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The View from the Sharp Tank: Is there such thing as a right way or wrong way to fan?

I have been a fan of sports, especially Cleveland sports for probably 45 years and for at least the first half of those years, there was almost always something to be optimistic about as far as at least one of our main three teams being decent, at times good, and every now and then great. The second half of those years, it was hard to find a whole lot to be optimistic about at all most days and thankfully Lebron came back home and led our basketball team to the title in 2016, or besides some playoff runs by the Tribe (Yes, Tribe. That’s what they were called, so don’t come at me with anything negative), there was pretty much nothing to hang your proverbial hat on as far as Cleveland sports goes.

A question I have heard on many occasions lately is are you a fan if you are pessimistic about our teams or at least one team (cough Browns cough)? Does it really take being optimistic to really call yourself a fan?

Not sure there is a real answer to this question and here is my opinion on why: Since 1999, there have been many reasons to be optimistic about the Cavaliers, quite a few reasons to feel the same about the Indians/Guardians, but despite a handful of seasons in which we could be optimistic regarding the Browns, there usually has been nothing but despair and losing. Is it still possible to feel good about this football team despite doing almost everything possible to drive fans away? Of course! But know this, there is a VERY fine line separating being an optimistic Browns fan in 2023 and being called insane in the membrane. Not saying it’s right to call fans that see the glass as being half full crazy, but just saying be prepared to hear the jokes.

Do I see the Browns glass as half full? As much as I would love to say yes, the readers of NEO Sports Insiders deserve the truth, and the truth is that when I think of the Browns, even with a record of 7-4, not only do I not see the glass half full, the only way it would be half full in my eyes is that if the glass was filled with beer and only after I had a few (Responsibly of course). To me, there is not much to feel good about. Does that stop me from rooting for them or even raising my kids to root for them, of course not!

To me, you can be optimistic, or you cannot be, but no matter how you feel, if it makes you feel good to still root for our teams, then I beg you to do just that. The late great Howard Cosell used to always say that sports are the toy store of life as they help people forget about their problems. There is no right way or wrong way to fan, just do it. Except for our football team, you won’t regret it most of the time!

Until next time: Go Browns, Go Guards, Go Cavs, Go Monsters, and Go Crunch!


Jerry is a proud husband and father. He is a lifelong fan of anything related to Cleveland sports, the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the WWE. On Friday nights in the fall you can find him covering Brunswick high school football.

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