COMMENTARY | Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint what the problem is with a defective sports franchise.
Teams frequently get off to slow starts, players have a hard time jelling or coaches get in over their heads.
But at this point if you are a Cleveland sports fan, you can safely assign a team's failures to one of two things: Either God is exacting revenge on the city of Cleveland for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or an incompetent front office has managed to botch the golden opportunities presented to them.
Fortunately for the God-fearing contingent of the population, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Browns management have made it clear that they are in a head-to-head battle to see who is more inept.
Essentially, the 4-8 Browns and the 5-12 Cavs are mirror images of each other.
Both teams have had a residency in the top of the draft, and both teams have managed to squander almost every available opportunity.
Besides selecting Kyrie Irving as the No. 1 pick in the 2011 draft, Chris Grant has been more surprising than successful with his first round selections for the Cavaliers. Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters, who were widely considered reaches for the No. 4 pick when they were selected, would be nothing more than rotation guys (at best) on a decent team. And No.1 pick Anthony Bennett? Well, Anthony Bennett looks like he's auditioning for Nutty Professor 3 and has the shooting range of Hellen Keller.
Similarly, the Browns have treated finding a franchise quarterback in the first round with less urgency than finding offensive and defensive linemen, apparently hoping to be in position to win when NFL playbooks begin to resemble those from the 1940s again.
It's not just the current regimes that are the problem, though. That much is obvious for a city that hasn't won a major championship since 1964.
A culture of acceptance is at least partially responsible for allowing year-after-year mediocrity.
When do fans stop accepting the blown drafts and the underwhelming acquisitions?
It's understandable that fans want to believe the best about a team, while it's in the local media's best interest to keep the charade going.
Even supposedly objective parties, like beat writers and commentators, are more or less steered into looking past glaring faults of the teams and players they cover because A) They have to cater to fan bases who want to hear positive, glass-half-full feedback; B) They have to be generally congenial in their coverage in order to curry favor and get access to interviews and other inside information; or C) They are Austin Carr and don't know any better.
Because of this dilemma, average role players like Tristan Thompson and Trent Richardson annually get anointed to All-Star status within the city, thus making it possible for bungling executives to keep their jobs.
While it's not up to the fans or the media to make savvy roster moves, deciding not to financially support the blatant mishandling of the city's professional sports teams is a good start in trying to expedite the never-ending rebuilding projects that are Cleveland's sports teams.
In the end, nothing says that it's time for change like a near-empty stadium.
But if Clevelanders are really thinking of attending a Browns game quarterbacked by either Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell or the football equivalent of a Harlem Globetrotter in the coming weeks, the city probably deserves whatever product they put on the field.
In the meantime, here are some ideas to improve Cleveland's draft success:
-Chris Grant should not be allowed to step into a draft room. Ever. -Joe Banner should be legally obligated to offer everything the Browns own to move up to at least try to get the draft's top quarterback.
-The Browns are not allowed to draft anyone with the first name Brandon or the last name Weeden for a minimum of 25 years.
-No one in the Browns or Cavs front office is allowed to say the words, "It's a process," or, "It takes time." When you draft at the top of the draft consistently, you should be able to win quickly.
-If you select someone at the top of the draft and all the draft commentators and people in attendance let out a collective gasp, you must ask for a redo.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Cleveland Browns
- Cleveland Cavaliers
- Tristan Thompson