Preseason wasn't bad. The Browns looked OK. Week 1 had an indefensibly terrible game plan and a loss to Miami, but the Browns were competitive in a Week 2 loss at Baltimore. They trailed the Super Bowl champs by a point in the fourth quarter before losing. The 0-2 start wasn't fun, but it was just two weeks, the team's best receiver Josh Gordon was returning from suspension and nobody in the AFC North was better than 1-1.
Well, the Browns told all their fans that they've given up on this season by trading Richardson to the Colts. Sorry, ticket holders. But hey, thanks for your money, and no you won't be getting a refund. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Richardson and John Matuszak are the only players since 1970 to be top three picks, play their rookie season with the team that drafted them, and play for another team the following season (h/t to the Akron Beacon Journal for that).
Browns CEO Joe Banner and coach Rob Chudzinski then insulted their fan base during a press conference in which neither one would specifically answer any question to explain the trade ("move the franchise forward" was their buzzword and they never strayed to explain how this trade does that). Inexplicably, they used that platform to play a typical "don't say anything of substance" press conference game – there wasn't one answer that wasn't built around a cliche and stock answer. The Browns fans deserved much better, and one would assume after all this news that they might be mad.
You'd be right. I got a Facebook message from my friend Pete, a Browns fan, as I wrote about the trade last night: "This is the worst I've felt about the Browns since Art Modell took away the team," he said. "Please ask Roger Goodell to stop this farce."
Many others were feeling that despair:
Thank you Cleveland Browns for giving me my Sundays back. They say the monkey learns the third time. Why haven't I learned after 40 years?
— Neel Kashkari (@neelkashkari) September 19, 2013
I hate the browns. Why do I decide to root for such a pathetic franchise. All hope is just about lost
— jose (@JoeB_23) September 18, 2013
Wel i officially have my sundays back. Screw u Browns. — Lizzie Lulu (@lizzielulu78) September 18, 2013
I'm am as loyal as it gets but I HATE the Cleveland Browns organization.
— John Kerwin (@Jkerwin777K) September 18, 2013
— Dan Schoener (@Magicmandan66) September 19, 2013
You can find thousands of other messages like this if you search Twitter, just beware that about 97 percent of them contain profanity.
This video is from a couple years ago (and it features some profanity, in case you're at work), but it seems very relevant this week. We're sorry, Browns fans.
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