In My Ohio

On Jimmy Haslam as a Valentine

Darren C. Demaree
Wherever I am and with whomever I am with, my valentine this year was Cleveland Browns owner, Jimmy “This Coupon for Love Is Secretly A Scam” Haslam.

He spent the last year mistreating me, lying to me, and in the end removing every thread of belief I had in him. He still had my heart, the Browns, in his over-active hands, so what was I to do? Walk away?

I couldn’t do it. This love is forever.

Even when there were no Browns to love anymore, I still rooted for them to win every Sunday.

I waited for word from Jim Brown on who I should care about now. He never wrote, so I just kept hoping, that on an unforgivably cold day in Cleveland, the lake would again warm me, rooting for actual players. Then, they sort of returned to me. I saw the uniforms moving again, slower than the other uniforms on the field, but again they played football.

After what felt like years of a really bad rehearsal of a football musical that almost always ended in the hero attempting to throw himself on his own sword, but never succeeding, we had a new knight, an owner of great wealth and success that would revive the athletic display into one of actual competition.

Jimmy Haslam was sweet to me. He delivered powerful monologues about how I was important to him, how he had waited his whole life for this opportunity, and how he knew I was special. Finally, I was going to be taken care of the right way, the way I deserved to be.

I didn’t know about and I didn’t care that Jimmy had spent time with another fan base. He was all mine now. He was going to spend the money on the management, the coaches and players that would bring a championship, a shiny bauble to us, to me. We would be called World Champions, even if no other teams in any other country were vying for that title, the mantle for the trophy would be erected in Cleveland, Ohio.

Boasts and lies. There has been no mantle and no trophy. In fact, we have had our players misunderstand the game for the entire time Jimmy has been here. One of them was playing slow pitch softball out there and then had the nerve to demand an exit from the team. Silly Brandon, you were tall enough to distract us for a little while, but be careful we don’t just put you out on the ice covering Lake Erie. Spring, will not treat you well there.

So, now Jimmy has behaved like a football organization is an ant farm, and he has shaken it like a child, assuming that once he is done there will be good workers, not dead at all, ready to perform his tasks.

Maybe he has seen how effective great purges have been in the past?

No matter. He has shown me a blank canvas and told me it would be considered great art some day.

I suppose he is my valentine just for trying so hard to be my valentine.

After all, very rarely does one find themselves taking trust falls on a day such as this. If I did and I knocked myself unconscious, would I dream of anybody other than the Browns and the gas-soaked hands lighting cigarettes around their future?

Probably not.