Friday, September 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Storm

Browns' Haden angered by loss to Alabama in video game simulation

BEREA, Ohio — The Browns are a joke, and it's eating away at two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Joe Haden.

Late-night talk show hosts Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Fallon have been using the NFL's only winless team as a punch line.

Some fans are planning a parade around FirstEnergy Stadium should the Browns finish 0-16.

But nothing has drawn the ire of Haden more than running a Madden video game simulation between college powerhouse Alabama and the Browns on Wednesday. Alabama won 34-0.

The simulation bothered Haden so much that he broached the subject unsolicited after Friday's walk-through practice.

"This is terrible," the former Gators standout said as the Browns prepared to host the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. "You're talking about an 0-16 parade. It's very, very tough, and it hits you right between the eyes because I'm on the team.

"The worst thing I've ever seen is us getting beat 34-0 to 'Bama. Once I've seen that, there was just nothing else to talk about."

Most people think the idea of a college team competing with an NFL team is ludicrous. Yet former NFL quarterback Kordell Stewart predicted on his NFL On TuneIn talk show "NFL No Huddle" that Alabama would beat the Browns by four points.

"It's a smack in the face. It makes you very upset," Haden said. "That's a slap in the face. It doesn't make any sense. Alabama's a great program. They've got amazing players. They've got players that are going to play in the NFL. We've got a team full of NFL guys. Comparing college team vs. NFL team is disrespectful."

Haden knows winning is the only way the Browns can make it stop.

"I've never been in a situation like this where we're literally the laughingstock of every joke," he said. "I can't look at any sports (website) or anything and they're not saying, 'At least he's not going to the Browns.' It's tough, it sucks and you're hearing if from everywhere. Everybody's giving it to you. There's really nothing you can do but go win."

Until then, Haden admitted he feels like hiding.

"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 it's really nothing to say."

On Sunday, it'll be 364 days since the Browns won.

"You have to win a game," Haden said. "No other ulterior motivation can make you go harder, play harder, do anything. It's like we keep getting slapped in the face.

"We haven't won a preseason game this season. We haven't won anything. So it's really like, 'All right. We keep losing. We've got to go out and win.' So that's the way you carry it."

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Published: 09/17/18