Why I'm a Browns Fan - A Personal Connection

I listen to a lot of sports talk radio and visit plenty of sports sites now-a-days. Before, not really so much. I've seen and heard a lot of people who are older that remember the good old days of Browns History, whether that be the Kardiac Kids or even the Bernie Kosar days. I was only 9 at the time that the Browns came back to the league, so I barely count as a millennial, and I sure don't remember ever seeing the old Browns. I watched from time to time as a kid and young adult, but that was usually just when they were on in the background at a Family event or Sunday dinner at the Grandparents. It was the same for all the sports in Cleveland; It was there, but only in the periphery.

Until the glorious end of the 2013 campaign.

"2013!?" you might say, "That year of awful, with Chud and Weedan and god knows who else? THAT'S what brought you back?" Well... Yeah. Brought me back, but not yet a diehard.

I'm not special, and like most everyone else, I've struggled through the beginning of my adult life, only now really starting to put it together. And i see a lot of the Expansion Era Cleveland Browns in myself. A struggling franchise desperately trying and failing to move forward, no matter what they try. Looking into their past and the failures and successes they've had match eerily similar to mine. Every Quarterback is a huge mistake I wish I could take back. Every head coach and front office change a job that I gained and lost within the period of a year. Hell, even the ownership change signals a change of eras and a road that I've traveled.

The passing of the Browns from Learner to Haslam represents my Mom, who died the previous year. And like the Haslam change, though we didn't know it yet, signaled the downward spiral to a crash at rock bottom. beforehand. i thought everything was going well. Had a great girlfriend, Mom was beating back illness, and though the job wasn't great it gave me every chance to move forward. And i was. Compare to then, the 2014 season for the Browns. We drafted a Quarterback that everyone was excited for, Haslam was dealing with things as best he could with scandals, and though the coach wasn't great, we made progress under him.

And then the bottom started to fall out from underneath us. A horrible 2015 and another firing. Another bleak outlook for the Browns. To me, this was rock bottom and you had to start building somewhere. A ray of hope comes in the form of Hue Jackson and this big rebuild by Sashi Brown. They tore it apart, down to the bolts, to try and make things right. And that sticks with me. This past Draft give me new hope for the future, and no matter what I will always be a diehard fan now. And if they’re taking a similar path to me now, they’ll be here for several years now, and they’ll be good.

It was Anthony Lima on 92.3 The Fan here in Cleveland that posed the question: "Why should you be a Browns fan and that horrendous 1-15 year?" For me, 2016 started a turnaround that was similar to my own, and on that reflection, and the years past, I feel a connection to the Browns that feels special. And if I can turn it around, I know they can too.

And someday when they return to greatness, whether that greatness is at the time I want or not, I’ll partake in going to a very special game. My first Browns game ever. And I’ll bring my future family for theirs too, to make it that much more special.

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