Who Cares

Note:  This post was originally written some weeks ago just before the game against the Bengals.

Who cares?

It pains me, as a lifelong fan of the Cleveland Browns, to have had to adjust to Sundays without football.

I did a sports show podcast early in my broadcasting career.  I emulated the greatest announcers covering live streamed football events.  I have been in the Browns locker room filming the press conferences.   Before that, we had Sunday dinner with the extended family growing up and football was an integral part of that upbringing.

I’ve hinted at leaving all that behind for some time now and while I can’t say I’ll never watch the NFL again I’m posting this to simply say, as a Clevelander specifically, who cares anymore?

Though the NFL decided on their own that the collective football fanbase must choose a side when it came to ever increasing and ramped up societal happenings over the course of the past two plus years I will leave that aside.  Granted, I haven’t watched in at least that long but the simple truth is: they stink.  They’ve stunk for almost thirty years.  And next year’s not looking good either.  Couple that with everything else and it’s a recipe for a diehard to have had just about enough.

The end of the road for me personally was the Garrett “incident” against Pittsburgh at the end of 2019.  The sport itself will probably never die but the NFL has done more than its’ share of driving mass numbers of people to focus on mowing the lawn or heading back to church instead of watching the nonsense week in and week out.  As of today, heading into a divisional game against Cincinnati, the Browns are playing .500 ball.  That’s good considering the 4-4 record and recalling the win totals for past seasons totaling that very number.

(I was even subjected to a winless season once, not that long ago.)

The Cleveland fans don’t deserve that, unless they do.  Stop showing up, turn the television off.  My advice.  Just yesterday they finalized the release of arguably the greatest wide receiver in the game and for whatever reason the Browns made this move they literally wasted some of the best years of this athlete’s life by mostly using Odell Beckham Jr. as a decoy.  Think about that one for a moment.

Again, who cares?

Having had a recent conversation with a “die hard” fan that reminded me of myself a few years ago I was immediately confronted with the absurdity of my then fandom when he denied that they are the worst team in American professional sports.  When I asked what they’ve done to change his mind he simply replied,

“That’s not them anymore. That all changes this year.”

Of course I’m paraphrasing but this is, in my opinion, why the Browns will not change anytime soon.  It’s understandable to want a team that wears on its jersey the city you are from to win.

But hope can be tricky.  It can keep you from wanting to actually make changes.  I want Baker and the team to do well.  I want the team to win a Super Bowl.

I cannot waste anymore time on this though.

It’s very difficult for something that’s so ingrained in your personal life to be stripped from you in a way that doesn’t line up with your values let alone the fact that they just aren’t a reflection of what it means to be professional in the league of which they reside.  We’ll see what happens with the rest of this year but I think Baker will be gone next season and soon after the coach and the rest of the team will be dismantled.

It’s a bad movie that never ends in Cleveland.

This will be my last post about the embarrassment that is the Cleveland Browns for at least the rest of this year and probably the next. The year after that isn’t looking good either.

But again, who cares?

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