Witnessing a Fourth Exhibition Game in Person…


…is painful, I will say that.  However, I had the luxury of watching the Browns take on the Chicago Bears last night in person, wrapping up what has been a particularly painful preseason.  And speaking of luxury, I was able to watch the game from one of the suites in Cleveland Browns Stadium.  Naturally, this meant free food and drinks (including the dessert cart) and a mad dash at the end of the game to stuff our pockets with as much free stuff as possible.  That is all well and good, but it is certainly not the main point of this post.  None of this was enough to make the game any more exciting than watching my toenails grow.

I have seen exhibition games in person before, but never the final one.  Having seen one in person makes me a true supporter of shortening the preseason to, say, two games.  Albeit the free goodies and accommodations were impeccable (and the staff was incredibly friendly, as if I was important), I could not help but feel completely disenchanted with the game itself.  Do I call myself a true fan?  Of course I do.  But watching Ken Dorsey take the field in the second quarter with no hope for a reappearance by anyone else was more disheartening than if I caught Santa one year in my youth and he decided to hold my family hostage while burning my house to the ground as punishment.  There is no reason for these gratuitous games to exist; even though the fans cheered every first down and goal-line stand, it felt, well, fake. We all knew this didn’t mean a thing, especially on the eve of the opener against the Dallas Cowboys.  Unfortunately, the preseason sucks and there is nothing we can do about it.  And if the preseason never does get shortened, I do suppose that I would rather suffer through lackluster “football” by the fourth and fifth-stringers than watching anymore starters get injured.

The good news is that Cleveland Browns Stadium is looking as good as ever.  It would seem that the team is beginning to make a move towards implementing the Brownie Elf in a lot more advertising and campaigns.  I noticed that the “Dawg” was less visible than the Elf, which might mean the pooch is being phased out.  I can accept both logos, but seeing more of the Elf brings a twinkle to my eye, even during the third quarter of the ugliest game of football I will probably ever see, and I am a big fan of playing backyard football.

I’ll end this on a quote from my father: “I knew it was time to go when I heard the name of that running back who broke that run and I had no idea who the hell he was.”