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The Lost Generation of Cleveland Browns Fans

On a cold late December Thursday night in 2023, the Cleveland Browns won their 11tth game that season and clinched a spot as an AFC Wildcard team in the NFL Playoffs.  This is the second time this team has accomplished this since 2020. The Browns were not absent from adversity that season. They won games despite having 26% or their salary cap on injured reserve. They had to start five different quarterbacks and missed their game changing running back Nick Chubb since week 2 of the season. And despite all that this team made the playoffs in week 17 and was able rest players in week 18. This proved that the 2020 season wasn’t a fluke.

Right now, is the slow time for the NFL off season and news and content of your favorite team can be scarce. What I have noticed is the younger fans of the Cleveland Browns not knowing how to expect their team to be a good team. What I mean by that is the generation born in the mid to late 1990’s or later never experienced a consistently good Cleveland Browns team. Most of them aren’t even old enough to remember the infamous move to Baltimore. All they have is the expansion era Browns from 1999 to 2019. They didn’t experience the 8 world championships in the NFL and AAFC from 1946-1964. I grew up in the 1980s when the Browns made 3 AFC Championship game appearances and won 5 division titles. In the 1980s the Cleveland Browns had a winning percentage of .550. In those days the Cleveland Browns were expected to win and contend. Just like they are in 2024.

Yes, the 2024 Cleveland Browns are expected to win and contend. The younger generation that has been fed the doom and gloom about this team and city are almost dumbfounded on how to react. I see excitement from some and chronic pessimism from others. This reminds me of the mid 1990’s with the then named Cleveland Indians. The Indians made the playoffs and won the American League Pennant for the first time in 41 years. From 1954-1995 that team was wandering the wilderness in a coma. At that time Cleveland fans bought into the Indians as a team. What won them over was consistent winning. And that is how the Cleveland Browns will win this lost generation of fans. And to take advice from a lifetime Browns fan in his 50’s. Enjoy it while it lasts because nothing lasts forever, just ask Patriots fans.


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