Shutdown Corner - NFL

On Nov. 16, the Cleveland Browns are hosting a Monday night game against the Baltimore Ravens. It will likely be an ugly game, because that's what the Browns do, and they will likely lose. One Browns fan is fed up with the fact that these are already foregone conclusions.

A fellow who calls himself "Dawg Pound Mike" is organizing a protest for that night, and he's trying to get fans to stay out of their seats for the opening kickoff. He'd like fans to stay in the parking lot, in the concourse or wherever, so long as when the ball is kicked, they are not in their seats (more info on the protest here, at Dawg Pound Mike's website -- hope you like Caps Lock).

From the AP:

Sickened by the nearly constant losing since the NFL team’s return in 1999, Randall hopes the sight of empty seats for the start of the nationally televised Monday night game will send a loud message to owner Randy Lerner and club officials that fans have had enough.

“We’re tired of losing,” the 39-year-old Randall said. “We’re tired of the booing, of seeing fans leave in the fourth quarter. There are fans who have had tickets for 30 years who are turning their seats in because they can’t take it anymore. So many fans are fed up.”

You know Browns fans are serious when they're talking about missing kickoff. That's one of the few plays in any given game where they're not trailing.

I kid, I kid. I completely understand your frustration, Browns fan. The Browns are 1-6 this year, and have had exactly two winning seasons since they returned to the NFL in 1999. That's a great big steaming pile of futility. Any fan would have the right to be upset.

As someone who generally supports the idea of quality football, I support the protest. It's not that it will accomplish anything tangible -- it's not like ownership will see the protest and think to themselves, "Whoa whoa whoa ... what's this? You want us to get better football players? You want us to win games? By golly, that's a splendid idea! By how many shall we beat the Ravens this evening? Is 35 good for you? Perfect. We'll do that."

But that's not the point. Sometimes, when you've been let down, hurt, disappointed and ticked off so many times, you just need to know that you're being heard. You want someone to acknowledge that yes, they recognize and understand your frustration, and they're trying to do something about it.

It's about forming a collective voice, and making sure it's heard. Best of luck with your protest, gentlemen.

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