The Cleveland Browns enter the 2019 season with plenty of hype and playoff expectations, but should Browns fans lower their expectations for the season?
Should Cleveland Browns fans lower their expectations for 2019?
NO WE ARE NOT LOWERING OUR EXPECTATIONS! In fact, let us turn that around and ask why would anyone expect their team to not win the Super Bowl this year? What is wrong with your team if you have already given up before a single game has been played? It is a cliché but the logic is inescapable: Everyone is undefeated this time of the year. There is nobody planning to lose their next game.
If you have bet money that you can not afford to lose, because some little voice in your head is telling you the Browns are preordained to win it all this year, then yes you need help and should lower your financial risk. If you bet your house payment on Baker Mayfield having a big year for your fantasy football team, then you have a problem and should get help. But other than that, having high expectations is part of being a football fan. There is no need for anyone to apologize for it.
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We can all do the math. 32 teams, and only one wins the Super Bowl. There are many more heartbreaking defeats than triumphs. If you can not deal with the prospect of defeat, perhaps football is not the sport for you.
Football is the most difficult game in the world. It is the most physically demanding game in the world, played in blazing heat and freezing cold. Players get knocked out and sent to the hospital routinely. That’s how difficult and demanding it is. But that is also a major part of what makes it great, and it demands that the team does everything in its power to win.
Knowing that, what kind of fans want their team to lose so that they can get a better draft pick next year? That is crazy talk. Maybe the director of player personnel thinks like that, but definitely not the players on the field. As fans, our first loyalty is always to the guys on the field.
Even when the Browns were 1-31, true fans wanted the team to win, and we felt the pain of each loss. That is never going to change. The goal and the expectation was always to win the next game, and the understanding has always been that someone else will get a chance if the team can not win.
This is part of our identity. Cleveland has always been an industrial town, populated by men and women who work hard, often wearing a hard hat and carrying a steel lunch pail. Yes there are doctors and lawyers and professors too, but once you set foot into FirstEnergy Stadium, the mentality changes. We are all united by the Cleveland Browns, and it doesn’t make any difference how much money you make or what kind of car you drive or any of that. That’s the way it has always been, and that is the way it will always be.
We expect that they will fight hard and fight smart. They will hit with everything they have, they will tackle and they will block like no other team in the NFL. AND WE EXPECT THE TEAM TO WIN.
But if they don’t win, we may have a few choice words for the coach and front office and even the owners. We are not lowering our expectations, and in fact that kind of talk makes no sense to Cleveland fans.
Are you okay with that?
If so, welcome to the Dawg Pound.