The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Bemoaned fan wonders what happens if Browns win

Three weeks into the NFL season and the Cleveland Browns are still without a win.

And if you’ve watched any of the three games, none of them were really that valiant a loss.

If you would have asked me over the summer, back when I listened to Cleveland’s sports radio 92.3 The Fan every other day, when I listened with blissfully ignorant hope that this year would be a reprieve from the familiar woes that have become a part of our city’s legacy, I bought into every one of the annual clichés. Most of them revolve around the pipedream that this, at long last, will finally be “our year.”

Yeah, we had LeBron James on the Cavaliers for seven years, but that championship he promised us never came to fruition. It was simply a bright spot in the bleak history of Cleveland sports that would eventually turn into yet another fiasco and point of ridicule. He left us and ran off with another team that finally put the long-awaited ring on his finger, and probably threw an after party the likes of which Cleveland is supposedly incapable of fathoming.

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But despite this, we staunchly support our sub-par teams through thick and thin, so much so that our defensive attitudes we’ve honed from being constantly derided become our main function of support.

Our embittered, self-deprecating view of the professional sports world is what we Clevelanders share.

Our adopted motto, “There’s always next year,” seems like a welcome resignation that satisfies our need to be perpetually hopeful but simultaneously free from disappointment. It makes up for the current year’s failures but doesn’t guarantee anything better the following year, because once that certain letdown is over, we can just say it again at the end of the season.

Which will undoubtedly be before playoffs begin.

The older I get, the more disillusioned I become with the way I used to characterize Cleveland sports fans. When people mocked my loyalties, I would retort with some dismissive sentiment about how great the fans are because we are eternally optimistic.

While that might look true on the surface, deep down we are truly a cynical bunch who are united by the very failure we appear to loathe. I think what I’m trying to say is that we’re electively sadistic. And I do find pride in this. You’ll never accuse a Clevelander of being a bandwagon fan.

My question, and it may very well be one that will never be answered, is this: What happens if we actually have a winning team?

Losing and failure have become so engrained in the Cleveland psyche, would we, the fans, actually know how to respond to success?

What happens if – and I say if, not when – we actually have a team that has a great year? Our beloved motto will no longer be applicable. We’re so used to having a cop-out, I’m not so sure the city would be able to function if people didn’t have the Browns to complain about on Monday morning as they cruise along on the Rapid to work.

What if we actually allowed ourselves to be genuinely surprised and disappointed at this absurd streak of consistent failure?

Though if this Sunday was any portent, we won’t have to worry about that for a while.



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