D.A.: Browns Have Sunk to Depths No Fanbase Deserves

Cleveland's losing culture is past the point of being unfunny; now it's just sad

Damon Amendolara
October 31, 2017 - 5:25 pm
NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

USA Today Images

It's too bad the Browns don't reside in an apathetic, bandwagon, johnny-come-lately town. That way, we could all just shrug off the massive incompetence and disarray as a quirky little punchline in our sports world. But the reality is the Browns are the heartbeat (somehow) of one our country's best sports towns. This is no longer funny. This is criminal. 

The news at Tuesday’s trade deadline should be the franchise's darkest hour (of recent vintage). But as we all know, the moment you think it can't get any more comically horrendous it does. You think you've seen the bottom of this mine shaft? Better pop in fresh batteries to that helmet light, buster. We're sinker even deeper into the abyss. 

Only Cleveland's front office could think it had a deal done for their franchise quarterback, only to have it negated by the league for failure to finalize it before the deadline. Does this ever happen to the Patriots, Packers, Steelers or Seahawks? Of course not. Bill Belichick never kicks up his feet on the desk to congratulate himself only to have the league call him sheepishly like your mechanic telling you the car you just bought is a lemon. 

First, the Browns missed out on the quarterback of their dreams in Jimmy Garoppolo. Not only did their dreamboat Jimmy G. head off to San Francisco, but he was purchased for just a second round pick. That's all? The Browns have been stockpiling those things for moments exactly like this! They've been trading down and passing on all types of future stars (see Wentz, Carson and Watson, Deshaun) behind the strategy of using these picks in trade scenarios.

Second, in a mad dash to overcompensate losing Garoppolo the Browns decided to give two picks to the Bengals for A.J. McCarron. Forget for a moment that Cincinnati's backup quarterback is not valued around the league nearly as much as Garoppolo. This was like paying the goosed gas rate at the rental car counter. You didn't plan well enough, so now you have to fork over $3.72/gallon. You were left with no other options. 

Third, the Browns brass felt so confident it had nailed this trade just minutes before the deadline there were high-fives and first-pumps around the office. Oops. If you think you've won the lotto, make sure you scratch that final number before you start celebrating and buying a house in Barbados. 

This is the most clueless franchise in the league, and possibly in all of our continent's major pro sports. And the true sin of it is that fan base doesn't deserve this. None of it. The city loves football so much it used to fill up decrepit, crumbling Cleveland Municipal, and deal with rotten bleachers and leaking roofs. The team is so entrenched the NFL had to keep the colors, team name, and history for a reboot. When the Oilers left Houston, they left for good. When the Cardinals left St. Louis, the bird didn't stay behind. But in Cleveland it would be too much to bear, a loss to great, so the league had to regift the city it's football team. 

And what has the city earned for its never-ending passion? It's limitless love? A clown show. A five-alarm diaper fire. A parade of moronic GMs, dithering coaches, and a dimwitted owner. It never abates, and while the franchise has been the butt of endless punchlines, this is no longer funny. This is cruel. 

Since '01, the Browns have had as many opening day coaches (7) as the Patriots have Super Bowl appearances. It's funny to everyone else, except it's not to that city and those fans. This is criminal negligence, and likely the final straw for this front office. So the Browns will restart again in the offseason, another reboot in a marathon of nightmares and clownishness. And it won't end. It feels like it never will. 

Damon Amendolara, known by his fans as D.A., hosts “The D.A. Show,” from 9:00AM-12:00PM, ET, across the country on the nation’s largest 24/7 major-market radio network. “The D.A. Show” is known for its unique perspective on sports, tongue-in-cheek sense of humor, colorful listener interaction, and candid interviews with athletes and coaches. Amendolara also appears regularly on NFL Network as part of the “NFL Top 10” documentary film series, CBS television and SNY TV. He is a Syracuse University grad and native of Warwick, N.Y.