tight end) shoulders. Are you suggesting that after the almost inevitable firing of Belichick, the regime wouldn’t have mapped out the exact same way in Cleveland still under Modell’s watch? He wouldn’t have hired Ozzie Newsome? Newsome wouldn’t have hired his staff? His staff wouldn’t have put the same players on the field given the same roster in front of him?

    Meanwhile, we’ve suffered the better part of 12 years of mediocrity with our team’s colors slapped on it, debasing the great tradition, that is Cleveland Browns football.

    I don’t see the connection to the references you make with either of the other teams in our division. There is clearly a difference between the Steelers and the Bengals compared to the Ravens.

    Your examples suggest that it’s just not a big deal that we had our team ripped from our city like our hearts from our chests and welcomed, in open arms, by a city who had the same thing happen to them, a bit hypocritical of them if you ask me.

    I always take it personally when they win, I relish seeing them lose. I want nothing but failure for a city and fan base, who sees nothing wrong with taking another’s team yet cries about the travesty of losing their own. Every Baltimore fan I talk to tries to minimize the effects of losing the Browns vs. losing the Colts, whatever gets you to sleep at night I guess. They all try to say get over it, that was years ago, ancient history.

    Well let me tell you, it’s fresh in my mind, especially when I see a team that regularly competes for Lombardi trophies and I’m served up rosters that find new and unique ways of humiliating loss and failure year in and year out.

    This wound isn’t going to scar until we are perennial contenders, it won’t heal until we win a super bowl. Then, and only then, will I put the Ravens on the list with the other AFCN contenders.

  • texline42

    And I have to not -so-respectfully disagree with your assessment. If you want to become a Raven fan, by all means, jump on that band wagon, but do not try to convince me that I should jump with you. They are in the same division as the Browns. I dislike ALL the teams in the afc north other than the Browns, as should all Browns fans, and I hope the Ravens get destroyed next week, and every week for that matter. Fuck em.

  • texline42

    And I have to not -so-respectfully disagree with your assessment. If you want to become a Raven fan, by all means, jump on that band wagon, but do not try to convince me that I should jump with you. They are in the same division as the Browns. I dislike ALL the teams in the afc north other than the Browns, as should all Browns fans, and I hope the Ravens get destroyed next week, and every week for that matter. Fuck em.

  • cheeko965

    I concur with the other two gents. If you think any Browns fan still doesn’t sting at the success of the Zombie Browns and that traitor Ozzie Newsome, then I don’t think you can rightfully call yourself a Browns fan. That should have been our success, rather than 3 years without ANY team, and then a 10+ year run of misery.

    In the same light, I support our current team, I like the changes that have FINALLY been made to try and right the ship, and look forward to some winning seasons. This new Mgmt. team has done decent so far. Keep the drafts smart, and we should be ok.

  • cheeko965

    I concur with the other two gents. If you think any Browns fan still doesn’t sting at the success of the Zombie Browns and that traitor Ozzie Newsome, then I don’t think you can rightfully call yourself a Browns fan. That should have been our success, rather than 3 years without ANY team, and then a 10+ year run of misery.

    In the same light, I support our current team, I like the changes that have FINALLY been made to try and right the ship, and look forward to some winning seasons. This new Mgmt. team has done decent so far. Keep the drafts smart, and we should be ok.

  • kevinpnye

    Let me defend myself a little: I’m not saying you should love the Ravens. I’m not saying you have to like them. I’m certainly not saying you have to agree with me. I’m saying I was 9 years old when the Browns moved away due to the insane actions of a maniacal owner. You can’t say how it would have turned out if they’d stayed because that’s an impossibility. It’s like saying how different things would be now if Ralph Nader had been elected – speculate all you want, but it’s not realistic.

    To Brian, it’s got nothing to do with the people of Baltimore, so I don’t really get that argument. It’s not like we would have hated a team if they’d moved to Cleveland in 1997. We might have felt weird about it, but we would have accepted them. But then you’re going on to make my point; the problem isn’t the Ravens, it’s the crappy team we root for every year. I don’t care about other NFL teams (save the NFC east because it’s literally impossible to watch a week of football without seeing one of those loser-teams) because I like football. I can see a good football team and appreciate good football being played – probably because my favorite team hasn’t played good football for the overwhelming majority of my life.

    I’m not saying my opinion is right and I’m not saying I’m rooting for the Ravens every week unless they play the Browns. I’m just saying that they’re a football team and the decisions of one withered old asshole doesn’t make me hate guys like Ray Lewis. Murder attempts make me hate guys like Ray Lewis.

    And for the record, I do appreciate the comments.

  • kevinpnye

    Let me defend myself a little: I’m not saying you should love the Ravens. I’m not saying you have to like them. I’m certainly not saying you have to agree with me. I’m saying I was 9 years old when the Browns moved away due to the insane actions of a maniacal owner. You can’t say how it would have turned out if they’d stayed because that’s an impossibility. It’s like saying how different things would be now if Ralph Nader had been elected – speculate all you want, but it’s not realistic.

    To Brian, it’s got nothing to do with the people of Baltimore, so I don’t really get that argument. It’s not like we would have hated a team if they’d moved to Cleveland in 1997. We might have felt weird about it, but we would have accepted them. But then you’re going on to make my point; the problem isn’t the Ravens, it’s the crappy team we root for every year. I don’t care about other NFL teams (save the NFC east because it’s literally impossible to watch a week of football without seeing one of those loser-teams) because I like football. I can see a good football team and appreciate good football being played – probably because my favorite team hasn’t played good football for the overwhelming majority of my life.

    I’m not saying my opinion is right and I’m not saying I’m rooting for the Ravens every week unless they play the Browns. I’m just saying that they’re a football team and the decisions of one withered old asshole doesn’t make me hate guys like Ray Lewis. Murder attempts make me hate guys like Ray Lewis.

    And for the record, I do appreciate the comments.

  • BrianHricik

    “You can’t say how it would have turned out if they’d stayed because that’s an impossibility. It’s like saying how different things would be now if Ralph Nader had been elected – speculate all you want, but it’s not realistic.”

    Kevin, that isn’t an entirely accurate statement. Everything would have been exactly the same in terms of decision makers in charge would they have stayed in Cleveland. Belichick would have still been fired. We would have had the same roster.

    So, while we’re altering history by supposing the Browns would have stayed in Cleveland, it isn’t really that great a stretch in reality to suggest that the draft positions, personnel, players would have all mapped out the same way. In fact, to me, it seems LESS likely that we wouldn’t have the roster that the Ravens do today, that we wouldn’t have had the roster that won them a super bowl.

    Ozzie Newsome some how wouldn’t have been offered the job were he in Cleveland? If anything, it seems to me, it would have cemented it.

    It’s not like they play in a different division, it’s not like they didn’t start out with the same roster that left Cleveland.

    As for the people of Baltimore…I’m obviously generalizing, BUT, have you ever had a conversation about the Browns move to Baltimore? I have, and it is absolutely baffling the responses I’ve gotten, literally every time I’ve talked to them.

  • BrianHricik

    “You can’t say how it would have turned out if they’d stayed because that’s an impossibility. It’s like saying how different things would be now if Ralph Nader had been elected – speculate all you want, but it’s not realistic.”

    Kevin, that isn’t an entirely accurate statement. Everything would have been exactly the same in terms of decision makers in charge would they have stayed in Cleveland. Belichick would have still been fired. We would have had the same roster.

    So, while we’re altering history by supposing the Browns would have stayed in Cleveland, it isn’t really that great a stretch in reality to suggest that the draft positions, personnel, players would have all mapped out the same way. In fact, to me, it seems LESS likely that we wouldn’t have the roster that the Ravens do today, that we wouldn’t have had the roster that won them a super bowl.

    Ozzie Newsome some how wouldn’t have been offered the job were he in Cleveland? If anything, it seems to me, it would have cemented it.

    It’s not like they play in a different division, it’s not like they didn’t start out with the same roster that left Cleveland.

    As for the people of Baltimore…I’m obviously generalizing, BUT, have you ever had a conversation about the Browns move to Baltimore? I have, and it is absolutely baffling the responses I’ve gotten, literally every time I’ve talked to them.

  • kevinpnye

    Look, if my aunt was born with balls, she’d be my uncle. Yeah, it was equally likely that she would have been, but she wasn’t, so I can’t speculate what kind of uncle she would have been.

    That’s essentially the what-if-they-didn’t-move, right? You can’t think about if they’d stayed because it didn’t happen. Even if it was quasi-likely, it doesn’t matter, because that’s not how it worked out. That’s like saying the Tribe would have beaten the Rockies in the 07 World Series – maybe we would have, but we didn’t get there, so it doesn’t matter. The point is moot, that’s all.

    And you’re at least somewhat right on Baltimore fans. I get it, it sucks all around, that’s for sure. I just don’t have anyone to be mad at anymore. I mean, Modell has only had a 1% stake in the team since about ’04.

    Really, all I’m getting at now is that you can’t what if the past because it’s just pointless. What if the future all you want, because you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. But we know how the past turned out, which means that there is 100% chance that the Browns did move to Baltimore and a 0% chance that they’ll stay in 1995.

    But, aside, I dig the Richie Tenenbaum pic.

  • BrianHricik

    Kevin, I suppose I understand where you’re coming from, I’m not saying I’m right, nor am I saying you’re wrong. Although, again, your analogies don’t truly do justice to the heart of the matter.

    I’m saying that’s why I have the feelings towards B-more that I do have. I understand you can’t change the past, but that doesn’t mean I have to be ok with it.

    If you’re indifferent, that’s fine by me, to each his own.

  • kevinpnye

    Look, if my aunt was born with balls, she’d be my uncle. Yeah, it was equally likely that she would have been, but she wasn’t, so I can’t speculate what kind of uncle she would have been.

    That’s essentially the what-if-they-didn’t-move, right? You can’t think about if they’d stayed because it didn’t happen. Even if it was quasi-likely, it doesn’t matter, because that’s not how it worked out. That’s like saying the Tribe would have beaten the Rockies in the 07 World Series – maybe we would have, but we didn’t get there, so it doesn’t matter. The point is moot, that’s all.

    And you’re at least somewhat right on Baltimore fans. I get it, it sucks all around, that’s for sure. I just don’t have anyone to be mad at anymore. I mean, Modell has only had a 1% stake in the team since about ’04.

    Really, all I’m getting at now is that you can’t what if the past because it’s just pointless. What if the future all you want, because you don’t know how it’s going to turn out. But we know how the past turned out, which means that there is 100% chance that the Browns did move to Baltimore and a 0% chance that they’ll stay in 1995.

    But, aside, I dig the Richie Tenenbaum pic.

  • BrianHricik

    Kevin, I suppose I understand where you’re coming from, I’m not saying I’m right, nor am I saying you’re wrong. Although, again, your analogies don’t truly do justice to the heart of the matter.

    I’m saying that’s why I have the feelings towards B-more that I do have. I understand you can’t change the past, but that doesn’t mean I have to be ok with it.

    If you’re indifferent, that’s fine by me, to each his own.

  • texline42

    If. If. If you were rowing down the street in your rowboat and the wheel fell off, how many pancakes doe’s it take to shingle a dog house?

  • texline42

    If. If. If you were rowing down the street in your rowboat and the wheel fell off, how many pancakes doe’s it take to shingle a dog house?