Us Twelves are mere apprentices in Bronco hatred compared to the true masters in the field: Cleveland Browns fans. Their tales of tragedy against those Denver Schmucks make ours look only mildly disconcerting...
First of all, I want to make it clear: I have little affection for Browns fans in general. Yes, there are cool ones out there. I'm particularly fond of two Browns blogs: Cleveland Reboot and No Logo Needed. They are the minority though. In general, Browns fans are an ignorant lot of savages. I've been to Seahawks games in Cleveland twice, and in both cases I was treated worse that I had ever been treated at any other sporting event as an opposing fan. Here's a taste of my experience at Cleveland Browns Stadium in 2007:
This was the worst experience I’ve ever had at an NFL game, and not just because the Seahawks lost. I can say without a doubt that the fans at Cleveland Browns Stadium are the most ignorant, drunken bunch of s**theels I’ve ever been exposed to at a sporting event.
Before anyone says "it’s like that everywhere," go to a game at Qwest Field and root for the other team. You’ll probably get intermittently yelled at, but you’ll never feel like you are personally in danger. You’ll notice that the Seahawks fans actually know when to be loud and when to be quiet (here’s a hint, Browns fans: When your team has the ball, shut the f**k up… Your players are telling you to be quiet for a reason). You might observe that Seattle has the loudest stadium in the NFL WITHOUT de-evolving into a gaggle of 66,000 f**ktards.
When I went to the bathroom, someone threw a wadded up wet paper towel into the stall at me. After the Seahawks scored to go up 7-0, I cheered for my team, which motivated the guy in front of me to scream in my face "SIT DOWN AND SHUT THE F**K UP! THIS IS CLEVELAND!"
Of course, my reply was "I paid for my ticket! Woooooo!" This got the whole section chanting "ASSHOLE!" at me; I gleefully joined in at the top of my lungs. :-]
Side note: I have no love for the self-proclaimed Seahawks "fans" around me who sat there silent during the whole game. F**king suburbanite cowards.
Once it was clear I wasn’t going to be intimidated, they resorted to mockery, exaggeratedly cheering each time the Browns made a positive play. Um, we actually do that in Seattle.. You know, cheer when our team does good things. One guy walking past me shouted "Cleveland Rocks!" right in my face.. then said "You ever hear that one? What has Seattle ever done?" My reply: "Nirvana."
When the game was over, one fan turned to say something to me.. I assumed it would be "nice game" or something like that… Nope.
"Sucks to be you, man."
Ahh, Cleveland. Nothing but class. In retrospect, I REALLY wish I had worn my Red Sox hat (this was immediately after Boston beat Cleveland in the 2007 ALCS)...
Another thing I love about Cleveland fans? They insist that you pretend they aren't a ten-year-old expansion team, and that the Ravens weren't at one time the original Cleveland Browns. It's like they were married to a woman named, oh, let's say... Bernice. Then Bernice left them and moved to Baltimore, where she got gastric bypass, a makeover, a great job and a better husband. Then THEY married Bernice's identical twin sister and INSISTED on calling her Bernice and pretending as if that nasty divorce business never happened. Pathetic.
But I'm getting sidetracked.. this is about Cleveland's totally legit Bronco hatred. The Browns' all-time record against Denver? 5-20. It gets worse. Cleveland hasn't beaten Denver since 1990, and is riding a seven-game losing streak against Bowlen's brigade. In my 34+ years on Planet Earth, the Browns are 2-19 against Denver!
I haven't even touched on the three AFC Championship Game losses to end the '86, '87 and '89 seasons... Take how we all felt about those three traumatizing losses to the Rams in 2004, and then imagine that each of them happened in the NFC Championship Game... Yeah. Ouch.
Obviously history doesn't favor the Browns at Mile High this Sunday. However, the immutable fact is that Denver simply isn't a very good team. Cleveland could easily go into Denver's house and steal a win... Before you tout Denver's hallowed Home Field Advantage, remember that the Broncos are only 13-11 at home over the last three seasons.
So for this week, I put aside my disdain and contempt for the Brownies, as we unite in our common hatred of the Denver Menace.
My prediction? Browns 12, Broncos 9