Dear Cleveland Browns leadership … someone please throw a chair

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: New General Manager John Dorsey of the Cleveland Browns is seen with owner Jimmy Haslam before the game against the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 10: New General Manager John Dorsey of the Cleveland Browns is seen with owner Jimmy Haslam before the game against the Green Bay Packers at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 10, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Browns have talked about the process of winning long enough. It is time for the team to stop talking and actually start winning.

Dear Cleveland Browns Leadership,

Someone throw a chair. That’s right – throw a chair. Punch something, not a player, however, but strongly consider James Harrison if he cheap shots another Browns player onto the injured reserve list.

This is a controversial take, and some people, no names please, the same ones trying to get Looney Tunes banned, will be up in arms claiming a message laden with such suggestions will be the start of WWIII.

Browns leaders need and ought to be angry. Browns’ fans deserve it. If not owners Jimmy and Dee Haslam, or general manager John Dorsey, then who will stand up and demonstrate to the dwindling fan base that, they are, to borrow the famous line from Peter Finch in the 1976 Academy award-winning film, Network … “mad as hell and…not going to take it anymore.”

This fan base watches year after year, regime after regime, as the new guys come onto the scene and fail to deliver on a promise to turn this thing around and restore the pride of the great Cleveland Browns organization. That sounds great, except, when they start losing, no matter how bad it may be, even 1-31, deplorable as it may be, pales in comparison to the collective smack upside the head endured by the fans over the course of the last 20 years. These “leadership” groups are one year worth of angry, or two years worth of angry, while the fan base is 20 years worth of angry.

So, it makes sense. The coaches stroll up to the microphone and calmly talk about a lack of talent and depleted rosters. They confess to a fan base all the reasons they can’t win a game, make the playoffs or, heaven forbid, play in a Super Bowl. All the while, the fans take their customary spot in the corner twitching, waiting for the moment. The moment that the queen mother Mary of all ugly words is to be inevitably uttered … wait for it … “process”. Insert your favorite GIF of someone losing their lunch.

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Browns fans know all too well about the “process.” What we need to see is a Browns coach who hates losing so much that every lost game feels like 20 years of our pain. Someone who isn’t afraid to come into the Factory of Sadness to establish a singular expectation. Win, not in a couple of years, when the roster is complete, when the team finds a franchise quarterback,  but now. The fans need an authentic rant driven by the competitive spirit of a winner.

The team needs a leader who will redefine “the process” to include winning games. Someone who is willing to demand winning in the face of all circumstances. Rosters, age, injuries, talent level, all factor into the ultimate success of any team. However none of them matter when you give your team permission to lose even before a game has been played. Measured expectations are the mentality of losers.

No great underdog story ever started with a coach talking about a process. They start with a coach who instills a belief into a team that they can win, regardless of the circumstances. The following is the speech given in 1980 by head coach Herb Brooks before the U.S. men’s hockey team defeated a USSR team that had won six of the previous seven gold medals in the Winter Olympics:

"“Great moments… are born from great opportunity. And that’s what you have here, tonight, boys. That’s what you’ve earned here tonight. One game. If we played ’em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world. You were born to be hockey players. Every one of you. And you were meant to be here tonight. This is your time. Their time is done. It’s over. I’m sick and tired of hearing about what a great hockey team the Soviets have. Screw ’em. This is your time. Now go out there and take it.”"

In contrast, here’s a quote from Haslam, who spoke just prior to the start of the 2017 season that saw the Browns go 0-16. According to ESPN:

"“Wins and losses are a part of it – there’s no doubt about that – but I think it’s how our team performs, how do we come back and do we win close games? Do we come from behind and win a game? Do we beat a good team? Do we win a game on the road? Are our younger players getting better?”"

Wow! Doesn’t that say it all.  Wins and losses are part of it? No, Mr. Haslam, wins and losses are all of it. Stop sending a message contrary to that, or the Cleveland Browns and their fans will be stuck in the pit of misery known as “the process” until the end of time.

Can you imagine New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick talking to the media about such nonsense? Nope. How about Green Bay Packers coaching legend Vince Lombardi? Negative. Developing a winning culture is getting rid of the excuses and expecting to win.

Some would say it’s impossible to measure this quality in a person. I beg to differ. You can easily measure the unrelenting desire to win, the hate of loss, in a couple of ways.

Next: Browns should take a second look at Bashaud Breeland

One, how hard a quarterback’s teammate hits James Harrison back after he cheap shots their quarterback. Two, count the wood fragments on the floor after a Browns coach goes John Belushi on a chair in post-game rant.

Hey Browns leadership, it’s time to toughen up. While you’re making your money, don’t forget to hate losing in the same way that the fans do. That way, the fans will know that we’re all on the same page. It’s time to put the Dawg back into the Pound.