Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
On Wednesday's Donovan Live Postgame Show, I had to start off by asking Jimmy how he and his family will be celebrating the holiday at the Donovan Farm.
We also talked about the return of Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon to practice on Wednesday. Gordon is working his way back from several drug-related suspensions that have kept him from playing in a regular season game since 2014.
Something else was on my mind when Jimmy and I chatted. Consider that it's been 10 years since the Browns last had a winning season. It's been 15 years since they advanced to the playoffs. It's been 23 years since they last won a playoff game.
That's a long time.
Of course there are youngsters who will root for the Browns just like their moms and dads do. But kids grow up admiring winners. Think about LeBron James admitting that he rooted for the Yankees, Bulls, and Cowboys as a boy. You think he was the only one around here?
Fantasy football has also done its part in diverting the attention of younger fans away from their hometown teams towards superstar players. Let's be honest, have the Browns really had any superstar players on their roster since 1999?
Jimmy mentioned to me that when he drives into First Energy Stadium every Sunday for a Browns home game, he is always amazed at all of the jerseys that fans wear of Browns players who are no longer here. Off the top of my head, I have seen:
- Josh Cribbs
- Tim Couch
- Peyton Hillis
- Johnny Manziel
- Brady Quinn
- Courtney Brown
- Kellen Winslow
- Braylon Edwards
- Trent Richardson
I always smile when I see a fan wearing a Chris Spielman #54 Browns jersey. Spiels never got to play in a regular season game in Cleveland after a hit in a preseason game left him momentarily paralyzed, two years after undergoing neck fusion surgery.
Yet you'll see a Spielman jersey at First Energy Stadium. You'll also see a Jim Brown jersey, or a Bernie Kosar throwback jersey as well. Heck, I own an Eric Metcalf jersey.
Reliving the past is great. But part of the renaissance of this franchise will have to be rooted in attracting the young, impressionable fan. And that will start with finding superstar players for them to root for.
Watch the entire Donovan Live Postgame Show from WKYC's Facebook Live in the player above.