Originally, this column was going to be a cool highlight reel of Odell Beckham Jr. from his short lived 2020-2021 season. Then after about 15 minutes of watching his few (big) plays from the year, I switched the idea over to a Baker Mayfield highlight reel. That was the new column – a whole bunch of awesome amazing clips from the quarterback. That is when it finally hit me. Screw those columns. This isn’t about ODB or even Baker.
This is about the Cleveland Browns.
This is about destiny.
This is about a team that has transformed from the lovable losers to the scariest team in the post season.
Let’s think about the past three months for the Browns. They have overcome yet another blunder from the previous year. They have somehow gotten past their star wide receiver suffering a devastating season ending injury. Their team has had some run ins with the Covid-19 protocols. The season was riddled with countless questions about the true potential of their star QB. The team has even had to deal with a team in their division to start 11-0 and the dangerous Baltimore Ravens that pundits had been hyping.
Yet, here we are in the second week of January 2021. The 2020 regular season is over, and Cleveland is still here. Those big bad Pittsburgh Steelers that were so hot and went over half the year without losing a single game? Yep, they were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs last Sunday night. By which team you ask? The freakin’ Cleveland Browns. Not only did I lose money on the game…but millions more around the world scratched their head and thought:
“Is this for real?”
I mean, I knew I bought that Baker Mayfield jersey last year for a reason.
Making the playoffs was one thing. It makes a cute, little story. The dumpy Cleveland Browns finally made some good off season moves, put out a solid roster and have a quarterback willing to take risks and put together nice, long drives. Hey, good for them, right? Makes a fun headline to giggle at and then move on, wondering which team will stomp them in the first round of the playoffs.
Not this year.
They not only made the playoffs, they are now in the second round. A win this weekend moves them to the AFC Championship Game. An unreal thought in and of itself. The only thing standing in their way is…
The Browns’ next matchup is Sunday afternoon versus the Super Bowl defending champion Kansas City Chiefs. You know, the best team in the AFC at 14-2 with a first round bye and that stud of a QB named Patrick Mahomes. My, oh my. While my initial instinct is to write off the Browns and pat them on the back for a good job, good effort. I am going to be #believe in Cleveland. If the Cavs can bring a championship to the city, so can the Browns. I say let’s ride with it. I may be rooting for the Green Bay Packers on Saturday afternoon but fast forward 24 hours, and consider me from Ohio, not Wisconsin
Rock and roll baby, rock and roll!
By Justin Watry (Twitter: @JustinWatry)