Well, Cleveland. The “Perfect season Parade 2.0” has come and gone. While I haven’t been shy about my opinions regarding this gathering on Twitter or Facebook, I decided to forgo expressing a definitive personal stance until all was said and done. I chose this route, in part because, CST officially endorsed and participated in the parade. However, as someone who has spent the past 17 weeks looking for diamonds in this dumpster of a season, I find that providing more negativity is neither productive nor practical.
Before my analysis of this event, I would like to express my sincere happiness that the Cleveland Foodbank profited from this assembly. Hunger and hardship have no season and I am glad the food bank received the means to continue to help our neighbors who are in need of everyday essentials.
Now, about the parade, I’d like to congratulate anyone sports betting, the planner, participants (including the spectators) on finding a way to humiliate this city and its team even more than all of ESPN’s collection “ Cleveland’s great losses” compilation videos combined. You sure showed all of us who thought that things could not possibly become any worse, yes, indeed a brand new low…. Bravo. Please, by all means, take a bow.
Ahhh, I hear the rumbling now, it was all about “protesting” the team’s management. Hmmm, the last protest I saw had no “creative” floats, free candy, or the word “parade” attached to it. If your intent was a protest, you might have gotten that point across by using that word in the name. Back peddling about people who were wrongly attributing the dictionary definition of “parade” to the event did not cut it and looked a bit reactionary. In case you doubt how this exhibition looked to those on the outside looking in, I did a scan of media to see how Cleveland, the Browns and this subset of Browns fans were perceived.
- ABC News headlined its coverage by announcing the parade was to “mark the Browns 0-16 season.”
- NFL on ESPN mentioned fans “celebrating” the teams winless season.
- NFL on FOX politely described the parade as “a thing that happened today.”
- CBS recounts the fans celebrating the winless season.
- TSN declared the parade to be “hilarious” adding that Cleveland Browns fans finally have something to celebrate.
- And the saddest quote of all from Cleveland.com “The Drive. The Fumble. The Parade.”
I’ve heard the arguments, that this took place in “fun” and that it was meant to grab the Haslam’s attention. The Browns organization released their requisite apology statement and it is unlikely that more will come from the team or its owners.
Current and former Browns players spoke out against the parade. Bob Golic, Danny Shelton, Emmanuel Ogbah and Joe Haden all expressed displeasure with the gathering.
As they say, “what’s done is done.” I trust it was as enjoyable for the participants as it was dreadful for the detractors. Just a friendly suggestion, the next time you want to protest something, call it by its rightful name and for God’s sake burn someone in effigy, so the rest of the world understands what the hell you are trying to accomplish. I contend that this “protest” managed to both divide and heap humiliation on a fanbase that has suffered too much for too long.