A new Sunday has arrived, Cleveland Browns fans, and by now you probably have had time to pull yourselves off the floor. You may have recovered from the shock of club officials last week sending Trent Richardson, running back, leading offensive player and just last year the third pick in the NFL draft, to the Indianapolis Colts.
Remember that first preseason game? A couple of promising performances, and many of the faithful had visions of six, seven, eight, even nine victories this season. Hardly at the level of Baltimore, Cincinnati and vintage Pittsburgh, but better, and something upon which to rest hope.
Now September has yet to end. The Browns have started with two defeats, in disappointingly familiar fashion, the quarterback under siege, and they already have returned to full rebuilding mode, or where they have been for most of the past 14 seasons. They are talking about collecting draft picks, about the promising talent (Johnny Manziel!) available next spring, about waiting not for next year but for the years after that.
Not that the fans have given up. Analysts have noted Richardson’s trouble staying healthy, though something suggests he may find the running and catching more favorable to the west. The new ownership and executive corps of the Browns, still relatively new, insist they are determined to do what it takes to recapture glory days.
So many of us will watch this afternoon as the Browns meet Minnesota, and even take comfort in the Cleveland Indians. They are in the hunt for a playoff spot in the American League, in case you’re among those who apparently haven’t noticed.