The Last Train…by Patrick Langdon
I’m four days shy of my 48th birthday and there are few things that I know for sure.
I know that the sun will rise in the east. I know the world is round. I know that Lee Harvey Oswald most certainly “didn’t act alone” I know that Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings and is one of the greatest song writers ever. I know that Phil Collins has gone through four divorces and STILL has a boatload of money. I know regardless of where the stats say he is Tony Gwynn is among the greatest hitters of all time. But mostly I know that my favorite professional football team, the one I have rooted for my whole life, the one I’ve cried about and screamed about and missed when they were gone… will always and I mean always disappoint me and my fellow fans.
I missed 1964 by a mere five years but I know that since then I haven’t missed anything and thats not a good thing. Phipps for Warfield…Red Right 88…The Drive…The Fumble…The Move! The Return…the “Personnel” carousel…The “we can’t get any worse”…The “we are getting worse” … The ‘I wish they would move!!” I and you have seen it all.
The only constant through it all is …well, lunacy! We are fanatics in every sense of the word. No other fan base, besides maybe the Cubs, is as loyal and downright stupid in a lot of ways, than we Cleveland Browns fans are. We have endured losing..we have endured painful losing…we have seen every type of way a team can lose…and just when we think we have seen it all..they lower the bar even more. When the franchise was founded, Paul Brown invented things like the face mask on the helmets and the integrating the forward pass to create the modern game…Now they just invent ways to lose games..ways that are so baffling they defy logic. While some ,maybe even a lot of us, have stopped watching and rooting there is still a great deal of us idiots still hoping and praying and believing that our team will eventually figure it out by their own volition or by sure luck!
So we wait and the Halsam’s, like the Lerner’s and to a certain extent Art Modell before them, collect big money based on our big love for a team that is very consistent and in a lot of meaningful ways not reciprocated. Say what you want about Modell but he ALWAYS tried to win! Terrible at the business of football as he was, he never didn’t know the fans were his clients and they need to “always be right”…He knew that right up until he joined the ranks of the new guard NFL and bolted for the money! He’s been replaced here in town with circus promoters and “Two-bit Carny Hypnotists” who’s only agenda appears to be getting one over on the city. We need someone that bleeds Orange/Brown and less collecting of green!
Do I really think the Haslam’s and their collection of Harvard think tankers are sabotaging this team on purpose? No, probably not. But when left with just terrible decisions and loss after loss after LOSS a pattern start to emerge and it becomes logical to think there is no other way this could be happening. You can’t continue to make the same bad calls and poor choices and in some cases fireable actions year after year and expect anyone to buy that you are turning a corner and are on the right track. 18 years and counting and still your train has never left the station let alone left on the right rail. We’ve gotten hit by the train so much nobody even comes to help scrap us off the tracks anymore. But thats who we are!
We are Browns fans…for better or worse…well, for a lot of worse and we deserve better.. Will we ever get it? 47 years and 361 days and I’m still on the platform waiting for an all aboard!! But I’ve haven’t lost me ticket so there’s that!!