Better to be a Browns fan than an Eagles fan
By Mike Lukas
The Cleveland Browns may not have a Super Bowl title, but their fans clearly have an edge over fans of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Watching fans of the Philadelphia Eagles trash their own town after the Eagles victory in Super Bowl 52 makes one glad to be a fan of the Cleveland Browns.
Not that any Browns fan would mind winning the Super Bowl like the Eagles did on Sunday by beating the New England Patriots. It was a right-to-the-end match-up that gave Browns fans hope that a similar turnaround is possible.
The Eagles went from consecutive last place finishes in the NFC East, albeit with back-to-back 7-9 seasons, to a 13-3 first-place finish and an upset of the reigning champions, all while using their back-up quarterback, Nick Foles, once their potential MVP quarterback Carson Wentz, went down in December with a knee injury.
It’s an incredible comeback story for Eagles fans to get excited over, sure, but they need to relax – it happens all the time in the NFL.
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On the way to becoming the Super Bowl champions, the Eagles became the 22nd team since 2002 to go from last to first in a single season, according to Edward Lewis of NFL.com. And if that alone doesn’t give Browns fans the hope they crave, he follows it up with the fact that the 2014 season is the only time since 2003 that a team did not follow-up a last-place finish with a division crown the following season.
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And the 2018 Browns are in the perfect position to do it, too.
The Eagles and those 21 other horrible teams turned it around with nowhere near the advantages that the Browns possess this offseason. The club has two top-four draft picks, plus 10 others, and more than $100 million in cap space.
Plus, general manager John Dorsey has revamped the front office, which now appears to have enough experience to take advantage of the player acquisition situation that the previous front office set up by trading draft picks and patiently (though at times painfully) holding off on quick free agent fixes for the last two seasons.
When the turn-around begins in 2018, Browns fans will handle themselves a whole lot better than Eagles fans did. They have in the past, at least.
For example, when you watch the video of Eagles fans celebrating the Super Bowl win by having a stolen food fight in one of the local WaWa convenient stores, it’s obvious these Philly folks have no respect for people’s property and zero idea of how to handle the distribution of food.
Compare that with Browns fans, who in the midst of their suffering used a tongue-in-cheek January “perfect season parade” to raise more than $17,000 plus food donations to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, providing almost 70,000 meals to the needy.
When Eagles fans win, things get broken.
Says the New York Daily News of the Super Bowl LII destruction:
"“Fires burned, cars flipped and street lights came tumbling down.”"
Compare those ugly pictures to the fun victory parade snapshots taken of Browns fans handling their emotions in the freezing cold after a win-less season.
As Chris Thompson of Deadspin put it:
"“Browns fans, perhaps more adept at wringing enjoyment out of crushing hopelessness than any fanbase on our planet, threw a delightful parade through Cleveland to celebrate the team’s historic winless season.”"
And let’s not even talk about how some Eagles fans handle animals.
When one of them, drunk and ticketless, was ejected from the Eagles NFC Divisional Playoff game, instead of going home and sleeping it off he actually punched a horse in the face and got arrested for it. Brutal.
Compare that to Browns fans, who have a much deeper love for creatures. They’ve adopted more than a hundred dogs over the last three years during the Browns-sponsored Puppy Pound as a daily part of the team’s training camp. The event is in conjunction with the Northeast Ohio SPCA, which provides dogs, puppies and cats for adoption. Delightful.
When it comes to originality, Browns fans thoroughly dominate the Eagles fans.
Steven Hiltner of The New York Times wrote a fantastic article on the history of the Dawg Pound over the weekend:
"It started in 1985, when “Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield, cornerbacks for the Cleveland Browns, began barking at their defensive linemen — an unconventional rallying cry. Nearby fans overheard the antics and returned their own barks.” Hiltner describes rabid Cleveland fans who “donned dog masks and carried fistfuls of Milk-Bone dog biscuits into the stadium.”"
So what do the un-original fans of the under-dog Eagles do?
They steal the Dawg Pound dog mask idea and show up to all the playoff games wearing dog masks, looking like fools who don’t even know what an eagle head looks like.
It’s the Browns time for a turnaround now.
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According to the four-year rebuild plans and Dorsey, 2018 is the year the Browns do their best Eagles impersonation and acquire the remaining missing pieces needed to turn this winless Lake Erie ship right around.
It will be a pleasure to watch how Browns fans handle the victories.