I've lived in the Cleveland area for more than forty years and I've followed sports for almost as long. You can imagine I've seen and heard some pretty ridiculous stuff in that time and you would be right.
Sports fans in Cleveland like to tell ourselves and like to hear our teams say we are "the greatest fans in the country". While it is true we tend to come back year after year to see basically the same disappointing results, that does not mean we are particularly good at being fans. Bottlegate anyone?
I can honestly say one of the lowest points for Cleveland fans may have been hit these last two weeks. Peyton Hillis, the one bright spot of the Browns' season last year and Madden cover winner, is being called weak and heartless because he sat out a game because of strep throat.
Why do I feel this criticism is unfounded and unfair?
Follow my steps below:
1. Have you ever been sick? Yes? Go to 2. No? Shut up.
2. Have you ever had a job. Yes? Go to 3. No? Shut up.
3. Have you ever been so sick you couldn't work? Yes? Go to 4. No? Good for you. You have been lucky. (If you think this gives you authority to talk crap about Hills, shut up!)
4. Have you ever been a professional athlete? Yes? Go to 5. No? Me neither. Shut up.
5. Are you Peyton Hillis' physician? Yes? Feel free to say he should have played. No? Shut up.
6. Are you any one of the following; a sports writer, a radio talk show host, a blogger, a guy sitting a home reading blogs, listening to radio talkers and reading sports columnists? SHUT THE HELL UP!
7. Are you Peyton Hillis' agent. Please shut up. (This goes for all agents, actually.)
8. Are you Peyton Hillis? Keep doing what you are doing.
The rest of you clear on this? Good.