The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for Browns fans. We have moved from a feeling of “here we go again” sickness as the first half of the Browns/Titans game concluded to a feeling of elation as the Browns finished their dismantling of the Pittsburg Steelers at home. The signs were there before those games but the conclusion now seems quite clear – This Year is Different !!
The Browns brain trust chose a low key, no nonsense and by his own admission “no name” coach to lead the team. Haslim had already selected a respected but unflashy and nearly unheard of GM to run the team. Ever since that transition, the Cleveland Browns have been run as a professional and determined organization ready to make a real change. Every time the Browns have changed leaders, I get caught up in believing that this time might be different. Every time I have been proven wrong and the same old disappointments envelope the team. This may happen again and shame on me if it does but I am beginning to actually believe this time IS different. This time it might be different that this year will be different. Nothing can make that hope more real than a pounding of the Steelers in front of the Dawg Pound.
During last weeks game I was traveling to San Diego and needed to seek out a venue to watch the Browns take on Tennessee. I thought it would be hard but my wife and I were committed to getting it done. After checking out the San Diego Browns Backers, we were fortunate to be within walking distance of their “official sports bar” in the area. Near the end of the Tennessee game, this is what I saw: The Dawg Pound in San Diego
It was so exciting to be among dedicated Browns fans over a thousand miles from Cleveland. They showed the same or more enthusiasm and dedication than any local fan would express. It again reminded me that the Browns have the best fans ever but now they need a team to begin to match.
After sitting in the stands for the game today, where the Browns made the Steelers feel as they have for so many years and so many games, I moved a giant step closer to believing. A giant step forward toward remembering the joy of football again in Cleveland.
Now this is a dangerous time. All the stars seem to point to a legitimate chance for a winning streak or, at the least, a couple more wins over the next few games. Those stars have been eclipsed by the Death Star so many times before that it is difficult to allow ourselves to believe again. Time will tell the truth of this tale. Time will force us to face whatever reality awaits this Browns team and this Browns season.
I, along with all of those amazing fans in San Diego, will be there watching … hoping … and believing.