Before he was globally known as WWE superstar The Miz, Mike Mizanin was a die-hard Browns fan cheering on Bernie Kosar from the Cleveland suburbs.
“I remember being in a school bus and singing ‘Bernie, Bernie, ohhh baby, Super Bowl’ and then the Denver Broncos would kill us.”
With the Cleveland native’s hometown hosting this weekend 2021 NFL Draft, we wanted to get The Miz’s thoughts not only on the team’s rookie targets, but the Browns’ impressive turnaround, odds to win Super Bowl 56 and Baker Mayfield’s odds to win MVP someday.
Miz on Browns Turnaround
Upon returning to Cleveland in 1999, the Browns advanced to the playoffs just once through their first 21 seasons, posted a 1-15 record in 2016 and the following year, became just the second team in NFL history to post an 0-16 record. The Miz remembers these dark ages of Dawg Pound football defined by one ulcer-inducing phrase.
“Every year it’s going be our year,” Miz said with a dash of sarcasm. ‘Oh we got this guy. Oh man, Johnny Manziel, he’s going to take us to the promised land. Oh man, Brandon Weeden, let’s go!’ That’s what you do as a Cleveland Browns fan.”
Or should we say that’s what Browns fans did.
“This is a Super Bowl caliber team,” Miz said. “Last year, (head coach) Kevin Stefanski gave Cleveland a winning mentality and that’s what we needed. We figured out a way to win.”
The Miz on Browns Super Bowl Odds
Speaking of the NFL Championship game, the Browns’ Super Bowl odds are 17-to-1 over at Bovada. The Miz knows the Chiefs are lurking, but after nearly beating Kansas City in the divisional playoffs last January, anything is possible.
“I know the Chiefs are a powerhouse,” Miz said. “Patrick Mahomes is an elite level quarterback. He will be there for a very long time. But I honestly believe the Browns are the team that can take them down. Bet on the Browns to win the Super Bowl because I am.”
|Favorites to Win Super Bowl 56||Odds|
Mahomes is a heavy 5-to-1 favorite to win the 2021 MVP at BetOnline, while the Browns’ Baker Mayfield is a longshot at 33-to-1. Would Miz take a flier on his hometown quarterback?
“In the future, yes. Next year, no,” Miz said. “I think next year we’re a running team and running the ball first. Whenever you have Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt, I don’t care how much of a superstar quarterback you have, you’re using your run game. So, it will be very difficult for Baker to be MVP when you have that elite level of running back.” Miz was quick to add, “I think he’s going to hone in and be our franchise quarterback that we wanted for so very long.”
|Odds to Win 2021 NFL MVP||Odds|
Miz Browns Draft Strategy
And for Miz, and 99% of the Browns fan base, that confidence at quarterback and heading into tonight’s NFL Draft is a welcomed relief.
“This is the first year, where we’re going into the Draft and we don’t need anything,” Miz said. “We got all of our needs in free agency and over the past couple drafts.”
But if you had to twist his arm or, say, place him in a figure-four leg lock, Miz is a realist.
|Exact Playing Position of Browns First Draft Player||Odds|
“I think they need a cornerback. Honestly (the position) is not even weak. It’s just to have some depth because some of our cornerbacks are injury prone. It’s just one of those positions that can lead to a lot of injuries.”
The Miz Past, Present and Future
As for what’s next, the 40-year-old is juggling his wrestling career that is coming up on its second decade, a reality show that airs on USA Network, taping documentaries all while working on his acting chops, but the Miz’s tank remains full.
“Right now I feel like I’m in my prime and I imagine if you talked to Tom Brady he’d say the same thing,” Miz said. “I just won the WWE Championship, the most coveted and prestigious prize, what two months ago? Yo, I’ll be the G.O.A.T. I’ll be Brady (of WWE). I’ll keep going as long as I can keep performing the high caliber (of wrestling) I can do.”
It’s funny because looking back at Miz’s wrestling career arc, his highs, of being two-time WWE Champion, and lows, playing the affable heel, eerily echoes the Browns franchise narrative. From the dynasty of the 1940s and 50’s to the heartbreak of the 1980’s to the frustration of Cleveland’s 1-31 stretch and now their ascension back to a perennial playoff contender, Miz knows what it’s like to quiet the critics.
“That’s what we do as Clevelanders, we always prove you wrong no matter what you say about us. Your words ignite a fire under us.”
Miz’s reality show “Miz and Mrs” airs Monday nights at 11 p.m. ET on the USA Network after WWE Raw