Hey Chris Perez: You might be right, but you’re doing it all wrong

If there is one thing my political science background has taught me, it’s to know the audience and climate you are trying to engage.

Chris Perez –with a rock-and-roll attitude and pretty fantastic stats to back him up– received a standing ovation after his initial critique of Cleveland fans. Now, he is taking it a step further with comments to NYT on the Cleveland Browns fan base.

“That’s what I don’t understand,” Perez said. “Their whole thing is, ‘We want a winner.’ Well, why do you support the Browns? They don’t win. They’ve never won. They left. You guys blindly support them. I don’t understand it. It’s a double standard, and I don’t know why.”

It’s pretty clear you don’t understand it. The Browns have a storied history of many championships, more recent than the Indians. “What if” happened for the Browns, it was just a long time ago. Also, it sounds as if you are insinuating the Browns players left on their own account, which clearly did not happen. But I digress…

If you want to rally the fans that are already regularly attending Tribe games, congrats. You’re not changing anything. It’s the equivalent of throwing Santorum an anti-gay marriage rally at a Catholic church in Texas. Sure, you’re keeping the extreme fans happy…but what about the average Indians supporter? Is that really going to engage them and encourage them to change their current patterns?

The average Indians supporter is the one who comes to a few games a year, watches the games when they have time to at home or at the bar, and would love to see the Indians go to the playoffs and maybe even win a championship for Cleveland. They enjoy sports in general, but have a life outside of them.

Just as the moderate voter might be turned off by extreme conservatism, the moderate Cleveland fan will be turned off by these rash comments. I am just as disgusted by the unabashed hate for Lebron and comparative less support for the Cavs…but I don’t tell people what to do. If Cleveland fans don’t want to come to your games until you have sustained success to earn a spot in the playoffs, that’s their prerogative.

But if you want Cleveland fans to come to your games, it’s probably not the best idea to hate on Browns fans and the majority of Cavs fans in this city. Even if you’re right.

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3 thoughts on “Hey Chris Perez: You might be right, but you’re doing it all wrong

  1. Courtney: Very good article and you are right on, on all points. What a great majority of people overlook, is the change the way sports are viewed, by both the fans and the players. Dollars for players, no matter what the sport, are not in step with those people who have to PAY to see them PLAY A GAME! When was the last time a professional player PAID to see a Fire Fighter battle a blaze at 3AM in January? Or PAID to see a Police Officer try to talk a person out of committing suicide over the death of a child? Or PAID to watch a Teacher TAKE HIS/HER OWN money to PAY for supplies not available to the school due to budget cuts? I have been in two of the aforementioned circumstances in my former career (full time Fire Fighter-Warrensville Hts) and I use sports then and now as my release from the day-in/day-out pressures that are overwhelming the majority of people today. What Chris Perez has forgotten is the basis of what sports really are…a game when played, a business when money is involved, and a relief for those who watch. He came from the Uni of Miami (enough said about THEIR ideals) and from St. Louis (more baseball town than any other city in US). In closing, I will repeat what my late grandmother always told her grandkids (which I have passed on to my own kids) “Sometimes it is best to keep you mouth shut so you don’t really show everyone your ignorance”! Good job #AHTPQT!!

  2. Another well written piece! Can’t really argue with ANY of it… My only question is why don’t YOU write more often??? It goes with out saying that John Barkan’s comment above is dead on like a laser beam…

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