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Respect earned, respect given: Browns 1 of 3 Tier One fan bases

Three of the old franchises top the list

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NFL: OCT 31 Bengals at Browns Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While the fan in the photo probably wouldn’t “kill for a win,” Cleveland Browns fans have been some of the best fans in all of sports for as long as I have been alive. So, for over 40 years, no one can cast doubt on the dedication of the Browns fanbase.

That has been especially true over the past few decades as losses piled up, embarrassments came left and right, turnover throughout the organization like it was a bakery and bad press for a variety of reasons. Cleveland’s football fans are some of the most loyal people, at least in this way, in the world.

From Browns Backers clubs, a variety of blogs and podcasts, the purchasing and wearing of (often bad-looking) team gear and continual strong attendance, the fans show up for a team that rarely shows up for them.

USA Today’s fan rankings gave Cleveland the props they deserve by placing them in Tier One with just two other franchises. Mike Freeman notes on the Browns faithful:

Browns: It’s easy to be a fan when you win a lot. Try being a fan when you lose all the time. Being a Browns fan is what it must feel like getting a grand jury subpoena, except every week. No fan base is more dedicated. No fan base fights through all the L’s with such ferocity.

While a hated rival, respect was also due to the Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Not surprising but another cold weather, historical franchise was the only other team to join the two AFC North squads. The Green Bay Packers, like the Steelers, have had a lot of good teams to cheer for lately.

Given the support for the team while losing, one has to imagine what it might be like if Cleveland ever starts winning at the level of Green Bay and Pittsburgh. I’m not sure the world is ready for that.

Take a bow Browns fans, you’ve earned your top-tier ranking.

Who do you think deserves to be mentioned as top-tier fanbases along with you?