“Guys! We’re 1-1! Tied for the AFC North lead! Signs of life! We’re onto something!”
Sound like someone you know?
If not, it probably sounds like someone you follow on Twitter.
It’s been a week full of really bizarre overreactions from a fan base that is accustomed to unfettered failure. Many “knowledgeable” people (again, I’m referring to Twitter) are really picking up on the positives from the Browns’ Week Two victory.
I love the Cleveland Browns, but come on. Our pass defense is very good statistically, sure, but have you noticed that we played against quarterbacks nicknamed “The Red Rifle,” “The Polish Cannon,” and “Ricky Bobby’s Dad?”
But I digress.
My real issue is this: optimism started months ago, was dashed horrifically in Week One, then started up again Monday of this week. Sunday? We were sweating bullets because it seemed totally plausible that the Colts would get the onside kick with 25 seconds left and Kerry Collins (not sure if you guys heard about this, but Peyton Manning was hurt?!) would march them to a score +2 and send us to OT.
No joke, that conversation happened where I was watching the game and I’d bet it happened where many of you were, too.
We are a fan base whose most-used emotions are pain and disbelief. This becomes even clearer when in a different city because the option of watching in the comfort of your own home disappears. You can’t silently watch on your couch – you must venture into a sea of like-minded fans who are fan-enough to go out to a bar before noon.
Just listen to us. Our favorite phrases include “Here we go again,” “There’s always next year,” and my personal favorite, “You’ve gotta be f’ing kidding me.” (Also accepting “No f****** way”)
So as much as we want to lay some blame on this culture of losing that has been rampant in Cleveland since Peyton Manning was drafted (Seriously guys, did he get hurt? What happened? Why didn’t ESPN cover this? I thought they covered sports!), maybe we should point the finger at ourselves.
We eternally feel defeated because, well, we generally are defeated. Maybe our players claim to identify with our town because we’re all in the same boat. Maybe we just pretend we hate losing because we know we should, but we’re totally used to it. Maybe the Browns are the ultimate symbol of the downfall of a formerly great city.
Or maybe we should just quit overreacting and watch some football. Super Bowl, baby!