By: Erin Brown, Sports Editor
First and foremost, I want to give you a brief introduction of this column. I love sports and I always have. Sometimes people don’t understand why and sports fans get a bad rap. We are seen as not being as “worldly” or “cultured” or “intellectual” as some people. People see us as simple-minded jocks who are just drinking beers and screaming at a TV. While yes, we are drinking beers and screaming at the TV, that’s not the only reason people love sports.
Sports are about loyalty, passion, and the unity of being a part of a team. Sports bring people together whether you’re playing on the team or a fan of the team. And right now especially, it is important to have something that brings people together instead of driving people apart constantly.
This week I want to of course talk about the most recent professional championship game, the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl itself has turned into an unofficial American holiday. Though I’ve been raised as a Cleveland Browns fan and have never seen my team play in a Super Bowl, I still have never missed a Super Bowl game. Regardless of the teams, no one misses this game.
This years game was especially memorable and historic. Not only did Tom Brady and Bill Belichick win their fifth Super Bowl ring together, but they did it in dramatic fashion. They came back from the biggest deficit in Super Bowl history to force the first overtime in Super Bowl history to win. It was absolutely unbelievable and I’m not by any means a Patriots fan. I appreciate that their team is elite and I recognize the fact that the Cleveland Browns gave them Belichick (thanks Art Modell).
This Super Bowl, though extremely unbelieveable, was funny for me. I watched the first half of the game with my parents and had planned to go over to my friends’ house to watch the second half with them. Once the first half came to an end and the score was 21-3, I was absolutely terrified to walk into a house full of all Patriots fans. Reluctantly, I grabbed the food I promised and went over there. I walked in on an incredibly somber Super Bowl party. No one was talking. Our one friend, a Broncos fan, and our other friend, a Giants fan, were the first to break the silence upon my arrival. The three of us bantered back and forth about how our teams had done this year and they all made fun of the Browns which warmed up everyone in the room.
The second half began and my one friend told us that he wasn’t feeling “good ju-ju” at the house, so he made the two of us walk down the street to our other friend’s house. Once we got there, the turnaround began for the Patriots and I guess his insight on what was good ju-ju and bad ju-ju was completely right. We had been standing in a certain way and for every Patriots drive he made us stand in the exact same positions. His mood had changed dramatically it was hilarious to watch as an outsider. Another friend, still at the previous house, called him and he told him to stay there because it was working. I loved it. It was amazing.
But I couldn’t help but laugh. They had only ever really seen this team dominate. I had suffered through games like this my entire life. I saw the Cavaliers lose in the 2015 finals, the Indians in Game 7 of the World Series this past year, and I see the Browns miss the playoffs year after year. These boys could barely stand watching the first half of a game where their team was losing. I don’t blame them; I also am not a good loser.
Of course, in the end the Patriots took the win for their fifth ring and my friends sprayed bottles of cheap champagne and chanted Tom Brady’s name. And their mood was changed by a complete 180. Though they had sank to their lowest low, they never stopped watching the game. They never said “man, do I hate the Patriots.” And that’s what I love about sports. The scoreboard doesn’t show the quirky things fans everywhere did throughout the game that they justified as good and bad “ju-ju.” And didn’t feel the hugs that were exchanged as the Patriots swarmed the field for the Lombardi trophy. It was amazing, even for a Browns fan.