With four times as many head coaches as winning seasons since their return to the National Football League in 1999, it would be easy to understand why players and fans of the Cleveland Browns would struggle to believe positive change is coming for the organization.
However, even though the Browns fell to 0-8 and remain the only winless team in the National Football League after Sunday’s 31-28 loss to the New York Jets at FirstEnergy Stadium, veteran quarterback Josh McCown considers himself a believer that things can turn around for the franchise.
“The thing about this group that has been so impressive -- I know we will and Coach (Hue) Jackson will lead the charges -- we will bounce back,” McCown said. “We will be at work Monday ready to go. They will put together a plan for Dallas, and we will move forward.
“It is a credit to those guys in our locker room. When you keep bouncing back and you keep doing that and working the way we are despite the record, that is why these hurt so bad.”
Outside of the Browns, the Cleveland sports community is experiencing unprecedented levels of success.
Cleveland-based mixed martial artist Stipe Miocic won the UFC heavyweight championship with a first-round knockout of Fabricio Werdum in front of 45,000 passionate fans cheering on their fellow countryman at UFC 198 in Curitiba, Brazil, back in May.
Nearly one month to the day later, courtesy of a goal from Oliver Bjorkstrand, the Lake Erie Monsters earned a 1-0 win to complete the four-game sweep of the Hershey Bears and clinch their first Calder Cup Championship since 1964.
Then, despite being down, 2-0 and 3-1, in the best-of-seven series against the reigning league champion Golden State Warriors, the Cavaliers fought their way to three straight wins, including a 93-89 championship-clinching win in Game 7 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.
It was the Cavaliers’ first-ever NBA Championship and the first major sports title for the city of Cleveland since the Browns took home the NFL Championship with an upset win over the Baltimore Colts in December of 1964.
Currently, the Cleveland Indians enjoy a 3-2 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 World Series, which will resume tomorrow night at Progressive Field.
“On one hand, it is encouraging just to see how organizations fight through things and turn things around,” McCown said. “It is awesome and you are happy for those guys, but at the same time, when you feel like the city has momentum like that, you want to be a part of that for sure and capture some of that yourself.
“I believe we will. I have no doubt in my mind. I believe we will one day, and it is just about the next day and coming in and working hard. The vision that Coach Jackson has for this team and where we can go, I think we can be there one day. It will be special for this city when it happens.”