Section 542, Row 23: That's where I'll be sitting in Cleveland Browns Stadium when the Seahawks put the boots to Mike Holmgren's current employees on October 23. This will be my 3rd trip to see the Hawks in Cleveland- I got to see a boring 9-6 win (with a dramatic finish) in 2001, and an exciting 33-30 OT loss in 2007. I'll take the boring win over the exciting loss 100 times out of 100. Those were also the top two games in terms of the most abuse I've ever absorbed as a visiting fan- Most Cleveland fans, at least when they are at that Stadium and get some booze in them, are NASTY, vile fuckers. To other Seattle fans who might be headed there for the first time, be prepared: You WILL take profane verbal abuse for 3+ hours, and you will probably get shit thrown at you as well. For some unfathomable reason, in my experience Browns fans are inexplicably, openly hostile towards the Seahawks...
On a certain level, it makes sense: No NFL fan base has more pent-up frustration than Browns backers. They live in the only NFL city that has never hosted OR played in a Super Bowl. In the 1990s their team was stolen from them, and then replaced with an expansion doppelganger franchise that has had exactly one playoff appearance and two winning seasons since their birth in 1999. They are basically the Houston Texans North, but wrapped in an ancient franchise's clothes and lacking the Texans' current level of talent. So yeah, I get why they are surly, even if that doesn't excuse their boorish behavior.
Remember this well, though: NO Browns fan has ANY excuse to feel superior to a Seahawks fan. First of all, I'm not going to let any Browns fan try to lord their "history" or "tradition" over me- THAT team is in Baltimore now (and won a Super Bowl after leaving Cleveland). Like I said, they root for an expansion team cross-dressing in those old Browns' unis. Even if I was inclined to allow a Dawg Pounder to count the Old Browns, guess what? They weren't for shit either. Unless you are 47 or older, the Browns haven't won jack fucking squat IN YOUR LIFETIME (which also means you'd have to be eligible for the AARP to REMEMBER that last Browns World Championship). Our weird little South Alaskan franchise has been more successful than the Browns, at least since black folks have been able to vote.
I'm going to the game solo, which is a bit scary, but I've done it before... I also got a ticket in a Family/No Alcohol section, and I'm hoping that will increase my chances of surviving the game intact. I will TRY to defuse situations by pointing out our common affinity for Mike Holmgren and raw visceral hatred for the Steelers... but I doubt that will sway the type of folks that chanted "asshole" at me both times I went to Hawks games by the Lake before.
What do you think, sirs? Anyone else heading to this one?