SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 30: Colt McCoy #12 of the Cleveland Browns is sacked by Ahmad Brooks #55 of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on October 30, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
This season marks the thirteenth straight year that the Cleveland Browns have been a virtual nonentity in the NFL. And leave it to the Browns to screw it up and win three whole games when they desperately need to lose every possible game in order to secure the likes of Andrew Luck in the draft.
The Browns aren't going to get Luck, nor will they get Landry Jones, and that about dooms them to being the NFL's least accomplished franchise for even more seasons.
No offense to the people down in Miami, but if there's ANY fanbase that could use a savior at quarterback, it's Cleveland. The idea that they'll spend another year with the likes of Colt McCoy at the helm is almost too much to bear.
Since being reborn in 1999, the Browns have been to the playoffs a grand total of one time. In that same timespan, half of all NFL teams have made at least one Super Bowl appearance. Even the Seahawks managed to get to the Big Game.
And it's not as if the Browns haven't given it their best shot. They've spent money. They've enlisted any number of big-name coaches to help with the cause (Mike Holmgren is their current GM). They've tried hiring big-time college coaches. They've tried hiring the latest hot-shot assistants. They've tried it with any number of accomplished general managers.
In every instance, they have failed. Even when they get something right, like trading for Peyton Hillis over a year ago, it devolves into a complete mess, with Hillis skipping charity appearances and somehow becoming the least likely controversial figure in recent NFL history. This is a team so moribund, their center (LeCharles Bentley) once nearly had his leg amputated due to a staph infection going around the locker room.
And now, after a somewhat promising 2-1 start, the Browns have lost three of their last four, and they still play two games apiece against the Ravens and Steelers. They're going to finish in the AFC North cellar, and they're going to get a middling top ten draft pick for their troubles.
Nothing much will change. History dictates that every team eventually finds a way to make a run, but the Browns seem eternally unable to do so.
How do we fix this? What can we do to get the Browns out of their rut?
Well, I have very simple change. and it doesn't involve canning Holmgren or new coach Pat Shurmur, but it is radical: DUMP THE UNIFORMS.
Just dump them entirely. Dump the logo. Dump the color scheme (what they have of one, that is). Hell, I'd even consider changing the NAME of the team. I've long asserted that these New Browns are a group of impostors, and that Cleveland should have started fresh with a new name.
You need to only look at the team borne out of the old Browns - the Ravens - to know that breaking from tradition isn't always such a bad thing. The Browns are a depressing team because they LOOK depressing: brown and slow and plodding and ready to put you in a coma. Any ad exec will tell you that you have to change your brand if you want to get rid of your old brand's baggage. All it takes is one demon dog logo plastered on the side of Cleveland's helmets to completely change their identity and break them out of this seemingly interminable malaise.
Come on, Browns. It's the least you could do for a ravaged city.