Friday, October 14, 2005

The Cleveland Browns Blues

Well, I was going to write this really clever and insightful post about the Cleveland Browns and their recent history of high draft picks getting injured-following upon the news that 2005 first round pick Braylon Edwards is going to be out 4-8 weeks with a staph infection in his elbow-but it looks like those "professional sports writers" at Slam! Sports beat me to it.
The Browns (1-2), who had a bye last week, have had a history of injuries to top draft picks.

Quarterback Tim Couch missed the final nine games of his second season with a fractured thumb and was plagued by elbow trouble during his time in Cleveland. Defensive end Courtney Browns missed 33 games over five seasons with assorted injuries before being released in March.

Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. broke his ankle in Week 2 a year ago, and is sidelined this season with injuries sustained in an off-season motorcycle crash.

Now what do I do?

• Well, I guess I could tell what year and round the players went in:
Braylon Edwards- Round 1, 3rd Overall
Kellen Winslow- Round 1, 6th Overall
Lee Suggs- Round 4, 115th Overall
Courtney Brown- Round 1, 1st Overall
Tim Couch-Round 1, 1st Overall

• I could tell you that Cleveland Browns jerseys are a guarantee on any sports jersey sales rack.

• And then I could just ask the question that used to arise whenever I thought about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but now always arises when I think about the Browns:

Why are some teams ALWAYS, NO MATTER WHAT THEY DO, bad?

I suppose the Modell franchise won the Superbowl in Baltimore, but the Browns--the team in Cleveland, whether it was owned by Modell or the Lerner family--have only been to the playoffs twice since 1990 (1994, 2002). Those years are also the team's only two winning seasons since 1990. Of course, three years are missing, as the team did not exist in 1996, 1997 & 1998, but that is still a long record of awfulness. Even The Genius Bill Belichick couldn't win with this team. I suppose the same question could be asked of the Bungles, the Lions, and many other professional sports teams, but the point still stands: What is it that makes some teams perennial winners, and others perennial losers? Is it money? Personnel? Expectations? The Draft? A combination of all these things? I mean, I know the answer. But so do these teams, and they still lose. Funny, that.


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