Opinion: Sorry, Steeler Nation

Michael Moses

Michael Moses

Contact Michael Moses at [email protected].

I can rattle off just about every quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers dating back to my birth year. Running backs and wide receivers, too. I sat in a corner (literally) and cried when Neil O’Donnell threw the ball to more Dallas Cowboys than Troy Aikman did in Super Bowl XXX. That was nothing compared to what I’ve been doing at my internship.

For the past few weeks, I have been interning with Cleveland’s WEWS News Channel 5. I’ve been learning everything about this profession, including the old saying, “Sometimes you’re going to have to travel outside your comfort zone.” How about to be permanently parked in it?

The internship was based around the Cleveland Browns training camp. That’s like having one of Jesus’ Apostles job shadow Satan.

I had to wear a Browns lanyard with my name on it. I swear if some of my friends from home saw that they’d bring me down horse-collar style.

I was required to use my personal Twitter account to post updates at camp and during the games with a hash tag for the station’s camp coverage. The first thing I thought of was how annoying it was going to be to people who didn’t care (sorry, ‘Twamily’). Second, how my friends and family would react, and finally, how the Cleveland fans here in Kent would take it.

To make a long story short, I probably lost more friends than I did Twitter followers. In this rivalry, you don’t just jump ships.

First day of Cleveland Browns training camp, this guy was on the field. Second day? Yours truly. Every day I’ve been out there. I would see guys like Mohamed Massaquoi and Josh Cribbs but could only think of James Harrison.

It was strange at first, but I was becoming very comfortable with my surroundings. Yes, I said it. Cleveland, my hometown’s diehard rival, was growing on me.

People try to make sports more than just the game itself. I’m to blame for this, too. If you asked me years ago, even months ago, if I would know more about the 2011 Browns than the 2011 Steelers, I’d write you a slip for the psychiatric ward. It’s just not socially acceptable for Steelers fans to be working in that brown and orange atmosphere.

This experience has given me a whole new outlook on the Browns organization. The front office is trying to give the city a winning team. I learned that this is a team that backed by passionate fans just like the black and gold. The two cities are for more alike than they are different.

One of my bosses asked how I thought the Browns were looking lately, and I replied, “We look pretty solid.”

“Did you really just say ‘we’?”

That was a set up. Don’t believe that, Pittsburgh.