Ever since the Browns returned to Cleveland, there hasn’t been a whole lot to cheer about. Sure, we’ve had a couple things go our way like the single playoffs appearance and an out of nowhere 10-6 season a few years ago. But for the most part our optimism as a fan base has yielded a minimal return. Yet we continue to support the team year after year.
This year is no different; I am filled with never-ending optimism as the season approaches. Since I left the great state of Ohio a decade ago, it has always taken an extra effort on my part to keep up with the happenings of my favorite teams. Believe it or not, the local news in Baltimore doesn’t give me an update on any of the Browns camp battles or how Brandon Weeden is adjusting to Coach Shurmur’s West Coast offense.
Thankfully though, a couple major sports networks are profiting on the popularity of the NFL and having daily look-ins to training camps around the league. As an out of town fan eager to see what our new additions looked like in camp, this was a great thing. Little did I know, if your team wasn’t a perennial power, you received virtually no information.
I understand what drives the markets, but despite not having a lot of success, I can assure you that the Cleveland Browns fan base is as strong as most in the NFL. The unfortunate truth is that you need to time yourself perfectly in this programming to catch a quick glimpse of your team. For example, last week I tuned into the NFL Networks live look-ins four times in one day. All at different points of the time block. Every single time, they had a report of RGIII from Washington, but not a single mention of what was going on in Berea.
If you are going to promote yourself as the leader in NFL entertainment, you need to provide informed concise information on each team. As a DIRECTV customer (a must for the Sunday ticket) I am able to have SportsTimeOhio. Thankfully, I get a nightly report from camp. Unfortunately, the show is virtually unwatchable as about 25 of the 30 minutes are filled with fluf, with 5 minutes actually discussing what is going on in camp.
The point is there are amazing and incredible story lines going on in each camp this season. And whether you are a diehard fan or a fantasy football nut, it would be nice to get a real look in to each camp. Play up your big boys to drive ratings, but don’t forget that there are another 24+ teams out there that people care about. We don’t all have the luxury of attending camp to see it firsthand.
I have spent a majority of my adult life as an out-of-state fan. And if I’ve learned anything; it’s that just because you root for a bad team, doesn’t make you an ill-informed fan. We all deserve a chance to see what our teams up to and what is the status of the franchise.