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Pluto: The romance of the orange helmet returns
Cleveland Browns open 2013 season on Sunday with Northeast Ohioans' full attention, despite having just one winning record since 1999
by WKSU's AMANDA RABINOWITZ


Morning Edition Host
Amanda Rabinowitz
 
Cleveland Browns open 2013 season on Sunday with Northeast Ohioans' full attention, despite having just one winning record since 1999.
Download (WKSU Only)

It’s been nearly a decade since the Browns won their season opening game…And, they have had just one winning season since returning to the league in 1999. Still, throngs of fans will be tuning in to watch this weekend’s opener against the Miami Dolphins.

WKSU commentator Terry Pluto talks about why the Browns consistently have the spotlight...even while the Indians have been contending for the playoffs most of the summer.

Listen: Terry Pluto on the Browns opener

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On Sunday, the Cleveland Browns will begin the 2013 NFL regular season with a game against the Miami Dolphins at FirstEnergy Stadium. And throngs of fans are expected to watch the game, despite the team having just one winning season since returning to the league in 1999. 

Bad but captivating
Terry Pluto says, "The hold the Browns have on this area defies any sort of rational thinking. Because they are so bad, and they've been so bad for so long and when they weren't bad they moved, which is the ultimate rejection. And yet it's just such a football town."

Publicity machine
And he says ESPN fuels that interest. "You've got the pregame show, the post game show, press conferences shown on ESPN 1, 2 and 3. And you've got fantasy football."

Turnover
Pluto says each first game of the season is a new surprise because the team has had so much turnover year after year. The Browns have had 10 different opening day starting quarterbacks since 1999. Their returning quarterback, Brandon Weedon, is just the second quarterback to start back-to-back opening season games since 1999. The other was University of Akron alum Charlie Frye who, after getting off to a bad start in the first game against Steelers in 2007, was taken out of the game and then released days later. Only once since the team returned has the same quarterback started all 16 games. That was Tim Couch in 2001. 

They also have hired Rob Chudzinski, who is the team's 7th coach since 1999. It's his third stint with the team. He coached the tight ends in 2004 and was the offensive coordinator in 2007 and 2008. It’s his first head coaching job after serving as offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers for the last two seasons.

2013 prediction?
Pluto is going with a Browns 2013 record of 6-10. That's what he picks every year. "People say it sounds low. Well, how does it sound low when they've always been 4-12 or 5-11 which they've been every year since 2007?"
Terry Pluto on Indians pitching ace Danny Salazaar
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(6:34)

Related Links & Resources
The NFL's publicity machine

Cleveland Browns Year by Year Season Results


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Cleveland Browns owner Haslam insists he did nothing wrong
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