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Love for the losers: when your team is an underdog

By Emma Kinghorn, The Miami Student

"You win some, you lose some." This inevitable fact pops up often throughout life but, for us sports fans, shaking off the losses isn't always so easy . . . especially when they're brought up on next week's broadcast.

Or in the sports bar.

Or that day on which you dare to wear your team shirt.

But isn't that the commitment we signed up for?

When life is large, win margins high and the record winning, it's beyond easy to tout your fan gear, your team knowledge and your 'unwavering' loyalty. You can walk about campus with your chest puffed out, head held high and dare other teams to challenge yours.

But what about when his feet are out of bounds? When the Hail Mary isn't a completion? When your guys don't come out on top?

Isn't the commitment that we make when we call ourselves fans of a team, a commitment to stand by them even in tumultuous scandal and barren drafts? When the losses are tough, don't the teams need fans more than ever?

There's a reason you have loyalty to your team, whether it's the hometown franchise or the team fandom you were basically baptised into at birth. Maybe it was an experience, a player, a coach, a game, but something resonated with you, it caused you to commit a sort of loyalty, enough so at least to say, "I'm a -- fan."

It's easy to forget these reasons or your personal connection to a franchise at this point in the football season -- your team is either off to a great start, or sporting a losing record. Maybe injuries have plagued your roster, darkening the rest of the season, or possibly you've pulled off some big upsets. But to those of you with disappointing beginnings this season, remember: there's always an upset, the season can turn itself around, but, if it doesn't, who cares?

Being a fan isn't about liking winning teams -- then you're just a fan of victors. To be a fan of a team is to be a part of that unwavering support, a piece of the franchise. A true fan is one that walks out of the stadium after a rough loss and says, "There's always next week."

Nobody knows what that faith is like better than the Cleveland Browns. Historically one of the worst teams in the NFL, the Browns somehow also boast one of the best fandoms throughout the league. Sports on Earth has gone so far as to declare the fans the best in the NFL, and for good reason: unwavering loyalty and enthusiasm, despite losing records, losing players and dim prospects.

The team hasn't finished out a season with a winning record in almost a decade, hasn't fought their way into a playoff game since 2004, but somehow still manages to average over 67,000 fans per home game. This large number edges out the likes of the New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and the Minnesota Vikings, all of which have winning records.

Who has the faith in their fan base to raise season ticket prices following a losing 7-9 season that ended in a 5 game losing streak? The Cleveland Browns. Who is willing to not only renew season tickets, but pay more for them? Cleveland Browns fans.

Heading into week four of the NFL, and week five of college football, many teams out there are in a rough spot, leaving many fans distressed and anxiously anticipating the rest of the season. If this is you, I urge you to take a page out of the Browns' book: stand by your team. After the losses, during the cringe-worthy turnovers, following the dropped easy passes, sport your team gear with pride. Remember, there's a reason you're a fan -- this is your team.

But, if you've been inspired to join a fan base as unwavering as the Browns, you can buy an orange and brown fuzzy wig on ebay for about sixty bucks.