Last year, the Cleveland Browns wanted a resurgence of Brownie the Elf. It all began with the midfield logo which was prominently displayed. The franchise held a contest for fans to vote on either Brownie or a solid orange Browns helmet. Brownie won and became a giant elven symbol of the history of the club.
Brownie was the logo for Cleveland when the club won four All-American Football Conference championships, and then three NFL titles. When the franchise captured the 1964 NFL crown, only the blank stare of the Browns helmet was their trademark.
RELATED: ORIGINS OF BROWNIE THE ELF
So when the team offered up Brownie as a possible adornment, fans of the beloved elf came forward and historians of the franchise’s championship seasons came forth. The logo didn’t help much as the Browns limped to a 7-10-0 season in 2022.
But this year, the team has decided to don a dawg logo to represent their future. And with this, they asked artists to submit drawings to which the fans were able to vote for their favorite. The highest vote-getter would then be included in a cluster of four drawings the powers-that-be have already decided they liked.
Beginning Wednesday, May 10, fans can vote on their fav among the five. Voting for the final round of this year’s contest will end in early June. Here’s the link to choose your favorite:
The submissions for the one winning dawg logo were extensive and ranged from the wild to the intricate to the drawings that are held on your refrigerator by a magnet and cherished.
The winning artist was graphic designer Emily Morgan. Oddly enough, all of the final renderings are of a bullmastiff breed of dog.
In 2014, the Browns introduced a real live animal to be included into their stable of characters for the gameday experience. The dog’s name was “Swagger” who would become a 145-pound beast of a mascot. During this same time period, other NFL clubs had live mascots such as the Seattle Seahawks featuring Taima the hawk, a white Arabian horse named Thunder II represented the Denver Broncos, and the Baltimore Ravens had actual ravens named Rise and Conquer.
This is similar to what college football has done for eternity.
And who doesn’t like dogs? Now, why a bullmastiff? This remains an uncertainty, but one can assume the breed’s attack-mode look. The breed just has a natural meanness ingrained into their face plus the fact that they are meaty, strong and powerful looking. When you approach a bullmastiff in somebody’s yard, you instantly begin to backpedal and hope he isn’t mad. Or hungry.
Swagger passed away after only six years. His offspring is the current live dog the franchise used named “SJ.” Currently, he has grown to 125 pounds and was the lone male in Swagger’s liter of five.
However, not all representations of the Dawg Pound are of a Mastiff breed.
Costumed characters are a part of just about every team no matter what sport or what level. The purpose is to give children an extra avenue to meld with the game on their plane.
Chomps is a friendly face to kids. But he also is revered by members of the Dawg Pound as yet another symbol of what football means in Cleveland.
David Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic and founder of the Mascot Hall of Fame in Whiting, Indiana, shared his take on Chomps with Cleveland Magazine:
“Chomps overlays with that passion. He’s wearing all his colors and going wild and crazy, just like any other fan. It’s a fun thing to watch.”
The Browns introduced Chomps in the late 2000s after the new Browns began when the latest edition of the Dawg Pound had really taken hold in the new stadium. But, he is a Labrador. It was around the same time that Taco Bell gave away five different dawg figurines with purchases in the Cleveland area. Chomps is one, but the other four were different varieties of dog breeds.
Morgan’s winning entry was chosen from nearly 400 submissions.
Here is the link to view those:
It is uncertain right now if the Browns are wanting to push the new dawg logo as their primary emblem going forward and ditch Brownie altogether. Everyone knows what happens to the old toy once the shiny new one is unveiled.
For now, the Browns just want your vote.
The cool part of this is you as a fan can become part of Cleveland history if the artwork you vote for becomes a permanent fixture.