For the past two weeks, we've been doing nothing but belly-aching about the state of the team. Everyone is miserable (football-wise) with no apparent hope in sight. I thought I'd offer a personal story to perhaps lift some spirits, even if only my own.
About a month ago, my grandfather passed away. He was the reason I began rooting for the Browns as a child and the reason it carried over throughout my life. My other grandfather was a Steelers fan, and used to buy me Steeler stuff when I was young, but to no avail. I stuck with the Brownies because "Pap" did too.
On the night of the AFC Championship Game that featured The Drive, I missed the 4th quarter because Pap was so nervous he couldn't watch and had me walking around the neighborhood in the snow with him, which i gladly did.
Even in recent years, when his health declined and he didn't follow them as closely as he used to, every time I visited Pap we talked about the Browns. How bad they were, how good they could be "next year", all the usual football talk for Browns fans. Since the season has started, I've missed him terribly.
That's why when I hear talk of revolts and "I'm done with this team", I have no time for it. I enjoy the Browns every time I watch them on some level because I know I'm not just rooting for myself anymore. I'm rooting for more memories to match the ones I had with Pap; holding onto hope to get to where he and I had always talked about and dreamed they would get to.
I know this team is bad. But we're Browns fans. We don't bail out when times get tough. My grandfather never did, and I never will either. When we lift that Lombardi Trophy someday, it will be that much sweeter because of what we've been through. i know when that day comes, I'll shed tears of joy and be proud beyond belief. But at that point, I won't shed any for Pap. He'll be watching and loving it every bit as much as I am.