I love the Cleveland Browns. I can’t say that enough or with enough enthusiasm. It’s sickening how much I love them.
I love them. I love them. I love them. You get the point.
But it’s getting to be quite clear that they don’t love me back and it’s getting old.
Every Sunday it’s the same thing. Home games have become a ritual that, when I look at it mapped out on paper, seems tortuous to go through:
Go downtown to tailgate.
Convince myself we can win.
The game starts.
Opponents scores again.
I realize we can’t win.
We officially don’t win.
Then I get mad and go home.
In life, when we do something we don’t enjoy, we typically don’t do it ever again. At least if we can help it.
As Browns fans, and Bills fans are included here too, we do it to ourselves week after week, year after year.
Heck, we’re going on decade after decade.
We never learn, or our love is too strong that we’re blinded by the facts.
If you speak up in protest or stop watching, you’re then labeled a bandwagon fan.
However, professional football is a business and we, the fans, are consumers. In no other business in the world would a company sell a bad product, and consumers continue to buy, buy and buy.
After Sunday’s game, the Browns second loss (of many – I’ll go with 13 or 14) of the season, a gentleman I was tailgating with brought up a good point.
He said how he respected people of my generation for our patience. In our lifetime, the Browns (and Bills) have been miserable. Yet, we continue to show support and buy the product that they’re putting out on the field.
I thought about that long and hard. Maybe fans should stop going altogether. Some people would say you’re a bandwagoner and you aren’t a real fan if you don’t support your team through thick and thin. But at the current pace, we’re acting as stupid consumers.
I’ve been fortunate enough to bum tickets off friends for quite a few Browns games in a row, but would I buy tickets now? Probably not. I don’t want to pay top dollar for a bargain-bin product.
When the product is good, people will come back to watch. That’s not being a bandwagoner, that’s being smart. If the teams build it, the fans will come.