The explosion of enthusiasm among Browns fans over the selection of quarterback Johnny Manziel with the No. 22 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft Thursday night was soon followed by an actual explosion, as the City of Cleveland was decimated by a massive asteroid.
The asteroid hit the city as general manager Ray Farmer and head coach Mike Pettine were discussing the team’s first round selections at the team’s Berea, Ohio, headquarters. Cleveland and its surrounding communities are now a hellscape of fire, ash and death and it is believed there were no survivors of the catastrophe.
Manziel, safe in New York City at the draft, was disappointed by the news.
“I know all about the history of bad luck with the Cleveland Browns — or, I guess just Browns now — and I am motivated to be the one who changes that,” he said. “If there’s any positive to the asteroid strike and all the deaths, it’s that the slate is kind of wiped clean and we can build something new.”
It is not yet known what players remain on the Browns roster. Manziel and fellow 1st Round selection Justin Gilbert live on, as do any Browns players who don’t live in Cleveland or were away from the city at the time of last night’s disaster.
As far as Cleveland sports disasters go, Thursday night’s asteroid strike rates pretty high.
“I still think Earnest Byner’s fumble was worse,” said Tom Diller, a Cleveland sports radio host who was in New York for the draft. “Maybe it didn’t kill a million people, but it broke that many hearts.”
A NASA spokesman said they have been known for months that the asteroid would likely hit Cleveland directly.
“We alerted the Defense Department and it was a joint decision that, due to budget constraints, we wouldn’t shoot the asteroid out of the sky,” said the spokesman. “Cleveland is not considered a top priority.”
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