I don’t know if you noticed, but I haven’t been around Twitter for a while. I actually quit for the month of June and, outside of manning my scheduled shifts on the MTAF account, I haven’t peeked.
Last week though, I did see a few tweets showcasing Cleveland fanhood that piqued my interest, so I thought, maybe since I don’t really have an opinion on anything else, I’d write about what I saw and let you know where I stand.
For the record, and if you’ve known or followed me long enough, I’m not a 100% Cleveland fan. This probably bothers some of you, but it is reality. That takes me to the first part of my story.
I was born in Cleveland and have spent different amounts of time in various places for various reasons. To say I’ve been in more states than most of you is an understatement, so my loyalty is certainly different than yours.
I have loyalty to the Indians, because they were bad when I was little, very good when I was in high school, and have had ups and downs since. As much as I don’t like the NBA, if I had to pick a team, I’d probably pick the Cavs for similar reasons. They’ve had periods of time when they’ve been both good and downright terrible.
That leaves us with one last team, the Crunch.
I’m kidding, that leaves the Browns. This is going to be the deal breaker for a lot of you, but I’m just not a Browns fan. Can you really blame me? The team was gone while I was in high school and have been the worst team on this side of the Mississippi since 1999. They were decent while I was growing up, but I have no real connection to them.
So you might ask, “well, what’s your favorite NFL team?” The honest answer is that I don’t know. I say that because I don’t care. I’m a firm believer that people are more loyal to their college football teams than they are to their professional football teams.
People from Cleveland “hate” Bengals fans on Sunday, but “love” them as fellow Buckeyes on Saturday? Makes no sense to me.
So, I am asking an honest question. If you had to pick between your college football team and your NFL team, which would it be?
If you lived in SEC country, the answer is obvious. Up north, where we’ve had both NFL and college football forever, the answer isn’t so simple.
I think if you live in a state like Ohio, the Buckeyes take the cake over the Browns or Bengals, but it would be up for debate.
If you live in Indiana, however, the choice may be more clear. The Hoosiers aren’t a football power, the Colts have had past success, and, thanks to Andrew Luck, are looking a bright future in the face. Michigan folks have a clear choice as well, as Wolverine fandom overpowers Lions fandom.
Hmm, maybe the answer is obvious?
For some, that assessment isn’t the same, but here’s the thing: you’re allowed to like whichever team you want.
I just turned 31, I’m not married, and I have no kids (thank God), but one thing I’ve learned over my three decades about people in Cleveland is that they’re really passionate about their teams. Maybe to a fault.
I remember seeing a tweet from someone that said, “If I saw the hottest woman in the world and she was perfect for me, but found out she was a Steelers fan, I’d NEVER marry her.”
Let that sink in for a moment. You mean to tell me that you’re willing to pass on Mrs. Right because she happens to be a fan of the team that’s beaten the crap out of your team for 20-plus years? If you were talking about Mrs. Right Now, I could maybe see it.
I said all this to simply say, live a little.
Sports is supposed to be a place to get away from the everyday stresses. They are a place to hide from reality and enjoy yourself.
If your weekend is “ruined” because the Buckeyes, Browns, or Cavs lost a game, you might want to take a step back and reevaluate where you are in life.
If Chris Perez blows a save and your first instinct is to tweet him, call him a horrible name, and wish death upon him, you need to get to the 480 bridge and jump. At that very moment, you’ll realize how unimportant sports is compared to the game of life.
The older you get, the more your temperament should change about sports. If you’re 22 and you want to have 50 beers and argue and spit at Browns Stadium, or whatever it’s called, have at it. Just know, I’m 31 and if I do that, get arrested, and make a trip to the slammer, I won’t have a job Tuesday.
So, guess what I’m going to do?
I’m going to let you call me every name in the book and watch the police escort you out of the stadium.
There’s a time and place to get upset about sports, but here’s something to think about: why do you get more upset about the outcome of the game than the players? It makes no sense to me. They’re living, breathing, and doing it, and yet, you’re more upset about the outcome than they are.
You should think about that when you’re wishing death upon Perez or turning down Mrs. Right who just happens to be a Steelers fan.