As the NFL playoffs prepared to kickoff on Saturday in Kansas City and Los Angeles, a few thousands supporters accumulated along the shores of a frozen Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio to toast a different milestone absolutely: a winless season by the Cleveland Browns.
Despite single-digit temperatures and gust coldness well below zero, around 3,000 fans wound up lining wall street that envelops First Energy Stadium where the Browns play football and where the Browns have just been triumphed three times in the last three seasons.
The cold didn’t dampen spirits at the procession, which was more a tongue-in-cheek objection of crew management than a performance. Many of the signs took is targeted at owner Jimmy Haslam, whose prominence in Cleveland is just barely above that of onetime owned Art Modell — who infamously moved the team to Baltimore in 1995.
Saturday’s event has also split the Cleveland sports fandom in half, between those who are horrified by the ultimate joke the Browns have become and those who see the ceremony reflects inadequately on the city and the followers.
Even Browns musicians took to Twitter to call out those who meant on attending.
That parade is a joke don’t call yourself a genuine brown devotee if you go to that occasion! Starting 0-16 was mortifying fairly as a player. That is like including fuel to the attack and it is completely wrong!
— Emmanuel Ogbah (@ EmanOgbah) January 6, 2018
Don’t kick us when we’re down. Lift us up. When we earn don’t admire us because I will remember when yal tittered us.
— Christian Kirksey (@ Kirksey) January 7, 2018
It’s justifiable the players would feel this road, especially given the team’s 4-44 chronicle over the past three seasons and the ignominy of being alone the second largest NFL team to ever get 0-16( the 2008 Detroit Lion were the first ). It’s like scratching salt in the wound.
But the ceremony wasn’t “ve been meaning to” laugh at the players. It was — and this was clearly evident on Saturday — a catharsis for a town that’s braved interminable foiling with a crew that’s used over two dozen different quarterbacks since the right was brought back as an expansion unit in 1999, including the loathsome drafting of Johnny Manziel( which is itself mocked the Browns, despite being pretty bad during his short period with the team ).
Since returning in 1999, the Browns have had two triumphing seasons( 9-7 in 2002, 10 -6 in 2007) and simply one playoff game impression( a Wild Card loss in 2002 ), while the team has extended 19 -7 0 since Haslam grew the owner in 2012.
It’s too a unit that’s on its ninth tutor since 1999 and has chosen to keep its current manager, Hue Jackson, who boasts a 1-31 register in his two seasons on the sideline.
Meanwhile, Cleveland itself is a city that deserves better. It’s a city with it’s own set of problems, for certain. But it’s also a city with growing start-up and biotech manufactures , not to mention a world-class arts background.
I’m biased. Full disclosure, I’m not a full-on Browns fan( get Saints !) but I live here, married into their own families of Cleveland aborigines and long-time dedicated( and forestalled) Cleveland sports fans. I know from experience that Cleveland is far better than its “Mistake By The Lake” name and the ongoing parodies about the Cuyahoga River catching on fire.
And in plays, it’s a champion, more. LeBron James has obligated the Cleveland Cavaliers perennial NBA hopefuls and, in 2016, champions. The Cleveland Indians( cruel Chief Wahoo logo aside) have represented the MLB playoffs three of the last five seasons, includes the stunning 2016 World Series against the Cubs. And don’t neglect the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League, winners of the 2015 -1 6 Calder Cup.
Yet, the Browns continue to be the punchline that imparts the city down. It’s why there’s so much better pent-up thwarting. Cleveland is, at its nature, a football town with a bad unit being driven into the floor by bad control.
You have no idea to the profundities of resentments that metropolitan has stayed. Don’t get this confused. You’re in the entertaiment business. You’re really a# on a t-shirt. When y’all triumph, love will be there, even as they have been for years of mis. https :// t.co/ 3v2xPUDvPF
— LeCharles Bentley (@ LeCharlesBent6 5) January 7, 2018
The parade was the relevant recommendations of Columbus-based devotee Chris McNeil, whose Twitter account, @Reflog_18, has a huge following thanks, in part, to brilliant tweets like trolling pro-Trump Twitter customers( including a fake GOP detail that turned out to be a Russian bot) into thinking a photo of the 2016 Cleveland Cavaliers NBA championship parade was the crowd at a Trump rally in Arizona.
As the Browns barreled towards an 0-16 annal in 2016, McNeil came up with the idea of the parade which was forestalled when the Browns gathered off a Christmas Eve miracle victory over the San Diego Chargers. Despite a 1-15 register, there would be no winless parade.
Until the Browns managed to do worse this year, failing to triumph a single tournament. And the parade was on again.
And McNeil comes that exasperation, the relevant recommendations that no NFL team “mustve been” this bad , that no NFL team should seem to hit rock bottom and merely get worse .
Speaking to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer earlier in 2017 about plans for the 2016 parade, he said 😛 TAGEND
“You either get onto or you don’t. If you don’t get wise, what am I going to do now? Then you probably don’t get what I do on Twitter. And if you don’t, that’s fine, ” he said. “But it wasn’t is expected to be, ‘We’re the Browns, look at us, we suck.’ It was about imparting it to the ownership. We want to be good. We’re not celebrating misplacing. A mint of beings spawned that mistake.”
It was a feeling that viewed genuine on Saturday. Besides one signed making fun of beleaguered rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer, I didn’t view any other signalings taunting participates. But I did check a lot of signs aimed at Haslam who isn’t exactly known for his smooth business dealings.
It’s worth mentioning, very, that the parade has raised thousands of dollars for the Cleveland Food Bank, have proven that, at its core, this ceremony isn’t something nefarious for the city.
As disheartened as the players must seem, imagine being a years-long season-ticket holder who continues to pour money into supporting a squad whose management evidences no supposed effort to be, well, worth that support.
The supporters and the city deserve better. Yesterday’s parade wasn’t one of performance but one of pitying. These are dark ages and if we are just find despair in the distractions, well, then something’s gotta cause eventually.
McNeil, after all, is a fan who has said before that he requires the Browns to attain , not to be a laugh; he recently told ESPN, “The last concept I want to do is embarrass the city … We only want to see the Browns win.”
So did the thousands that were at the field on Saturday. They were there out of affection for a crew that really hasn’t adoration them back in a very long time.
And in the end, if you’re going to be made sordid by something you love, you might as well try to have a good time.
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