No matter what part of his rant you thought was funniest, be it the now classic “You are a factory of sadness”, or the fact that Polk was wearing a Pontbriand jersey, every Browns fan I talked to about it identified with this last phrase. No matter what the Browns do as a franchise, we just can’t stay away.
The idea of course, is that one day everything will be better. One year we are going to show up to the game and the team will start winning. We will fall in love with players like we did back in the ’80s, or ’60s or ’50s. We will have nicknames for our favorites. Teams will once again dread coming to the stadium because they will be in for one long afternoon. The Browns will challenge for the division title. A playoff win. A real shot at going to the Super Bowl. That’s what we want.
That’s the reason this website exists.
We are first and foremost fans who want to see our teams win. The Waiting For Next Year title is not meant to be sarcastic. We are earnestly waiting for that day when Cleveland will have a parade of it’s own. When a championship trophy is driven down East 9th Street in a convertible, and fans line the street cheering and waving towels, flags, t-shirts or whatever. Children will sit on the shoulders of their fathers looking for a glimpse of their favorite athlete. Confetti will fly.
Until then, we watch our teams struggle. We get a little angry sometimes. Frustrated. We walk down the street or to the store and see people wearing Steelers jerseys. We watch kids come out of school and see fewer wearing the orange and brown these days. One day last week while wearing my Browns sweatshirt, I was mocked by two people for being a Browns fan at separate places. One was the cashier at McDonalds. I think she could tell I wasn’t in the mood to argue about it. I kind of wish I could see the face that I must have flashed her as she handed me my food.
Perhaps you’ve heard, as I have that the more we suffer through, the sweeter the taste of victory will be. I think that’s true, to a point. To be honest, I think my cup has no more room for disappointment. It’s kind of overflowing at this point. Kind of like the misery montage that ESPN loves to run, at some point the montage is just too long. You can’t show it all. That’s kind of where I am. Every lost season is disappointing, but not surprising. And I think at some point you become a little numb to some of it.
But through it all, we keep coming back. Maybe not all of us. Along the way some decide they’ve had enough. Though I think they’ll be back come playoff time. And the truth is they’ll be welcome. Like a vaccination or some kind of cure, all who have suffered will be welcome. Young and old, rich and poor.
I’ll see you Sunday.