Browns Hype and Browns Hate are coming together this week
We are less than 24 hours away from the start of the 2019 NFL Season in Cleveland, and already there is a vibe. Cleveland Browns Network sideline reporter and Cleveland Browns Daily Host, Nathan Zegura and ClevelandBrowns.com Senior Writer Andrew Gribble have been noting it all week.
“The cafeteria is packed,” laughed Gribble. “There’s usually not that many people [in the Browns facilities] this early in the season!”
“It’s not just the players and coaches, it’s the stars that are going to show up,” Zegura said.
Zegura went on to ask Gribble if he had any inside scoop as to the celebrities who might be on the way to Berea. He asked if “his boy”, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Superstar Johnny Gargano, was going to make it tomorrow. Gribble did not confirm, but did hint WWE would be sending a contingent of Cleveland Browns fans to the first practice.
Refer back to the title of this post, please.
Part of the package of trading for the most dominant, most high-profile receiver in the NFL is dealing with the drama surrounding him –even if it is old(ish) news.
GQ Magazine‘s Mark Anthony Green has been profiling Odell Beckham Jr. for OBJ’s cover shoot and article in the magazine. Most of what Green has written is already been said by OBJ himself on his social media accounts, but Green reiterated OBJ by quoting the peculiar wideout about being “disrespected” by the New York Giants via the trade. He went on to tell Green that he did not like the way his trade was handled by the organization, and that his six years of hard work and dedication should have accounted for a level of respect and conversation that general manager David Gettleman and head coach Pat Shurmur never showed him.
OBJ did make it a point to “show love” to Owner and Giants President John Mara. He thanked the fans who supported, and continue to support him, in the interview and on his social media accounts. Concerning his social media, OBJ went on to tell Green that he is developing an anxiety toward it all because he is afraid to speak his mind as an athlete without being criticized.
His off-season workouts and activities have been subjects of scorn from may, including Browns fans. Whether or not he should have stayed in Cleveland last month for all the off-season training activities can be debated, but OBJ’s further point is legitimate as well. He addressed the apparent double-standard between himself and New England Patriots now-retired tight end Rob “Gronk” Gronkowski. When Gronk would be seen clubbing or doing extreme sports, it was “Gronk being Gronk”, yet OBJ adroitly pointed out in the interview that he has a similar lifestyle but has never been involved in off-the-field drama, never arrested, and never given the Giants any undue public issues.
As for his on-field tirades, again, he feels, the media and the league are fine when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady does it, but when he does, he gets scrutinized.
OBJ finalized his thoughts by saying that his new team has given him a new lease on life, and that he is ready to be part of the Browns Renaissance.
Distractions won’t be an issue according to OBJ’s best friend/Browns default general manager/ wide receiver Jarvis Landry. Since last week, frustrated running back Duke Johnson Jr. had dumped his former agent and gained superagent Drew Rosenhaus. Rosenhaus, a respected voice with plenty of NFL front office connections, is possibly the only person who could either strike a mutually beneficial deal for a trade or convince Johnson to stay another year. As it relates to team unity, Landry is not worried:
Comprehensively, it seems like this drama is a combustible force that might backfire. It does not feel like it. Even though OBJ was not in Cleveland much during the off-season, the time he, QB Baker Mayfield, and Landry spent together might have been a better bonding experience than if he had. These Browns are determined not to let distractions overtake expectations. There will be no overrated, selfish receivers screaming at overrated, muscle-bound quarterbacks. There will be no more pass catchers insisting on the ball only to drop the most important catch of his career in a crucial time in the game.
There might be some pro-wrestling-sized personalities on this Browns team, but the players themselves are making sure that there won’t be pro-wrestling-sized egos to create pro-wrestling-sized drama.