God Hates Cleveland: Browns Fan Painfully Rehashes Team’s Despair, Ranks Every Single Loss Since 1999
I don’t know how Cleveland Browns fans do it sometimes. Commit themselves to supporting losing season after losing season, without a glimmer of hope or talent on the horizon. Since returning to the NFL in 1999, the Browns sport an abysmal 178 losses, currently cheating who but the Detroit Lions out by a single game for the worst record in the league over that time-frame. Year after year, there’s hope that it will get better in Cleveland, and year after year, it doesn’t.
After a 2-5 start this season featuring a quarterback roulette of Johnny Manziel, Josh McCown, and likely Austin Davis soon, one Browns fan in particular was discussing last week’s 26-23 loss to the Broncos with a friend when he was struck with the idea of listing all 178 Cleveland losses in order of best to worst. And that he painstakingly did…
Rehashing what should be too much heartbreak for any NFL fan to suffer through, Matthew Ahn, a writer at the blog SupraStructure, explained the methodolgy he used to compile the objective list of every single Cleveland Browns loss since 1999, when the team selected eventual flop of a quarterback Tim Couch first overall in the draft.
I tried to make the primary criterion the emotional impact of the loss. This resulted in an odd hodgepodge of proxies that I used: close losses generally floated to the top of the list, unless they were games against clearly superior teams that we didn’t have much of a chance of winning at any point during the game. At the same time, blowouts usually didn’t register that highly unless they were particularly egregious and/or killed momentum in an otherwise promising start to the season. The problem is that once you start to elevate 30-3 losses, you find a lot more of them than you expect…
Why would you do it to yourself, Matthew? Why!? WHY!!!?
Ahn categorized his remarkable piece of work, which probably deserves to reside in the NFL Hall of Fame one day, with sections such as “178-133. EH, THESE AREN’T THAT BAD,” “66-37. LEGITIMATELY AWFUL LOSSES,” and “11-1. NOTHING IS REAL ANYMORE, ALL HAIL THE MATRIX,” offering some exceptional commentary and analysis for some of the more unforgettable Cleveland Browns losses along the way.
Here’s some notable ones that jumped out at me, but the entire list is 100% worth the read.
163. @Pittsburgh, 2008 Week 17, 31-0. I have some Week 17 blowouts ranked much, much, much higher, particularly when they’re against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. However, this was the game where Bruce Gradkowski becomes Post-1999 Browns Starting Quarterback #13, as we had signed him off the street less than a month prior to this game. Sometimes, low expectations are a blessing.
Signing guys off the street, that’s how Clevland win football games! Oh, wait…
74. @Buffalo, 2014 Week 13, 26-10. Johnny Manziel’s first game action, in relief of a highly ineffective Brian Hoyer. Manziel comes in and leads a drive where he runs for a touchdown. He also does this: (fumbling .gif)
Yeah, it hasn’t been all butterflies and rainbows for Johnny Football in Cleveland.
71. @Jacksonville, 2000 Week 14, 48-0. Only in Browns land could a 48-0 blowout land outside the top 70 losses, but while this game was simply painful to watch, it was a start for the third quarterback of the season, which we have seen above is never a good sign going in. Spergon Wynn, in his first of a total of three career starts, goes 5/16 for 17 yards and an interception. He is pulled in the second quarter, put back in after halftime, and then pulled again in the fourth quarter. At this point, I feel like I cite to low expectations often enough that I need to come up with a jingle. (Not just in this article, but in real life. Sorry, mom.)
Spergon Wynn, who!?
36. @Miami, 2004 Week 16, 10-7. I’m just going to copy and paste snippets from the AP recap and let them wash over you. “The teams combined for six turnovers and went 3½ quarters without a point after an early 7-all tie with impressive ineptitude.” “The Dolphins faked a field goal, tried a pooch punt instead and netted 2 yards. They had a 6½-minute drive that barely reached midfield. Tight end Randy McMichael, who has lobbied for more passes, dropped two. Feeley drilled a throw 5 yards into the chest of defensive end Ebenezer Ekuban, who was too astounded to make the interception.” “The Browns lost a fumble at the Miami 2 and had a takeaway negated by a penalty.” “But the ugliest moment came in the third quarter, with an interception and two fumbles on the same play. Luke McCown’s deep throw was intercepted by Arturo Freeman, who fumbled. Teammate Patrick Surtain picked up the ball, then lateraled to Sam Madison, who fumbled. The Browns recovered for a net gain of 26 yards.” “Phil Dawson missed a 43-yard field goal when his attempt hit the right upright.” The only reason this game isn’t higher is because the Browns clearly should not even be in position to win this game at any point.
That was probably by far the best. It was so bad, he just let the Associated Press do the talking for him.
2. Kansas City, 2002 Week 1, 40-39. Dwayne Rudd’s Helmet Toss. On the last play of the game from the Chiefs’ own 47, trailing 39-37, Trent Green is under pressure, and linebacker Dwayne Rudd gets to him. Right before Green goes down, though, he shovels a lateral to one of his linemen, who then runs to the 26 of the Browns well after time has expired. However, Rudd thinks he has sacked Green cleanly, and expecting that the game was over, immediately removes his helmet and throws it, an automatic 15-yard penalty. Since a game cannot end on a defensive penalty, the Chiefs get an untimed down and kick the (now a chip shot) 28-yard field goal.
Of course I won’t tell you what Matthew Ahn ranked as the Browns worst loss since 1999, but if you’re from Cleveland, you probably have a good guess after hearing heartbreaking number two.
Definitely do the dudes over at SupraStructure a favor and give this one a read, because it’s one of the funniest/depressing/tediously-reseached and compiled football articles you’ll read all year.
Superb execution Matthew Ahn. Given your dedication to the deed, the Cleveland Browns might as well give you a shot at the starting quarterback job, because you clearly care more about this team then anybody else on the face of the planet.
It will get better…but maybe it won’t.