I saw it all in vivid, high-definition technicolor. We all did. Or at least most of us did.
The advent of the television has allowed for many amazing conveniences for society writ large; infomercials have educated consumers on how particular knives can cut through footwear; then streaming made it so we can binge whole entire series of programming without being bombarded by salesmen slinging cutlery that can chop up a boot; and most importantly, we can enjoy watching our favorite teams play without having to be there live, braving elements like snow and rain because we’ve already cut up all our shoes with those new knives we purchased.
I’m hard-pressed to find any sort of reason why any number of self-respecting Cleveland Browns fans — yes, I hear you yelling oxymoronic! from the cheap seats — would have chosen to spend not just their money, but their time watching last week’s season-ending snoozefest in person. The home team squandered what little chance they had of making the playoffs by losing to the reincarnation of the New Orleans ‘Aints, 17-10, in a game that was played in single-digit temperatures and high double-digit winds. How the team on the bayou outmanned the Browns in those conditions is beyond me.
The game itself was a disappointment, par for the course of a season that’s been a myriad of one-score losses that were snatched from the jaws of victory. But I’m not really interested in the game, nor the team so much either. I’m more interested in the fans who endured the polar vortex to watch this mess. On Christmas Eve, no less.
There were 104 players, refs, coaching staff, and various other professionals who needed to be at the game, but no one else really had to be there. Yet fans showed up in droves and cheered on the Brownies, because when you live in Cleveland, it’s going to take a lot more than something like “windchill” to keep you home. Here are eight reasons why anyone would consider watching that game in person when a perfectly good television exists right at home:
Why you were one of the Frozen Browns Fans in Week 16
1. You are the new tenet in Baker Mayfields’ old residence at FirstEnergy Stadium
Before mortgage rates shot to the moon, there was madness in the housing market. The pandemic turned everyone’s home into some cramped little dungeon. We’re all guilty of wishlist Zillowing, but something must’ve really caught your eye. Perhaps in all that craziness, you saw an opportunity too good to pass up. Baker Mayfield up and moves to Charlotte, and you move right in. So, technically, you were watching the game at home.
Hope you changed the passcode from “6”.
2. Fantasy Football punishment
Some leagues have the loser go to a Waffle House for 24 hours and for every waffle the loser consumes, they can knock an hour off their time in diner purgatory. Maybe your league does something similar, but for every finger that gets frostbite, the loser can knock a quarter off their time at the game.
3. You love beer when it’s at its frostiest
If those mountains were any bluer, they’d be black.
4. You’re the recipient of a gift with a $10 maximum from your office party
Usually, these types of gifts are reserved for Starbucks cards or desk trinkets, but Janet from accounting knows how much you love your Browns and figures this would be the perfect gift with gameday prices right at the level of your gift limit. You have to go or you’re going to make Janet sad, and that’s not good for office culture now is it?
5. You’re planning on proposing to your significant other on the jumbotron on Christmas Eve
How romantic! This actually happened, though. If the proposer wasn’t a veteran I would have many more jokes, but in this case, thank you for your service and I hope it’s a long and happy marriage. If he wasn’t a veteran I would suggest that the bride run fast and far from this psychopath who considers a frigid, pathetic Browns game as the ideal place to request her hand in marriage. But he’s a veteran so I would never suggest that.
6. You promised your kid you’d take them to a Browns game and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the last home game and you still haven’t taken them
You’re not a deadbeat dad who goes back on a promise, you just aren’t great at planning in advance. When you told little Billy or Susie you’d take them to see their beloved Browns, that was future dad’s problem. But guess what future dad? It’s the last home game of the season, so unless you plan on spending New Year’s in Washington D.C., or driving up to Pittsburgh in mid-January, this is all you’ve got left.
7. You’re part penguin
8. You’re hoping that maybe, just maybe, the Browns won’t disappoint and keep what little postseason hopes they have alive
Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. Except for the Browns playoff chances last Saturday, of course.