One of the best aspects of having a favorite team is having someone to hate. As a Buckeye fan, it is my God-given right to hate Michigan. As a Browns fan, if I don't hate the Steelers and Ravens, then I should be thrown out into the streets and set on fire.
So, who are the Browns' top five most hated rivals? Without any further ado:
5. Hines Ward
Hines Ward is so easy to hate. First, he kills the Browns. Over his career, Ward has a 17-4 record against the Browns and has racked up over 1,350 yards with 8 TDs. That alone would be reason enough for this guy to be considered for this list.
But he does so much more. Nothing gets under my skin more than watching Hines Ward roll on the ground, get a flag, then pop up with that smug grin of his. He has a media reputation in the NFL as a great run blocker, but his reputation should be for late hits, cheap shots and dirty play. At least players know what he is; he was voted as the NFL's dirtiest player last season.
But no, Steeler fans love how he plays hard, and is just a "football player." Take this video, for instance. Notice how he is always coming up from behind and then celebrates over injured players? At the 30-second mark, Ward totally ear holes former Brown Devan Holly. What the video doesn't show is that right after his cowardly hit, Ward celebrated his cheap shot and was flagged. Holly missed time because of a concussion. Real tough guy right there.
4. Bill Belichick
I don't care if Bernie forgives Belichick. I haven't.
For those that don't know what I am speaking of, let's revisit the '93 season. It was going to be Belichick's third season, and he was feeling heat after collapsing down the stretch of the '92 season (2-5 finish). Belichick was never a Bernie Kosar fan, and he didn't make a big secret out of it. Other QBs were always getting time or being brought in (Mike Tomczak for example). But before the '93 season Belichick signed Vinny Testaverde to be the Browns starter.
Kosar handled the move well and accepted the role as back-up. Lo and behold, Testaverde was injured in a week four loss to Indianapolis. Kosar was back as the Browns starter. He wasn't great (57 percent, 807 yards, 5-3 ratio) but he was keeping the Browns alive.
After a home loss to Denver in week 10, Belichick cut Kosar. Said it was diminishing skill. Testaverde wasn't ready to come back, and the Browns were left with Todd Philcox as the starter. Many believed that this was a move by Belichick to remind everyone who was in charge. Some say that Belichick was tired of Kosar changing plays.
As for Kosar's "diminishing skill," he was signed by Dallas to back-up Troy Aikman. Kosar got his shot in the NFC Championship game after a Troy Aikman injury, going 5-of-9 for 83 yards and 1 TD. Not too shabby for a washed-up QB.
No matter what way you slice it, Belichick cut a Cleveland legend in the middle of the season with no notice to the fans. No farewell tour, no last hurrah. Cut like a back-up special team player. Kosar was my favorite player growing up and I never got to say good bye.
Belichick has gone on and won Super Bowls and is considered a brilliant football mind. In my book he will always be known as the dumbass who cut Bernie Kosar.
3. Ray Lewis
Do I really need to explain this one? Dude walked away from a murder investigation scott free even though he knows who killed those two guys! How does this happen?
Not only that, but now this guy shoves God down my throat every time he is placed in front of a camera. Isn't that awesome? Even aside from all that, he is annoying.
The man leads the free world in celebrating tackles after five yards gained. You know the dance I am talking about -- the jump up, kick out the right leg and scream as loud as you can like a fat Micheal Jackson. Second and five, Ray-Ray. I haven't even mentioned his pregame dance routine that takes just under a half hour for him to do. Yes, we know this is your house Ray. No need to dance around like a horny chicken looking to mate.
Did I mention he is a killer? (Raven fans love this).
2. John Elway
This horse-faced douche needs no explanation, but allow me to try. I hate his buck teeth. I hate his car dealerships. I hate his Super Bowl flip. I hate his stupid bow legged walk. I hate Stanford. I hate players who demand to be traded before they even play one down of professional football. I hate that no one remembers Montana kicking Elway's ass in about 20 Super Bowls. I hate that Terrell Davis doesn't get credit for being the best player on those Super Bowl teams. I hate the number 7. I hate his steak house. I hate the fact that John Elway makes me hate steak! I hate the fact that no one notices that Elway has a career QB rating of under 80! (Even Boomer Esiason has higher!)
I hate John Elway.
1. Art Modell
If you are a new Browns fan and don't exactly know why Modell did what he did, I wrote an article for Dawgsbynature.com explaining what went down and why the fans were and still are hurting.
That is the easiest way I can explain why I hate Modell. He took what was ours.
Now you have my list, what is yours? Did I forget someone? Let me hear your list.