In a season like no other, I have had the pleasure of watching a Browns team like no other. While watching, I quietly contemplated what to say throughout the season that dozens of others had not already said. Now on the occasion of their gut-wrenching second-round playoff loss to the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs, I have a few words for and about the Cleveland Browns.
• GOOD JOB, GUYS- In a land where it is always next year for sports fans, you banded together to shock the world (but not your fans) by stepping up into the spotlight and winning when it mattered. All the while, you battled Covid-19 restrictions and the customary trials of the season. At times you played without team leaders, coaches, and stars. Ultimately, you proved Pittsburgh Steelers Running Mouth JuJu Smith-Schuster wrong after he famously taunted “The Browns is the Browns”, and you made your fans smile.
• WELL DONE COACH- Just a little more than a year ago, the Browns hired Kevin Stefanski to fill the head coaching position vacant after Freddie Kitchens received his termination notice. As a first-year head coach trying to pull a team together via Zoom, there may have been a little slack handed out. However, Stefanski and his staff showed no free passes were necessary as this team proved to be light years ahead of the group who took the field in 2019. Stefanski did such a solid job coaching, and the team won their first playoff game in 18 years with their head coach quarantined in his basement.
• THANK YOU HASLAM’S- Since the Browns’ return to Cleveland in 1999, fans have become accustomed to watching the team blown up like the Hindenburg every few years. I am venturing out onto a limb in saying Cleveland may have the stability necessary to build on the success of the 2020 season. Detractors can officially shut up as clearly the team’s 11-5 record shines brightly over the 6-10 from just one season earlier.
• BROWNS’ FANS YOU ROCK- Allow me to clarify a bit. When I say Browns’ Fans, I refer to those individuals who love the team no matter the record. It’s not about longevity, although as one who has followed the Browns since the late 1970s long-term fans have a special place in my heart. I am continually inspired and encouraged by the Cleveland Browns fans on my Twitter feed (@Shelley0514), and we will keep the faith.
Browns players, staff, owners, and fans wanted a win in KC. It’s tough to take the ‘L’ but when you think about a season that almost didn’t happen with a team, few believed in, led by a first-year head coach, there is a reason for pride and a reason for hope.