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The unquantifiable importance of Trent Richardson

September 21, 2012

ImageLast weekend the Browns lost a football game. That is not out of the ordinary.  I also watched every single play. This also is to be expected.  What was entirely different about last Sunday however was the feeling that any time the Browns were on offense they could score, from anywhere on the field.  The reason for this feeling is simple: Trent Richardson.

Trent Richardson stands at roughly 5’9 and weighs 230 pounds. He is made of layers beyond layers of equal parts muscle, determination and heart. He can run through a defender, make them miss with a swift cut or simply run right by them.  On Sunday Trent Richardson established himself onto a short list of athletes; he became a Channel Stopper.

Each sport has a number of these athletes. Those players that, when you’re flipping through the channels and you come across them, you immediately stop to watch.  In baseball currently there are three of these players for me: Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Matt Kemp.  You have the feeling that something special is going to happen every time they step up to the plate.  Basketball is a little different because players are involved in every play but there are still Channel Stoppers: Kobe, Kevin Durant and, sadly, LeBron. You can also include athletes like Tiger about six years ago, Federer and Nadal and, for me, about 15 international soccer players. Football also has it’s Channel Stoppers: Vick before his arrest, Barry Sanders in the Tecmo Super Bowl days and currently you could also put Cam Newton up there.  Add one more name to that list: Trent Richardson.

For this reason, Trent is already more valuable than Brandon Weeden can ever hope to be. Weeden could turn out to be a very good quarterback and lead this team to success but the reason that the Cleveland Browns will start to play games in prime time in the coming years is the physical specimen that is Trent Richardson.  ESPN, NBC, Fox & CBS are always looking for marquee matchups, big time stars and Channel Stoppers.  I will watch any football game I can find but the average fan is more likely to stop on a game if they see a big name (Manning, Brady, etc…) or if they think something special might happen. T-Rich provides that spark.

The odds are the Browns won’t win many games this year. They may even lose Sunday to the Bills (for what it’s worth I have them winning). Hell. they might even end up with one of the worst records in the league.  As a Clevelander these things are hard to accept but for the first time since LeBron we have hope for a better tomorrow. I don’t know what the final score will be Sunday and I don’t know if/when the Browns will get back to the playoffs but what I do know is this: I will watch every single second of that game expecting something special to happen anytime #33 touches the ball.  THAT cannot be measured by stats, wins or losses.  It may not be a championship yet but we have our start. We have our Channel Stopper.

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