Why Cleveland?

I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious. -Vince Lombardi

Some of you have only known me thru this virtual/online world so I feel I OWE it to you to explain why I root for the Cleveland Browns. At first glance, you might not understand why I took a spontaneous trip up here this weekend from Atlanta to sit in a cold ass stadium and root for a team that is currently 3-11.

Here’s part of the why.

Well, like so many things, it all goes back to my childhood. I grew up in the East Bay of the BAY AREA in a little po-dunk city called San Leandro. This city is right next to Oakland and across the Bay from San Francisco. Of course, logic would have you think I would be a Raider or a 49er fan. Nope. never have been. Ever. Though I currently have no real feeling for either of those teams now, there were many years where I very much disliked them, for various reasons. I’m getting to the Cleveland part…be patient. Thanks.

So, I guess I was about 10 years old. Total tomboy, of course. I grew up with 2 older brothers who were 13 & 15 when I was 10. We grew up in this place:

a pretty dumpy duplex right at the edge of the San Leandro/Oakland border. In those walls, on Sundays, football would be on and one of my brothers was a Raider fan, the other was a Minnesota Viking fan. (why? i don’t know!) I think what happened with me and the Browns was that I was watching a game one day (when i was 10) and just began rooting for them because everyone was against them and they were the true underdogs. Brian Sipe was the QB and some of the other players were Mike Pruitt, Greg Pruitt, Sam Rutigliano (coach) and the great TE, Ozzie Newsome. I liked their fighting spirit, liked their orange/brown colors and liked that they had no emblem on the helmet. Only NFL team to NOT have an emblem. (hope it stays that way)

So, that’s it! I know, it’s not a very GRIPPING story. I’m not from Cleveland. Have absolutely NO connection to this place. Except I do. Cause when I was 10, I latched on to something I could believe in. A team that seemingly was the underdog every week everywhere except in their own city. A team that just reached in and became a part of my life. A team that has one of the best football stories and arguably the best fans in all of sports. So for nearly, 30 years, I have been a fan. Loyal as DAWG! Have had my heart swell with pride and excitement and have had it crushed with unbelievably heart-wrenching losses. In 1993, while traveling in Thailand, I had gotten a hold of a USA Today newspaper and read the news that the organization let QB Bernie Kosar go…half-way around the world, i was in tears.

Kosar remains my all time favorite QB. I know he wasn’t great, but he was my favorite.

This is my 4th trip to Cleveland and my 3rd time watching a football game here. I can’t wait until tomorrow to get out there with the rest of the die hard crazy-ass fans. And I can’t wait to share more of this story with you.

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One Response to “Why Cleveland?”

  1. wish i was with you!!! i’d be rooting for the Raiders! hope you have a blast along with 12 – 15 inches of snow!
    yeah c’mon!
    jeffro

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