3) Hope springs eternal. Since 1999 (when the Browns generated a new team in a brand new stadium) the fans have put faith in the front office to make good decisions about drafting, trading and developing players. We have been sorely disappointed year after year. So let's examine our own goals and resolutions. Are they realistic? Will we take the proper steps to achieve them? Will we push through disappointment with enough determination to succeed or help others succeed?
4) Make better use of your time. I think the Browns know what they have to do to get better in the off-season. If they don't become smarter, faster and stronger than they are now, they are doomed to a cycle of failure. I made up my mind a few years ago to spend Sunday afternoons doing something more useful than watching my team lose another heartbreaker. I peek in on them now and then or change the radio station to AM 1290 if I am driving, but most of the time I am planning my week, doing yard work or catching up on emails. Football is one of our great autumn pastimes, and I am a great OSU fan (O-H-I-O!), but I also realize that a meaningful life demands more of me than time in front of the tube or in the stadium.
5) Relationships are more important than sports. I am not a Bengals fan. I call them my second favorite pro football team in Ohio. Still, when they were battling the Baltimore Ravens in the last game of the season and had a chance to defeat them on their final possession, I celebrated their victory because Cincinnati was playing for the sake of their dedicated coach, Marvin Lewis. Lewis was in danger of losing his 15-year head coaching position after two lackluster seasons, and his players knew it. They rose to the occasion and prevented the team that left Cleveland in 1995 from having another chance at a Super Bowl. I, too, realize that my wife, daughters, brother, sister, extended family, friends, students and players are more important than my dedication to any sports team. Fellow Browns fans, let's keep our life priorities in order.
Jim Brooks is a retired English teacher who tutors foreign immigrants in the Dayton area.