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Tony Rizzo vows to run over parade participants: While We’re Waiting

Cleveland Browns Fans Bags
Matt Sullivan

As if the political climate leading up to—and arguably since—this November’s election wasn’t enough finger-pointing and side-taking for you, well you just wait. Ohio went from being a battleground, or “swing” state to one that has now had fans of the same team verbally and electronically spatting with one another over support or disdain (because there’s never a middle ground) of the “Perfect Season” parade which is to be thrown in the event the Cleveland Browns go 0-16.

We discussed the concept of said parade with the creator, and if you listen to the tone, it would have appeared that very few truly want the parade to go down. The temperature on Twitter has been steadily rising over the last few weeks as local media members and fans have been had a few back-and-forths about the legitimacy (or embarrassment levels) of such a parade.1 While taking up multiple tweets and oftentimes involved individuals jumping in to defend their side, most end with all parties living to tweet another day.

Nevertheless, as the Browns lost yet another game on Sunday, one which many analytic-based metrics said was their best chance to not go winless during the 2016 season, things continued to get worse. On Sunday afternoon, following the Browns’ 13-point loss, ESPN Cleveland’s Tony Rizzo took things a bit further. Listen below to the five-minute rant, one where a local media member who hasn’t legitimately covered a game in years opts to lower the common denominator even further.

So if you’re keeping score at home, one of the bigger bloviators in all of Cleveland did the following:

  • Threatened physical violence on anyone planning the parade
  • Challenged anyone who is doing so to come down to a public restaurant, one which is evidently a sponsor, to partake in said violence
  • Pulled the Do You Know Who I Am card at a pregame tailgate
  • Used the word “Loserest”
  • Spoke of the Browns as something he is not only a part of, but something in which he gets to choose his “teammates”
  • Referred to his mouth-breathing as a “take”
  • Threatened additional violence on anyone who comes near his family
  • Name-dropped the absolute shit out of anyone in city or state legislature (because Sherrod Brown has nothing more important to worry about)
  • Threatened to “mow” participants down with a car
  • Promised that said peaceful gathering will “end ugly” if it goes down
  • Referred to “loopholes” in a permit he didn’t know existed seconds earlier
  • Promised he will keep Mike Polk Jr. from attending
  • Threatened to use his television platform to identify participants in the parade and encourage listeners to send them hate mail
  • Swore to God he would use his television platform to publicly shame and entice additional discord

Hold on: Let us recalibrate for a second.

Browns Fans Oh No

OK.

Wait, what’s that you’re saying? That wasn’t enough? Here’s more:

…Which led to perhaps the best exchange of them all…

Point is, it’s getting bad out there, folks. Much like we all experienced a few weeks ago, people are leveraging their platforms to divide in a time where a group of folks who all want the same thing—you know, a winning football team—should be gathering together, unifying, rather than picking sides on how or where individuals should manifest their disdain for the product we’re forced to watch every Sunday.

And much like this past November where anti-media bias merely fueled the fire, we get random folks, ones whose Twitter bio talks of Cleveland fans as “family” wishing more violence.

At some point, the tenor surrounding this parade has transitioned from one of humor and high-fives to one of outright anger and borderline terrorism. It’s gone from thinking ideas may be somewhat ill conceived to those revolving GIFs of characters firing guns. While those who take it too far will say it was “just words2 or “good radio”3, it’s a fan base divided, and it doesn’t appear to be improving any time soon.

And much like the fallout following November’s election, we can turn to local media in hopes of them elevating the conversation, but as talk radio is wont to do, we only find them fanning the flames for ratings and retweets. The irony of this all, of course, is that those against the parade claim it makes the city “look bad”, before spouting off incoherently.

Most importantly, however, we can thank the Browns. In the end, this is all their fault anyway. As hard as it is to win in the NFL, odds tell us it’s much harder to never win. Then again, the Browns have been defying odds for decades.

  1. Much like the comments on WFNY following Craig’s interview. []
  2. They aren’t. []
  3. It wasn’t. []

  • I am on board if this is exactly the style and tone. Jazz funerals are amazing. As is Christmas Ale.

  • This whole parade thing is…whatever. I am 100% on board with anything that puts pressure on ownership, because they have earned it during Haslam’s tenure. But then again, this was never supposed to be a competitive team in 2016, and that mission has been accomplished. I am far less frustrated with the Browns this season than I have been at times over the past 20 years. So part of me doesn’t want to send the message to a guy like Joe Thomas that we are reveling in his misery. He’d have every right to be resentful (and he alone, frankly), and that is a big con in my book. But I’m also not losing sleep over it if it does happen. I wouldn’t go, but I get the appeal it might have to some.

  • NankirPhelge

    Well, if the best player in the draft doesn’t fit into the Browns fabulous defensive scheme, then we don’t need him, do we? Beat it, chump. I mean, it’s not like we would want to change our wildly successful system or anything like that.

    (Man, I will never, ever, ever understand this kind of thinking. Never.)

  • Sam Gold

    Exactly! Garrett is being almost universally lauded as one of the greatest prospects in a generation with a Grand Canyon sized chasm between #1 & all the rest and Grossi doesn’t think he’ll fit one version of his 80s based defensive shceme vs another. Thank God he does nothing more than pontificate.

  • Sam Gold

    Well said.

  • mgbode

    not only is he a great prospect due to talent but he spends his offseasons doing things like organizing teammates to go on a humanitarian mission to Haiti, then spending so much time with the locals he ends up missing out on the photo ops that A&M setup to help recruiting (because he was too busy doing rather than taking credit)

    i’m so in the bag for Garrett

  • mgbode

    Apologies. That is a step way too far. No one should be lumped with Rizzo unless we are talking Muppets. Always liked that Rat; funny lines.

  • mgbode

    it was portrayed pretty equally on both accounts after the morning on which they were reporting it was a shooting spree, which was debunked.

  • VMI1998

    It’s one thing to be the worst team in football. It’s quite another to celebrate the fact, to happily wallow in the situation. To do so is an embarrassment. For those who liken such a parade to a New Orleans funeral, that is a celebration of the life of the deceased. What will the parade be celebrating? Division, apathy, anger, the worst season ever in professional football? I find no reason to celebrate any of these things. Nor do I find it acceptable to poke fun at our team. Yes they’re losing, but that’s when they need our support all the more. If you can’t support them, then at least don’t take sides against them. This parade idea is a slap in the face to the men who put the hopes of their fans on their backs each week and for the past year have nothing to show for it. It’s not right. It’s not funny. It’s disrespectful. If you want to show your displeasure with the organization, fine, withhold financial support. Don’t buy the gear. But don’t publicly shame your own home team.

  • Lawrence Draper

    Hey Rizzo, I’ll lead the parade. The talking sports heads in Cleve have nothing else to talk about except the season from hades. So let’s go nuts over a parade of shame. What maroons. Rizzo is about 98 lbs wet and so he threatens vehicular mayhem. Remind me again not to watch this Krusty the Clown of Cleve sports pukers.

  • Ray Sipka

    People partying and not committing suicide? good. People getting together to party in a major city showing camaraderie and good will? good Thousands coming together to celebrate great sportsmanship and spending tons of bread that will stimulate the economy that stuffy “political” bean counters constantly try to destroy? good. The politicians never fix anything.The people do.This Renee Russo is a bad sport,a bad example and a buzz kill.He is what’s wrong with Cleveland.It’s a game,son.

  • Ray Sipka

    Bad sportsmanship does not play out well as role modeling.This Russo is the worst.Bye

  • humboldt

    “Joe Thomas is a professional athlete; he’s used to this sort of thing–it rolls right off his back”

    http://i.imgur.com/wehyxqf.gif

  • architrance

    So Rizz is ISIS?

  • Saggy

    LOVE IT!!

  • Saggy

    What are you talking about? He only has 6.5 sacks in 9 games in the toughest division in football after missing pre-season and minicamps. BUST. #GrossiForever

  • Saggy

    They should traded him for a 2nd-rounder, 5 4th-rounders, a sandwich pick, and, um, a sandwich.

  • Saggy

    what bag?

  • mgbode

    took the one off my head and placed my feet in it. magic markered “Garrett or bust in ’17” on the outside of it

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