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I have a lot of feelings right now: While We’re Waiting

It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it, Cleveland?

In the span of just eight days, all three of our major sports teams have played. One went well. Two did not, though one of those loses was, at this point, kind of expected. But with all this action comes plenty of emotion, and I’m feeling a lot of feelings about  the world of Cleveland sports. Let’s crack open the red wine and unpack these emotions together, shall we?

The Browns are (Unintentionally) Tanking
Feel-o-Meter: DGAF

At a certain point last season, I stopped caring about the Browns. Wait—that’s too bold a statement. At a certain point last season, my heart was no longer “behind” the Browns. Sure, I still want them to do well. Yes, I have gone to games and cheered them on (though was not given many opportunities to do so). And OK, I’ll still watch that pack of losers on a lazy Sunday if the opportunity presents itself, but I’m certainly not seeking them out. It dawned on me sometime during the 2016 season that it’s not just hard to feel an emotional pull to a team that, week in and week out, lets us all down… it eventually becomes impossible.

When I reached my Browns-induced breaking point, I realized something very important: No longer feeling emotionally attached to the winless Browns is incredibly liberating, and I recommend you try it soon. Continue to support them if you’d like, but just stop caring about the outcome. It’s a lovely mind frame to be in.

Kyrie is a Celtic For Real
Feel-o-Meter: Smad

Once upon a time, I tried to rationalize Kyrie’s desire to leave Cleveland. I understood only that I didn’t understand—and that was enough for me. I hated that he wanted to leave, but more than anything, I was sad to see him go.

And then he ran his mouth. He gushed about how great it felt to be in a “real sports city” and, instead of accepting his new home in Boston with grace and class, Kyrie kicked Cleveland square in the bathing-suit area. How quickly my sadness turned to anger.

And then Tuesday night happened, and I was both. Watching the NBA’s opening night from the comfort of my couch, it was sad and strange and disorienting to see Kyrie in Boston’s green and white. So much so, TNT accidentally gave his first two points of the game to the Cavs—an error that was quickly corrected. I felt those familiar pangs of anger, too, as Kyrie sank jumper threes and glided effortlessly up and down the court with a familiar smirk that suddenly felt smug. Did I “boo” along with the crowd at The Q? I can neither confirm nor deny.

After Kyrie missed a three at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime, LeBron James wrapped him up in a bear hug. Ugh, my heart… there’s that sadness again. That sadness amplified immensely as I watched Kyrie go, former teammate by former teammate, through a line of Cavs, doing all the old handshakes that were routine less than three months ago. But nostalgia doesn’t completely wash away the mad, and I find myself left somewhere in the middle—a feeling I’m sure I’ll grow accustomed to this season.

RJ’s Out
Feel-o-Meter: Crying All the Tears

Oh, RJ. Ours is a complicated relationship. I adore you, listen to (and promote) your podcast and have cheered for you just as much as any Cavs fan could.

And you… are still blocking me on Snapchat.

Putting our differences aside, I’m so bummed to see Richard Jefferson go. He was valuable on the court and an even more so one off of it, and I’m worried about the Cavs locker room without him in it. RJ is the kind of player who lifts up everyone around him—teammates, coaches, even the fans—and I fear this season just won’t feel the same without that palpable chemistry.

RJ, I heard a rumor you may be interested in returning to/staying in Cleveland as a coach (have you even left yet?), and that makes my heart so happy. If things don’t work out with the Nuggets and the Bucks, please oh please stay. And if things do work out and you land somewhere other than The Land, I’ll be in the corner, weeping.

The Tribe Imploded
Feel-o-Meter: Numb

How do you mourn a postseason that never really was? I’m still struggling to find the answer.

It’s hard for me to believe a week from last night, I was excitedly shuffling into the Jake with 35,000 of my closest friends, ready to cheer our boys into the ALCS. 2017 had been such a magical season for the Cleveland Indians, I felt so sure that magic would carry us right back to the World Series—and I know I wasn’t alone in that belief.

That feeling of assurance proved to be fleeting, though, after a single shot from Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorious sucked the air out of the stadium, and the energy out of the crowd, in the top of the first. From that moment, the rest of the game just felt… out of reach. Like we were out of it before we ever stepped up to the plate.

I honestly never expected the Indians to fall to New York. I felt like getting to the World Series was given, and I completely overlooked that first round of the MLB postseason. And then, unthinkably, we lost… and I didn’t know how to feel.

It’s been a week, and I still don’t know. I’m disappointed and frustrated, but mostly I’m just numb. I’m certainly not over it, and I don’t think I will be anytime soon. Hell, I’m still processing the 2016 World Series, so this season’s abrupt and unexpected ending does not bode well for me.

In the meantime, Cleveland, we have the Cavaliers to cheer for (and the Browns, too, if you’re still into that sort of thing). And we have the days to count down until pitchers and catchers report. Here’s hoping it goes quickly, and that we all feel OK soon.

  • MartyDaVille

    Meh-mbership in #TeamApathy is growing exponentially.

  • JM85

    Well New York is about to do the same thing to Houston so I guess we have that.

  • Chris

    That pitching is for real. Outside of the Wild Card game, their starters have been outstanding.

    Altuve, Springer, and Correa have been held to 4-33 in New York. Sound familiar?

  • Jason Chamberlain

    I’m now in my 38th year of being a Browns fan. I was passionate in 1980 and had my heart broken at the Stadium for Red-Right 88. I remember being completely shocked when they moved to Baltimore and feeling incredible anger when the Ravens won a Super Bowl for Modell (though in retrospect I understand why he left).

    That is all to say that I’ve followed the Browns to a degree for almost 4 decades. But not living in Ohio since 1995 has made it much easier to break the connection. I keep an eye on them. I read Dawgs By Nature and I read the stories here on WFNY. I might watch them if the game is actually on where I live (I’m in Panthers country). But I certainly don’t plan anything around them like I would have 25 years ago.

    What bugs me is how much time, money, and emotional energy people spend on the Browns when there are two other excellent sports teams in town. Much like the Cubs for so many decades, as long as people support the team what is the motivation for any real change?

  • Chris
  • Casual_Kenny_Reigns

    Even when I lived in the Cleveland area, I didn’t understand how people got do emotionally attached to a team that clearly didn’t respect their fans of care about winning. I follow the Browns, but it’s more out of a sense of laughing at them.

  • Jason Chamberlain

    Whenever I try to explain Browns fandom to someone I show them the Mike Polk Jr “Factory of Sadness” video. He really sums it all up well at the end:

    “YOU ARE A FACTORY OF SADNESS!!…I’ll see you Sunday.” with his head down like a beaten dog. I respect the loyalty. And I think that it’s the ultimate in FOMO because if they ever do happen to be good then it would be great to be in on the ground floor.

    I really haven’t watched the NFL with any regularity for about 20 years though, so it’s an easier break for me than for most.

  • Chris

    FOMO… the ONLY reason my family has maintained four season tickets for easily 30 years. I’ve finally talked my dad down to two for next year. We bought two 1/4-season seats for the Tribe next year for about the same money.

  • jpftribe

    So I got to thinking (hey it happens). Where do I get my t-shirt? This ground may have been covered previously, but by definition #TeamApathy probably doesn’t care enough to proudly sport a t-shirt.

    But this is a Jessica column, who has written about Shea a couple of times, and if the FOH can do it, why not #TeamApathy. So I went to the Cleveland Food Bank website and donated $25.

    So there is your challenge #TeamApathy. Pick your favorite charity and send them your t-shirt money. Because in the end, we do care, just not so much about the Browns.

  • RGB

    The Browns are being run by a bunch a nerds beholden to DweeboMoneyMetrics, that would cut Aaron Rodgers right now, if one of their precious performance equations indicated that his contract was one dollar above his computed value.
    #TeamSnark’s patience is spent.

  • swig

    I’m vacating my seat and joining #TeamDGAF. Wake me up when we can make it two years without talking about firing the coach or front office.

  • tigersbrowns2
  • tigersbrowns2

    anyone on this board who proclaims they are done with the Browns or aren’t interested anymore are lying to themselves … sure , there are different degrees of not caring or being interested … i watch every play of every game … others don’t even watch the games & find better things to do with there Sundays & that’s cool .

    and isn’t it amazing that the losingest losers are still #1 in Cleveland’s heart ?? … that gap may be closing , but we are like the “Cubs fans” of football … patiently waiting for something , anything good to happen. nobody ever said it would be easy.

    GO BROWNS !!!!

  • tigersbrowns2

    okay , everyone on #TeamSunnyside raise your hand …

  • JNeids
  • mgbode
  • mgbode

    I don’t know. Apathy can take over if you let it. I haven’t done so with the Browns, but I don’t care whatsoever about the Cavs anymore. I watched the Finals out of curiosity and that was it. Have followed along with the offseason only through what the guys here have written.

  • mgbode
  • MartyDaVille

    Excellent suggestion, jpf. My check is going out today.

  • tsm

    Reminds me of the teacher who confronted her student by saying – You’re ignorance and apathy are unacceptable. Why are you like this? His response – I don’t know and I don’t care.

  • MartyDaVille

    RGB is interviewing for a job as general manager at struggling ACME Products. Let’s listen in:

    Thank you for coming in today, Mr. B.

    You can call me R.

    Very well, R. Tell me, how can you help our company become the leader in market share?

    Well, we obviously have to start all over. So I propose we get rid of just about everybody who makes more than minimum wage, particularly the few who are good at their jobs. Present company excepted, of course [chuckles]. Then we hire a bunch of cost-effective high school dropouts and such.

    Seriously?

    Hear me out. Next we slash all expenses for goods and materials, and for four or five years we put a really crappy product on the market. Really really crappy.

    Uh, okay, I think we’re done here.

    No, no, listen. This is genius. When our market share and stock value totally tank, we will get first crack at government bail-out money, and with those assets we can begin to slowly build up . . .

    Miss Beesly, can we get Security up here? Now.

    But the new uniforms! I haven’t told you about the new employee unif . . . GAAAKKKK, GET YOUR HANDS OFF ME . . .

  • CBiscuit

    Fun fact: His full name is Arrgeebee. He’s really sensitive about it though, so keep it on the DL.

  • CBiscuit

    An interesting hypothesis–one I would like to see if an Aaron Rodgers/Tom Brady/Matt Ryan type ever makes their way into an orangie orange shirt in the first place.

  • CBiscuit

    Is the Team DGAF caucus part of Team Apathy?

  • CBiscuit

    What if you don’t even care enough to join?

    #teamsnark4lifeyall

  • tigersbrowns2

    JESSICA’s getting into the GIF game … i like it.

  • tigersbrowns2
  • tigersbrowns2

    excellent !

  • tigersbrowns2

    “you can call me R” … LMAO !!!!!!!

  • Chris

    Joe Thomas is miraculously still here.