By Matt Rogers
It’s a Sunday in November, and the Cleveland Browns are relevant in the NFL playoff picture. At 5-3, this marks the best first half of the season the Browns have had since 2007, when the team finished with their last winning record: 10-6. Thus, making it almost impossible for the national media to ignore the feat. The Browns have earned plenty of mentions on the national networks, lately, What makes this appealing to Browns’ fans is that it’s not because of their futility or for purpose of being the butt of every joke.
Also worthy of mention regarding sports teams in Cleveland is the new-look Cleveland Cavaliers. The Cavaliers had what most will agree to be the best offseason of any NBA team this past summer, when LeBron James released an essay in Sports Illustrated telling Cleveland he was “Coming Home”, after spurning the city and team just four years earlier in gut-wrenching fashion with “The Decision”. It also did not hurt that Kevin Love, who some believe is the NBA’s best Power forward, was added via a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves for rookie number one pick, Andrew Wiggins, and former number one pick, Anthony Bennett.
After losing their first game, in what was a highly covered game because it was the first game of LeBron James’ homecoming season, the Cavaliers won their second game. Both of these games were televised on national networks, after only having a handful of nationally televised games over the last four years without LeBron.
It is sure to be a year to remember in Cleveland because of the buzz that these two teams are creating. The buzz will only get louder, and louder, and louder as the season goes on because of the excitement that being relevant within the NFL and NBA brings. Cleveland fans are usually regarded as some of the most passionate fans in the NFL, NBA, and MLB. There may be times that the Cleveland fans are not the most loyal, but every city has fans that are guilty of the same. Anyone would be hard pressed to find a city more deserving of a winner, after waiting 50 years, and counting, between championships. This includes losing two World Series in 1995 and 1997, and suffering through what was LeBron’s first ‘Decision’. It is about time that Cleveland teams give their fans something to consistently cheer about rather than showing glimpses of a breakthrough only to have any hope ripped away with another losing season.