Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Will Cleveland Fans Boo Brandon Weeden When the Browns Face the Lions?

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | The short answer to the question posed in the title is: "Yes, yes they probably will." To understand the reasoning behind it, however, takes some time for an outsider to completely understand.

There's a half-joke that spreads throughout Cleveland sports talk radio every NFL season that states that no group of individuals can better understand awful quarterback play than can fans of the Cleveland Browns. It's a half-joke because there's more than a little truth in the claim. Cleveland has trotted 19 starting quarterbacks out onto the field for regular season contests since the franchise returned to the league in 1999, the most recent being Brandon Weeden. Weeden is only playing because the team's latest advertised savior, Brian Hoyer, tore his ACL on a QB slide, as Cleveland an injury as you're going to get.

Weeden has undeniably struggled in his very short NFL career. He has routinely held onto the football far too long while in the pocket, he hasn't done well enough at reading coverage schemes, and he has missed more open wide receivers than I care to remember. That he has done more than enough to bring the boo birds out on more than one occasion is hardly an overstatement.

Those who don't follow Cleveland sports need to realize what last week was for this country's most long-suffering fans. Supporters of the Cleveland Indians had to wait three days for the team's first playoff appearance since 2007. That cause for celebration turned to heartbreak in under three hours, however, as the Tribe was shutout at home in the one-and-done affair that ended Cleveland's season.

Then came the first quarter of the Thursday night showdown involving the Browns and the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo shocked the Cleveland faithful in attendance by finding the end zone in the first two minutes of the game. After that was the nightmare injury to Hoyer, a quarterback who had helped transform the Browns from a lousy 0-2 team to a 2-2 side that could maybe hang with the best of the best in the AFC North.

Weeden didn't do himself any favors in tossing ugly incomplete passes in his first two attempts. Two plays alone do not elicit the boos that rang throughout FirstEnergy Stadium following Weeden's inauspicious start. Whether the fans hurling the abuse down toward the field realized it or not, they weren't just booing what, at the time, looked like Weeden being Weeden.

They were booing everything.

They were booing QBs of the past such as Tim Couch, Charlie Frye and Jake Delhomme. They were lashing out at an Indians team that showed a boatload of heart during a magical September run but then rolled over and played dead the night before. They were venting the anger they felt toward a cruel fate that had removed Hoyer from the game and ultimately from the season due to what is, 99 times out of 100, an innocent football play.

I am almost always against anybody telling fans whether or not they can boo a player who features for their favorite team. Those people spent their money, after all, and thus how they behave inside a particular stadium is, as long as it is legal, fine by me. With that said, I would ask all Browns fans heading out to this coming Sunday's Cleveland vs. Detroit Lions contest to exercise some patience.

Booing Weeden, if he does have a lousy first series against the Lions, won't accomplish anything other than rattling the player and potentially the rest of the offense. Beating a good Detroit team will be hard enough. The Browns don't need the fans turning on them at the first sign of trouble on Sunday.

At least try and wait until halftime, guys.

For more: 19 QBs, Browns-Lions preview

Zac has been following Cleveland sports since a little before his birth, and thus his heart breaks a little more with every year. He has been covering the Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and the NFL for Yahoo Sports since 2010

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (67)