Are Browns fans different than Cleveland sports fans?
I always thought I was a Browns fan, first and foremost, but I now realize I am much more of a Cleveland sports fan than a Browns fan.
There seems to be a certain group of “diehard” Browns fans that disassociate themselves from the rest of Cleveland sports fan bases. They think they are entitled to do whatever they want because they had their team taken from them and pay X amount of dollars to watch them play every year.
I first read about Jen Steer’s experience back in September and now there’s a Letter to the Editor from a Steeler’s fan about how Browns fans go too far & ruin the perception of Cleveland.
Let me clarify: this is not every fan of the Browns at the stadium. They aren’t even necessarily the most rambunctious of game attendees. I think there is a separate, select group of people that only support the Browns and not any of the other Cleveland professional sports teams.
I took one of my college friends to her first NFL game: Browns v. Ravens.
We weren’t drinking, swearing, or doing anything remotely offensive—actually quite in contrast to many of the groups around us.
In the 4th quarter, we had the Ravens pinned back inside their own 10-yard line. The Browns players were raising their arms in the air, trying to get fans to stand up and make some noise to pressure Flacco and deafen the offense.
We stood up, for the first time during a play the entire game. We subsequently got screamed at to sit down by a man the row behind us. It was seriously the loudest I have ever had someone yell at me, due in part to this guy’s mouth being literally only a foot from my head.
No warning. No “would you please sit down.” Disregarding the fact the people in front of us were standing.
I looked back at this middle-aged man, at the game with his wife and two high school-aged sons.
We sat down.
I have been to many Cavs, Indians, OSU, Notre Dame & other games and have never been so disrespected for participating in a standard fan activity. Not even at away games.
After the family had left, I expressed my general dismay to my friends. What happened to common courtesy before screaming your head off? A simple tap on the shoulder. Kindly asking.
That’s when a random older lady decided to chime in. “Just let it go.”
I looked back, dumbfounded that a stranger could possibly be defending this guy.
“I know you’re young and new to this, but I’ve been a season-ticket holder for 12 years and this is the way it is.”
Within minutes of this interaction, a few hammered Browns and Ravens fans got into a brutal fistfight, which resulted in them rolling over the seats and running away from security.
But standing and supporting the team is a problem.
When did Browns fans become more excited about making everyone miserable than cheering for the team?