As a devout Cleveland Browns fan growing up, I quickly learned I will always have one thing to look forward to every year. That is, and always will be, the third weekend of April when the NFL Draft occurs. You could only imagine my joy when 8 o’clock rolled around on Thursday night, April 26th, with my cell phone glued to my hand as I was stuck at work playing the role of an “exuberant” shoe salesman.
This year, the Browns started with the 4th pick in the draft, but traded up to the 3rd pick. Immediately, being the devout Cleveland Browns fan that I am now, I flashed back to 2001, when my beloved Browns had the 3rd pick in the draft. They chose DT Gerard “Big Money” Warren. “Big Money” was an appropriate nickname for Mr. Warren as well. He weighed 330 lbs. I mean, he probably ate the Benjamin’s that the Browns were paying him by the thousands, drizzled with some chocolate syrup and sprinkles, or, more likely, doused in A-1 Steak Sauce with them in the shape of a T-Bone steak. One thing was for sure, he definitely wasn’t very good at chewing up opposing teams running backs.
Speaking of running backs, the Browns had no running backs back in the day. They had players on their roster that were listed at running back, but let’s be real, they were just horrible actors. Peter Segal laughed at the thought of using them alongside Adam Sandler and Nelly in his film The Longest Yard. Just for the record, Nelly was the running back for the cons in that movie.
Recall that 2001 was the year the San Diego Chargers chose one LaDainian Tomlinson, with the fifth pick. The Fifth Pick!!! Yes, you read that right, running back LaDainian “I’m a future NFL Hall-of-Famer” Tomlinson was taken two picks after the Browns chose Gerard “Big Waste of Money and Space” Warren. Really? Really? Reaaaaallly!!
I’m not the least bit bitter about that. I swear!! No really, I’m not bitter!! I promise!
I will admit, back in 2001, the entire team was horrible, and even I could have helped them out back then, even though I was only 14 years old. I mean, I was a brick wall standing at 5’9” and weighing 100 lbs. even.
Snap back to 2012. Let’s look at what’s changed.
- Change #1: Browns had the 4th pick, but traded up to 3rd pick.
- Change #2: Fifth different coach since 2001.
- Change #3: My beloved Browns still suck. Oh wait….yeah, nothing’s changed!
I am proud to be able to say that they have learned from their mistakes. They traded up one spot to draft Alabama running back Trent Richardson. I was elated when I read on my cell phone that the Browns had taken Trent Richardson. I almost didn’t believe it. I was like “Seriously, what kind of sick prank are my friends trying to pull on me here?” I left work just in time to see the Browns take their second first round pick. Yes we are that bad that we need two first round picks. I was also able to see on ESPN with my own two eyes that the Browns indeed drafted Trent Richardson.
However, my euphoric high was immediately sobered when quarterback Brandon Weeden’s name came across as the Browns next pick. I’m not taking anything away from Weeden’s talent, because I do believe he is talented and may help the Browns, but he is 28 years old. Not only is he 28 years old, but he will have no wide receiver’s to catch his passes. They have players on the roster that are listed as wide receivers, but let’s be real, they are just horrible actors (aside from Joshua Cribbs). Seriously, the Browns receiving corps has an under-the-table contract with Butterfingers. Nobody lays a finger on the other team’s football.
So, my fellow Browns fans, and any NFL fan that feels pity for myself and my fellow Browns fans, let’s make a toast. Here’s to rookie Brandon Weeden becoming close friends with and giving the ball to Trent Richardson multiple times, and that this duo actually makes the Browns a semi-competitive NFL team.