– “Forbes” have released a list of its top 50 most valuable franchises in sports. 29 of the 32 NFL teams are on it. The Cleveland Browns were number 50. Of 50, they were 50. Three teams didn’t make the list. Three NFL teams didn’t make the top 50, Bengals, Lions, Browns– Bengals, Lions, Bills. Excuse me. Let me say that again. Bengals, Lions, Bills.
But one that really stood out to me is the Lions. Bengals, Bills have been in Super Bowls. Lions haven’t. We think of the Browns as the most futile franchise in sport. In the last decade, they’ve been brutal.
But here’s my NFL franchise futility checklist. Zero Super Bowl appearances. Check. Lions are one of four teams with none. Browns, Jags, Texans, Lions.
No playoffs since 1991. Check. Haven’t won a playoff game in 26 years. Only the Bengals have a longer drought.
Had a winless season. Check. Lions in 2008. Browns last year. Bucs in ’76.
Most losses in the Super Bowl era. Check. Lions have the most losses of any NFL franchise.
The Lions are the only franchise to check all four boxes– most losses by any team in the Super Bowl era, zero Super Bowl appearances, no playoffs since ’91, one playoff win in 50 years, had an 0 and 16 season in 2008.
By the way, their two greatest players– Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson– both retired early. What does that tell you?
By the way, it can’t be the state or the city. Pistons, multiple titles. Red Wings had a dynasty. Tigers, several titles. It can’t be the state. Michigan football been a national title. Michigan State basketball’s been fantastic, has a national title.
You think the Browns are the worst franchise. The Detroit Lions are the NFL’s worst franchise as we head to another NFL season. And I have them picked for third. Same with Cleveland.
Source: Fox Sports