Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Top Ten Most Hated Teams - #6 Cleveland Browns

Before I get into one of the easier posts to write let me just say how torn I was. Five or six years ago the Cleveland Browns would have a much higher place in these rankings, now I think I may have given them too much hatred. As a good Steelers fan the Browns must be on this list, as a discerning football fan I realize the Cleveland Browns are truly a worthless organization and have little, if any, importance to me at all. Let's get into it though.

My hatred for the Browns goes back to my birth as a Steelers fan. It's just something you are born with. Sadly for the Browns since my birth things haven't gone too well in this "rivalry". Since 1985 the Steelers are 32- 16 against the Browns. The Browns have swept the series 3 times since 85' but not once since 1988. One thing the Browns have proven they can't do is win in Pittsburgh. The Steelers are 34-6 against the Browns since moving into Three Rivers Stadium in 1970.

Shockingly enough though the All Time series record is 61-56 Pittsburgh, remarkably close considering the Steelers domination over the last 20 years. That makes it one of the most hotly contested rivalries in the NFL, it's also the longest running AFC Rivalry.

Calling this a rivalry now seems like a bit of a joke at this point, it's more like a big brother giving his little brother a 40 year noogie.

And the Browns play the little brother role very well. There always seems to be a bit of penis envy coming from the Cleveland. That point is illustrated perfectly by Jim Brown's incessant whine fest in regards to Franco Harris. It's bad enough that Harris dominated the Browns, but in Brown's mind Harris was soft for playing smart, why take the huge hit and shorten your career when you can step out of bounds and kill the defense with another big play? For a yard? Jim Brown just can't stand the fact that a Steeler passed him up, and won all those Superbowls during the 70's.

Another dagger in the hearts of Browns loyalists is the amount of Steelers Superbowl rings on former Browns staff, and Ohio natives. They hired Bud Carson, who won a few Superbowls with Noll's staff (who was from Cleveland himself,and played for the Browns), Bill Cowher left the Browns to follow another great coach that left Marty Schottenheimer in Kansas City before eventually becoming the coach that would do the most damage in the Browns/Steelers rivalry. Worst of all might be Bruce Arians, who seemed to be turning the Browns offense around before he was fired by Butch Davis. Arians went on the be wide receivers coach for the Steelers, and replaced Ken Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator, winning two rings in the process.

Three of the most important Steeler Superbowl winners (Roethlisberger, Harrison, and Lambert) all hail from the state of Ohio and another, Chris Gardocki, left the Browns to punt for the Steelers, winning a ring in the process.

But hey at least they brought in the Walrus. I'm sure Mike Holmgren will fit in very well. Afterall the Steelers have been under his skin since they successfully beat his Seahawks in Superbowl XL. Willford Brimley's demeanor, just hasn't been the same since.

And speaking of James Harrison, is there a more apt synopsis of this rivalry then James Harrison pummeling that fan a few years back? He slammed him to the ground like the Steelers slam Browns fans dreams to the ground every year.

You want to laugh? Here's a list of the Browns starting quarterbacks since the team was reinstated in 1999.

Tim Couch
Ty Detmer
Doug Pederson
Spergon Wynn
Jeff Garcia
Kelly Holcomb
Luke McCown
Trent Dilfer
Charlie Frye
Derek Anderson
Brady Quinn
Ken Dorsey
Bruce Gradkowski
Colt McCoy
Jake Delhomme
Seneca Wallace

Every one of those quarterbacks except Gradkowski and Wynn started multiple games for the Browns. That is a massive list of not only mediocrity, but also just some absolutely wretched players.

One Nice Thing About The Cleveland Browns: This will be a little bit different. There is a reason I didn't mention the Browns deplorable move by Art Modell and that's because it was a shady act, and what should amount to a crime against one of the proudest fan bases in Sports. Sure they might have an inferiority complex but as a Pirates fan I get it. The fans in Cleveland have stuck with a pathetic team for what seems likes ages.

When the Browns move was proposed Dan Rooney was one of only two owners to vote against robbing a great fan base of their team just for greed's sake. Steelers fans might talk about the lowly Browns and their fans but these two team are intertwined, and that will never change. You will never see Steelers fans in another team's colored arm bands because they are moving, it's a sign of mutual respect that is shared among the fan bases. And that's why they had to make this list.

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