Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Cleveland Tans

In 1945, Arthur McBride founded the Cleveland Browns - named after Paul Brown, the first head coach of the team. They were part of the AAFC (All-American Football Conference), where they won a championship in each of the four years of the league's existence. Later to become a member of the NFL (do I really have to tell you what "NFL" means?!?), where they won a number of championships in the early years, and made the playoffs a total of fourteen times.

In 1995, Art Modell, then owner of the Browns, moved the team to Baltimore, where they became the Ravens. This put the Browns on a hiatus for a few years, resuming in 1999.

On October 3, 2013, former Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown, a member of the Football Hall of Fame, was honored during the halftime show between the Browns and the Buffalo Bills at Cleveland's First Energy Stadium. It was an emotional event, and rightfully so. Only one problem: the wrong team was giving him honor.

Like I said above, in 1995, Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore. Not only did he move the team, but he moved the history as well. A football team's history is an amalgamation of players and staff coming and going throughout the years. When the Browns moved to Baltimore, the history of that team, the players current and former, the coaching and support staff over all of those years, went with it. Jim Brown's famous career went with it. When the Browns started up again in 1999, THEY STARTED ALL OVER. Out with Bill Belichick, in with Chris Palmer. Hell, we can even go as far as saying out with the Cleveland Municipal Stadium, in with Cleveland Browns Stadium (now First Energy Stadium).

The only history today's Cleveland Browns can look back to starts in 1999. The Baltimore Ravens? They can look all the way back to 1945 and Paul Brown. The old Browns/Steelers rivalry? In Baltimore. We can have a "new" one if we want, but it's not the same.

For me? I call them the "Cleveland Tans", because they haven't earned the color yet. I'm still rooting for them, and to eliminate confusion I'm still calling myself a "Brown's fan". Though after the above, you too now know what I mean by that.

(On a side note: Whenever Cleveland and Baltimore play against each other, can it be said that the Browns are "playing with themselves"?)

© Emittravel 2013

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