Vin Turns to Me and Says …

Ten minutes into the hour and half drive to Pittsburgh for the Browns-Steelers game, Vin turns to me and says, “Dad, why would God allow war?”

Theological conversation ensues, ending with him turning to me and saying, “Dad, I’ve got a lot of questions for God when I get to heaven.”

Don’t we all, buddy, don’t we all.

On the highway, after a couple of minutes of quiet, Vin turns to me and says, “Dad, where is the House of Representatives?”

“In Washington DC, buddy,”

“Yeah, that’s right.”

We get close to the stadium and see an ocean of people in black and gold. Vin turns to me and says, “Dad, I’ve never seen so many Steelers fans in my whole life.”

Frightening, isn’t it?

Halfway through the game, Vin turns to me and says, “Dad, why were all scalpers black guys?”

“I don’t know.”

The stadium got eerily silent when Big Ben went down. A guy near us started yelling about the Browns being jackoffs for hurting their qb. Vin turns to me and says, “Dad, the Jaguars don’t play in Cleveland.”

“I know they don’t, buddy.”

On our way home, I asked Vin, “What did you like best about the game?”

Vin turns to me and says, “Nothing, dad. The Browns were horrible. But I had a great time with you.”

My First Browns Game

I went to my first Cleveland Browns game in 1984.

That morning I had played in my football league’s all-star game. Throughout the game, one of the fathers was trying to sell his tickets. When no one bought them, he offered them to me and my dad. I had had an MVP day, playing tight end and middle linebacker and scoring a couple of TDs. The tickets were my reward. I could choose between them or an ice cream cone with the team. Uh, not really a choice.

The Browns lost that day. To the Jets. Something like 24-21. At the end of the game, I joined 73,000 other fans in chanting “Good! Bye! Sam!” It was Sam Rutigliano’s last game as coach of the Browns. He was replaced the next day by Marty Schottenheimer.

Today, Calvin and I are going to get ready and head to Pittsburgh. I have a rare Sunday off, close to a town where my beloved Browns are playing, in a meaningless game. I hope there will be abundant tickets to score from scalpers for not-too-much. I’ve never done this before, but it’s an opportunity that doesn’t come around for us very often, so we’re taking it.

Vin has learned a lot about football in the last couple of years, and this will be a fun experience for him. Hopefully we won’t get any beer thrown on us by rowdy Stillers fans. And … in a cosmic roundabout, I fully expect this to be Romeo Crennel’s last game as Browns coach, and there has been speculation that he will be replaced by Marty Schottenheimer.


Watch This!

Texas high school playoffs, 1994, at the Cowboys stadium. John Tyler High School leads Plano East 41-16 with only 2:42 left in the game. Watch this.

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