No. 1 on my holiday wish list
When we talk about Christmas wishes, there are the obvious, important ones.
n World peace.
n Health and goodwill to all.
n The cancellation of almost all NBC comedies.
But beyond that, there is another wish I have, one that seems about as likely as meeting Santa Claus.
I just want the Cleveland Browns to win next year.
The 2014 season is the perfect time for the Browns to start winning. If they don’t, they will face the type of milestones no franchise wants to reach.
By 2014, it will be 25 years since the Browns last won their division.
That’s quarter of a century. Want more perspective?
In 1989, Bernie Kosar, Brian Brennan, Kevin Mack and Frank Minnifield not only were still playing, they were all under 30 years old.
In 1989, Bud Carson was the Browns coach. Carson died in 2005.
In 1989, George Bush (the first one) was just wrapping up his first year in the White House.
In 1989, about 15 members of the current Browns roster weren’t even born yet.
Babies born in that year have gone through school, including college years, without having seen the Browns win a division.
The division the Browns won in 1989 (the AFC Central) doesn’t even exist anymore, and two of the teams in it (the Art Modell-owned Browns and the Houston Oilers) moved to new cities and assumed new names.
Personally, 1989 was special. It was the last year all of my grandparents were still alive. It was the first white Christmas I remember.
And, of course, it was the last time the Browns that I grew up with, whose players seemed like members of our family, still existed.
After 1989, the Browns collapsed. In 1993 they released Bernie Kosar, the fans turned against the franchise to the point where a 1994 playoff run was – for Cleveland fans’ standards – underwhelming.
Then the move. Then the 15 seasons of general incompetence that have followed.
At some point, all the buzzwords and rebuilding has to end. First off, this Browns franchise has nothing to rebuild because it was never built.
Everyone who runs the Browns seems to operate without a sense of urgency. They always ask for time.
And while we give them that time, the team remains a joke. Six straight 10-loss seasons. Four head coaches in that time span.
Maybe we should be optimistic. Maybe Josh Gordon – perhaps the most talented receiver this franchise has had in 40 years – will stay out of trouble and the Browns will draft a quarterback who can make this franchise get good, fast.
Maybe owner Jimmy Haslam will shake his legal problems and be the pragmatic owner we hoped he would be.
Maybe team president Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi actually have a clue what they’re doing.
All I know is it has to happen next year. I’m out of patience, and I don’t think I’m the only one.
Because next year also marks another anniversary.
The 2014 season will mark 50 years since the Browns last NFL championship.
Yeah, a winning season would be a nice Christmas present.