"On a cold night, a hot bowl of soup tastes good." It will take more than hot soup Sunday night to make Browns fans feel better


The Cleveland Browns look like they have enough votes to get the millions in FirstEnergy Stadium improvements deal through Cleveland City Council on Monday night. The city is the team's landlord, in case you didn't know. What the Browns really need is to tell fans is that they will spend millions to fashion an offensive line and get a solid quarterback in the upcoming draft.

Of course, they can't tip their hand and broadcast who they are looking at. But can the Browns really afford to try and keep the fans from shaking their heads at the planned state-of-the-art scoreboard and improved concessions instead of a team that can play above .500 football? Now I'm not talking immediate playoffs, just a team that is in the hunt year after year.

It would have been great if the Browns beat the Steelers inside said stadium on Sunday afternoon when the wind chill made it feel like 11 degrees as eager and supportive fans filled the seats. That just didn't happen and it wasn't even as close of a game as many hoped it would be.

The legendary rivalry has been too lopsided to be called a "rivalry" anymore. Let's just concede that. The Browns and the Steelers played in the same weather. The Steelers kicker did better than the Browns kicker under the windy conditions. The Steelers played better in someone else's house under bad weather conditions because they are the better team, regardless of what you think of Ben Roethlisberger personally.

With 3:13 to go in the fourth quarter, the Browns started playing football, scoring 9 points to bring the score to 27-11 but it was too little too late. The Browns have the receivers but they need someone reliable to get the ball to them. They also need an improved offensive line that can help spring the run plays loose.

The old Lawson's commercial all Greater Clevelanders of a certain generation remember about their orange juice and its delivery -- Roll on, Big O, get that juice up to Lawson's in 40 hours -- could be reworked for Browns fans if the Browns improve their offensive line.

It's stating the obvious but how many more years must fans wait for a winner? A real winner.

It's not just the questionable throws of QB Brandon Weeden that drive Browns fans wild. It's not that now-injured QB Jason Campbell was that much more effective against the Steelers. And the coaches -- including head coach Rob Chudzinski -- can only work with what they've got to work with.

The Browns should thank all the thousands of fans who braved the bitter cold and wind down on the lakefront -- and watching the Browns QBs getting sacked a total of five times. To once again quote a longtime friend, "On a cold night, a hot bowl of soup tastes good." It will take more than hot soup Sunday night to make Browns fans feel better.

Follow Kim Wendel on Twitter @KimWendel