Speaking to my brother this weekend was another heartbreak loss for the Cleveland Browns. He watched the game on his satallite dish package. I think it's going for about $350 a year these days. He is in the "blaming Mangini Camp". His words to me were, "Jeff you are lucky that you are a Jags fan. I just have never been able to shake the old teams." The old teams he speaks of are the Browns, the Indians, and the Buckeyes. I, myself, have not yet invested in this purchase, but with a new 50" flat screen can see it coming.
Now, my brother has been in the airforce for 22 years. He has lived everywhere in the country and I can back this up because I have visited him in most and let me say... some pretty crappy towns. Christ... he graduated from Akron U. That's a respectable football program. Hell, my college didn't even have a football program. I have to covet, UF, FSU, and even USF... oh I wish I went to one of those colleges. I thought about this blind devotion for these big three teams of Ohio and asked him why. I explained that as kids we had only went to maybe half a dozen games. As I asked the question I realized it was all memories... and they were on television. Friends were around, the competition was in the air, and it was a community event. We saw champs and chumps, victories and failures, and they were some of the best days of our lives. The opening line at any gathering was, "hey, you catch the game?" The answer was always Yes and the details were divulged, and the conversation begins. Everybody was a head coach and everybody played a form of football sometime in his life. Who did what and who's a bum. Who's gonna stay and who has gotta go.
Let's face it... the NFL is a fabric of our society, but going to a game has become a hassle and an expense. I went to more games in one year in New Orleans than I ever did as a kid in Cleveland. I still like to think of it as an experience, but as so often said, "been there - done that". These days... my brother and I can afford television viewing, which is equivalent to the price of season tickets in the JAX. We invite some friends over, have a few beers and enjoy the game. Just like when we were kids - minus the beer of course. No... Jerry Jones you have it wrong as do most of the NFL owners. You should have put a mega-hotel next to that stadium. Learned that in Vegas. It's not being there... It's being there.