Today is the parade in honour (or in disgust) of the Cleveland Browns.
Sometimes I think us being fans is a huge cosmic joke on us. I liked football for years before finally settling on Cleveland – and it didn’t have so much to do with the team itself (although I like the history of the Browns leaving, then returning to Cleveland – I’m a big fan of the underdog) – it had more to do with the spirit of the city.
By spirit, I don’t mean the party-type atmosphere of downtown (although, dang, that can be fun too) – but rather the general vibe of the city, its people, and the effort of both to grow and do better. Essentially, it’s a fun place to be and the people are great.
However, being a Browns fan is tough… it’s tough for the life-long fans, new fans (are there any of those?) and it’s tough for the few like my husband and myself who travel to the city for most if not all home games. It’s a big expense and it’s big heartache.
If it comes up in conversation with Cleveland locals that we travel from Canada (it sounds impressive, but really we’re only 3 hours door to door if the border is good) to watch the Browns, we almost always stay 2 nights, AND we have season tickets. They marvel,
Being a Browns fan pretty much dominates our early fall through to the early winter (it’d be mid-winter if they ever saw a playoff game…). It’s what we do. “Wanna do X this weekend?” – “Nope, sorry, thanks for asking, but the Browns are playing at home.”
Now, being so close to Detroit, there are a lot of Lions’ fans about. Yes, there are others, but most people around here are Lions’ fans. Despite the Lions being the only team prior to this season, to go 0 and 16, (and here’s something you might not know) Browns’ fans are really the only team that Lions’ fans can pick on, for what I believe to be three reasons:
- The Browns have not seen post-season action since ’02 (and that was a wild-card game, it’s not like they won their division). Now that the Bills have made the playoffs, they have the longest non-post-season drought in NFL history. In general, we’re way bigger losers than them.
- Cleveland has continual quarterback issues, and despite Detroit’s struggles, they have Matt Stafford, a veritable God in Lions’ fans’ eyes.
- Cleveland as a city is viewed as more industrial, poorer, the “Mistake on the Lake” compared to the people who hail from or live near Detroit (if they only knew… and I have some experience with both).
Further about Lions’ fans… they *think* they can relate to being a Browns’ fan. “Oh, you’re a Browns’ fan? Sorry! I’m a Lions’ fan so I can relate.”
No, no you cannot.
Oh, you’re a Lions’ fan? How often do you go to games? Real responses include:
- Ppphhhhht! I’m not going to a game unless they are in playoff contention this season.
- Going to games is a pretty big hassle, we just watch from home.
- My buddy has season tickets, we usually go with him a few times a year. (Of all the people I know – honestly, not a lot, I only know 1 person who still has their Lions season tickets.)
- We always go to the Thanksgiving Day game – we, like, have to take the day off work!
Now people can be however hard-core or casual of a fan they want. It doesn’t matter nor affect me whatsoever. You can be a fan of a team for 10, 20 or 60 years, again, that doesn’t matter much to me. You can root for whatever team you want, for whatever reason. (We went to New Orleans, had a great time… just so happened they won the Super Bowl that year… oh, how nice for you!) I really don’t judge, except for band-wagoners gives me pause… Now, let’s talk about being a Browns’ fan in response to those Lions’ fans who can “relate” to me.
- I have been to nearly every Browns home game in 4 years, and because we missed the Christmas Eve game in 2016, that means I haven’t seen my team win live, in person in years. Like literally years (uh, regular season, not that pre-season splendour we witnessed this year). Like I can’t remember the last time I saw them win in person.
- Playoffs? Playoffs? The Lions have been to the post-season like 6 times since the Browns’ last appearance!
- Oh, and a home-opening win? Been to about 9 of those… never seen them win.
- You can take the tunnel bus for $5 to see a Lion’s game… it takes us 3 hours each way, and a full tank of gas to watch the Browns… and because we want to get the full experience, we stay two nights – the night before and the night after a game.
- We’ve seen up to four quarterbacks play each season for the Browns… for years!
I can agree, if your team hasn’t won the Super Bowl, in say 4 fours (except those lucky New England fans, and don’t even get me started on Bill Belichick!), than being a fan of any NFL team can be tough. But save your commiseration for someone else… like another Lions’ fan… they’re everywhere here.
So, now, back to the parade…
There are a lot of strong feelings on both sides of the parade happening today. As a fan, (maybe more so as a Canadian fan?) I say, whatever floats your boat. Would we have gone if logistically able today? Maybe. Are the best, most loyal fans going to be there, or just those upset about the Browns continual embarrassment to the city of Cleveland? I’m not sure.
Honestly, I hope the parade goes off without violence. I hope it’s in good spirit, “The Cleveland Browns suck, but we still love you and will continue to support you guys!”
That’s it for now… (that was actually more than I intended!) Life is good.
I am one lucky girl, with a hard working husband.
It’s been a darned good year for us – lots of adventure, lots of travel and lots more upcoming fun.
We are now Browns season ticket holders (bought before Manziel was drafted… that had nothing to do with our decision). So that means a few Cleveland trips this year (the first being the home opener against the Saints. Woo hoo.
Very soon we’re travelling to PEI on a golf trip. I haven’t been to that area of Canada since I was about 7 or 8 (With my parents and one brother – it was a convention), we stayed at St. Andrew’s By the Sea in New Brunswick and ventured into Nova Scotia. I’ve never been to PEI and Billy has never been to that area at all. We’re going to stay the first night in Old Quebec City – it’s like North America’s only true European city – looks pretty cool. Oh, and we’re driving. Expected travel time is 20 hours – yikes!
I think the drive time would be significantly reduced if we could cut through Maine.
But that would require roads… which there aren’t any of.
Oh well, the point of driving is to see the area (plus it costs less to fly to Hawaii than to PEI, and they don’t have a lot of car rentals available).
I know the Canada US border is messed up in areas (like one tiny blip in BC – seen at 3.51 in this funny video discussing the US – Canada border), but it would make more sense to me that everything south of the St. Lawrence be US, and everything north, Canada. But whatevs. Not important.
PEI is known for being a) small b) the home of Anne of Green Gables (required reading for any girl under the age of 11 in Canada) c) a culinary/seafood tourism d) having red beaches and e) good golf.
In early August I’m also venturing to Pennsylvannia for a business planning retreat for my ‘main contract’. So let’s review my past and upcoming adventures…
Within about a year… I have (or will) have stayed in…. Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Quebec, PEI, Tennessee, Florida, California, Hawaii and Nevada. I have also visited, New York, New Brunswick, Kentucky, Georgia and Utah.
Cool! Lucky LG.
I was logged into WordPress, as I just commented on GOM’s recent post, so I thought I’d write something myself.
1. Hawaii was great. It was a nice long vacation – lots of adventure and memories. I have some great pics, but no patience to publish them now.
2. Cleveland. We were home from Hawaii for 4 days and ventured to Cleveland to watch them lose. Great time, but ugh!
2.1 Florida. I again drove a car down to Florida for a couple who lives there in the winter. I rented a car an ventured solo to Key West. Good times, my kind of town. It was then I realized that I need to be at least 1,000 miles away from Cleveland in order for Cleveland to win. I’m a huge jinx, as proven by their loss this last Sunday.
3. Life. After doing so much prep work to be gone for so long (I have never been so busy and stressed!) life has returned to somewhat normal. There’s always odd jobs that pop up and require a lot of focused attention, but that’s often the nature of what I do. Plus I have a new client and am still helping someone out for funsies.
4. Upcoming. We’re going to Cleveland this week-end. The game kinda doesn’t mean much other than bragging rights after last week’s loss to Cinci, but William’s cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend are coming with us, so it should be fun nonetheless. Next week is our annual American Thanksgiving party – should be a good time.
5. Now. I’m up waaay to early thinking I had a lot to do online (and there’s always 1,239 things I could be doing, however) but I really don’t have anything urgent, and it’s too dark to start cleaning the house in preparation for the party – I ‘fall clean’ the house this time of the year, so I can cruise through the holidays without worrying about the house.
6. Smart girl. I’m working now to avoid missing out on Spring/Summer of Liz 2014 by doing prep work and submitting proposals to my existing clients (ugh… more money!), I seriously hope my efforts are not in vain!
In summation. Since my last post, life has involved a ton of travel, memories and work. It’s all good, awesome in fact, but normal is also good.
Not too long ago, I officially declared the remainder of summer, up until like American Thanksgiving to be ‘The Summer of Liz’.
I feel like it’s been a fail.
It’s been a good summer, but not an amazing epic super duper fun good times summer.
We’ve (and I’ve) had lots of great adventures… let’s go a quick review
- Port Stanley girl’s week-end – awesome. Got a new tat along with my 4 besties…
- Port Stanley to visit and stay with Billy’s cousin – a great time. Love hanging with them in that great little town…
- Lots of golf – some good rounds, some not so great, but usually a very fun time.
- Drive-in – that was a while back, but fun!
- Random peeps over for some backyard fun
- Two great summer parties – one was a neighbour’s, the other was Kiki’s annual golf and pool party. Good times!
- A trip to Indiana golfing for my 40th birthday. It could not have been better!
- Spring trip to the house in TN and Nashville – that’s when I officially ‘had enough’ and decided to list the house for sale. Fun time down there with two awesome chicks.
- Pre-season Lions at Browns game last week with Kikipants. Seriously a great time.
There’s been more stuff too, but I think you get the point…
So what’s the problem? I think it’s the stress that’s blocking me from looking back on the summer so far as a fail. I don’t have that ‘free and easy feeling’. My responsibilities have increased in my main job (and the pay has increased to reflect that change… but still). Another client has crawled out of the woodwork and I’m starting to work with them again this week. I worked a TON in June and feel like my efforts are not appreciated (because the stuff I set up is not really being used…) All the stuff with the house in TN has been a weight on me.
I’m not complaining… and there is still SO much awesomeness to come… it’s just that I’m feeling like I haven’t fully enjoyed myself due to the responsibilities and stress. Sometimes I just shake my head, like, ‘I do social media… I’m not curing cancer, it’s not life of death, it’s social media!’ But I really give it my all, and there are still areas I’m slacking in, and a billion things left undone… and it weighs.
I’ve also been in a bit of a funk lately. I try to focus on all the good stuff, but the stress gets in the way.
I’m still here.
I have over 100 items to read in my Google Reader – yikes! Normally I would read through them all before I blog – in case I’m missing something – but either I blog or I read, so I choose to blog!
William and I were having a risky date night at home – risky because he’s on call – and guess why I’m writing – because he was called out – Boo!
Life’s good. Fast, busy, fun.
I’ve taken on a project at work that’s been a ton more work than I was expecting – mostly because I’m not familiar with the workings of the website. I’m almost done, which is perfect timing, as we’re leaving for TN on Thursday afternoon for more than a week, and as long as things go according to plan, I will be totally done setting them up by the time we leave. By we, I mean Billy and I – it’s the first time since like 2004 we’re going to be in TN together! I can’t wait – it’s going to be so much fun! The country club/bar (where I found Shank more than a year ago!) is changing owners and we’re going to the last night it’s open – a Halloween party! Golfing, chilling – fun!
We’re also going to Nashville (Smashville!) on Saturday and Sunday night – hang out at some bars downtown, (good country music!) and check out the tailgating the next morning. We’ll either snag scalp tickets (TN is playing Chicago) or find a sports bar – I think one of William’s random friends might be either meeting us at our place, or in Smashville, so that should be fun fun fun.
Last week-end we were in Cleveland again, and yes, they won! The atmosphere in the stadium was like they won the Superbowl! Even the new owner who was there, stated the vibe was more like a win for a team heading to the SuperBowl (as opposed to the first win in 11 games!). Friends came with us who had never been before, and they (although Lion season ticket holders) were pretty shocked at the awesomeness of the tailgating and the city in general.
Oh really… apparently it is illegal to drink in the muni-lot, but it’s ‘overlooked’ – meanwhile there are a bunch of police in the lot and I’ve never once seen them hassling anyone. Imagine a lot that holds thousands of cars – at $25 bucks a pop. That’s some serious money for city – so…. they ‘overlook’
There is always something new to see in the lot – this was new for us – the players were quite serious!
Later that wooden structure was FULL of drunken dancing people – it wasn’t there last week-end though…
We had the best seats I’ve ever had at that stadium – 7th row, 45 yard line on the visitor’s side –
Although my friends and husband abandoned me outside the stadium in favour of the restroom, I managed to get a good picture with Chomps!
The guy behind me is not staring at my ass – he’s looking at Chomps’ ass – much better than mine in those tight white football pants!
We went to a stadium Backers party the night before the game, and they were selling tickets for a Browns frame picture signed by 9 Browns – including Kosar! Well, our friends won it, and gave it to us! It looks so awesome in our bar (next to the Cribbs one William bought me two weeks earlier – same framer, same signature pen!)
We hit the Cleveland Chophouse and several other random bars, well supporting the local economy! Man, we dropped a bundle! Lots of laughs, great food and drinks!
Funny – William’s ‘random’ friend that might be meeting us in Smashville was in Cleveland that week-end, but William didn’t have his cell on him! He was literally minutes behind us in two different bars! Haha!
Dogs are good, and I’m going to miss them so much while we’re gone! Not so much getting up early to let them out, feed them, and entertain them – but I’ll miss them anyway!
So, life is good.
Happy Tuesday – golf day!
I finally finished the behemoth ‘New York’ – it took me 2 weeks!
On the week-end, William and I golfed on Friday night, and Kim, Jim and I golfed on Saturday (William had a tourney), then we headed back to our house for some apps, cocktails and cornhole. Finally I won. Finally!
Really trying to get a lot of golf in, as the end of the season is in sight! No! I’m golfing tonight with Kim in our league, then meeting up with a friend who along with her husband (Bill’s fan) is coming with us to Cleveland in September.
Work has been so easy lately (with the boss man away so much). We have a team meeting tomorrow, so I’m sure that will result in ‘back to the real world’ work level. I’m due. It’s all good.
I’m going to walk the dogs now, so they’re not so crazy when I leave them this afternoon and night with MomG. William worked until 11:15 last night, and is expected to work long hours again today… ugh, poor guy.
That’s it – nothing exciting. Life’s good.
This last week was a little annoying and frustrating work-wise. I usually don’t let things like that bother me. Believe it or not, I am a very happy person and not a lot bothers me.
I just couldn’t seem to shake this dark cloud following me around. I reviewed all the awesomeness in my life – no help. I tried to pinpoint exactly what was bugging me – no good. I was just cranky on the inside and couldn’t shake it.
Despite having a ‘life highlight’ this week, a super awesome week-end planned, and a very successful fun summer thus far – Am I fully recovered? No, but nearly. I still have moments of gloom of undetermined origins. Weird.
Life highlight – I won’t get too ‘golf speak’ on y’all, but I played in an Ontario qualifying event on Tuesday and won. That’s right. I won for all of Ontario, out of hundreds of golfers. How? Good luck, good game, good times and my best round at Sutton Creek since August 2010. (Oh and I realized I was holding my hands too far from my body in the last few months…) In the scope of things, it really doesn’t mean much, but is still cool nonetheless.
Summer goodness – I’ve spent a lot of time at the pool. I’ve read, went to TN, had cocktails and worked on the patio. I’ve taken the dogs on great walks (not lately though, as Shank has a really bad limp, poor little guy), I’ve gone to the beach, had friends over, went camping, had great date nights with William, went to Grand Bend, the drive-in, Port Stanley, pool parties, and got together with the girls a couple of times. I’ve kept up on gardening and yard work. I’ve worked hard, received a bonus, and am nearly ‘caught up’ on things. Summer hasn’t passed me by in the least. I make an effort everyday to enjoy it.
Upcoming stuff – Golf and dinner tonight with William. Port Stanley, beautiful beach, cool bars, cocktails, people watching, and corn-hole tomorrow at/with William’s cousin and girlfriend. More golf this week, and the first pre-season BROWNS vs. Lions game and tailgate party next Friday afternoon.
All this is all so good, but still, I’m not feeling quite myself.
Life’s good, just a wee bit off.