ESPN Takes, NFL Takes

When I was a child, I would misbehave. My father was a discipline minded man, so these bursts of misbehavior would be met with swift justice, measured against the misdemeanors I had committed. Even my father, however, could not begin to levy the types of punishments against me that the Tennessee Titans did against the Cleveland Browns.

The Browns, who had long been perennial doormats for the league at large, had managed to float their second year quarterback and a couple of offseason moves into a rosy preseason prediction of near competence. The Titans swooped in week one to dispatch their pipe dreams of competitive play with an ass whooping that would have brought a tear to my dad’s eye.

After a preseason of hope and hype, some media members were disheartened by the awful display. “Cleveland is a very, very talented team. I have no question about their individual talent,” Stephen A. Smith of First Take said. He highlighted the untested nature of the Browns as he went on, saying that the quarterback and coach had very little experience. “You haven’t been to the postseason since 2002,” Smith continued.

He went on to make quality points about the disparity between the preseason expectations for the Cleveland squad and what they had actually accomplished.

Smith is correct in his opinion that the only success that matters once you get to that level of competition is success in the league itself. The Browns have yet to be  successful on any level and don’t deserve to be taken seriously until they do. 

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