The Disappointment Zone

Musings from a Cleveland sports fan

Worst week ever

Posted by disappointmentzone on 16 October 2006

With out a doubt October has been the absolute worst month for Cleveland fans for quite some time. First, there is no baseball, which is made even worse from time to time by good Indians teams that squander playoff hopes in the last week of the season–the twist of the knife to an otherwise painful stabbing. Second, there is no basketball, which has been increasingly difficult to handle now that the Cavs are a legitimate team. Third, there is the Cleveland Browns.

Watching the Browns since their return to the NFL is its own monster. From Monday through Saturday the quotient of denial coursing through the minds of Browns fans accumulates at a preposterous rate, to the point where many fans would categorize themselves as “hopeful” or “optimistic” or “quietly confident” about the team’s chances. Then on Sunday, from quarters one through four, the blind optimism that accumulated over the weak is drained from the system (it’s usually gone midway through the third quarter), replaced not with an emotionless void but with utter despondence accented by fits of anger and confusion. And then we go to sleep and wake up Monday morning and the process starts anew.

How this doesn’t result in mania or suicide is a question the folks at the Case Western Department of Psychology ought to take up. Most sports fans function roughly the same way–all games result in loss for one team, there is only one championship to be won, usually the Patriots win it–but for Browns fans this pattern seems more potent than it is for others (another member of the club: Cubs fans). It’s probably the football tradition in Ohio–high school, college, professional. Switching from OSU on Saturday to the Browns on Sunday is a mean trick played by a merciless god.

That said, I’d still take the Browns (and all the baggage) over no Browns. When you toss no Browns into October, you get the worst week in Cleveland sports. What happens when there is nothing to do? Fans grow complacent and set up (worthwhile) websites calling for members of the professional sports community to be fired. Ok, so that’s not always a bad thing.

But nonetheless, last week was the worst week in the worst month for Cleveland sports fans.

Now that it’s over, I’m starting to have a pretty good feeling about the Browns’ chances this week against the Broncos.


4 Responses to “Worst week ever”

  1. Erik said

    Far from it. How on Earth was last week the worst week of the worst month when:

    A)The Browns didn’t play, ergo they didn’t lose.

    B)The Indians didn’t play, ergo they didn’t lose.

    C) No Cleveland player suffered a grisly, season-ending injury a la LeCharles Bentley.

    D) We didn’t have to watch an ex-Cleveland athete win a championship.

    E) The Steelers remain out of first place.

    F) LeBron James remains a Cavalier.

    G) Art Modell is still not in the Hall of Fame.

    H) We can quasi-console ourselves by rooting for what is quickly revealing itself to be the runaway national championship favorites of college football.

  2. My point was that I’d take the Browns, Indians, Cavs playing and losing over not playing at all. And I think most Cleveland sports fans would agree. If they disagree, it’s hard for me to reconcile how they’d still be Cleveland sports fans (there’s a lot of losing, after all). Last week was the only week of this year in which there was not a single major sporting event involving a Cleveland team. That sucks. If you are going to pull for a group of teams, those group of teams have to play.

    I won’t call OSU the runaway favorites for the National Championship until they beat Michigan. That game is too huge. But I like where we are sitting.

  3. Isaiah said

    Somehow I missed the whole Cleveland sports fandom thing even though I lived in the area for the 10 formative years of my life — well I guess not that formative since I’m not a Cleveland sports fan. Since I’ve got no loyalties (no childhood home unless you count the random 4month to 1 year stints in 11 different schools throughout my first 7 years of education as a home) it’s hard for me to understand what keeps people from abandoning Cleveland sports. I suppose I’m lucky in that the only team I truly support heart and soul is the Kansas Jayhawks basketball team and despite the yearly heartbreak and the absurdity of “We’ll be better next year” coming out of my mouth every March it’s an easy team to support in comparison with teams that never make the playoffs. Though the Buckeyes did win that National Championship a few years back, so I suppose we’re somewhat even on that score.

    My point is basically that Erik’s entire post was centered around finding the “silver lining” in the fact that a bye week means not a loss. How is it that the Browns still have fans if they’re mearly attempting to avoid losses (as opposed to actually trying to win real games — the offseason must be heaven!). I don’t know if that’s a standard way for most Cleveland-area residents to feel, but it strikes me as pretty right on as a general way people think in Northeast Ohio. And that’s sad because point F suggests that talent does exist in ridiculous quantities within the sports franchises.

    I think point I needs to be added, though:

    I. The Yankees can’t win the World Series this week. [That may be minor consolation for anyone who loves the Indians if they think about the fact that the Tigers are currently in the World Series, but hey, it’s better than nothing.]

    and if you’re so inclined

    J. Aston Villa drew against Tottenham, a team picked by a lot of pundits to come in fourth in the Premiership in their preseason rankings. Not only that, but this entire season is fantastic because archrivals Birmingham are relegated to the Championship.

  4. Anonymous said

    Aston Villa keeps me warm at night.

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