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Dunlap: Cleveland Browns Are A Mess; No Tears Here

The quarterback is in rehab.

The receiver is suspended (again) for at least a year.

And the general manager might be in trouble for sending illegal texts during a game.

Welcome to Cleveland.

Be glad you live in Pittsburgh --- where coming off an 11-5 season and a trip to the playoffs and fixing what's wrong with the secondary is small potatoes when compared to the problems facing our Rust Belt neighbors just to the northwest.

Know who won't shed a tear for the goings-on up there? Me.

If you grew up in western Pennsylvania, the two teams you root for on Sundays were the Steelers and whoever was playing the Browns --- and that's become even easier now that the Browns can't seem to go a decent span of time without a misstep.

There have been numerous reports of a dysfunction that all circles back to owner Jimmy Haslam, a man who is said to ooze power and make it difficult for anyone who is an underling of his to have an independent thought --- let alone action --- without the fear of being fired. That's apparently what's happening in Cleveland with the Browns; a man at the top is playing puppeteer and it has all led to one big circus and an organization teetering on disarray.

Look, there's no way to hide it, and in full disclosure, my disdain for Cleveland is well-documented with a long history. I hate the place, can't stand it.

But here's the truth: When occurrences like what are happening right now with the Browns are happening, it makes it really hard to have any sense of fondness for the organization; one that ostensibly brings all this on itself.

It isn't bad luck or a stroke of being in the wrong place at the wrong time --- no, the Browns dig their own hole and then have a great way of picking up more shovels and digging the hole deeper and deeper.

Case in point is the now-in-rehab quarterback, Johnny Manziel. This is a player who the Browns selected with the 22nd pick in the first round even after some teams --- because of his cavalier attitude and off-field debauchery --- didn't seem to have him on their draft board at all. Then, there were a series of missteps and gaffes throughout his rookie season where Manziel made headlines for all the wrong reasons, even as he rarely played quarterback.

Thinking back to draft day, was it any wonder it was headed down this path?

Wasn't the safe money on Money Manziel more likely ending up in a treatment facility than the Pro Bowl after his rookie season?

Sure appeared that way.

Same thing with the quandary the franchise finds itself in with Josh Gordon, the oft-troubled receiver now suspended at least a year without pay for testing positive for alcohol. This comes after Gordon served a 10-game suspension last season for a violation of the NFL substance abuse policy and another for missing a team walk-through.

It is one thing if this all would have sprung up, but this is a guy who wound up in Cleveland via the Supplemental Draft because he was kicked out of Baylor.
That said, the Browns knew what they were getting here. And that's why not one iota of my fiber feels bad for them.

There's also the story of general manager Ray Farmer and his busy-fingers. Multiple reports claim that Farmer faces possible sanctions for texting playcalls from the press box down to the field during games to attempt to give the Browns a competitive advantage. That's flat-out, overt cheating by someone who flat-out overtly knows better.

So it isn't just the players who are involved in shenanigans in Cleveland. No, the front office guys get in on the act too.

This all brings us back to the fundamental point. Be glad you live in Pittsburgh, where the problems with the football team don't appear to be anywhere as deep as the ones with the Browns.

Also, don't feel too bad for the people in Cleveland --- that organization brought it all on itself.

Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 "The Fan." You can e-mail him at Check out his bio here.

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