Sunday, January 18, 2009

A man has a choice...

The Cleveland fan’s worst case scenario is taking place behind me as I write this entry. Steelers v. Ravens, the one AFC Championship game no self-respecting Browns’ backer would ever want to see. Cheering for either team is like choosing between syphilis and gonorrhea while I’ve been keeping tabs on the game during dinner, I’m not really paying attention to the proceedings. And anyway, I need a rooting interest to get into a game, and I’m kind of rooting for a tactical nuclear strike.

However...if I had to choose between Pittsburgh and Baltimore to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl, I’m going with the Ravens, baby, all the way. My decision was surprisingly easy, and revolves around one simple concept: There are no Ravens’ fans in Cleveland.

Have you ever seen a Baltimore jersey around here? The only person I ever saw wearing Ravens’ gear within city limits was Jerry “The King” Lawler at then-Gund Arena during SummerSlam ’96. And Lawler’s not even a Baltimore fan; he was just trying to draw cheap heat from the crowd.

But you can’t turn around in this city without running into a transplanted Steelers’ fan, or worse, the transplant’s imbecile cousin, the Cleveland-born Pittsburgh supporter. A 30-minute trip to the grocery store this afternoon witnessed three decked-out Steelers’ fans getting grub and refreshments for today’s game. Drive around town and you’ll see Steelers’ stickers on back bumpers, Steelers’ flags flapping in the breeze from front porches, Steelers’ Starter jackets (do they still make those?), Steelers’ hats, Steelers’ enema bags, and on and on.

Pittsburgh fans routinely take over our stadium during the Steelers' bi-annual blowout over the Browns. I do not need to see these losers crowing over another Super Bowl victory for the next xx months/years while Browns 2.0 continues to flounder about like a beached trout.

Mind you, it would not be fun to see the Ravens get another ring. In my view, one of the worst moments in Cleveland sports’ history was when Baltimore, five years out from blowing town, won it all. It was awful watching a strangely addled-looking Art Modell hoist the Lombardi. But Art’s gone, and I don’t view the Ravens as “the old Browns” anymore. They’re just another team in our division the Browns have to overtake.

So join me my fellow Cleveland fans in choosing the lesser of two evils. I wish it did not have to be this way.