For Rison, booing is no reason to scurry

November 27, 1995|By Vito Stellino | Vito Stellino,SUN STAFF

CLEVELAND -- Wide receiver Andre Rison talked and talked and then he talked some more yesterday.

He talked to reporters before he took a shower, and then he talked to a new wave of reporters when he came back to his locker to dress.

For all of his patience, it seemed inevitable that the discussion of the way he was booed by the Cleveland Browns fans every time he caught a pass in the 20-17 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers would end with his stalking away.

The only surprise was that it was a seemingly innocuous question that provoked him.

When a reporter from Cleveland said his playoff dream seemed in jeopardy, Rison, who had been sitting in his locker munching on candy, suddenly got up.

"Everybody's pointing a finger at my dream. I'm still dreaming. I'm still going to get to the Super Bowl, even if it's now or next year. I'm going to get to the Super Bowl. Your job is in jeopardy. That's what's in jeopardy. Get away from me. Ask some real questions. Stupid ----," he said as he walked out of the locker room.

Earlier, Rison, who got a $5 million signing bonus when he signed with the Browns as a free agent, said it was difficult to hear signals at times in the Green Bay Packers game a week ago because the fans were yelling obscene chants about owner Art Modell.

He said over and over again that the players had nothing to do with the move and that the fans shouldn't take it out on them.

That's why he said he had no regrets about his statements after the Green Bay game that he couldn't wait until he gets to Baltimore.

"Why should I? I didn't do anything to get booed. I just came here to play football. If I'm going to get booed, I'm still going to play football. They can't stop me. Nobody can stop me. It's a shame I did get booed like that. That's all right. I'm going to jump in my car and go home with my wife and watch TV, a movie," he said.

Rison said his teammates told him, " 'Don't worry about it. You're having a good game. Go out there and keep playing and catch the ball when it's thrown to you,' so that's what I did."

The fans cheered the rest of the Browns when they did well, but booed Rison throughout the game.

At times, he raised his hands on the field as if to encourage the boos.

"Keep it coming," he said. "It isn't the first time Cleveland fans have booed me. I've come in here and ripped the Browns apart when I didn't play with them and they booed."

Rison said that may happen in the future.

"They'll get another team, and we'll be back in here and play them again," he said. Rison said the adversity is helping the team.

"When you go through a struggle as a unit, you become closer. People will see it in the long run," he said.

Both of Vinny Testaverde's interceptions were aimed at Rison, but Testverde took the blame for both of them.

Rison said: "I'm going to take the blame, too. That way, you can't start anything. It was my fault, too. Now, case closed. Your question is done."

Rison, who caught five passes for 38 yards, seemed to have different reactions to the booing. At times, he said, "I'm cool," and at other times, he seemed upset.

"The first boo kind of hurt. It made me feel kind of bad because one of the reasons I came here was because of the fans, but I guess I don't belong here. It's not the first time I got booed and it won't be the last time, but I never got booed at home. I guess it really ain't home," he said.

"They can boo for 12 weeks. They can boo me for another whatever home games we got. It isn't home for me. I see that. For the rest of the team it was. They cheered for the rest of the team," he said.

"I don't give a damn who boos me. If Art says move to Alaska, I'm moving to Alaska. The boos out there really were childish, though. I got used to it. Somebody was cheering. My wife and my family. It felt funny getting booed by all them people. My teammates kept my head in it. I didn't let it bother me. I used it as motivation," he said.

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