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#pounditFriday, December 4, 2020

Joe Haden: Browns jokes, comparisons to Alabama ‘disrespectful,’ hard to take


The Cleveland Browns have just four more chances to avoid becoming the second 0-16 team in NFL history. While the rest of the nation laughs, it’s a living nightmare for cornerback Joe Haden.

The last straw for Haden was a Bleacher Report simulation that showed Alabama trouncing the Browns 34-0.

“Comparing a college team to an NFL team, it’s disrespectful,” Haden said Friday, via Pat McManamon of ESPN. “That’s a smack in the face. It makes you very upset. That’s just a slap in the face. It doesn’t make any sense. Alabama is great. They’ve got amazing players. They’ve got players who are going to play in the NFL. We’ve got a team full of NFL guys.”

Haden also admitted it hurt to see a Browns fan planning an 0-16 “Perfect Season Parade” for the team.

“It’s terrible,” Haden said. “You’re talking about an 0-16 parade. … It’s very, very tough. It hits you right between the eyes. Because I’m on the team, there’s something I can do about it.”

Haden said he can barely watch sports coverage without being subjected to a Browns joke.

“And you’re hearing it from everywhere,” Haden said. “Everybody is giving it to you. There’s nothing you can do but go win. There’s nothing that can change this but winning. Until we get that changed, we’re going to be the laughingstock.”

Things are so bad, Haden doesn’t even go out much in the city of Cleveland anymore.

“Why would I go out?” Haden said. “Everybody in Cleveland, they recognize me. I’m a professional athlete in the city of Cleveland. When it’s not the season, I’m hanging out. It’s just so much easier to be able to talk. But now, there’s really nothing to say.”

It is really easy to make jokes about the Browns, but it’s hard to imagine being a part of the team that this is happening to. Just look at these quotes, or how their coach talks about the team’s struggles. No matter how much amusement the rest of us draw from it, it’s easy to see how being a national laughingstock is pretty awful to deal with.

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