Dunlap: I'm Actually Rooting for the Browns (Somewhat)

Colin Dunlap
October 25, 2018 - 6:42 am
Bernie Kosar

Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan)- No kidding, I'm actually rooting for the Cleveland Browns. 

No, not this week. Of course not this week. But, in a way, I'm sorta, kinda, a little bit rooting for the Cleveland Browns. 

Let me explain ... 

As the Steelers (somehow atop the AFC North with a 3-2-1 record) get set to host Cleveland this weekend (not surprisingly at the bottom of the North with a 2-4-1 record) I find myself with the smallest of soft spots for the bunch that went winless last season. 

OK, maybe if only for selfish reasons. It would serve Pittsburgh --- not just the team, but the fan base --- best if Cleveland could somehow muster a competitive football team and march them out there annually. 

You see what I'm getting at, right? 

Good, healthy hate is what I'm all about in sports. I live for it; it is the pillar of what rivalries are built upon.  

If the Browns can get to the point where they are a team that can at least get to .500 in the next few seasons and, dare I say, have Baker Mayfield push them into playoff contention some time in the near future, it would make the atmosphere around things much more exciting. 

That palpable hate that I knew for Cleveland when I was a kid would return. 

As it were, in 1985 through 1989, the (old) Browns were a team that won 8, 12,10, 10 and 9 games and made the playoffs each season. I hated the Browns when I was about 10 or 12 years old. 

I mean I hated them. 

I hated Marty Schottenheimer. 

I hated Michael Dean Perry. 

I hated Kevin Mack.

I hated Bernie Kosar and Earnest Byner and Webster Slaughter and Ice Cube McNeil and Ozzie Newsome and Clay Matthews. 

Good, healthy sports hate. But, man, I hated them. 

I hated the way their silly fans always barked in the front row and how the old Cleveland Municipal Stadium seemed to be such an unwelcoming place for the opposition. 

I hated that muddy field. 

I hated those bright, white uniforms. 

I hated those nonsensical, plain orange helmets. 

I hated Cleveland because they were right up the road and they actually had a decent football team that you'd run into (at least) two times a season. 

I wouldn't mind seeing that again, to be honest. 

Because, for so long --- maybe too long --- the Cleveland Browns have flat-out sucked. They haven't had the least bit of a chance to compete. It feels like they are turning a corner with Mayfield now at the command. 

That's all the truth. It sure is. I'd like the Browns to get better so that sports hate for them would find its way back into my body. 

Don't be crazy, I don't want them to beat the Steelers on Sunday or, well, ever. But it would be nice if this was actually the time the Browns were headed for true improvement. 

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