State of the Cleveland Sports Fandom Union


The subsiding of the unbearable humidity familiar to Northeast Ohio typically signifies one thing: Cleveland Browns football is here. However, with a suspended quarterback in the onset of the 2022 campaign, coupled with a historical 4th Quarter collapse against the Jets in Week 2, many Clevelanders are more bullish on the Browns than they have been in autumns-past. Sure, the beloved Brownies are 2-1 with a commanding win over the rebuilding Steelers in Week 3, but defensive miscues and a lackluster downfield passing attack have many worried about how the team will fare against tougher opponents. The Browns first three opponents, the aforementioned Steelers, Panthers, and Jets, have a combined record of 3-6. The rest of the Browns 2022 schedule will prove to be more difficult with games against contenders such as Tampa Bay, Los Angeles (AFC), Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Miami before the suspended Deshaun Watson returns to action in Week 11. It’s safe to say that Browns fans don’t have a ton to be optimistic about until he returns. Even Watson’s performance this year presents a huge unknown, given that he hasn’t seen live NFL action in over a full calendar year.

Enter the Cleveland Guardians: the biggest surprise in Major League Baseball. Both ESPN and CBS Sports preseason MLB standings predictions expected a sub-.500 showing from the newly renamed Guards; Absolutely nobody expected Cleveland to be playing games with playoff implications in the latter-half of the year, especially in September. Cleveland would be the youngest AA or AAA squad in baseball, let alone the least experienced team in MLB. Despite this, the Guards have shocked the sports world, and usurped total control of the AL Central in the last month, decisively winning the division. Cleveland will host a best-of-three Wild Card weekend Series starting October 7th. The City of Cleveland, disgruntled with its Browns, has an unexpected option pertaining to fall sports and entertainment this year. Cleveland is a football town, through and through. Yet the Guardians, ripe with young talent, have the chance to push Cleveland towards their first World Series since 1948 with their first Division title in four years. Perhaps the young Guardians can seize the opportunity to change the minds of some Northeast Ohio sports fans.