Thankfully my tenure in Baltimore has come to an end. It took three days, two blown tires, and about 2000 miles – but I've managed to tow me and about a thousand pounds of my belongings to northern Texas. I think that when I am much older I will look at my time in Baltimore as the sort of George Lazenby of experiences - worth mentioning only as trivia.
Never again will I have to listen to whining Ravens fans use that strange algebra of comparing the Colts move with what Modell did, and no longer will I be run off the road by some jerk yacking on a cell phone in a barely used V8 4x4 (or worse, SUV) decked out in Raven's logos. And nor shall I ever forget the ever-present overweight single-mom thirty-something with the bad bleach job with purple fatigues on screaming at her kids while she lights her second Newport (the first hasn't finished) while looking over what beverage might be best suitable to watch Ray Lewis slash his way through… well, would you like Milwaukee's Best or that bottle of Thunderbird, ma'am?
For those not familiar with Texas, it's basically three states in one: in Metropolitan Texas, smog is everywhere, hair is big and highway driving is a sport while in East Texas, where trees are everywhere, gun racks are big and family planning is a sport and finally, everywhere else, where there is nothing anywhere, hats are big and reactionary politics is a sport. Living in college town means basically the same, except everyone is younger – and they all get married at 23, which means in about six months I should have a date.
Through all this, the principal difference remains: people in Texas are much more pleasant to deal with than your average Baltimoron.
While the Baltimore Browns Backers are a pleasant lot and their numbers might not be large, one must admire their sheer commitment to making the not-so-vocal-yokel's of Ravensdom feel inadequate. Thankfully, they've found new digs where there are more beers than (insert name) Light and (insert name) Ice.
Which brings me to the Dallas Browns Backers, what a spread! Nice location, although bars in strip malls should be outlawed, it has good food while having a paltry beer selection. Miller Lite, while in a tub of ice is a nice touch, you still can't make a purse out of pig ears, at least there was one local "ale" which appeared to have a taste. What makes this group fun is that its also the location for what seemed to be the Vikings and Bears fan groups. At any given moment on Sunday afternoons, no less than one third of the audience will erupt in chaotic glee; I have no idea what Bears fans do.
The delightful unifying characteristic is that we, the backers of Browns, no matter where we are what we do or how much money we don't make anymore, being a Browns Backer is to belong to a unique group of individuals who welcome newcomers openly, indulgently drink, have boundless faith, and then there is this exchange over heard after a failed goal line stand:
"...our running back, like, needs someone who runs ahead of him, then hits a guy, and lets our guy run ahead of him"
"You mean... like a fullback or something?"
"Yeah, don't we have one of those?"
"I could've sworn we had at least one"
Did I mention that we also have strong analytical minds?
Let all those housing appraisers know the real score, having a Browns Backer group in your area raises property values no matter where you might end up.