A little bit of optimism is good for the soul

You know, I was thinking about sports – specifically, Cleveland sports – the other day and it occurred to me that the general malaise which has enveloped my expectations for the Browns, Indians, and Cavs (with some notable exceptions) over my lifetime has – much to my surprise – spilled over to other things in my life, and frankly, it’s more than a little disturbing.

Take the Indians (please). I mean, I was really on the bandwagon when they were something like 10 games over .500 and then they did their Hindenburg imitation and went poof right before the All-Star game.

I mean, I was all grins and giggles even when the weather was lousy, because I was like, “Hey, man, cheer up, because the Tribe is on a roll.”

Then the boys of summer go into a tailspin, my wife says, “Hey, it’s a beautiful, sunny day,” and I would respond with something akin to, “Yeah, but it’s supposed to rain a week from Thursday. What are we going to do on that day, little miss sunshine? Hm-m-m-m?”

I think she mumbled something to the effect of, “Maybe count your blessings,” but I can’t be too sure. I was too preoccupied, feeling sorry for myself.

So, stop me if I’m wrong here, but isn’t sports supposed to be the diversion that makes you forget about the bad stuff and, instead, take you to your happy place?

“Bus driver, I must have missed my stop,” because the only thing I’m happy about is my level of misery. What’s wrong with that picture?

And it’s not just the Indians. Now the Browns, for the first time in a bazillion (give or take) years, are legitimately NFL contenders, and I haven’t thought that – let alone said it – in an equally disturbing measure of time. They are about to begin training for what many expect to be a strong Super Bowl run, but it’s difficult for me to hop on the bandwagon. Are my feelings justified, or am I simply becoming that dreaded curmudgeon more commonly known as an old fuddy-duddy?

When one considers that the last Browns head coach who coached the team for more than one season and posted a career winning record, you’d have to go back to 1988, when Marty Schottenheimer was canned by Art Model after posting a 44-27 record (regular season) but only winning two out of six playoff games, we haven’t had a lot of seasons (or coaches) to get excited about.

But that’s the thing: I haven’t had reason to get excited about the Browns in so long, why can’t I just get caught up in the optimism like everyone else in town? What’s the great harm in that, anyway? When it’s time for me to meet my maker, it’s not like He’s going to make me take a U-turn for supporting the Browns in what would become the ill-fated 2021 season, is He?

I might want to bring plenty of ice water just in case.

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 13, Issue 14, Posted 10:24 AM, 07.20.2021