Carucci: LeBron James Impact on the Cleveland Browns


The Fansided Network, as all good sports networks have, has had you covered with LeBron James coverage. Here at Dawg Pound Daily we are excited for the city that the best player in the sport chose to come to Cleveland and are left to wonder how James could impact our Cleveland Browns. Vic Carucci of gave some thoughts to exactly that:

"The majority of what has transpired since the Browns generated the first title wave with the selection of Manziel in last May’s NFL Draft has made for a positive narrative. It has set the stage for great excitement and high expectations across the board."

Two parts to this first Carucci quote that stick out to us. First is the idea of narrative. Narrative is one of the biggest thing that impacts how stories are told is the narrative leading to the story. A great example is Gonzaga, Butler and the US Men’s Soccer team. All 3 of them have had very low expectations for a long time. Both NCAA teams were celebrated for making the tournament’s Sweet 16 as the narrative said “small school overachieving.” In the recently completed World Cup the US team was celebrated even though their record was 1-2-1. If the narrative expectations were that team should make the Finals the story would be written different.

For the Browns, and Cleveland sports in general, the narrative has been one of full negativity. Every decision is met by derision, negativity and contempt. Both the local and the national media shine a a light on a story through the prism of this narrative. James’ return and the possibility of on field success of Johnny Manziel can change the prism by which these stories are written.

The second interesting part to Carucci’s quote relates to expectations. With James returning the Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to compete for the Eastern Conference title this year. The Browns, with a dominate defense, new head coach Mike Pettine, creative offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, along with Manziel, are expected to begin to look more competitive soon. The expectations are different for the Browns and the Cavs but that doesn’t mean they don’t impact each other, as Carucci points out:

"It’s also fair to say that the anticipated dramatic improvement of the Cavaliers should serve as fuel for the Browns’ competitive fire. This has always been an NFL town, and it still is. Still, the strong possibility of the city’s NBA franchise suddenly competing for a championship in the near future raises the stakes for everyone connected with the football team."

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So now the team that has held the hearts of so many in Cleveland now has competition by another Cleveland team. If the Cavs are the one to break the championship drought for Cleveland, could it swing fans hearts and wallets? Could Cleveland become a Cavs’ town with the return of James and the winning of a championship? Does that change any of the plans for the Browns in their plan to build a contender slowly and through the draft?

James’ return may have “raised all ships” but it may also create a competition within the city’s sports teams. The narrative for the city of Cleveland could be changed for good. The stories that could start to come out may be written through the prism of success, not a Factory of Sadness.

How do you think James’ return impacts the Browns?