Thought of the Day finale


In our latest version of "Thought of the Day" in the AFC North, we asked which team was better: The 1999 expansion Cleveland Browns or this year’s Browns?

Here were the responses from our division inbox:

Kovacs from Santa Monica writes: Despite the poor effort, bad play and head-scratching front office moves, I have to take the 2009 Browns. This season has been painful, but I think that Randy Lerner is finally figuring out what he needs to do to run a team. The franchise needs a face and somebody to do the day-to-day stuff. It looks like the Browns will get that after the season.

Dirk from Everett, Wash., writes: The 2009 Browns are much more talented across the entire team, but the '99 Browns unfortunately were the better team. The '99 Browns were clearly overmatched, but they played with a desperate eagerness that made them a little dangerous on the field and worth watching. The '09 Browns often play with little obvious energy and passion. Tim Couch 10 games into his career was definitely better than Quinn 10 starts in, despite having only one reasonably decent weapon to work with. The '09 Browns would be much better if they stopped acting like Eric Mangini so much. He only stands on the sideline glowering at everyone.

Domenic DiPuccio from Brook Park, Ohio, writes: If I had to choose, it would have to be this year’s version of the Browns. Back in 1999 there was hope, now there is just apathy. They have had eleven years to build something that resembles a football team and we, the fans have yet to see it. This franchise is the laughing stock of the entire NFL. I think that the Lerner family will finally realize that the fans have had enough. There will be three games blacked-out here in Cleveland for the first time since the team's return, and I know many fans are talking about giving up their season tickets. The love affair with the Bleeding Clowns is over Randy Lerner. It is time to do something to make this city proud again, or you could always move the team to Los Angeles. I heard they want an NFL team.

Lucas Bertaux-Skeirik from Cincinnati, Ohio writes: The '99 Browns are definitely better. They scored more points per game, and the '09 Browns only win was against Buffalo, 6-3. You can barely count that as a win. The ‘09 Browns are playing in a tough division this year, with the Bengals being good, but it still does not excuse their 1-11 record.

Lupe Gonzalez from Lorain, Ohio writes: Hey guys wake up! 1999 Brownies were led by a pathetic QB in Couch. Brady Quinn has what it takes to be a great QB. Many changes need to be made offensively and defensively. Spend the money and get quality players to help Quinn make the Browns contenders!

Craig from Lwood, Ohio, writes: Does anyone really care? But if I had to pick, it would be the '99 squad. They are going to have more wins, and even if the '09 team squeaks out another W, it won't be against the Steelers. So the '99 teams gets the tie-breaker with their W over the black and gold.

Dan Wise from Minneapolis, Minn., writes: Big Game James, in regards to the "Thought of the Day" for the ‘09 vs ‘99 Browns, the ‘09 team seems to have more talent on it but if you look at the overall picture, the 99 team was better. The ‘99 team gave the fans hope. We knew it would be a rough season but there was hope. The only hope this team has is that Mangini is gone and Lerner hires the right people. The ‘99 team played with passion and gave it their all. This team seems to quit at times and there is fighting in the locker room. All in all the ‘99 season was so much more enjoyable as a Browns fan, even if the quality of players was not nearly as close.

Matt from Castle Rock writes: It’s 1999 without a doubt. It means the Butch Davis, Mangini, Chris Palmer and the Romeo Crennel/Phil Savage years never happened. In a strange twist, I would take Romeo and Savage to start the expansion Browns though.

Kyle Phelps from Cincinnati, Ohio, writes: The biggest difference between the '99 Browns and the '09 Browns is Tim Couch vs. Brady Quinn. Couch was labeled a "bust" because he struggled on the Browns, got hurt, and just wasn't right afterwards. But if you look at how he played, he played hard and with heart. I'm not saying Brady Quinn doesn't have heart, but he just doesn't have the same level of natural talent as Couch did. Plus the 1999 Browns had a lot of young players with potential. The current Browns are young but a lot of the players do not look like they are going anywhere. As for being a collectively better team I'd say the 1999 Browns were better, if not just because their QB was actually good.

AFC North Final Say

James Walker: These are all interesting points from both sides. But if those two teams played on Sunday, I think the 2009 Browns have a little more talent and would win by a slight margin. But in the end, you are what your record says you are. So if the current Browns cannot at least match the 2-14 record of the expansion Browns, it's hard to argue this year's version was better. Stay tuned.

If you have any future "Thought of the Day" topics, feel free to send them to our AFC North inbox.