I spoke with your swarthy editor here at DPD recently and we volleyed a little bit about how JaMarcus Russell was regarded as a no-brainer, can’t-miss N0. 1 pick who just so happened to be an athletic quarterback with a rocket arm.
Articles have been posted since then, essentially saying that the only debate is whether or not to draft Robert Griffin III. While I can safely say that you’re being generous if you say that 50% of the quarterbacks taken in the top-ten of the draft since 2005 have been successful, I can also say that I don’t want to talk about this anymore (Yes, I know I’m talking about it right now. Seriously, look at top-ten picks at quarterback since ’05: Alex Smith was a bust until this year, Vince Young is a backup, Matt Stafford seems solid, Matt Ryan is good, and Mark Sanchez has already gone from good to god-awful, and those are the clear-cut best of the bunch).
The problem – and nature of the metaphorical beast – is that there isn’t anything else to talk about at this point. We as football fans have conditioned ourselves to talk solely about who’s being picked in the upcoming draft, more so about who’s being picked No. 1 by our favorite teams, and there is virtually nothing else.
Half of you will get angry if I say that it would be stupid to destroy the “but we need to build through the draft and slowly improve this all-around distaster” theory and the other half of you will tell me I’m an idiot for suggesting that we have to prepare to win now by drafting a quarterback (Spoiler alert, even if Cleveland does draft Robert Griffin III, we still have to wait another year for weapons to surround him. Guarantee: the Browns will not be an elite team regardless of who’s under center, Peyton Manning notwithstanding).
So then what”s left to say?
There’s no winning here. As tired and simple as that sounds, this fan base has created a culture where even people writing about the team can’t seem to win, let alone the team that they’re writing about. We have grown such an ego to think that not only do our opinions deserve to be heard by the people who make decisions for the team, but we’ve come to think that our opinions NEED to be heard by the team.
The Browns are in the bottom five in the NFL in both ticket price and concession price, as per that killer article about Randy Lerner a few weeks ago, and that’s pretty damn cool. In fact, I’d go as far to say that money is the absolute, unequivocal, number one focus of a sporting event, when taking all facets into account. So saying that our experience is less expensive than most is a pretty good thing.
But what sparked this ego of a tortured fan base?
Are Browns fans entitled to more because they’ve been through so much? If they deserve special recognition for being impassioned and being forceful in their demands/desires/anger, then perhaps they should find better ways to claim their superiority as fans. I doubt I’m alone when I say that I shake my head at Browns fans pretty regularly in the event that I go to a game. Granted, I haven’t been to a game in two seasons now, but the stereotypical Browns fan often doesn’t conjure an image that screams “respect me and my opinion.”
I know. I shouldn’t talk down on the very same people who may be reading this. But you can’t just change the way you feel based on what you wish you felt. Need proof? It’d be much easier to just stop rooting for a team that lets you down every year, but you just can’t change the way you feel.