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Browns' collapse underscores the 'unspoken transaction' between players and fans

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) sacks New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (19) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Cleveland.
David Richard
/
AP
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) sacks New York Jets quarterback Joe Flacco (19) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022, in Cleveland.

The Browns are trying to regroup for tomorrow night’s game against Pittsburgh. It’s a quick turnaround after their collapse to the Jets, in which they gave up two touchdowns in the final two minutes. And sports commentator Terry Pluto says comments that Browns star Myles Garrett made after that game sting even worse than the loss.

"He said some things about we need to look at ourselves and we can't point fingers. Then he was asked about the opening day crowd. And he goes, 'Yeah, but the most disappointing thing to me was how they reacted at the end of the game — how they booed us,'" Pluto said.

Pluto said Garrett went on to say that he didn't want fans giving up on them, noting that it was only the second game of the season.

"Well, that didn't go over well," Pluto said.

"There's sort of an unspoken transaction — or at least there should be — between the fans and the players."

Pluto says for fans, that means that just because they buy a ticket doesn't give them the right to do things like run out on to the field or shout racial slurs or insults directly at players from the sidelines of NBA games, for example.

And as for players, Pluto said they need to realize that fans invested time and money into coming to the games.

"Because the players say, 'Well, you don't understand how hard we worked and all we put into this game.' Well, I would also remind Myles that you also don't know how hard those people worked during the week to afford those Browns tickets. So, they're making a different type of investment," Pluto said.

Pluto echoed comments that Browns' Joel Bitonio said after the game. "He basically said, 'I would have booed, too, for the way they played the last two minutes.'"

There's a bigger context to consider according to Pluto.

"There's a lot of fan misbehavior. But the fact is, it is a privilege to play in the NFL. [Garrett] was the number one pick in the draft, and fans here have really stuck by him. Now to be also fair to Myles, he has done a lot of good things the community, and I'm sure that's what he's thinking. 'I've gone out, I've done a lot of charity things. I've done all this stuff and they're booing me.' Actually, Myles, they were booing everybody in an orange helmet!

"Players say, 'Hey, we're people, too.' But, guess what? Those in the stands, they're also people. And just like you, they have emotions. They're invested in the team and it hurts them when you lose."

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