Joe Haden believes Browns can follow Cavs blueprint


The Cleveland Cavaliers' NBA championship victory Sunday night wiped away 52-years of sports pain and failure in Northeast Ohio. Battling back from a 3-1 series deficit to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy, LeBron James and Co. also provided hope for their fellow athletes in Cleveland.

Writing for, Browns cornerback Joe Haden penned a first-person account of watching the Cavs capture Cleveland's first championship since Jim Brown graced the gridiron. Haden's narrative struck all the emotional notes: euphoria, inspiration, resolve and, yes, a tinge of jealousy.

"The Cleveland curse is over," Haden wrote. "We've finally got a champion in northeast Ohio.

"Over my seven years as a Brown, I got so tired of hearing about the curse, about no team in the city winning a championship since the Browns won in 1964. But you've got to go out and end it, not just talk about ending it. And that's what the Cavaliers did. The emotion in the streets downtown ... just unbelievable. People flooding the streets, throwing toilet paper and celebrating, screaming. Insane. I've never seen anything like it. Never anything close. But that's probably to be expected when you haven't won a title for so long."

It's clear LeBron didn't return home and win a championship for only himself and teammates. An entire region is engulfed in the joy surrounding the long-awaited parade.

The Browns aren't close to matching the Cavs' success. The roster doesn't match the supremacy of other AFC powers, nor is there a LeBron donning a Browns jersey. Still, there is hope the latest rebuild under Hue Jackson can find success in the years to come and the Browns can join their city-mates atop Mt. Champion.

Haden believes the example set by LeBron and the Cavs can rub off on the Browns.

"... There's a lesson in that for all of us in Cleveland. I know it's a lesson that's going to help me," he wrote.

"So the Curse is dead. The Cavaliers are champs. Now we've got to work like LeBron and the Cavs to get ours. This is motivation for our city, and motivation for our team. I am just so ready to go win a championship right now."