By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8
Last night the new season of HBO’s “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns” premiered. While there are a number of funny and interesting things to take away from the first episode, what made the biggest impact on me was a seemingly simple question: What is your “Why?”
Linebacker Christian Kirksey, drafted in 2014, has stepped up as a leader during training camp and is finding ways to motivate his teammates. In a scene that stayed with me, he asked everyone in the room: “What is your why?”
He challenged them to write down the reason they practice, workout, play on a piece of paper and put it somewhere they will see every day to keep them motivated and remind them why they are doing what they do.
Which made me wonder: Why do Browns Fans stay by this team?
The most common answer I saw from the players was “FAMILY.” Parents, siblings, children, all their loved ones seemed to be the main reason these guys put themselves through the grueling lifestyle that NFL players live. Now, maybe some guys wrote down “MONEY” or “FAME” but they didn’t show that on TV and frankly, I’m not sure either of those things is worth the health risks of football!
When it comes to fandom, I know why I do it, why I am a complete fanatic when it comes to the Browns. But I wondered how many others have the same basic love of the game, of our city, of this team that I was raised with.
So, I took to twitter and ask the question. Yes, there were a few “Stockholm Syndrome” and “Glutton for Punishment” answers, but by and large, the Browns fans who responded were all linked by two things: LOYALTY and FAMILY.
— ?Cat Aikins (@cat_aikins) August 8, 2018
It’s a legacy. My grandmother was a fan, my dad is a fan, and I’m a fan. And my kids don’t know it yet, but they will be fans. Cue the masters music- A tradition like no other….watching the Browns lose on CBS. They used to win on NBC though. Maybe that’s the problem?
— C-Will (@cwilla421) August 8, 2018
It’s in my families blood..I bleed orange n brown!!!! There is not much more i love more
. The Browns are family and I love them unconditional
— Nicole Loar (@NicKiLoAr) August 8, 2018
Why? Because I was born into it. Because of loyalty. Because I don’t believe in having a “second team”. Because I like to drink and swear a lot. There isn’t a team on the planet who can foster such a love/hate relationship as the @Browns
— Edward Vetalice (@levichloe) August 8, 2018
It’s my team the team my dad taught me to love. Our team. All the fans that fought to bring back this team to its rightful place. That’s my WHY
— Juls (@Tribechic) August 8, 2018
I fell in love with them in the 70’s. Once I fall for something it’s a part of me. I don’t give up easily. And of course it’s my hometown team. I will never not be for anything Cleveland.
— Debbie (@Dphillips2112) August 8, 2018
Loyalty. Put it in perspective. If my biggest problem is the team I support is 1-31 then I’m doing pretty damn good.
— Dave DiBlasio (@ctown30) August 8, 2018
— Lifetime Browns Fan (@brownsfan1919) August 8, 2018
My “Why” is because growing up during football season every Sunday it always brought family and friends together no matter how good or mostly bad The Browns were we always had that bond with the team and with each other those are some great memories and I never want to lose them.
— Vince (@berryv1) August 8, 2018
Born & raised to be one. Also, I’m old enough to remember how much fun it was to watch the good teams in the ‘80’s.
— Kauai0604 (@Kauai0604) August 8, 2018
— Eric Hecker (@eshecker) August 8, 2018
I can’t imagine not being a fan. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t. It’s just a part of me. Like breathing.
— Katrina (@mcfarland_kat) August 8, 2018
Simply my team since I was a little kid, 1975. A true Clevelander doesn’t quit and walk away. I’ve seen mostly losing in those years, it makes me treasure the winner we’ve had, and looking forward to winning again! #GoBrowns
— Tom Arcuri (@1buckeyetom) August 8, 2018
And perhaps the best answer of them all:
…for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish from this day forward until death do us part… it’s like I’m married to this team!
— Larry ???♀️?? (@Dwvork) August 8, 2018
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given; everything is earned.
Talk Browns football with Kate on Twitter // @ClvlndK8