A mere 381 days ago, I announced that this was officially the worst Browns team ever and the worst time to be a Browns fan other than “The Move.”
In the meantime, the team has won exactly one football game. They would somehow have to win another one just to be good enough for Coach Jackson to take a January swim in Lake Erie.
With even ironman Joe Thomas waylaid for the first time in his 11-year career, the Browns’ greatest consistency has been shown by Owens.
Now Owen Eleven.
Less than two years ago, Moneyball man Paul DePodesta climbed aboard what he foresaw would be a roller-coaster. But if your car never gets out of the tunnel, what kind of ride is it really?
And how long ’til ownership converts it back into a merry-go-round, with another spin at another coach, GM, quarterback, schemes, visions, platitudes, ad nauseam? As I wrote last year, the Haslams’ whole reign of error has been downright contemptible.
The Haslam era of ownership — now that a full four years have passed — has been an ignominious failure. From corporate scandal to selling out goodwill assets to rampant turnover to bastardizing iconic uniforms to buying the Manziel hype to skimping on talent to an overall record of 18-39 and last-place finishes every year since the purchase closed, well, it’s been nothing short of a disgrace.
But I write this today with a hopeful spirit, one that wants to bookend this sordid story here and now. Seeds germinate before they sprout up from the dirt. Some make it; some don’t.
And not to go too Chauncey Gardner on y’all, but some plants that seem a lost cause can come back and thrive. Here we’re talking about Josh Gordon himself, not his erstwhile stash. He may very well play, and play very well, this Sunday in L.A. against the Chargers, only team the Browns have beaten since 2015.
So let’s cheer for the end of the nadir. No matter how much more change may come, no matter who gets hurt, whom they draft, which vets get cut, and how desolate December may be in the Factory of Sadness, I’ll focus on tendrils of hope amid the despair.
I’ll be there for the ride.