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AFC Championship game: Browns fans rooting for... individual players?

Some interesting conversation in Cleveland fandom

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports

As the Kansas City Chiefs look to host the Cincinnati Bengals, fans of the Cleveland Browns can only wonder if it will ever be their time. Will they have get to be excited enough to buy championship game tickets in advance, buy new merchandise with the words AFC Championship game on them and have a team worthy of making it that far.

As we hope to see the team improve (as we tried to do earlier today with a mock draft and a couple of free-agent decisions), Cleveland fans are left to watch the Chiefs and Bengals square off to try to get to the Super Bowl.

What do Browns fans root for on Sunday?

  • Just a good game?
  • The Bengals because they are from Ohio?
  • The Chiefs so we don’t have to hear about Cincinnati’s back-to-back Super Bowls?
  • The Bengals because they are in the AFC North? An interesting conversation normally reserved for college football and basketball

We’ve also heard from many Cleveland fans that they are rooting for individual players instead of a team:

  • Joe Burrow is so cool, from Ohio and does great things for his Athens area community
  • Patrick Mahomes because he is just so special
  • Sam Hubbard is an Ohio State Buckeye, always a good enough reason
  • The Chiefs have some former Browns, the Bengals don’t
  • Travis Kelce, a hometown kid, is a huge Cleveland Guardians and Cavaliers fan

Some might find it hard to root for Cincinnati because they are a rival while others might find it hard to root for Kansas City since they knocked the Browns out of the 2020 playoffs (and Mahomes’ brother is a social media annoyance).

What about you? Which team or who are you rooting for in Sunday’s AFC Championship game?