I look good in black. But I’m a lot more comfortable in brown and orange.

I had a Moment of Weakness on Friday, and it led to ask a question that had never hit me in the 16 years I’ve lived in western Pennsylvania. I also asked you guys for advice about how to handle this question about my pro football identity, and most of you came through with honest, thoughtful responses.

Before I get to those, though, I should tell you about my test on Saturday. After I finished up a work assignment in the morning, Mrs. Crappy and I headed to the Strip, to get some lunch and find some Aloha kitsch for our upcoming Groundhog weekend. To further set the scene:

  • My lifelong commitment to Cleveland Browns football is apparently wavering.
  • I live in Pittsburgh — not just the area, mind you, but I own a house in the freaking City of Pittsburgh — and it would be awfully easy, convenient and fun to jump on the Stillers’ bandwagon.
  • I’m in the Strip on the day before the AFC championship game. There is cheap Stillers gear everywhere — everywhere — and if I were to ever make the leap, I could have outfitted myself right then, head to toe, for less than 40 bucks.

And you know what happened?


I helped Mrs. Crappy look for a black and gold scarf. We stopped at many of the tables set up along Penn to check out the new stuff. Although I had plenty of opportunities, I wasn’t tempted to buy a single fucking thing.

– – – –

The comments I got on Friday’s post — here and on Facebook — were somewhat predictable, but also helpful. Most of the Stiller fans said they were ready to welcome me to the fold. The people who have a more thorough idea of my football past said I should know better than to even consider changing my mind.

But the one comment that resonated the most came from Kim, a lifelong Red Sox fan who A) knows a little bit about suffering for your team and B) knows how good the payoff is when it comes. Her point? Jumping on that black-and-gold bandwagon would be fun; it would also inevitably become hollow, because that’s not where my heart is.

– – – –

I also found this. That’s the front and back of my old Pittsburgh Browns Backers T-shirt. Between regular Sunday shifts for several years and our travel to Columbus for those other football games, I haven’t been able to watch a game with the club for years; the two seasons I was able to hang out with those folks were among the most fun I’ve had as a pro football fan (and yes, those were after the team returned to the league). The team was probably even worse back then, but being with like-minded people helped a bunch; it also made those rare wins even better.

That is who I am. I may still be pissed about the current state of the team, but it is still my team. And it always will be.

On Friday I asked you guys if I was loyal or stupid.

The answer? Yes.

And if you don’t like it, you can kiss my brown-and-orange ass.


  1. You would appreciate this, a photo taken tonight of my friend’s daughter:
    Her father grew up next door to me in Pittsburgh. He met her mother, a Cleveland native at the University of Cincinatti. They are raising their confused little sweetie in Cleveland.

    I would be a late commenter on your last post so I will simply say: I applaud loyalty. And bow in respect.


  2. I’ve been a Washington Capitals fan since I was a pre-teenager. When I was at the Winter Classic buying my hat in the gift shop, the kid next to me said, “Uh, I think you mean you want the Pens hat, hahaha. You’re picking the wrong colors.”

    I said “No way buddy. These have been my colors for 30 years. I know exactly what they are.”

    It sounds a little melodramatic but it’s true, and he’ll get it someday. I was there when they sucked and it’s nice to be here when they’re better, but it really doesn’t matter. I could never ever defect. Same deal with Maryland basketball. Some things just are. Nice post.


  3. Crappy! Come on back ANYTIME to the the Pittsburgh Browns Backers. Thanks for the compliments, we are still having fun despite the obvious.

    We meet at Peter’s Pub now.

    Paul C


  4. I personally would have to slap you if you ever jumped off the rickety old Browns bandwagon. I still look forward to the day they don’t suck quite so bad so the rivalry can be renewed, though the Steelers will dominate in the end. Like always. ;-)


  5. I commend your steadfastness – I think what you are looking for can never be replaced – to further my sports teams analogies – nothing comes close to the original home team – that is imprinted on my psyche – I have enjoyed following the Bulls in Chicago, Broncos in Denver and Yankees in NYC, but I never gave my soul to an NBA team, an NFL team or MLB team – I only gave it away to the Bucks – so I was more maliable as the years passed (32 or so, I think) – from my experience, the interest is good – I’ve enjoyed watching local teams do well, but I’ve quickly traded other local activities to being a ravid fan – but nothing feels like my true ‘hometown’ team – and I think that is the same with you – you just have a couple extra ones to follow –

    So – you still can follow hockey and river barge racing, right?


  6. If I remember correctly, we Steelers fans looked pretty stupid throughout most of the 1980s. Good for you being true.

    I’m shocked you didn’t like my ravens suggestion, though. ;)


  7. While I’d welcome you aboard, I can’t complain about your sticking with the Cleve Brownies. We are what we are.

    There’s no place in America in which I could live that would make me rescind my black and gold allegiance.

    Clumberkim was correct in that enduring the lean times make the good times all the sweeter. I’m sorry if that means it may be a while for you…


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