The DEFEND Cleveland Show

The Parade

I went to the Browns Perfect Season Parade.  I will admit it.  I was curious as to what would happen.  I heard complaints from various corners about the parade. Such “Fanscots” (a Mike James term he should trademark) as Bone Lady and Pumpkinhead did some soul searching and didn’t attend as the event must have been beneath them.  I would argue that a guy in bikini briefs waving a Browns flag and a man in a plastic pumpkin head wearing a football outfit are the same, but then again Nickleback and the Parquet Courts are both “rock bands” but very different.  I suppose the parade is all about your point of view.

The anti-parade crowd really missed the point in my opinion.  The idea that the fans were mocking the players or inviting criticism of the city completely misses the mark.  The people that went to this parade were not celebrating the Browns continued failure.  They were not mocking the team members.  I saw Ogbah and Shelton both tweeted that “real fans” shouldn’t be at the stadium participating as it would make it harder to bring in free agents as players wouldn’t want to be here.  The obvious rebuttal to that is fuck both of you guys as you just went 1-31.  Maybe if you made more plays this whole thing would be a moot point.  Both of those guys swagger around as high draft picks that have turned out to be “ok” NFL players.  If you don’t want the community to mock you, don’t set an NFL record for ineptitude.  You are what the record says you are.  That’s the way it works in whatever business you are in.  Stop tweeting and get to the gym and outwork your competition.  Clearly talent alone isn’t going to get it done for you.  Both of you have some direct responsibility for the worst record in NFL history.  That’s on you.

What I saw at the parade was love for the city and the team.  Thousands of people went to the lakeshore in arctic conditions.  Let me be clear.  It wasn’t “cold” down there.  It was “Jesus Christ!  It’s fucking cold!” out there.  I need to swing back downtown to try and chip my frozen nut sack out of some ice by the Science Center tomorrow.  Yet all of these fans made a point to join together in what was essentially an Irish wake for the past two seasons.  There is a real community I saw amongst the people there.  The best part was the creativity and the fun.  Let’s cut to the chase.  It was a good time.  I saw a Johnny Manziel on a swan.  I saw a man in a Pope costume with a stone tablet inscribed “Deliver us from Jimmy”.  A whole crew of tradesmen in orange safety gear chanted self-deprecating Browns chants that made the crowd laugh.  A man made a great costume of a large football player with a Browns helmet with a crown on top.  His number was zero, hence the name “Zippy” on the back to celebrate the “perfect season”.  An Animal House script “Eat Me” cake chugged along.  Muni Lot regulars revved up their custom vehicles chanting “Pre-season champs!  Pre-season champs!” in reference to the team’s 4-0 exhibition record.  There is obvious passion there.  The issue is not the fans.  The issue is the organization.

The 2500-3000 people that went to the stadium in absolutely brutal conditions just want the team to be relevant.  It isn’t that much to ask.  The NFL has very cleverly made it almost impossible for teams to have sustained success or failure.  Really, the Browns continued failure is much more noteworthy than the Patriots success over the same time period.  Each example is almost unbelievable.  As the organization has provided no reason for fans to be excited whatsoever, it was great to see that these people made their own fun.  Frankly, it was a pretty punk rock thing to do.  It was the pro sports equivalent of putting on a show at a squat.  The fans gave Jimmy Haslam, the nation’s worst professional sports franchise owner, the middle finger.  It’s their right.  This is our community, not his.  The fans that gathered at the stadium or followed coverage just want a real team back.  It’s what they were promised in 1999.  It just hasn’t happened yet.

Go Browns.


-Greg Miller

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Posted by on Jan 6 2018. Filed under Featured, Greg Miller on Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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