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Odds and Ends: Cleveland and the Rally Possum

There’s a curse outside of the Cleveland Curse, one that damns the innocent: Being born and raised in Northeast Ohio. This means you probably have a parent who also raised you to be a Cleveland sports fan.

It’s truly a shame.

Sure, we had LeBron James as the backbone of Cleveland’s economy for some time. The Cleveland Indians (which, you know, that’s a racist mascot that needs changed) are on the up-and-up. Then, there’s uh, the Browns. The Browns have consistently been that second cousin you have. You know, the one who’s too nice for their own good and you want to see them succeed, but they ended up losing all their money in some weird Ponzi scheme and have been rock-bottom for nearly 20 years. But hey, they’re still smiling for some reason. 

Anyone who is in tune with the sports world knows how perplexingly awful the Browns are – it, as stated by FiveThirtyEight’s Neil Paine, “defies math and reason.” The Browns started off the 2018 season by coming off of a 0-16 season and snapped their losing streak by not winning (they tied) and then won their first game against the, somehow worse, New York Jets with the infectious energy of rookie Baker Mayfield. 

Now, hear me out. I don’t think Baker is the reason why Cleveland won that game. It was the opossum in the stadium that was wrangled by a Cleveland fan.

The Browns finally win a game after they catch a opossum in their stands. The only marsupial –  that’s also kind of a vermin and is usually seen dead on the side of the highway (OK, that’s rude, but in my 22 years I have seen more opossums dead on the side of the road than alive in the wild (this is also credited to opossums being nocturnal and my strict 11 p.m. bedtime)) – that inhabits the Cleveland area was able to rally the Browns to victory that day. After all, they were 1-0 when a opossum is seen on the grounds.

That was until Sunday’s win over division rival, the quasi-Cleveland football team, the Baltimore Ravens. There was another opossum sighting before the game.

Another opossum, another win. The Browns are undefeated when a opossum attends the game, and it makes sense with the essence of Cleveland as a whole. People hate opossums as people hate Cleveland.

Does correlation imply causation? No. But is this correlation too good to not run with? Absolutely. I’m not saying the Browns should rebrand their team to be the Cleveland Opossums, but I am saying their marketing team should welcome the opossum as a secondary logo to join the likes of Swagger and Brownie the Elf. 

Possums are weird, kind of ugly but endearing in a way that you really can’t put your finger on, which is also the best possible way to describe Cleveland as a whole. 

Where there be opossums, there’s hope. That just happens to be in Cleveland, maybe this is finally our year. 

Chuck Greenlee is a senior studying communication studies at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Do you love the opossum? Let Chuck know by tweeting him @chuck_greenlee.

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