The Cleveland Browns are now openly pining for LeBron James

MJD

Any time a transcendent athlete emerges, it's always natural to talk about how he or she would fare in other sports. No one's better for this argument than NBA thoroughbred LeBron James, because of his size, speed, power and ideal athletic build.

So we say things like, "Hey, wouldn't LeBron be a great tight end or wide receiver for the Browns?! He'd be their best player immediately! Ha ha ha!" And then we go on about our day, mocking the Browns and wondering if the Shaq/LeBron pairing will work out how the Cavaliers want it to.

The Browns, though, sound rather serious about it, which in turn makes them sound rather desperate. And they are desperate, of course, being 1-8 and maybe not even as good as their record indicates. Still, though, I find the desperation in their voices here just a little bit sad.

Brady Quinn(notes) says that the Browns would be more than willing to accept LeBron. Defensive tackle Shaun Rogers(notes) took the route of challenging LeBron and calling him out. From ESPN.com news services:

"I have mixed emotions about that. A great athlete? Yes. A football player? No."

Rogers then looked into TV cameras.

"Yeah LeBron, I said it," he said. "It's a punishing game. I just don't think you can step off the basketball court after not going through this year in and year out and just play football. From that standpoint, I just don't think it's possible. You have to weather and condition your body to take this punishment."

Even head coach Eric Mangini called LeBron an athletic freak, and said he "should come on down."

To me, it all sounds like begging. "LeBron, please come save us! We're a bigger mess than the Cavs were! Did you see that Monday night game? You could play both ways and be the head coach! Pretty please?"

LeBron likes to talk about how he'd be great at football, and he's probably right. He's one of those special athletes that could dominate nearly any sport he chose. But he's not serious about playing for the Browns, so maybe everyone in the organization pining for LeBron should pause for a second, scoop their dignity up off the floor, and see if they can maybe improve on their own.

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