The Browns and Cavs have very little in common. They both play their home games in Cleveland. They both, along with the Cleveland Indians, carry the weight of the city's sports depression. They are both professional sports franchises.
Besides that, they have little else in common.
The Cavs have forced a Game 7 in Oakland against the Golden State Warriors to decide the NBA Title.
The Browns' biggest accomplishments are hiring Hue Jackson and drafting 14 players in this year's NFL Draft.
Yet, being intertwined with the passion of the fans of the city means that an NBA Title could have a big impact on the Browns and their fanbase.
Overall, Cleveland is a Browns town. The Cavs and Indians have brought hope and excitement at different times but the city rises and falls with the Browns prominently. Throughout my time covering the different teams, on average, Cavs related articles get about 75% of the hits Browns related articles do. Indians related content hovers at or below 50%.
Talking to various other media members has confirmed this experience for them as well, the team that has had the least success also draws the most eyes.
So what happens if the Cavs win tomorrow night? Do they steal away some of the Browns foot hold in the fanbase? Do they ramp up the desire to see a Browns title? Do fans, who are Browns first fans, minimize the win with a "Yeah but the Browns..."?
Or is it possible that the Browns pressure balloon will deflate and this regime will be given the proper time to develop their schemes and strategies (at least 3 full seasons is the minimum)?
One of the reasons that many fans have pinned their hopes on the Browns is the culture of the NFL. Teams go from worst to first seemingly every year. If so many teams have done it in the past, so the thinking goes, why can't the Browns this year?
MLB is different. It takes years for most players to rise through the ranks of the minor leagues before making an impact. Many do not make it so it is hard for fans to know when teams are ready to "turn the corner." Even when the Kenny Lofton Indians started playing well, it was the stadium that started bringing fans to the game then the Indians kept them interested.
Over the last few years, while still a good, playoff caliber team, attendance and interest has dwindled among the common sports fans.
The NBA is also different than the NFL. For some time, the hopes of teams depended on either getting a Top 3 pick or a stud free agent choosing to come to your team. Cleveland never drew the top tier guy in free agency so fans banked on drafting well and waiting for a team to come together.
Since 2010, NBA teams now have to hope to combine 2 or 3 star type players to make things happen. If LeBron James hadn't returned to Cleveland, Cavs faithful would be hoping Andrew Wiggins, Dion Waiters and Tyler Zeller, among others, could become stars down the road. LeBron, and the Kevin Love trade, fast forwarded everything to where we are today.
So what happens if (when?!) the Cavs win on Sunday?
The Browns will still go into the season of rebuild with a ton of rookie and young players that they are hoping to build their team around. Jackson will be looking to put his stamp on the team while working together with the analytics department that brings valuable information.
Browns only/mostly fans will be looking for any signs of hope they can find with the new team. Big and/or speedy receivers. Defenders getting to the quarterback. Robert Griffin III looking like he is reborn OR Deshaun Watson looking like a true #1 pick at Clemson.
The organization will keep their plan in place. They won't change anything due to a Cavs Title win. They will hope in their Front Office and Jackson while compiling more and more assets for the future.
But for Cleveland Sports Fans, the ones who cheer for everything Cleveland, a Cavs title will relieve the pressure. Instead of needing the Browns, due to the NFL's worst to first nature, to win quickly, these fans can enjoy the rebuilding process. Instead of demanding success on the scoreboard, they can demand success on the practice field and in the film room.
A Cleveland Cavaliers NBA Title doesn't change anything for the Cleveland Browns Organization as a whole. It doesn't change anything for the Cleveland Browns team on the field. It also doesn't change anything for those fans whose fandom is focused almost solely around the Browns.
But for the fans of all things Cleveland sports, a Cavs title can relieve the pressure. It can keep them from going into attack mode in the Forums and on call in radio shows. It can relieve the pressure in a way that is unlike anything we can even put in to words.
How would a Cavs title impact your thoughts and reactions to the Browns this season?null