Mailbox: The Cleveland Browns are an embarrassment, and the Crew are painful to watch

·9 min read

Have more comments, questions? Reach out to me at bwhite1@dispatch.com.

Oct 31, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; A Cleveland Browns fan reacts to the action late in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 31, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; A Cleveland Browns fan reacts to the action late in the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

On the Cleveland Browns

To Mr. White: I have been a Browns fan for 70 years and remember that we fans could be proud of our team. Whether it was the maulers of the '50s and '60s, the Kardiac Kids of the '70s or Bernie's Browns of the '80s, we could be proud of them even when they broke our hearts.

Now it is embarrassing to say you are a Browns fan. Even losing 31 of 32 games over two seasons was not as bad as the Deshaun Watson fiasco. I think the Browns are incredibly stupid to acquire Watson at any price when they knew the allegations that had been made against him. Even if at some point they win a Super Bowl with Watson, they will be forever tainted by their disregard for the damage Watson has done to many women.

Almost as stupid is the NFLPA who agreed to a contract that uses an independent "judge" to determine guilt or innocence along with a penalty, but allows the NFL to say "we don't like the results and want a do-over with only our side involved in the decision." The NFLPA should fire whoever was on their negotiating team.

A former fan, Raymond D'Angelo, Westerville

To the sports editor: Deshaun Watson should be banned from football. Typical overpaid athlete who thinks he can do whatever he wants and get away with it, or pay his way out of any trouble. Bad role model for humans let alone kids.

Michael Bugosh, New Albany

To Raymond, Michael: If the Browns somehow win a Super Bowl, it's going to be an awkward Browns moment for the ages. Sadly, die-hard Clevelanders will magically forget Watson's past and curse while the rest of the sporting world piles on about winning the wrong way. In essence, it'll be the Browns not even being able to win correctly.

Aug 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Crew defender Steven Moreira (31) and Columbus Crew midfielder Yaw Yeboah (14) look towards the ground after losing 2-1 to CF Montreal during their MLS game at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio on August 3, 2022.
Aug 3, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Crew defender Steven Moreira (31) and Columbus Crew midfielder Yaw Yeboah (14) look towards the ground after losing 2-1 to CF Montreal during their MLS game at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio on August 3, 2022.

On the Columbus Crew

To the sports editor: To paraphrase an old Eminem song lyric, "Will the REAL Columbus Crew please stand up." As a season ticket holder, I've been trying to figure this team out all season. Are you truly champions like in 2020 or just another run-of-the-mill .500 team? Based on what I've seen from my seats this year, it would appear you're closer to the latter than the former.

It would appear that Cucho Hernandez and Lucas Zelaryan are the only players capable of scoring goals. Coach Caleb Porter has often said that game-day team selection is based on how players practice. Apparently, we have a few of the greatest "practice players" around (I'm looking at you Derrick Ettiene). How long will it take before teams just focus their attention on Cucho and Lucas and not worry about defending anyone else?

Columbus Crew: Team lacks toughness, falls short of MLS' best | Michael Arace

How much longer before Cucho will be begging to leave because his teammates (other than Lucas) can't find him on open runs? On at least two occasions during the game against Montreal you could see the obvious frustration on his face at not getting the ball when he should have.

The Crew may in fact make the playoffs this year, but where it all goes is another thing. While I'm not advocating for the firing of Porter (not yet, at least), I am beginning to get tired of the excuses and wonder if he's lost the team. We have a brand new stadium, a lot of hype and excitement. It would be a shame to waste it all on a so-so team.

Michael A. Thompson, Grove City

Dear Editor: The Crew’s recent loss to Montreal was painful to watch. However, I hope the Crew coaching staff can see what has become obvious to a great number of fans. The many late-in-the-game and stoppage-time goals by our opponents shows a lack of defense and coaching that even Homer could figure out, D’oh. In addition to our defensive woes, what was coach Caleb Porter thinking when he removed one or our two best players, Lucus Zelarayán, from the Montreal game with 25 minutes left?  Does this make sense to anyone?

 Chet Ridenour, Worthington

To Michael, Chet: When I watch the Crew, I see an inordinate amount of pressure put on Hernandez to score. It's not much different from last year's Ohio State football team, which had to outscore opponents for fear of the game being in the defense's hands. If Hernandez doesn't score and is stymied by great saves, as he was against Montreal, the Columbus defense is thrust into an unwanted spotlight.

Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird brings the ball up against the Minnesota Lynx during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird brings the ball up against the Minnesota Lynx during the first half of a WNBA basketball game Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

On women's sports

To the sports editor: Your misogyny continues to show. Your coverage of WNBA star Brittney Griner’s inhumane sentencing in Russia was relegated to a small side note. Most major papers had Griner on Page 1. I am disappointed that you continue to omit other coverage of women's sports. Right now, professional basketball and soccer seasons in women’s leagues are in full swing across the country. Instead, you feature a story about the Browns and their predator quarterback as if Watson and the team are the victims. Again, you can do better. And many readers are counting on you to do so. Please add more gender diversity to your sports coverage and clean up your act regarding those who abuse women.

Mary Jo Hudson, Columbus

To Mary Jo: I agree on the need for diverse stories. But our coverage of soccer and basketball has nothing to do with gender. As proof, you can see that our space given to NBA and MLS/EPL/Bundesliga also is quite minimal. We cover our local teams in thorough fashion in accordance to what our readers desire. One of The Dispatch's most underrated values is the outstanding national "Sports Extra" section in or daily e-Edition. That section, combined with our great local coverage, provides a total package. Also, I believe our coverage of Deshaun Watson has been fair with quite a bit of criticism and detailed reporting.

Aug 3, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians right fielder Will Benson (29) and third baseman Tyler Freeman (2) celebrate after the Guardians beat the Arizona Diamondbacks at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 3, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Guardians right fielder Will Benson (29) and third baseman Tyler Freeman (2) celebrate after the Guardians beat the Arizona Diamondbacks at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

On the Guardians

To the sports editor: I just read an article this week which said the Guardians were second to last in major league attendance yet they are two games out of first place with a great core of young players and a manager who has the ability to get the most out of his players. I cannot believe that they did not make any significant moves at the trade deadline. Regardless of where they finish this year, ownership blew a prime opportunity to ignite fan enthusiasm and increase their low attendance. Nothing against the kids. They are overachieving and keeping the team in the race. Too bad management was not willing to loosen their purse strings to give them a booster shot or two down the stretch. I wish them well for the rest of the season even though they will be competing in front of mediocre crowds.

Tom Cole

To Tom: Trade-deadline decisions are difficult, but the Guardians were right to keep building. This team is not equipped to win it all, and to part with their valued youngsters for a mere playoff appearance doesn't seem wise.

To the sports editor: In Friday's Dispatch, Michael Arace wrote an opinion piece about the options of the two Ohio baseball teams. He wrote about the lack of home runs from the Guardians outfielders, Steven Kwan, Nolan Jones and Myles Straw. Nolan Jones is a rookie and a recent call-up from the Clippers, not someone who has been in the lineup the whole season. Straw isn't hitting as well as last year, but that is sometimes how it goes. Kwan is a rookie who rarely strikes out swinging, has good speed in the outfield and has made some amazing catches, and with him in the first spot of the batting order and Amed Rosario in the second they have increased the base hits by the first two batters, giving Jose Ramirez a chance to increase his RBI numbers, which is one of the highest in the MLB. Yes, the Guardians are not in first place. But I appreciate the heart and hustle they put into playing that game every day.

Denise Hoover, Westerville

To Denise: It is refreshing to see a team play with such joy. Let's hope the mood stays that way as all of these former Clippers take over Cleveland together.

On Vin Scully

To the sports editor: The Dodgers' Vin Scully was one of the greatest voices in all of sports. He was a giant of a man, not only as a broadcaster, but as a humanitarian. He loved people. He loved life. He loved baseball and the Dodgers. And he loved his family. His voice will always be heard and etched in our minds forever. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Vin will be truly missed. Vin Scully, RIP.

Paul Bacon, Hallandale Beach, Fla.

On Bill Russell

To the sports editor: Bill Russell was the greatest champion in all of team sports. The countless accolades in his storied career with the Boston Celtics — including a record 11 NBA Championships five MVP awards — only begin to tell the story of Bill's immense impact on the league and its broader society.

Bill stood for something much bigger than sports: The values of equality, respect and inclusion that he stamped into the DNA of the league. At the height of his athletic career, Bill advocated vigorously for civil rights and social justice, a legacy he passed down to generations of NBA players who followed in his footsteps. Through the taunts, threats and unthinkable adversity, Bill rose above it all and remained true to his belief that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity.

For 35 years, Bill completed his trailblazing career as the NBA's first Black head coach. We were fortunate to see him at every NBA event, including the NBA Finals, where he presented the Bill Russell Trophy to the Finals MVP. Bill was the ultimate winner and consummate teammate, and his influence on the NBA will be felt forever.

We send our deepest condolences to his wife Jeannine, his family and his many friends. Bill Russell, RIP.

Paul Bacon, Hallandale Beach, Fla.

Nov 6, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels students participate in the Rebel Run before the game against the Liberty Flames at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 6, 2021; Oxford, Mississippi, USA; Mississippi Rebels students participate in the Rebel Run before the game against the Liberty Flames at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Bush-USA TODAY Sports

On team nicknames

To Brian: There are two more team nicknames I wouldn't mind seeing done away with.  The Ole Miss Rebels glamorizes a past that I see no glamor in. If blue-chip recruits ever decide they aren't interested in playing under that banner, that will take care of itself.  I would point out that UNLV Runnin' Rebels is different because the connotation is different. The other that bothers me is the South Carolina Gamecocks which also harkens back to something so very unsavory in the past that should just go away as well.

Dennis Singleton, Dayton

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An apology to Ohio State coach Ryan Day, and kudos to him for taking the cash

Why does Ryan Day need that much money? And what would Woody Hayes think?

Debate continues over Ryan Day's salary as Ohio State Buckeyes coach

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This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Letters: Readers say Cleveland Browns are an embarrassment