I always struggle to find an answer to this question. What kind of sports town is Cleveland?
We have the Browns, Indians, and Cavaliers, plus the minor league Monsters. We have won several titles across all three sports, establishing ourselves as a solidified sports city. We have some of the most passionate fans, and by this, I mean those who have supported the Browns and Indians (and now, Cavs) through the tough times. That devotion is starting to pay off. For the Cavs, stay patient. I know the future will get brighter (Collin Sexton).
Cleveland is not a Boston or a New York. We have not won seemingly every Super Bowl in the past decade, or 27 World Series for that matter. Our Cavaliers brought home the first Cleveland championship in 52 years, and only the Browns need to win a Super Bowl to give a modern-day sports championship to all three Cleveland professional sports franchises in.
Cleveland is, however, the best sports city in the world. As mentioned previously, Cleveland is home to the most passionate sports fans in the world. Clevelanders follow sports like it is a religion. A whole day is centered around going to see a professional sporting event in the greatest city in Ohio. If you live in Northeast Ohio, you will want to cheer for the Brownies, Tribe, or Cavs.
Clevelanders like their sports. But do they like one sport more than the other? Do they like the Browns more than the Tribe? The Tribe more than the Cavs? Potentially.
Like other cities, though, you might ask: what sports team defines Cleveland?
Long, long ago, it was the Browns, who won a championship each year from 1946-1949 before they merged into the NFL. The Browns won a championship in 1950, their inaugural season, and continued to win three more (1954, 1955, 1964) before the invention of the Super Bowl.
Before the Browns, the Indians were the team in Cleveland. The Tribe captured their first World Series title in 1920, second in 1948, and won the pennant in each of those years, in addition in 1954. The Tribe picked up their dominance in years of late, making it all the way to the 2016 World Series, losing a heartbreaker to the Chicago Cubs in Game 7. The Tribe have won the AL Central in each of the past three years and will look to continue that streak in a 2019 season that they are expected to contend with Minnesota for the title.
The Cleveland Cavaliers were Cleveland’s team for a large part of the past decade, largely due in part to the return of LeBron James. More importantly, James, now with the Lakers, brought the Cavaliers their first title in franchise history, beating the Warriors in a series which they came back down from 3-1 to win.
Who is our team? Which team now defines the city of Cleveland?
That team would be none other than the Cleveland Browns. “The Revival,” as I am dubbing it, all started last year, when we drafted Baker Mayfield, the new King of Cleveland, with the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Shortly after Mayfield was drafted, the Browns acquired Jarvis Landry, the best slot receiver in the game, from the Miami Dolphins.
This offseason, the Browns shocked the league, and the wide receiver himself, when they acquired Odell Beckham Jr., arguably the top wide receiver in the game, from the New York Giants. Landry played a big influence in this, as he had been lobbying for Beckham to join the Browns for quite some time. Not to mention, Landry and Beckham are also best buds.
We drafted LSU cornerback Greedy Williams in the second round of the 2019 NFL with the 46th overall pick. On the Browns roster, you now have three LSU alum (Beckham, Landry, and Williams), which should provide for amazing chemistry.
With all this being said, the Browns have cemented themselves as Cleveland’s team, long before the 2019 NFL season has even begun. Sports reporters are picking us to win the AFC North, and some people are going as far as picking us to win the Super Bowl (smart choice). We have the talent to win the Super Bowl, and we certainly have the chemistry.
It is time to put our talented roster on the field. OTA’s have started, training camp will soon follow, and preseason comes up shortly after that, giving draft picks like Williams and new guys like Landry the chance to gel with teammates in games.
I have never been more excited for a football season before. I am glad that Cleveland can once again, after over a half-century wait, call the Browns “Cleveland’s team” once again.