A roller coaster of emotions
So we were all hopeful.
Then we were all angry.
Then we were all disappointed.
And then, we all just wanted to go to bed before some other bad news broke. What, was Joe Haden going to retire?
It goes with being a Browns fan. On Day 1 of the NFL Draft, the team selected the most talked about player in college football, Texas A&M quarter back Johnny Manziel.
Before they did that, they traded down with Buffalo, got a first round pick for 2015, then took Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert. Pair him with Haden, and you’ve got something.
Put Manziel with running back Ben Tate, receiver Josh Gordon and what figured to be an improved offensive line, and you’ve got something.
Things were good.
And then they weren’t.
Reports surfaced that Gordon, already the best receiver I’ve seen in a Browns uniform and one of the most explosive players in the NFL, had failed a drug test.
He is said to face a one-year suspension.
If that wasn’t hard enough to take, news came down that receiver Nate Burleson broke his arm in minicamp last week.
By the end of Friday, you just wanted to throw your hands up in disgust.
Are Browns fans just not allowed to enjoy pro football?
I could talk about Gordon, but what’s the point. The guy has the potential to be one of the greats. But if the stories are true, he also seems like someone determined to throw it all away.
If he made a decision that doing drugs was more important than a multi-million dollar career, then so be it. If he’s gone, he’s gone. The Browns will play.
But still, days like this wear you down as a fan. And I was ready to leave work in a somewhat disappointed mood.
And then something happened.
I clicked on an Instagram video from the newest Brown, running back Terrance West.
West, a running back from FCS school Towson, was taken by Cleveland with the 94th overall pick. The Browns actually traded up to get the back, who ran for more than 2,500 yards last season.
But all that isn’t what got my attention.
It was the video.
There was West, with a big smile on his face.
“Me and Johnny Manziel? Ooh, that sounds like TROUBLE!” he said, still smiling. “Justin Gilbert? Ooh! Here we go! It’s showtime!”
Here’s a guy who just came off a ridiculous collegiate year. He’s coming to Cleveland, one of the league’s worst franchises.
Oh, and the franchise just may have lost its marquee player for the season.
And he doesn’t care.
West is 5 foot 9, 230 pounds. He’s from a smaller school Few people saw him play, at least in comparison to so many of the other backs in this draft.
But he’s going to the show. He’s going to Cleveland.
And he couldn’t be happier.
I have a friend who reminds me that following professional sports is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to be a pastime.
After a day like the Browns had, it’s easy to forget that.
But here’s this kid who just got a call that made his day, made all of his hard work worth it.
He’s going to be a Brown.
He’s elated to be a Brown.
Terrance West, you made me smile. Thank you.
Enjoy the show.
Zach Baker is the sports editor for The Advertiser-Tribune
Contact him at:
zbaker@ or on Twitter @Zachthewriter