We love sports. Some of us a little more than others, but what is it that makes us really proud to say we cheer for people we have never met before? Be on a first name basis with guys that don’t even know we exist. Check stats for hours. Risk frostbite to watch our team get pummeled on Christmas Eve. Yell at the TV. Lie and say you have help your grandma but you really wanted to just watch the game. Sneak out of weddings to check the score. Name our pets after first round draft picks. Get drunken sports tattoos. I’ve done all of these things because I am a fan of the Cleveland Browns.
Many say "that’s how I was raised." They have fond recollections of playing catch with dad at halftime, family get-togethers scheduled around the big game, or dressing up like their favorite athlete AGAIN for Halloween.
Some of us had to relocate and quickly became fans of the culture and all of the activities surrounding the games.
Maybe you just like the colors.
We all have our reasons and do not have to justify ourselves to anyone.
People called me a front-runner when the Cavs won the championship. I just smirked and remembered the time I made my dad frame a Brevin Knight poster and hang it in my room next to my blue and orange Shawn Kemp locker.
I was accused of jumping on the bandwagon during the Indians’ playoff run last year. I thought of the all the times I pretended to be Omar Vizquel in the back yard tossing the ball with my brother and the time I snuck out of bed to watch the Tribe come back from twelve runs against Seattle.
Right now I get laughs and even sometimes pity for being a Browns fan. I put up with it because I am a fan of the Cleveland Browns thick or thin. But one day there will be a time when people will call me a front runner after a great Browns’ season. I won’t get mad or try to defend myself. I’ll just look back and remember all of the memories I have had leading up to that moment. The good, the bad, and December 17, 1995.
We all have those crazy stories of that one friend who did that one thing at that one tailgate. Or that time we spent way too much on a ticket when we didn’t have the money. Anyone ever miss school or call in sick from work because…… sports? I have, and that’s because I am a fan of the Cleveland Browns.
Why do we have this irrational obsession for our teams? I am sure psychology has a special name for people like us suffering from whichever disorder it may be. Whatever IT is, it brings a large family together in a tiny living room, it makes us want to share it with our kids, it is the reason a terminal patient’s last wish is to meet their favorite star, it brings friends long distances to a stadium with over-priced pretzels, and it even lets me walk in to any Browns Backers bar in the country and be welcomed with open arms by complete strangers.
For a few hours life pauses. Finances, relationship problems, illnesses, or any other messed up circumstances you have going on in your life are put on the back burner. IT takes our mind off of those things. We all have our different stances on politics, religion, and how steaks should be cooked, etc (especially at Dawgs by Nature), but they don’t mean a thing on game day. IT even makes work much more tolerable after a win.
We may or may not know why we do the things we do when it comes to our teams (yes I’m talking to you Mr. "We’re undefeated when I wear this!"). Tradition, peer pressure, or maybe you have to put up with a fanatical significant other. Whatever IT is, it is why I am a fan of the Cleveland Browns and why we all love sports.