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The Man in the Mirror
If you had told me two years ago that Braylon Edwards would soon ascend the Mount Rushmore of Cleveland sports villains, I would not have believed you. In fact, I probably would've used some choice words to accuse you of blasphemy. But after two years of questionable effort, mind-numbing drops, and constantly running his yap, Edwards "punched" his ticket to New York. Now, bad puns and all, Braylon Edwards just won't go away. BE17 took a not-so-thinly-veiled jab at Eric Mangini early last week, then his father chimed in with some head scratching comments a few days later. Nick Allburn talks about it in his latest column for us.
If you had told me two years ago that Braylon Edwards would soon ascend the Mount Rushmore of Cleveland sports villains, I would not have believed you. In fact, I probably would've used some choice words to accuse you of blasphemy.
But after two years of questionable effort, mind-numbing drops, and constantly running his yap, Edwards "punched" his ticket to New York. Now, bad puns and all, Braylon Edwards just won't go away.
Earlier this week, Edwards thanked Eric Mangini for trading him to the Jets; a not-so-thinly-veiled jab at Mangini. In the wee hours of Saturday morning, Tony Grossi
from a phone interview with Edwards' father, former NFL player Stanley Edwards, which once again made Browns fans shake their heads.
The elder Edwards said plenty of things, but the general thesis of his interview with Grossi was that Browns fans hate Braylon Edwards because he went to Michigan. We've seen Braylon bang this drum before, but it's good to know that it's not just him - the rest of his family is certifiable, too.
Let's settle this once and for all. There were various reasons why Browns fans learned to hate Braylon Edwards, and the fact that he attended that school up north had absolutely nothing to do with it. Contrary to Braylon and Stanley Edwards' distorted beliefs, not all Cleveland Browns fans are Ohio State honks.
As far as D-1 football in concerned, many Browns fans support the Buckeyes. Beyond them, there are large contingents that pull for Notre Dame, and plenty who support -
- Michigan. Some aren't interested in college football. But none of that matters, because we all have one common team that we want to succeed, and that team is the Cleveland Browns.
Of course there are a handful of fans on the fringe that would probably like to see 53 Ohio State alumni suit up for the Browns every week, but those fans are are in the micro-minority. Those fans also aren't very bright, because a team of 53 Buckeyes wouldn't fare very well on Sundays.
I'm an Ohio State fan (as well as a Penn State fan, which positions me solidly as a college sports polygamist), but when it comes to the Browns, college football allegiances have precisely zero effect on what I think is best for the team.
When the Browns picked Brian Robiskie in the second round of last year's draft, I was furious because it was the wrong pick. When the Browns drafted Braylon Edwards, I was pleased. I knew that Edwards was a really talented guy, and I always want to see talented players wearing orange and brown, whether they played college ball for (the) Ohio State University, the University of Michigan, or the University of Iraq.
I can't speak for everyone, but some of the reasons why I hate Braylon Edwards include his poor performance given his draft position, his endless drops, his constant chatter (which was never backed up on the field), his bloated contract (nearly $8 million per), and the fact that he wasn't exactly Pete Rose in the hustle department. If you're a great player, fans are willing to forgive quite a few warts, but Edwards wasn't a good player within the contexts of his draft position and fat rookie contract. Thus, Browns fans didn't like him.
Stanley Edwards' comments not only show us that Braylon's dad is a few cards short of a full deck, but they also give us a little glimpse into what made Braylon into the spoiled brat he is today.
At the risk of turning this column into a transcript of
, I don't think it's too presumptuous to say that Braylon Edwards' misbehavior was constantly enabled by his father. It's probably a safe bet that in the Edwards household, nothing was ever Braylon's fault. It wasn't Braylon's fault that he flunked the test; the teacher just didn't do a good job. It wasn't Braylon's fault that he wrecked the car; the road was poorly marked. And it wasn't Braylon's fault that he failed in Cleveland; the mean Browns fans just didn't like him.
As a matter of fact, some of Braylon's problems on the field might be linked to this phenomena. We all know people who don't take ownership for their mistakes and shortcomings, and failure to do so comes with consequences. Braylon Edwards is one such person.
If someone never take ownership for his mistakes, he's unlikely to say "I'm not very good at something, so I'm going to work really hard to improve." People like that lack mental fortitude. Would it make sense for a guy like that to show poor work ethic on the football field? If a guy like that started to drop the football, could you see him becoming a head case who suddenly can't catch anything? Does this sound painfully familiar?
Leroy Hoard and Aaron Shea went to Michigan. I liked those guys. Then again, neither of them were arrogant jerks who dropped passes or punched people.
Braylon Edwards is a loser who blames his problems on everyone but himself. Edwards is mentally soft and no matter how deeply he buries that fact, he knows it. He overcompensates with arrogance and false bravado. In spite of being dragged to the AFC Championship by a Jets team that plays great defense and runs the football effectively, Edwards will never be a core player on a championship team.
Browns fans don't like Braylon Edwards. At this point, nothing short of a miracle will change that. But it's not because of where he went to college, his haircut, or what type of cereal he ate for breakfast. If Braylon wants to know why we don't like him - and odds are that he doesn't
want to know - he can take a page out of Michael Jackson's book, and start with the man in mirror.
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