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 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.
Wow, I’ve really missed posting about a lot of going ons!
I’ll try to be brief…
Hawaii – For Kiki’s 50th birthday, her husband is taking her to Hawaii! And guess who is also going? That’s right – us! Woo hoo! The adventure begins in mid September with a night in San Diego, then hopping on a cruise ship for 11 nights, then staying 4 nights in Waikiki Beach. Hence the….
Gym – Been putting in the effort for more than a month now – went to the gym 21 times in December, and twice this month (hey, it’s only the 4th!). I’m feeling better, stronger, but am slightly disappointed in my weight loss – only not becoming completely discouraged as it was just the holiday season, and in December I still managed to lose 3% of my body weight. Which leads me into…
Resolutions – Obviously loss weight and become a supermodel (okay, not really) – but the ultimate goal is to feel comfortable in a bikini. It can be done! It will be done! I’ve vacationed fat and I’ve vacationed thin, and thin is waaaay better. So there. My goal is to lose 16% of my starting weight while getting toned.
I also want to make a bit more money this year, like 5% more than last year. It will involve me picking up a new little social media contract – have to get working on that! We also need to pay down some debt (and now with Hawaii thrown in the mix…), but our savings is still a good amount monthly.
For Kiki’s 50th birthday we went to Cleveland – it turned out great – had a fab time!
Christmas was great – super busy but great. More than a week straight of get togethers. A LOT of cleaning the house. The way the holidays fell this year, I felt like I was doing major housework 3 times a week! Anywho… I received a bunch of ‘prettying up’ kind of things – good shampoos, hair cut gift certificate, body sprays, perfumes and the like – perfect!
New Year’s Eve was a hoot. We had 11 people over for dinner, and a few other friends popped by around midnight. It was a great time.
Since American Thanksgiving, we’ve had close to 50 people over for dinner! Always a great time, but I’m really glad that is over with! A lot of time spent cleaning the house. A lot of time spent thinking about food and worrying about ‘if everyone is okay’. Not much going on (except our date nights!) until Superbowl. Whew!
Work is good, not a whole lot of extras happening right now, though somedays I can’t bear to look at the computer for another second (hence lack of blogging and WAY behind reading and commenting on other blogs). Life is fast, fun, busy at times, but generally very very good.
Cheers to you all!
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.
In general, 2010 was a fairly awesome year, let’s review…
We rang in the New Year at our house with friends where we watched the Canadian juniors lose to the US. Other than that, it was a great party.
A few days into the New Year I received a call from William which started, ‘I just wanted to call you, in case you try to reach me later and can’t get a hold of me…’ AKA as the Frankenfinger incident when the end of Billy’s middle finger was nearly severed as a few hundred pounds of steel fell on it and the other broke in half. (also noteworthy is that it was my brother’s fault). This is what it looked like a week or so later…
Certainly not a highlight of 2010.
A definite highlight of 2010 was the Olympic games. It was a time we were all so proud to be Canadian. The best of the best was the men’s team winning gold in Olympic hockey. It was a great night that I will never forget!
I ventured to Tennessee twice last year, once on my own to rake leaves and clean up the yard, and again in the summer with Kiki to golf and have fun. It was a great trip and we had fan-damn-tastic time.
I golfed from late March until mid November this year. I promised myself to enjoy the course this year and not get too involved, but rather be a participant in the fun as opposed to the organizer. This worked fairly well, but I did end up serving on the board (until it was disbanded in August), being the volunteer co-ordinator for the RCGA Canadian Juniors Ontario Golf Championship, (which I did not volunteer to do, but I saw my name with that title in a newsletter… hmm),
helped with 9 hole stats, helped William hold a charity tournament, and our Essex County Masters Event (which doubled in size from last year – sounds impressive, doesn’t it?) and raised over $5,000 being present and selling tickets at every event! Next year (if there is a next year, our course went bankrupt and is for sale… the new owners might not honour memberships… ugh…) I dropped my handicap significantly in 2010 without a single lesson. I tried to practise at least twice a week for a half hour at a time, (that and seeing repeatedly what a good swing looks like on Tiger Woods Golf 2010… no seriously, it helped) I finished the season being one of the lowest female handicappers at our course (it is a small membership, hence bankruptcy…) with a 12 index. Fancy that!
There were several fantastic events and tournaments I played in – so much fun with friends. I’m so lucky.
We went camping only once this summer, and had one solid day of good weather, but left 2 days early due to extreme rain. Fun though.
We went to the drive in twice, but only made it in once, as we were turned away as the place was packed! It was funny to meet our friends at the drive in (which is 2 hours away) by chance!
It was a great year for me to be a Cleveland Browns fan, but not in proud to be a fan, look how awesome our team is, winning season kind of way… Kiki, William, Jim and I ventured to Cleveland 2 times in 2010 (once already in 2011!), Kim and I saw the Browns play Detroit in pre-season, and Billy and I saw the Browns in Miami. Of course my life as a football fan would be exponentially better if the team had a winning season, or, God forbid made the playoffs, but such as it is… woo is LG… Still, we had a tremendous amount of fun in Cleveland and every week in football season following the Brownies.
Our cruise in late November was of course a major highlight. It was probably one of the most relaxing vacations I’ve ever had!
On a more somber note, Halia, our Rhodesian Ridgeback turned 5 in February. Ridgies don’t have long live spans and she is currently suffering from arthritis in her spine. Although she regularly sees the vet and is well medicated, it is difficult to see her aging, and not really being able to help her (she weighs 100+ lbs). Also my cat, who has always lived with my mom, had to be put down in the late fall. He had a bowel obstruction and nothing could have been done to save him. He had an amazing life though – a good 13+ years. That’s probably the hardest thing about the years starting fly past; although you can pack as much fun and adventure into as one can handle (or afford!), everyone ages. So I guess it is about enjoying every moment and even making a simple night out with friends or an afternoon at home by myself memorable and enjoyable.
All the best to everyone in 2011… life is good.
There is about a dozen things I should be doing right now (laundry, water the plants, take down Christmas decorations, walk the poochy – just to name a few), there are several things I should be blogging about as well (the trip we returned from almost a month ago, the books I read, general rants about stupid people). But I’m going to say a few words about this past week-end.
I should like to mention that one of my NY resolutions (yes, I make some every year, I should be blogging about that too) is to feel less guilt…
New Year’s Eve was quite awesome, with the exception that the Canadian Junior’s (hockey btw GOM, lol) lost their game, but it was just the round robin, and they beat the US last night (did not see it, as we completely forgot it was on!! ARG!). I think the gold medal final game is on Wednesday against Russia – we’ll have to be sure to watch it!
We had a few pop overs during the day and dinner, which was planned for 7, was ready at 7:05! Amazing. It was awesome if I do say so myself…
We played WTF and a few of us hot tubbed it, but it was raining pretty hard… generally we sat about and chatted.
Playing WTF – Barry obviously chose B…
Now in Cleveland…. we got a super deal, thanks to Priceline and stayed at the Marriott Cleveland Key Center – (notice the non-Canadian spelling of center), which has the best downtown location of all the Cleveland hotels for our purposes… Here we are at the Chophouse – we had a great bartender and watched a bit of Winter Classic.
The traditional chugging of the beer!
One of the awesome things about the Chophouse is icy strip on the bar. I want one! It appears that a baby was walking on the bar!
It was pretty darned cold on Sunday morning and we got a bit of a late start for tailgating, but it was still a good time. My camera died at the lot and sadly Kiki lost her new camera at the stadium! Rats! So not too many pictures, and too bad, Kiki’s camera is (was) pretty sweet and she took a ton of awesome pics… ;(
The game was by far the worst one I’ve ever seen live. An interception on pretty much the first throw, then the Steelers scoring again on the first drive put Cleveland down 14 – 0 after a minute of play! ARG! The agony – especially with all those nasty Steeler fans in attendance. Yuck!
We’ve been going non-stop since American Thanksgiving. Party, vacation, party, party, party, Christmas, party, New Year’s, Cleveland…. my body is needing a break from excessive food and alcohol intake!
I’m going to do a few things around the house now, mentally composing posts that I hope to write later. Life is good.
Yes, shocking, I’m still here. What have I been doing? Why haven’t I been blogging? Well, last week was chock full of seasonal merriment. Travelling house to house, visiting, eating, drinking and well, eating.
This past week I decided in earnest to put forth every effort to reach my goal of reading 50 books in 365 days. I did it, with a day to spare no less! (Although I won’t blog about it until probably January 3rd or 4th). It’s not a difficult goal for someone (like me) who likes to read, and someone (like me) who doesn’t have a job, but I nearly gave up in the spring when I had a rash of bad books. I was thrown a bit off in the summer, being given a super addictive DS game (3D Pictocross if you must know), but luckily for me, my husband was also addicted to this game and moves faster and uses guilt to get his way… but anyways, I’m done the challenge and will do it again in 2011.
Tonight we’re have a few couples and singles over for a 13 lbs prime rib dinner. Eek! It’s huge! The Canada juniors play at 3:30 today, (I’m sure all you Americans are glued to your TVs this week watching the American juniors play…. right?) but I have to behave as we’re going to Cleveland tomorrow! Eek! We have Chophouse reservations on Saturday night, so combined with our recent visit to the Keg and tonight’s prime rib I am all beefed up. Literally.
I have a ton of things to do (quietly, as William is sleeping), so I hope you all (4 of you…) have a very Happy New Year!