Blog: Cleveland Browns have real 'hope' with Haslam

11:14 PM, Dec 4, 2012   |    comments
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I can't remember the last time Browns fans have had so much hope in the team. Well, maybe when Bernie was quarterback.

Bernie, as in Bernie Kosar. I still smile each time when I see him walking in the halls of the station when he's there to appear on a show.

But the machinations that brought a new owner to the team began working miracles in the attitude of Browns fans even before the deal was completed.

The fact that Jimmy Haslam was a minority stockholder in the traditionally despised Pittsburgh Steelers didn't even seem to matter, as he had to dump that stock to get the Browns.

So, here's a man who dumped the Steelers in favor of the Browns. What's not to like, if you're a Browns fan?  

And that, coupled with the draft of Alabama's Trent Richardson and Oklahoma's Brandon Weeden, were guaranteed to give the Browns a fresh start like they hadn't had in years.

And they are a young team.

And it was no surprise that there was a lot of interest in Tuesday night's "NFL Road Tested" program on the Travel Channel that featured the Cleveland Browns. It didn't feature enough Haslam for my liking but it did have a lot of our legendary kicker Phil Dawson.

Dawson has kept us in the game, given us a lead and darn near had to win some games all by himself in the past. Dawson has been with us long enough to know the road we have traveled and has sometimes been the only bright spot in a gloomy Sunday afternoon on the North Coast (or the West Coast or the East Coast or down South).

Dawson may hail from Texas but he has the heart of a Clevelander.

Cleveland at its core is a blue-collar town where loyalty runs deep and heartbreak can be a way of life.

So when an owner like Haslam actually wants to be here, mingles with the fans before the games and says he's ready to do whatever it takes to bring the Browns back to their former glory, you can't help but feel that it is possible.

I love when the stadium camera shows Haslam in the owner's loge. He's jumping up for the good plays and shows his disappointment when there are bad plays.

He may not be from Cleveland but he already has the Cleveland "Despair Dance" and the "Dawson Did It Dance" down pat.

Sure, the Browns are 4-8, with the Chiefs, the Redskins, the Broncos and the Steelers (again) left to play.

The Chiefs and the Redskins are home games, where we can beat the Chiefs and maybe the ever-loyal fans and Haslam will somehow help the Browns conquer the Redskins' RG3.

Then we go on the road against against the Broncos and the Steelers, where it will be interesting.

But whether the Browns end up 6-10 -- my prediction before the season even started -- or 5-11 or even 4-12, we have one thing now that we didn't have before Haslam took over.

We have hope, real hope.


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