Post Football Therapy: Cleveland Browns

I used to envy the Cleveland Browns. No seriously. I was raised in Southern California and we used to have this team called the Los Angeles Rams. You might have heard of them from the movies. But the team was pretty awesome and popular and people from Orange and Riverside counties loved going to the games. Then the team suddenly folded after the 1994 season and was never heard from again (play along).

And then something very similar happened to the Cleveland Browns the next season. The Browns! Which was totally crazy because while we loved and supported our Rams, the Browns fans were crazy awesome and always showed massive support. So, it was completely unbelievable when the same thing happened to you guys. The big difference came years later, though. The NFL made the Browns whole again in 1999. The NFL has yet to return to the Los Angeles area. So yes, I was kind of envious about the whole Browns situation.

Of course, there will be those of you who will contend it's better to have no football at all than to be saddled with the Browns 2.0 well over the past decade. But that's simply not true. I get it. The on-the-field triumphs have been few and far between; increased by the fact the Baltimore Ravens have dominated the AFC North with two Super Bowl wins since 2000.

But you also get the joy of going into every season thinking this is going to be your year. You get the excitement of draft night, too. Remember how excited you were last May when the Browns traded back into the first round to draft Johnny Football? That was freaking amazing! I remember the roof being torn off Radio City Music Hall when the announcement was made. Browns fans were over the moon with the selection. You easily won the first night of the draft.

Obviously, the pick looks like a bust for the time being, but you still had that moment. You still had that love affair, even if it was brief. What's the saying, "It's better to have loved and lost than to not have a football team?" Because it certainly applies here.

Plus, you also have some hope for the future, too.

Let's start with the offensive line. The zone-blocking scheme looked pretty good, and it appears the team has two good future running backs. Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West should provide pretty good support to the quarterback this upcoming season. No matter whom that person is. So, you have that going for you.

The defense has Joe Haden, who is one of the best cornerbacks in the game. That's always nice to have in your hip pocket. If the team can get something out of Justin Gilbert this year, well, that will just be a bonus.

And head coach Mike Pettine seems like he has command of the organization. Haden told the boys over at Around the NFL that he really has a way to communicate with players, which is key going forward. And the Browns did win seven games last year. I mean, that often gets overlooked when we talk about the team because so many other things have gone wrong there in Cleveland. But it was a seven-win team. And despite the ability to make news in bad ways, you need to focus in a little bit on the positive.

And, if nothing else, LeBron James is back in Cleveland. The Cavaliers have crushed it in recent weeks, and if that happens, well, everything the Browns could give you would just be dessert. So enjoy it.

Adam Rank is Chicago born, California raised. He supports the arts and will never understand why The Hold Steady is never truly embraced. Follow him on Twitter @adamrank.

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