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Football What if: What if the Browns never relocated?


Beluga4

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If the Browns never relocated to Baltimore the football world would be a lot different. In 1995 the CFL franchise the Baltimore Stallions won the Grey Cup, the next year the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore, kicking out the Stallions and bringing in the Ravens. Inevitably that eliminated the entire CFL-USA Conference because of the lack of teams. But what if the Browns never moved to Baltimore, that would mean the Ravens never would have existed and Baltimore would have to stick with a CFL franchise. The CFL would have to continue the CFL-USA Conference because they had 4 teams. If the CFL-USA conference played one more year the Birmingham Barracudas and the Shreveport Pirates would have merged forming the Shreveport Barracudas. Since the USA Conference survived they would bring back old teams to even the conferences including the Las Vegas Posse and Sacramento Gold Miners. They would award new expansion franchises to Columbus, Portland, Rapid City and Nashville. In 2001 when the XFL was formed the Las Vegas Outlaws would never be a team because of the CFL and the league would instead have a franchise in Houston, because Houston loves football so much the XFL doesn't fold after one year and they live on to this day. So who would have taken the 31st and 32nd teams in the NFL since the CFL and XFL took Houston and Baltimore? It would have given Birmingham and Norfolk a team and since the Oilers couldn't move to Nashville because of their CFL team the Oilers found rest in Oklahoma City. So basically the NFL has 3 new teams, the XFL remains a league and the CFL-USA Conference has 4 new teams and remains to this day.

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bunk-the-wire.gif

This post grasps at a lot of straws

Do you know the history of the CFL?

The CFL USA teams were all financial failures and that's why they were shutdown. Even if the Browns didn't move to Baltimore, the CFL USA teams would have folded within the next few years. In your alternate universe, the only team I see having the possibility of staying are the Stallions. The CFL would have pulled out of every other USA city and never looked back.

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I was pretty sure that the only team that was financially challenged was Birmingham and they were going to combine with Shreveport. I did not think that Memphis and San Antonio were low on funds

Memphis averaged less than 10k/game, son. They were in major trouble as there was no demand for the product.

http://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/01/sports/team-folds-in-memphis.html

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Son?


If "ifs and buts were candy and nuts"...

If the Browns never relocated to Baltimore the football world would be a lot different. In 1995 the CFL franchise the Baltimore Stallions won the Grey Cup, the next year the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore, kicking out the Stallions and bringing in the Ravens. Inevitably that eliminated the entire CFL-USA Conference because of the lack of teams. But what if the Browns never moved to Baltimore, that would mean the Ravens never would have existed and Baltimore would have to stick with a CFL franchise. The CFL would have to continue the CFL-USA Conference because they had 4 teams. If the CFL-USA conference played one more year the Birmingham Barracudas and the Shreveport Pirates would have merged forming the Shreveport Barracudas. Since the USA Conference survived they would bring back old teams to even the conferences including the Las Vegas Posse and Sacramento Gold Miners. They would award new expansion franchises to Columbus, Portland, Rapid City and Nashville. In 2001 when the XFL was formed the Las Vegas Outlaws would never be a team because of the CFL and the league would instead have a franchise in Houston, because Houston loves football so much the XFL doesn't fold after one year and they live on to this day. So who would have taken the 31st and 32nd teams in the NFL since the CFL and XFL took Houston and Baltimore? It would have given Birmingham and Norfolk a team and since the Oilers couldn't move to Nashville because of their CFL team the Oilers found rest in Oklahoma City. So basically the NFL has 3 new teams, the XFL remains a league and the CFL-USA Conference has 4 new teams and remains to this day.

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If "ifs and buts were candy and nuts"...

...then Los Angeles wouldn't have been the NFL's ultimate relocation pawn for almost two decades, with no end in sight.

At least Cleveland got an NFL team back in one way or form, so I find this whole topic moot. There will have been close to a full generation of Browns fans only knowing the 1999-on version of the team; therefore, I think the whole, "what if Baltimore never got the Browns v.1" thing is just for bar-talk purposes.

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If the Browns never relocated to Baltimore the football world would be a lot different. In 1995 the CFL franchise the Baltimore Stallions won the Grey Cup, the next year the Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore, kicking out the Stallions and bringing in the Ravens. Inevitably that eliminated the entire CFL-USA Conference because of the lack of teams. But what if the Browns never moved to Baltimore, that would mean the Ravens never would have existed and Baltimore would have to stick with a CFL franchise. The CFL would have to continue the CFL-USA Conference because they had 4 teams. If the CFL-USA conference played one more year the Birmingham Barracudas and the Shreveport Pirates would have merged forming the Shreveport Barracudas. Since the USA Conference survived they would bring back old teams to even the conferences including the Las Vegas Posse and Sacramento Gold Miners. They would award new expansion franchises to Columbus, Portland, Rapid City and Nashville. In 2001 when the XFL was formed the Las Vegas Outlaws would never be a team because of the CFL and the league would instead have a franchise in Houston, because Houston loves football so much the XFL doesn't fold after one year and they live on to this day. So who would have taken the 31st and 32nd teams in the NFL since the CFL and XFL took Houston and Baltimore? It would have given Birmingham and Norfolk a team and since the Oilers couldn't move to Nashville because of their CFL team the Oilers found rest in Oklahoma City. So basically the NFL has 3 new teams, the XFL remains a league and the CFL-USA Conference has 4 new teams and remains to this day.

Too cluttered, didn't read.

Also, CFL-USA was a failure, straight and simple.

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I think the much more interesting hypothetical conversation would be if the CFL took on standardized American football rules (4 downs, 100 yard fields, etc...) would the CFL/USA expansion have been popular enough to stay?

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If the CFL had taken on standardized American football rules, then I have no reason to think anyone would be interested in an inferior product when the NFL was there. Maybe for the football-starved fans in July and August, but eventually the meat of the CFL schedule converges with the NFL schedule (and college) that I can't really imagine that working out.

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Have you seen hockey games played between American and Canadian teams. They play both anthems. That is the most awkward thing in sports :therock:

You're not a hockey fan are you.

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Have you seen hockey games played between American and Canadian teams. They play both anthems. That is the most awkward thing in sports :therock:

They do it every single game in Buffalo. It would be weird for me to go to a hockey game and only hear one. Also, how did we get here?

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I was pretty sure that the only team that was financially challenged was Birmingham and they were going to combine with Shreveport. I did not think that Memphis and San Antonio were low on funds

And you'd be pretty wrong. All the CFL's U.S. based teams were losing money hand over fist, including Baltimore. I honestly think it could've worked given owners with deep enough pockets and a "northern strategy" of employing markets that might at least have had some prior exposure to the CFL style of play (e.g., Portland, Milwaukee, Buffalo, Salt Lake City), but as it was it was doomed before it began.

That video's nearly 20 years old, but even though I'm an American, that's a damned shame. My belated apologies to Canadians everywhere on behalf of my country for that.

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If the Browns never moved I don't think the result on the lower levels would've been that great. The American CFL teams were performing pretty poorly financially, even Baltimore, and I think the CFL wanted out of the US very soon after trying the experiment. The Stallions would’ve stayed in Baltimore for maybe an extra season or two if the Ravens never move in.

The most likely scenario in a world where Cleveland never moves is that Baltimore and the NFL wait to get the Bombers in 2002 along with Houston and the lower levels of minor league football pretty much stay as they were.

The XFL was always doomed and there’s no parallel universe where that idea was going to work. Houston wasn't awarded an XFL franchise in 2001 because they were getting an NFL franchise in 2002 so your contingency that Houston would've saved the XFL doesn't work in the real world or hypothetical world.

Baltimore was going to get an NFL team back one way or another, and the XFL and CFL USA were going to fail one way or the other.

Here's where I hoped this thread was going to go: Are the Browns on the same trajectory as the Ravens if they never move? Meaning: Does Cleveland own two super bowl trophies and one of the most successful professional sports franchises of the last decade and a half?

it's the butterfly effect and we can never know, but I posit that the Browns wouldn't have had the same success as the Ravens. Let's consider only the 2000 Ravens' super bowl where that team benefited from two wins against a bad Browns team that the hypothetical Browns wouldn't get to enjoy. Potentially two fewer wins means they're probably not playing at home in the first playoff game if they're even in the playoffs at all. So the Browns don't win the 2000 super bowl, and because their defensive-heavy game didn't work they attempt to go in a different direction and build around offense, which results in a long failure of QB busts and bad running back picks. Ray Lewis, the team's leader walks in free agency to, oh let's say, Miami where he played in college. Cleveland still remains superbowlless.

I had to scroll down to the comments to realize that wasn't very close to the actual Canadian national anthem.

and you're proud of this?

"Oh Canada" is one of the world's great anthems. Everyone should know it.

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