Top Level Sports
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Top Level Sports

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Judgment Day

December 30, 2018

Riches to Rags

Let’s go back — all the way back, to the founding of this franchise we’ve all come to associate with football futility.

The Curse

When the original Browns left Cleveland, they did not do so without repercussions. For a franchise with such remarkable beginnings, they had become entirely irrelevant. Even with two men who would become the greatest coaches of their era, the franchise squandered an opportunity to get back on track. Then, they simply moved away, leaving their history behind to start anew.

By the end of 2017, Cleveland was no longer located in Ohio; it resided at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Turning Tides?

At least in part, the Browns’ ineptitude on the football field had been masked by the success of basketball in the city. Led by LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers made the NBA Finals four consecutive seasons from 2014–15 to 2017–18. By winning the title in 2016, the Cavs snapped an over half-century title drought in Cleveland dating back to the Browns’ last championship in 1964.

The Rollercoaster

Earlier, I mentioned that the 2018 Browns started their season with the most unpredictable seven weeks in NFL history. To show you what I mean, let’s take it one week at a time.

Out of the Dawg House

When a team loses, they make changes. After going winless the year before, the 2018 Browns arrived as a remarkably different team. However, despite all the alterations to the roster and coaching staff, one position was still curiously untouched — head coach.

Judgment Day, Part II

The Steelers had done their part. And now, following their victory, the team stayed on Heinz Field, united with their fans, eyes glued to the video boards in the stadium. Chants of “LET’S GO BROWNS!” sounded loud, cheering on their divisional rivals playing in Baltimore, four hours away.

A New Cleveland Browns

Perhaps disappointment would be an apt initial reaction to the loss in Baltimore, but after taking a step back and evaluating the Cleveland Browns’ 2018 season as a whole, it would be impossible to label it anything other than a resounding success.

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Connor Groel

Connor Groel

Professional sports researcher. Author of 2 books. Relentlessly curious. https://linktr.ee/connorgroel