So much seems to have changed with the Browns over the past year. But has it really changed?
We're going to find out this weekend when the Browns play the Bengals in one of the biggest games they have played in years. It's simple really, beat the Bengals and become the new Browns. Lose or play badly, and remain a team with far to go.
This is the kind of game the Browns used to win all the time many years ago. But this is the kind of game that this team has never won since 1999. Just when you think the Browns were going to turn the corner, they stopped and kept going straight over the cliff. Lucky for us Browns fans, the Bengals don't win these kind of games much either. Good news, someone has to win and it might as well be us.
No X's and O's here. They need to win this game not to make a push for the playoffs, blah blah, blah. They need to win to re-energize an area that is ready for reunification with its once proud football team. That is the first step towards winning. It's not enough anymore to simply have a team for fans to love it. Now you have to have a good team for fans to pay any attention to it. People need a reason besides the Muni-lot party to get ready for Sundays in the fall. And this Sunday's game is that game.
Dramatic? Maybe, but when was the last relevant game the Browns really played? And this is a winnable game by a team that isn't as bad as many people think, against a team that isn't nearly as good as many experts profess. This game has really nothing to do with football. It has all to do with reconnecting the current between team and fan. And that is critical for the Browns at this stage of the teams growth.
Pressure? Sure, but it's the NFL and this has gone on long enough. The Browns could do so much more than win a game, they could become the new Browns. It seems finally the moment is at hand. The chance to exorcise 14 year old demons and to show they can take the curve. Are the Browns going to the playoffs? Probably not. Or the Superbowl. And they still have far to go. But finally positive change seems within reach.
To become the new Browns....The time is now.