If you know something is coming, it should be easier to deal with. If you have time to prepare, the blow should be softened. But sometimes you spend that in-between time psyching yourself up for how bad it will be, ultimately making the waiting worse than the actual incident could ever be. Think back to breaking something in your house while Mom and/or Dad weren’t home. You had to sit there at home, torturing yourself about what they were going to do to you when they got home. Most times, the actual punishment was probably nothing compared to the mental anguish you experienced in the meantime.
This, in a nutshell, is how I used to feel about the Cleveland Browns. I would spend my time stressing out about whether or not the team would win, who they would draft, who would become the new coach, who would invariably fail at coaching, who would throw the most interceptions for the team in a given season, who would be the biggest letdown, and how far into double digits the loss total would be by season’s end.
Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s being worn down, or maybe it’s because I’m watching guys younger than me, but I just don’t see the point of stressing about it anymore. I still think about it, but I don’t care as much.
A few weeks ago I was legitimately upset that the Browns were about to fire general manager Tom Heckert. He did a tremendous job drafting players who made an impact for the team over his tenure and, in my opinion, did not deserve to get fired. Yet, as the news loomed and it became clear that Heckert was out, there was no longer any point in being concerned about it.
Things are going to be done within the organization that I have no input on. Forever. I will (most likely) never have any pull within the Cleveland Browns, so I can’t be mad when they do things differently than how I would do them. I’ve written before that I think fans should just trust the decision-makers because it’s their job to make those decisions while we sit around and judge them between beers. I stand by that statement.
Of course, since I didn’t want Heckert to go, I will unquestionably fight the urge to get mad when the new regime comes into place. I’ll be lukewarm on whomever the Browns hire, both at general manager and head coach. I’ll avoid my friends’ questions about what I think of the hire by shrugging off a five-word answer and sweep everything under the rug in the spirit of “wait and see.”
I admittedly know very little about the Bible, but I’ve seen people quote it a lot, and one of those quotes involves things you can change, things you can’t change, and knowing the difference. That’s the essence of being a fan, isn’t it? Stop stressing about the things you can’t change, stop stressing about the things you can change (and change them, you turd), and learn the difference so you don’t do anything genuinely stupid.
I mean, don’t do anything stupid beyond being a Browns fan in the first place. That could be pretty easily viewed as stupid, but whatever. I can’t change that, so I’m letting it slide.