Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Browns 20, 49ers 7
It was, perhaps, a fitting end to a season.

The Browns did more than any of us could have expected this year. And maybe it was better for the fans if the last memory of this season was Derek Anderson and the offense in victory formation.

The Colts game later that night drained three hours out of my life that I'll never get back. But had the Colts knocked the Titans out, maybe the Browns would have been pounded in San Diego.

But I think there there is more to this season than what happened on the field. Joel Hammond was frustrated by Terry Pluto's column, which he thought was the product of self pity.

Personally, I am not about to cry over a 10-6 football season. But I think Pluto was just writing his honest feelings as he watched helplessly on Sunday night. That's what makes Pluto special in Northeast Ohio. Very few in the area write with his passion and honesty. A lot of us were pissed Sunday night, but we didn't have the opportunity to write about it.

As far as the "woe is me" attitude of some Cleveland fans, I'm getting rather tired of it. The problem with self pity -- even if it is justified -- is that is makes the person expressing it sound like a loser. But Cleveland is not a loser city anymore. It has LeBron James, perhaps the best player in the NBA.

It has the defending American League Central champions.

It has one of the best stories of the NFL season, the 10-6 Browns.

There's no reason to hang your head after what was a thrilling 2007. Maybe the city didn't win a national title (though Ohio State may win one Monday). But the future remains bright for all three teams, most of all the Browns.

Next season may not be as good as this one. But at least fans won't go into the 2008 football season wondering what is on the Cooking channel at 3 p.m. on Sundays.

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At 8:40 AM , Anonymous Erik said...

I used to think that the whole idea that Cleveland's economic depression and negativity toward sports is somehow related was a load of hooey. But now, I think a bit differently.

Cleveland is an economically-depressed area, which leads to it being an emotionally-depressed area. I think a lot of people don't like where their lives are, and they turn to sports to somehow vindicate their existence. Every loss on the big stage cuts deep because people attach their self-worth to these teams that never win titles.

It's a messed-up set of priorities, but in an area that doesn't have much to attach its collective civic pride to besides sports, there might be something to it.

Unfortunately, though Pluto might have been conveying his raw feelings with the column in question, all he's doing is enabling Northeast Ohioans to have an even dimmer view of the area.

Isn't it bad enough that we have a shrinking economy, an educational system in shambles and cold, snowy winters? Do we honestly need to believe that we're cursed, or that God hates our sports teams? Pretty soon, the old wives' tale about fans jumping off bridges will become true.

For those of us who want to feel good about our lives and where we live, it seems like a losing battle sometimes when everyone you meet tells you Cleveland sucks and none of our teams will ever win a title again.

At 2:28 PM , Anonymous hurm said...

We'll give you Chad Johnson for Braylon Edwards. Straight up. Do you accept?

At 2:32 PM , Anonymous Hurm said...

BTW Zach, my favorite Van Morrison song. Just learned it on guitar by refuse to sing it in public because no other white kid can do justice to Van Morrison's voice.


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