I am not a religious man, but if there is anything to make me believe that there might be a spiteful God, it would be the Cleveland Browns.
This is not, simply, an unlucky organization. This is a team that has scorned a higher being to the point that It/He/She has decided to bring terrible vengeance upon it.
The overwhelming evidence of this came this week in the form of owner Jimmy Haslam’s company, Pilot Flying J, being raided by the FBI. As it turns out, the feds apparently have some overwhelming evidence that proves Haslam has been committing fraud for a number of years, ripping off customers through a bogus rebates program.
The investigation is certainly ongoing, but it’s hard to see this ending well. While the NFL is not currently asking Haslam to step down from being the owner of the Browns, things will get dicey if this situation continues to move forward.
Haslam came to Cleveland with the image of being a guy who understood the plight of the common man, despite probably having a Scrooge McDuck-like room in his home where he swam in gold coins. He sat with fans in the stands. He spoke candidly about the team! How could he forsake us?
Because a malevolent God knew this man was about to be taken down by the FBI and gleefully paired him with the Cleveland Browns.
It’s the only way to explain it, because this franchise deserves a break – any kind of break. How about a first-round pick that mind-blowingly exceeds expectations? Or a coach whose system works out? How about just a .500 record?
In the NFL, the league is designed for teams to fall backwards into good seasons and great players. You either have to be incredibly stupid or haunted by a demon Lord to fail.
I’ll take the demon Lord.
It’s hard to fault Haslam because he is a billionaire and, you know, you should kind of expect most of them to be fairly shady. Instead, fault the person who wronged this God so much that it was decided that the Browns should be treated like an eternal wasteland of expectations, hopes and dreams.
Jimmy Haslam was supposed to be the team’s savior.
Who is left to save it now?