Tag:bandwagon fans
Posted on: July 13, 2009 6:03 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2009 12:32 pm

A Response to the "Rivalry No Longer Mattering"

The Cleveland Browns won 9 League Championships. Just because it was before the Super Bowl doesn't mean it didn't count.

I also have a problem with this- The Pittsburgh/Cleveland football rivalry is so meaningless that it took them winning 11 in a row over an inferior replacement team to get TWO ahead in the rivalry. Things come around and they go around, my friend. If us Clevelanders are so terrible, it really says something about Pittsburgh that they had to wait til our franchise was stolen and replaced with no time and eight months to build a team in 1999, run by idiots with no consistency, to then gain up on eleven wins in a row to FINALLY get ahead in the rivalry. Just because it's current doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

Am I embarrassed over the way my team has performed in the last decade? Yeah, for the most part. But how many Pittsburgh Steeler fans do I see wearing Yankee, Red Sox, and even Indians hats because of the Pirates' futility? Makes me wonder what would happen if the Steelers went through a drought like the Browns did. Would there be the same love? Would the Steelers fans still sell out every single home game if the Steelers did as bad as the Browns did? Or would they jump the bandwagon like some of them do for their baseball teams.

I'm not saying you're one of them, I'm saying I am a loyal Cleveland fan. I was born in the same town and hospital as one of my heroes LeBron James, and while they might not have gotten that championship yet, I'm hoping this year is the year. But you know what, regardless of whether they do or not, on game day you better believe I'll have my jersey on. The Indians are in last, I wear my hat everyday. The Browns were terrible last year, and even on the last day of the season when they were down to their fifth string quarterback, I still wore my orange and brown.

So to hear that it no longer matters because of recent years is infuriating. Did they say the Yankee/Red Sox rivalry didn't matter anymore over the 80-some years it took for the Red Sox to win a World Series? Damn right it didn't. Us Cleveland fans are frustrated, and some have jumped the ship, but nothing upsets me off more than when I see someone in a Steelers jersey and an Indians hat.

Like I said, I'm not calling you out, for I don't know how loyal you would be; I don't know you that well, but the test of fan loyalty isn't to throw it in your rival's face when they're down on their luck. It's still being there when you're down on yours. Look back in the beginning of the rivalry or in the 80s and see how badly the Browns beat the &^$% out of the Steelers. Did they say the rivalry was over then? You're damn right they didn't.

Sometimes memories can be so fickle. But hey, Steelers fans and anyone else can trash us as badly as they want... It'll just make it that much more fun when the time pendulum comes back around. 2 wins, my friend. 2 wins is all they lead this rivalry by. That either says something about how competitive this rivalry really is, or how bad the Steelers are against their "meaningless" rival.

But I tell you what... I don't hate the Steelers. I can't. As one of the two teams that stood up for us when they stole our team, I can't hate the Steelers, or the fans who protested despite the NFL making sure they weren't seen. I see sports rivalries a little differently; more as a respective comraderie between people who have a passion for a sport but just happen to come from different places. So to have that loyalty and passion thrown in my face because a rival has done better than us in the last ten years with all those circumstances? What do you expect us to do? Jump ship? What kind of people would that make us?

I don't give a #$% if any of my teams never win a damn game again. I'll be there, loyal and true, and Pittsburgh can beat us 78 times in a row 42-0, and I'll have all the respect in the world for the franchise as I always have. But I will still be there, even if I'm the only one. Can you say the same?

Again, I'm not calling you out personally, but this hit a nerve.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com