Cleveland Browns: Top 30 moments of all-time

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September 12, 1999 was a great day in Cleveland. At least the anticipation for it was.

The Browns had finally returned after being gone since the 1995 season. The opponent was the Pittsburgh Steelers, who proceeded to beat the Browns 43-0 in front of a sold out Cleveland Browns Stadium.

But the loss was okay, because the Browns were back. It was tough to have high expectations in the opener based on the roster made up of rookies and players from the expansion draft. Fans just underestimated the hardships that would last until 2015 and beyond.

1999 was a simpler time. A blowout loss was accepted because of the wonder of having the Browns back in Cleveland. A 2-14 season, and zero home wins, was not ideal, but this was before a punchline amount of starting quarterbacks and coaching changes seemingly every season.

Tim Couch and Chris Palmer were the new faces in town, and fans were happy. For a short period of time at least.

The still-existing hate for Art Modell and Ozzie Newsome kept energy high, although the Browns went 0-2 against the Baltimore Ravens in that 1999 season.

It is tough to say whether one should be nostalgic for the return of the Browns. The return was a fresh start in Cleveland after several years of sadness and frustration, but the 2-14 record did little to improve those feelings.

The other view is that the team was not expected to be good. There was the expectation that a few drafts would be needed to build any foundation and see positive results. The team did go to the playoffs in 2002, but that seems like an anomaly now. So one may long for the days when the team was bad, but hope was still there. Now, hope is tough to come by. – SK

Next: No. 26: Kevin Mack and Earnest Byner top 1,000 yards