We all have moments in our lives we can remember — with absolute clarity — where we were, what we were doing and what was said. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it is quite powerful.
Some memories are good:
•When I heard the Browns were returning to Cleveland.
•The walk-off squeeze bunt I pulled off during my less-than-stellar high school baseball "career."
•Last February when my wife came downstairs, sat down on the couch, waited patiently as I finished an OBR podcast and said, "I'm pregnant."
(Note: Those are in chronological order. I have to clarify because those who know me personally, most notably my wife, may think I am ranking those in order.)
Some memories are bad:
•The day my mom called to tell me she found a lump.
•Most recently, this past Easter Sunday when I got a call from my mom, "We're in the emergency room. Your dad is having some chest pains."
This Sunday is Father's Day, and it will be a Father's Day unlike one I've experienced. Five days after I received that Easter Sunday call, my dad underwent triple by-pass surgery at the Cleveland Clinic***. Thanks to his determination coupled with the amazing doctors and nurses at the Cleveland Clinic, he came through it like a champ. He returned to work this past Monday.
Technically, this is my first father's day. In October, my wife and I are expecting a baby boy. I'm going to be a dad. Those words have been ringing through my head since that evening last February.
In years past, Father's Day featured the typical traditions. Send dad a card, give him a call on the day and watch the final round of the U.S. Open. I expect to do the same this Sunday with renewed passion.
So what does all this have to do with a Cleveland Browns website?
Sunday serves as a reminder just how much my dad influenced who I am and what I do. No doubt he is responsible for my unhealthy obsession with this professional football team in Cleveland and, indirectly, my career.
My dad has always loved to read the paper. Even now with all the instant ways to obtain news, he reads a paper every day. Part of the reason I got into writing was because I saw first hand how much he enjoyed reading about his favorite teams.
As I honed my writing skills, I married it with my passion for the Browns and that has led me The Orange and Brown Report, which gives me the access and an outlet to express that obsession. I'm very lucky and very thankful.
As I wait for my son to arrive, I desperately want him to be healthy. I want my wife to come through delivery with flying colors. I also want him to be a Browns fan. On Sundays, while dad is off covering the games, I want him to cheer on the Browns with his grandpa.
I'm not alone in the role my dad played in my relationship with the Browns. Most of you feel the same way about this team and that's why you visit The Orange and Brown Report. There is obviously something more here. The Browns haven't won consistently in a long, long time, yet the fan obsession remains strong. The OBR is Exhibit A. The ties to this team go beyond football and it's why Browns fans are among the best in sports.
We all have reasons we gravitated toward this team. For some like me, it is because of your dad. On this Father's Day, I'd like for you to share your memories and/or thoughts in the comments below on why you are a Browns fan.
Also, if you have any tips on how you guided your son toward rooting on the Browns, I'm all ears. I want my son to have some of those same "good memories" I had with the Browns growing up because if he takes after his dad, I know he definitely won't create those memories on a baseball diamond.
***Let others make fun of Cleveland. Let outsiders make fun at the inability of our professional sports teams to win championships. But, we know we have the Cleveland Clinic in our backyard. They fixed my dad and they fixed my mom, who will be cancer free for five years in just a few weeks. Be proud, Cleveland.