Staying in touch with the Cleveland Browns is not always an easy task, especially over summer. You may need to periodically check in with websites like ours, or you may be loyal to some other sites devoted to the brown and orange idols (we probably read them too). You may find yourself wondering what is actually news and how you can separate the interesting from the uninteresting. You may struggle with whose contract matters and whose contract should be urinated on, Lou Brown style.
But your main concern is probably just fighting through the dog days of summer in an effort to pass the two months until the season actually opens.
I’d like to use this space to half brag and half tell you of a quest that I shall attempt this fall. The half brag is that I will be visiting the fine continent of Europe for three weeks. I’ll be in Austria, Italy, and the Czech Republic for the majority of it. I will be over there for three Sundays, two of which have games and one of which will be a bye for the Browns.
My friends, I may watch a Cleveland Browns game from a random bar in Italy.
I know it’s possible. A dear friend of mine once caught a game from a bar in Paris, France. But this won’t be Paris. This will be smaller and, well, Italy. There’s a chance that it’ll be in Vienna on the first weekend, but it’s not likely that we’ll have the wherewithal to go through with that – there will be family visitation and some final adjustments/preparations for the next leg of the trip, so I suspect that I will not be able to see the Browns-Chargers game while I’m there.
But the next week? That Ravens game? Oh baby. Florence? Milan? Venice? One of them has to have an American-friendly bar, right? I mean, we can go to bars in Chicago and see all kinds of worldwide sporting events, but we have the added advantage of being a culture that is fat and disgusting and spends inordinate amounts of time on sports, drunkenness, and food, so having bars where we can mash up all three is just a natural thing for us. This means we clue ourselves into sports that don’t have any bearing on our lives just because the sports that “do” have a bearing on us aren’t in season.
Don’t believe me? Think about your friends who randomly started following a foreign team in the last couple of years. Did they do it during the NFL season? Doubtful. Did it come up during the NBA playoffs if that person’s team was competing? No chance. Did it come during the last month as they were praying for the Miami Heat to start losing more games and the Euro Cup just so happened to be going on at the same time so they said “Ah, what the hell? They’re the best in the world, I can watch this.” Probably this one, yes.
Confession: I did get into the Euro Cup this year. Partly because a dear friend of mine was over there and saw two games. Partly because it was different. Partly because there’s a 100-minute period where you get to watch sports, coupled with a grand total of four minutes of commercials.
But I digress. There’s a chance that someone in an Italian city likes the NFL and owns a bar, right? Some transplant from the states must have decided that this was his or her chance to get a taste of home, right? We have Italian restaurants over here, so surely they have American sports bars over there…right?
I’m going to see a Browns game where everyone around me is speaking a different language.
But seriously, if I watch the game and ignore Italy, you have the right to vote me off of this staff.