This I Believe

John - youngstown, Ohio
Entered on May 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: legacy, sports
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The Promise Land

This past weekend the Cleveland Browns may have taken a major step towards respectability. The NFL Draft is an annual event whereby college athletes are chosen by the professional football teams like the prize bull is chosen at the county fair. Since the Browns returned to Cleveland, by order of Commissioner Paul Taglibue, I have cheered for the Browns to become a premier team. Hopefully, this past weekend was the beginning of that long awaited dream.

Growing up as a little boy I would watch my grandfather and father cheer, scream, jump for joy, or grimace in agony as they watched the Browns games. Then, all of a sudden that all changed. I remember asking why? That answer is one I can’t write or speak. Simply put, the Browns left Cleveland in 1996 only to return in 1999. Since the Browns have returned, I have joined my grandfather and father as a huge fan and have joined their Sunday afternoon ritual of watching each game. Spending quality time like this with my grandfather and father means so much to me. Creating memories that I can hold on to for the rest of my life, while watching the game is just such an amazing experience.

Since the inception of the super bowl the Browns have failed to win or play in “the big game”. However, three times they came close, yet to no avail. I recall my father telling me stories about the 1980 season, and “red right 88” where a last minute interception prevented the Browns from making it into their first super bowl appearance. I recall my father, with frustration telling me about the 1987 AFC championship game and “the drive” where Elway lead the Broncos to a win in overtime. The following year the Browns were trailing early in the game. Nearing the end of the game the Browns were able to tie the game up, and had a chance to come out victorious. However “the fumble” cost the Browns a date in the super bowl once again.

Never in my years as a Browns fan have I been so stoked for a season. In the last nine years the Browns have been cursed with bad luck in the drafts. Seven times in the last nine years the Browns have had a top ten draft pick and twice the first overall. However these players were not productive. In this year’s draft the Browns chose two of the top five rated players by experts, and three out of the top thirty. These players were offensive tackle Joe Thomas (Wisconsin), defensive back Eric Wright (UNLV), and Brady Quinn (Notre Dame). With these players I feel the Browns can once again become a dominate team like they were in the eighties. So this I believe. I believe the Browns can return to their wining ways of the eighties. That is why I’m looking forward to sitting with my grandfather and father on Sunday, and cheering for the Browns.