Chase Smith. Browns Fan.

Most of you know I am a huge Browns fan. When I share my love for the football team from Cleveland, I always get the same response – why? People laugh and people openly mock, but my answer remains the same and my faith never waivers – in fact, it probably grows stronger. Let me explain:

Cheslie at Cleveland

As a part of our honeymoon we went to a Browns/Steelers game on Dec 12, 2009. The Browns won 13-9 in what is known as the coldest game in 118 meetings with a wind chill of -10 degrees below zero.

I take the word “fan” very seriously. I would not consider myself a fan of anything else .I want to see WVU do well. I wantto see Marshall do well. But I would never consider myself a true fan. To be considered a true fan, I believe you have to know your team inside and out. You have to know your team’s roster and be able to name your starters and even most of their back-ups. A true fan looks forward to the start of the season and has borderline depression when the season ends. A true fan breaks down their schedule and stays up with every game.  They stay up-to-date on all the offseason transactions and even carefully monitor the other teams in the division. A fan sticks with their team through the good years, but a true fan sticks with their team through the bad years – and their passion doesn’t waver. They stay equally vocal, equally passionate, equally public, and equally loyal through the thick and thin. Really, you never know if you are a true fan without going through some sort of trial or challenging period. Being a true fan develops patience, character, and humility (sounds awfully familiar to the Christian faith eh?).

But it is well document the kind of luck Cleveland sports have. Some even go as far to say “God hates Cleveland” (see The Drive, The Fumble, The River Fire, The Sell, The Helmet Toss, The “Expansion Team”, The Indians (1990’s and late 2000’s), and The Decision to name a few). I’ve even muttered it a couple times, but that’s life right? You don’t always get the things you want. But that’s why I’m drawn to the Browns. You see, Cleveland is unlike any football team in the NFL. Back in the 1995, our owner, Art Modell, moved the football team to Baltimore. Just like that the city that was home to one of the best home crowds in the NFL had no football team. Immediately the people of Cleveland started revolting and over 100 lawsuits were filed by fans. Because of their effort, dedication, and passion, these FANS were rewarded their team back. In 1999 The Cleveland Browns returned to the NFL.  Tell me any other team that exists because the fans fought for them in court! Being a Browns fan symbolizes hard work and dedication. Cleveland is a blue-collar town and the Browns represent the people of this great city.

Now, the Cleveland Browns have had it rough for the past couple years. Past 13 years to be exact. But that’s the beautiful thing about it. Each year we get back up and start 0-0 like everyone else. Each year we think we’ve finally figured it out and are going to somehow make the playoffs. Each year the true fans support the Cleveland Browns. We hold our heads high and defend our team to the end. True fans of the Cleveland Browns are united by hope. Each season, each game, each play we are filled with hope. A lot of times we don’t get what we want, but that doesn’t change our attitude. Being a Browns fan means you believe in hope. And in today’s world, what’s better to believe in.

I frequent a Browns fan site and every now and then contribute to the forums. A couple years ago one of the admin’s made a post much similar to this one – except it was much short. I saved it and want to share it will you all. This is “Grump’s” answer to “Why we are Browns fans”:

Whey we are Browns fans…

If you are constantly looking at yesterday…you’ll never see tomorrow.

Meaning…it’s easy to get all caught up in what has happened, feel sorry for ourselves, think about what ifs, and what could have beens….me….I don’t.

Every Sunday is its own season for me. Every Sunday a new beginning. Every Sunday I look for it to be the game that everything slides into place. I don’t dwell on last week, last year or even yesterday. Those are over and there’s nothing we can do about them, only the future hasn’t been written, and it’s the only thing we have the power to change.

I get excited about My Browns because I can relate to them…I’ve been up…I’ve been down, I’ve been kicked around, made mistakes and shown some flashes….and one day I know I’m going to get it right. And I know one day the Browns are going to get it right. I get excited because the Browns are my team, because it’s a new beginning, a chance to put the past behind us and finally hold our heads up once again. I get excited…because it’s our turn.

Grump, aka “The Don”

I believe this sums up true Browns fans perfectly – hopeful and optimistic. One day we will get it right. One day it will be our turn. My name is Chase Smith and I am a Cleveland Browns Fan.

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About Chase Smith

I am the Student Ministries and Worship Arts Pastor at Trinity Wesleyan Church. I have the best job in the world with help from the best wife in the world serving the best students in the world all praising the best God in the world.

Posted on February 23, 2012, in Sports and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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