I’ll Go With Carolina, Thanks

Usually I don’t watch the Super Bowl, because there’s always something about the game that reminds me, deflatingly, of the ongoing dismal state of the Cleveland Browns.

PrintWhen the AFC representative in the Super Bowl is the New England Patriots, I recall that Bill Belichick once was the head coach of the Browns.  When the AFC representative is the Baltimore Ravens, I remember that the Ravens once were the Browns, before they abandoned Cleveland and then promptly won two Super Bowls.  When one of the teams in the game is a newer franchise, like the Seattle Seahawks or Carolina Panthers, I’m reminded, again, that we have reached Super Bowl L and the Browns have never made to the Big Game — not once, in 50 years.  It’s an amazing, seemingly impossible record of ineptitude and futility that saddles Browns fans with an overwhelming weight of despair and crushed hopes.

So, normally I wouldn’t watch the Super Bowl.  I’m not sure whether I will or not, this year, but it’s not hard for me to say who I want to win.  I’ll take the Carolina Panthers over the Denver Broncos any day, for one reason:  John Elway.  He cut the heart out of Browns fans, two years in a row, and if I have to see his chiklet-toothed grin as he hoists the Super Bowl trophy I’m sure I’ll throw up or hurl a shoe at the TV screen.  Besides, the Carolina Panthers have a lot of ex-Buckeyes on their roster, and all of those players have been big contributors to their success this season.  Ted Ginn, Jr., Philly Brown, Kurt Coleman, and Andrew Norwell will remind me that there is at least one Ohio-based football team that I root for that knows what the hell it’s doing on the gridiron.

Go Carolina!  Make John Elway suffer!

Advertisements

Betting On The Browns

The last time the Cleveland Browns were legitimate contenders for the Super Bowl, UJ and I had season tickets.

IMG_3708We sat in the upper deck of old Cleveland Municipal Stadium during the late ’80s and early ’90s.  We watched as the Denver Broncos and John Elway — may he rot forever in hell — broke our hearts with The Drive, and the next year we watched the great team that eventually fell, again, to Denver thanks to The Fumble.  (It’s all part of the immense burden of failure lugged around by Cleveland sports fans, most recently recounted by this piece in the New York Times.)  It was fun going to the games and great to watch good football, but eventually we gave up our tickets as the Browns jacked up prices and other obligations intervened.

But now Russell will be returning to the Midwest.  He loves the Browns, and from the Cranbrook campus in the suburban Detroit area he’ll be within a reasonable drive from Cleveland.  So, we talked about it during Russell’s Mother’s Day visit, and we decided to pull the trigger.  Once again, I’ll be a season ticket holder, taking in the NFL in all its spectacle and wretched excess with Russell as we watch from our seats in Section 536 of Cleveland Browns Stadium.

I don’t think the Browns will be very good this year, but you never know . . . and sometimes you just have to put your money where your mouth is.  This season, we’re betting on the Browns.