December, 1995. I was 7 years old. 3 months away from being 8. I knew my parents were Browns fans. I always thought the color scheme was cool. Never understood what it all meant.
For the past decade I've been what I consider a die-hard Browns fan. I am still young, true. I just turned 24. But my allegiance to our great history and team will never die. I will never say I am a proud fan of _____ NFL franchise other than the Cleveland Browns. If when the Browns moved and Cleveland got a new team under a different name I likely wouldn't care for NFL football as much as I do. If my home city of Columbus ever gets an NFL franchise I will dawg on them for years because they are not the Cleveland Browns, even as much as I love my home city of Columbus and everything that they represent to my heart.
I love the Cleveland Browns. And my biggest regret as a fan was that I was too young to realize what this move was all about. All I knew was that my parents said the Browns were gone, and there was a huge pile of rubble by the lake up in Cleveland whenever we went to an Indians game in the late 90s.
I'm so sorry this is what many of you experienced back in December of 1995. My heart goes out to all of you. You are a true inspiration that there were no riots. There was no chaos. All there was was a bitter sense of loyalty and broken hearts, which as this point in time I can certainly empathise with on a personal level.
PS. Mike Ditka just earned a new fan even though he coached for an inferior team.