Saturday, September 6, 2008

You're a Browns fan? How do you live with yourself?

by Ben Chew

Well, the NFL season is only hours away and Ohio State was a half away from getting upset by the University of Ohio. (The theory that they need Beanie Wells might be an understatement). However, I didn't come to dwell on that fact.

I am personally putting a question to all Browns fans: how do you live with being a Browns fan? Most of you assume that I am going to take shots at Browns fans and use my "left-coast" bias to tell you why west-coast fans are more loyal, etc.

That would be too easy, just kidding. Meanwhile. my question really lies with the history of the Browns in the past couple decades and to the point that how can a person be a "fan" of a team with such a dubious history.

Now obviously, I lived in the Northern California area of the world and followed west-coast sports in the mid-90's. Most of the teams on the western seaboard made runs at a championship or at least were competitive to the point where they put themselves in position to make a run. (Albeit except for the Los Angeles Clippers, but they are really the exception to the rule.)

The Browns are one of the NFL teams that has a distinct history to them and even had games that are memorable to them such as "The Drive" "The Fumble" "Red Right 88" "5 minutes away in 02". What do all of those games have in common? The Browns lost and I know that some of you are going to come at me and say what about the comeback against the New York Jets in 1986 -- that is true, but it is merely a footnote in history in relation to "The Drive"

How can you be a fan of a team that is known more for heartache than actual victory? I know the whole lovable loser mentality is great, but how much heart can you put into a team to just have it ripped out again? How much do you keep asking out that same girl to the prom only to get turned down over and over again? After awhile, you can't help to start to question why do you put yourself through it every year. (Even a bigger question, how can you put your wallet through it.)

I know most of you will respond because that it is the team that I grew up on and how can some schmuck from California question my fanhood. Honestly, I'm not. I just question how you can stand dealing with the failure over and over. The success that the Browns tasted last year with Derek Anderson and the offense -- Browns fans seem to question Derek Anderson more than actually praise him. You went 10-6 last year, you should be happy, but the cheers for "Brady Quinn" continue.

I know this is not indicative of all Browns fans but it seems that Browns fans care more about who they win with then actually winning ball games. In my opinion, that is more sad that anything else, I thought the point of playing the game was to be competitive and winning with whoever you have but what do I know, I'm just some guy from California.

Finally, I am not a Browns hater and I will make myself clear. I want the Browns to win, I really do, but I can't stand fans sometimes and I know some of you can't either. I want the Browns to become the "Jim Halpert" of the NFL, the team that everyone really wants to win and eventually they take that step to winning. But even in the case of Jim Halpert, you need to seal the deal to get to the ultimate prize.

No comments: