The Cleveland Browns have been struggling the majority of this season, as have a few teams; however, at times the Browns and their struggles seem to be a favorite target for the media.
Browns' fans have had to suffer with weekly articles about the drama surrounding Peyton Hillis, his contract, strep throat and of course his injuries. Articles have been written suggesting that the drama surrounding Hillis is merely an attempt to gain the upper-hand in contract negotiations.
The ever-growing list of key players being injured receives a great deal of attention also. Poor coaching has been blamed along with a few suggesting the players did not take care of themselves in the off-season, and yes, some have gone so far as to state that poor drafting is the culprit.
Browns' fans do have reason for concern, not so much the Browns record of 3-5 (I expected them to be 4-4 ), but how they got there.
The Browns offense has mostly been dysfunctional, non-productive and at times played as one would expect on a high school level (I apologize to all local high schools). This is partially due to what a few media outlets suggest is poor play-calling.
In last week's game against the Houston Texans the Browns defense was exposed, major flaws in stopping the run along with a lack of ability to tackle. It is understandable that Fans would be critical and disappointed in the performance of the Browns--but a fan exile or fan revolt in Cleveland?
Tony Rizzo is the host on The Really Big Show, ESPN Radio in Cleveland. Before the game with Houston, a caller suggested that the Browns give Carton Mitchell, wide-out, a shot to prove what he can do. Rizzo went ballistic.
As the co-host attempted to calm Rizzo his anger only increased. A quote from the Really Big Show:
"I don't care! I'm sick of all of them right now! I got no friends," Rizzo said when asked what Browns GM Mike Holmgren must be thinking about the team. "I'm the Cleveland sports fan. I'm the kid with no toys at Christmas, and I'm sick of it! Every Christmas!"
This was before the game with Houston, I can only imagine sitting with Rizzo, watching the Browns be manhandled by Houston, must have been exciting!
One can visit numerous Browns blogs and forums and see these same kind of rants on a daily basis. Claims of selling season tickets, boycotting Browns games, fire Shurmur, toss McCoy out the back door, blow it up and start over!
Headlines as I mention above along with rants by sports show hosts do little but fuel the disappointment and sometimes add to the anger many fans experience.
The Browns are having a tough season and so are the fans that sit loyally and watch the Browns every Sunday.
The overreaction of a small portion of fans, headlines suggesting a fan exile, and a rant by a sports host who evidently has had some very poor Christmas experiences is not a true reflection of the Browns fan base.
Losing games we thought we should win, scratching our heads over play-calling and disappointment is nothing new to a Browns fan, we have been there before.
The Cleveland Browns revolting or shall we say having a fan exile?
This Sunday, there is a chance that once again I will be disappointed and scratching my head while wondering what happened. However come Monday morning, I'm still a Browns fan!