As I watch, painfully, the Cleveland Browns vs. the Baltimore Ravens today, I realized how hard it is to be a Cleveland Browns Fan. We’ve had many years of some great football, our fair share of making the playoffs, and some years of getting close to the playoffs.
But the mismanagement of the team over the last few seasons is taking a toll. There was limited optimism when Eric Mangini took over the helm as coach this season. Excitement waned further when Mangini played a guessing game with the media and fans by delaying naming the starting quarterback until right before the first game of the season. He may have been trying to delay tipping his hand so opposing teams wouldn’t be able to adequately plan their defensive strategies when playing the Browns. But the media and fans alike knew this tactic would mean the Browns players lost the valuable time they needed to form a cohesive team in support of their quarterback.
Even before this season started, I knew this was going to be a tough year to start, and likely a tough year to the end for the Cleveland Browns. I was resigned to that fact. Still, it is disheartening to see the team performing so badly this season, their record 0-3 as of this writing. Adding insult to injury was Eric Mangini taking out Brady Quinn from today’s game, and putting Derek Anderson in his place, and then Anderson throwing three interceptions. It was almost as if one could hear the collective screams of fans in the Cleveland Metro area today with each interception.
It will be a long season for Cleveland fans, but fans will continue to be fans. They will support their team, but that support will likely take the form of angry words directed towards team management. The team and management should expect, and deserves, every bit of media and fan verbal backlash that will be lobbed their way. I can envision a whole cadre of apoplectic sports writers and sportscasters writing their scathing copy right now, foaming at the mouth.
So, to help calm everyone’s nerves and soothe the anger, let’s think back to happier days when many of us were a lot younger and the team was a lot better. Here’s a short video that contains the Cleveland Browns Fight Song from the early 1960s. When I hear it, I think of my dad glued to his black and white TV with a radio to his ear, trying to catch every bit of the game. It also reminds me of the years that Clevelanders were not ashamed to be Browns fans. The only constant over all those years – Clevelanders still hate the Steelers, and they always will.
Thinking back to better days: The Old Cleveland Brown’s Fight Song
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