NFL Network's "Cleveland '95" misleading
The NFL Network's look at the Browns' darkest hour was a bit misleading. True, the sorrow and agony of the final Browns game at the old Municipal Stadium on Dec. 17, 1995 was portrayed well in the documentary.
But the ones hurt most by Art Modell's decision to move the Browns to Baltimore - the fans - were not the focus of the hour-long documentary.
Its was Belichick, the former coach Browns fans loved to hate. However, with the passage of time and the death of Modell last month, Belichick shined throughout. It was also clear, after the decision of the move, he and his boss did not get along.
Belichick called the decision "very unfair" and that afterward said "the owner was no where to be found." Browns fans would have loved to hear that from their coach in '95.
Instead, the NFL Network's look at that forgettable '95 season was yet another example how the city and its fans were left behind on so many levels.
Belichick's staff was littered with individuals who have shaped the game of football into the new century. It included college coaches Nick Saban at Alabama, Kirk Ferentz at Iowa, four current NFL general managers, Scott Pioli (Chiefs), Mike Tannebaum (Jets), Thomas Dimitroff (Falcons) and Ozzie Newsome (Ravens) and many more.
Save Eric Mangini and Phil Savage (some good, mostly bad), the Browns were unable to reap the benefits of that front-office and coaching talent and things only got worse. The year after the Browns were moved and renamed the Ravens, it drafted future Hall of Famers Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis, two players that paved the way to a Super Bowl championship. Talk about two sucker punches to the gut.
Of course, there's also Belichick, fired by Modell in February after the 1995 season. We all know what he accomplished at New England. No reminder is needed.
All it's done is add to the sadness. A current Browns franchise stuck in mud only makes the hurt sting more. The bitterness remains.
- Mark Podolski | @mpodo