Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fanatics: For Better or for Worse, Well... Mostly Worse


  I suppose I am going to have to take the role of the elder blogsman of this site, the Ben Franklin to the Steamer’s Constitutional Convention. So as the old timer in the group, I guess it is my doodie (OK that is the last poop reference for this post) to remind these guys that professional sports is a business and we should treat it as such. Essentially, professional sports teams are trying to sell us a product. When the product is good, we should buy, and when the product is bad, let's stay home and not buy the jerseys or caps. Looking at the Tribe’s attendance this year, it seems most Clevelanders have gotten the memo.
  I like the pizza analogy: If you ordered a large pepperoni from Domino’s and the delivery guy showed up at your door with a box full of vomit, (see I kept my word, I really wanted to write dog sh… ), the next time you were jonesing for a pie you would call Pizza Hut. I am supposed to tell these guys that the idea of being a diehard fan is a myth perpetuated by ownership as a way of guilting you into filling the seats, even when you are being served an inferior product. Having been a Cleveland sports fan for longer than any of these guys, I should be able to site a myriad of disappointments, and tell these guys not to get too wrap in teams that ultimately are going to let you down.
  Too bad it’s not that easy. So why don’t we as Cleveland fans stop calling Domino’s, or becomes fan of another team? It is because of the connection we have with the Browns, Cavs, and Indians. It is from the memories we have made watching and attending games with friends and family. It is the Sundays tailgating and freezing our asses off in Municipal or Browns stadium, hanging out in downtown before a Cavs playoff game and feeling like you were in the center of the sports universe. Or maybe just watching from your living room and discussing at the office the recent brushes with greatness in 2007; the Cavs appearance in the finals, the Indians being one win away from vanquishing the Yankees and Red Sox in a single post season and moving on to play the hapless Rockies in the World Series, and the Browns “Season of Dreams”.
  Now with the Tribe finishing up a 69 win season, the Browns off to a disappointing start and of course the events of this past summer, with the biggest bag over the head haymaker to the face that Cleveland sports fans have ever endured, having to watch ESPN’s in-depth coverage of the Miami Heat’s pre-practice stretching routines, we are right back to our expected place in the world of professional sports. Lowly Cleveland, the place no free agent wants to play, and every too much too soon 1st round prospect hopes they don’t wind up. So we as fans wait for the championship that will validate Cleveland, and fill in the rest of the country on what we have known for our entire lives: that Northeast Ohio is an absolutely great place to live. The people are hard working and sensible, and there is great sense of community and history in the area. Even native residents of the area who have decided to take their talents elsewhere, still hold a special place in their hearts for Cleveland, as is evident by the Browns Backers having the highest amount of NFL club members who reside in cities other than the team's.
  So remember, while we are waiting for that championship that may never come, make sure to enjoy the ride. And at least we now all have a place in the Steamer to share our pain.


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