The Cleveland Browns are the kings of mediocrity in the NFL, which is to say that, in very Cleveland Browns fashion, they’re just simply never bad enough.However, with the signing of 35-year-old journeyman quarterback Josh McCown, who will presumably start plenty of games for Cleveland, the team might finally be moving in the right direction.
You see, McCown stinks to high heaven. Save for his miraculous 2013 season with the Chicago Bears, in which he threw 13 touchdowns to just one interception, McCown’s atrocious career stats over 12 seasons look like this: 48 touchdowns to 58 interceptions. Even better, McCown is coming off a disastrous 2014 season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in which he went 1-10 as their starter. That should be more than enough to give any Browns fan a violent physical reaction, but signing him with the intention to start him in many actual football games that count in the standings is the smartest thing the front office could have done.
Why would this be a smart move? Because this gives the Browns the chance to finally be the worst team in the NFL.
Even for all of the epic, colossal blunders and embarrassing football displayed by the team since its return to the league in 1999, the Browns just can’t ever seem to figure out how to be the most pathetic team in the NFL. Except for that weird 2007 season when every Browns player sold his soul to the devil for ten wins only to find that the team wouldn’t make the playoffs (because that’s exactly how it would go down for them) and that equally bizarre, gut-wrenching one-and-done playoff appearance in 2002, the Browns haven’t been able to secure less than four wins at any point since 2000.
Their wins since that beautiful 2000 season, when they so magnificently screwed up by drafting Courtney Brown with the first overall pick, look like this: 7, 9, 5, 4, 6, 4, 10, 4, 5, 5, 4, 5, 4, 7.
Being that flat-out mediocre has to be the absolute hardest thing to accomplish for an NFL franchise. In a league specifically designed to avoid situations like this, the Browns have bravely fought against the establishment and dedicated themselves to being barely watchable while also offering the faintest glimmers of hope for next season. And in the middle of it all, they still always manage to find new and exciting ways to make the entire city of Cleveland feel ashamed to have wanted its football team back so badly in the first place.
But now, with this signing of McCown, it looks like the Browns are finally going for broke, aiming to be the most horrendous team in football in 2015. And fans should celebrate! For once, the Browns could be the first in line to draft a potential franchise-changing quarterback, and no one could take that away from them!
There is always the possibility, though, that the Browns could go ahead and do something wild this year, like surrender a ton of draft picks for the right to select quarterback Marcus Mariota. That has the highest probability of future failure, so you can’t rule that type of move out. Of course, that kind of bold move might turn the franchise into a perennial contender for more than a decade. Maybe your beloved pet from childhood will rise from the grave, too.
Instead, if you’re a true Browns fan, if you really want to see the team succeed, you’ll be hoping to see the worst football of your life in 2015. For every misguided McCown interception that seals another loss, don’t get angry; pump your fist in celebration. For all the double-digit beatdowns that begin to blend together by November, don’t bother yourself with them because you’ll be too busy fantasizing about having the pick of the college quarterback litter. For every excuse the front office and coaching staff will make after every collective dump the team takes on the field, for every empty promise made by owner Jimmy Haslam, you’ll be able to grin and bear it knowing most of those people will be jobless in a few months anyway.
But you’ll still be here when the wreckage clears and a fresh new regime, so ready and desperate to not screw up, will have the first overall pick. A stud quarterback will be waiting for you and for once, you will know what it’s like to be the fan of an NFL team with a future.