10 ways Cleveland Browns are lucky on Friday the 13th

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 29: Baker Mayfield #6 and Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns signal for a touchdown after a catch by Odell Beckham Jr. in the fourth quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 29: Baker Mayfield #6 and Jarvis Landry #80 of the Cleveland Browns signal for a touchdown after a catch by Odell Beckham Jr. in the fourth quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on December 29, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

On this notoriously unlucky day, here’s a list of ten ways the Cleveland Browns are actually a fortunate football franchise.

Friday the 13th has long been considered unlucky.

Its unfortunate reputation began back in the Middle Ages when, in the 1300s on a Friday the 13th, the Knights Templar verbally cursed the day as they were being burned at the stake.

Tough season for the Knights.

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Speaking of which, the Cleveland Browns are also coming off a few rough years (twenty-one, to be exact), and it’s tempting to think that this football franchise has somehow been cursed ever since its return to the league in 1999.

It’s as if the same sports gods responsible for the Red Sox curse of the Bambino and the Cubs’ Billy Goat jinx have somehow put a similar unlucky spell on the Cleveland Browns.

Call it the Haslam Hex. Or the Modell Malediction. Or the Lake Erie Whammy.

Whatever it is, for more than the last two decades the results have been thoroughly underwhelming and totally depressing – just a single playoff appearance by the Browns in that entire time with a league-worst record of 101-234-1.

Ouch. Might be less painful getting burned at the stake.

But as a Cleveland fan in the middle of an NFL offseason, I’ve been conditioned to look at the Browns’ upcoming glass as half full, and that’s exactly what I plan to do here.

On this unluckiest of days, I’m going to attempt to compile a list of the ten ways the 2020 Cleveland Browns should consider themselves fortunate.

Wish me luck.

No. 1) The Browns begin the 2020 regular season with the exact same number of losses as last year’s Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs – zero. Regardless of how frustrating it’s been for Cleveland, the team with the worst record over the last twenty-one years gets to start this next run just like everyone else at 0-0. Whew.

No. 2) The Browns are on their 12th head coach and 29th quarterback since 1999. That’s a lucky thing because it makes it a lot easier to spot the good ones. The moment Baker Mayfield finally started under center, everyone watching knew the Browns had just found their franchise quarterback. And similarly, thanks to all the ineffective head coaches Cleveland has hired, it won’t take long to figure out if Kevin Stefanski is indeed “The One.”

No. 3) Myles Garrett gets to play in 2020. Be honest, when you saw him slam Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet last season, didn’t you at first worry Garrett might be kicked out of the league, if not arrested? But Myles is back – redeemed, well-rested and ready to pick up where he left off. And now with his new skull-bashing rep, he’s even scarier.

No. 4) The Browns will get one of the top four offensive tackles in this draft. Anyone who watched the 6-10 Cleveland Browns play in 2019 knows how badly this team needs blind side help, and, fortunately for them, this is a tackle rich draft. And it’s lucky that the Browns earned the 10th pick – just two more wins last season and suddenly they’re selecting (at best) at 18th and probably losing out on those four high-level tackles.

No. 5) The Browns have Joel Bitonio playing left guard. That’s especially lucky for the Browns this season because it looks like they’ll be playing with a rookie at left tackle. Who better than Bitonio to line up next to the newbie and help him get acclimated to the NFL. Could greatly reduce his learning curve and give Baker Mayfield that extra second he needs to find the open receiver. Imagine that.

No. 6) Baker Mayfield is ticked. Last year, Baker had the worst season of his entire football career and it was obvious he did not like how it felt. Luckily for the Browns, Mayfield does even better when he’s fired up and so with some better protection, he’ll get to vent all next season. Expect a peeved Baker to dominate at flag-planting levels.

No. 7) Odell Beckham Jr. is also ticked. Last season was a relatively huge disappointment for OBJ, who caught the second-fewest touchdown passes (4) and the least amount of receptions per game (4.6) of his six-year NFL career. Fortunately for the Browns, catching footballs is what OBJ’s still great at. And with Jarvis Landry on the mend, expect a fed up Odell to improve his chemistry with Baker this offseason and begin to show flashes of regular-season brilliance once again.

No. 8) Jarvis Landry’s hip is fixed. The Browns will be lucky to have wide receiver Jarvis Landry playing with a healthy hip this season. If Jarvis can catch 83 balls for almost 1,200 yards and 6 touchdowns with a bum hip like he did last season, imagine what he and Baker will be able to do with Landry’s torso pain-free. Bless’m both.

No. 9) Ben Roethlisberger is totally out of shape. Did you get a look at Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the sidelines last season? All due respect, but Big Ben has gotten, ahem, big, plus he’s been out almost an entire year and his 38-year-old throwing elbow just had three ligaments repaired. The Browns are lucky at least one of the AFC North quarterbacks might not be in top-notch form to start next season.

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No. 10) The Browns still have fans. Despite the fact that they have played horribly for the most part of the last twenty years, the Cleveland Browns are fortunate enough to have the best fans in professional football. Guaranteed the team cannot wait to finally win a Lombardi Trophy and bring it back to their incredible fanatics in Cleveland. And luckily, the Browns still have plenty of room in their trophy case.