How my dad inspired my Cleveland Browns fandom

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Nov 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns fans cheer against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Ravens won 33-27. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns fans cheer against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Ravens won 33-27. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Being a Cleveland Browns fan is an integral part of being from Cleveland, and my dad helped inspire me to become a fan of the hometown franchise.

The punchlines have been laid out countless times. Being a fan of the Cleveland Browns is a curse. A curse that has no way out.

But these “funny” punchlines often come from those who aren’t from Cleveland. Those who don’t understand what the Browns mean to those from Northeast Ohio.

In honor of Father’s Day, and my own dad, I wanted to share just how integral my dad was to me being a fan of the Cleveland Browns.

My dad was born in 1964, just months before the Cleveland Browns won their last championship. Is he the curse? I’ll leave that up to debate.

Anyway, he has been a fan of the Browns his entire life, being there for the heartbreak of the 1980s followed by what was to come beyond that. He has never been one to paint up or yell at the television during the draft, but he is still there to talk about the Browns when I project my optimism upon the family.

I am from the new generation of Browns fans, among those who were too young to remember the team moving to Baltimore. For me, the Browns have always been bad and a national punchline. But my dad never put down my interest in the team. In fact, he supported it.

There has only been one time in my life when I have cried upon receiving a gift. This came on July 29, 2010, when I was handed a gift for my birthday. I unwrapped the paper and opened a box containing Brown season tickets. I wept like the team had just won the Super Bowl.

We had those seats for two years, before I went off to college, and while my dad didn’t go to every game, due to work and the sort, me and him were down there for a majority of the games.

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He even stayed until the very end of the Week 17 game in 2010 when the Pittsburgh Steelers routed the Browns by the score of 41-9, because I was too stubborn to leave, even though it was barely above freezing. Add in the breeze off the lake and it was almost unsafe to be outside. Yet he stayed.

As I said, my dad is in no way a diehard fan of the Browns, but I can’t blame him. He has seen the team rise to great heights only to spend decades barely competing at the bottom of the NFL. But when I expressed my interest in going to games, there we were, no matter the team’s record or the dangerous weather.

He spent his precious days off from work driving downtown on Sundays to allow me to take in the atmosphere, to live it up as a Browns fan. The passion instilled in me from those experiences led me to take up this job writing for Dawg Pound Daily, which never would have happened if not for what my dad did for me when Jeff Garcia and Colt McCoy were the hot names in town.

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So dad, thank you.

(Don’t worry, he is going to actually read this so it isn’t a hollow gesture. Go Browns.)

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