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Cleveland Browns faithful hold parade after "perfect" 0-16 season

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This fan wasn’t happy about the Browns’ winless season.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – You’ve got to hand it to the Cleveland Browns fans. Their football team sucked, and they hold a parade to celebrate the team’s non-success.

According to the Cleveland Police Department estimate, approximately 2,500 to 3,200 fans braved negative wind chills to parade around FirstEnergy Stadium to honor the Browns’ 0-16 NFL season. The “Cleveland Browns Perfect Season Parade” was the brain trust of Chris McNeill, a resident of Granville, Ohio, 135 miles south of Cleveland. He also organized a parade for the Browns’ fans a year ago when the team won only one game.

Money raised from the parades went to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank via donations of non-perishable food items that were requested on the parade’s website. Donations also were requested on via GoFundMe to help pay for the cost of running the parade—security, insurance, fees, bathroom facilities, etc. Any excess funds after the parade were paid for would go toward the food bank.

“(Browns owner) Jimmy Haslam doesn’t know how good he has it with this town,” McNeill told the Plain Dealer, Cleveland’s daily newspaper. “People pour not only their money into this team, but their emotions. It just shows the heart of the fans and the commitment to this team they have, win or lose.”

Browns fans are rabid as the dog they impersonate during home games. They dress in dog costumes and sit in the east end zone bleachers. The fan club originated when a former cornerback, Hanford Dixon, called his defensive teammates the “Dawgs” in 1985. Many of the fans adopted the moniker and would show up a game in the Dawg Pound donning dog masks, dog noses, and bone-shaped hats. The Dawg Pound could be a rowdy bunch barking like dogs, “Here we go Brownies Here We go! Woof! Woof!”

So, it wasn’t unusual for fans to show up at the parade wearing costumes. Many wore brown paper bags on their heads. One guy in the parade held a sign that read: “I’m with stupid” and an arrow pointing at his friend who held a sign that read: “Season ticket holder.”

Another sign held by a guy (I guess it was a guy because he/she wore a dog mask) read: “Stupid Parade Believeland Go Browns.”

One fan wore a Santa Claus suit with the words “Sad Santa” across the back shoulder and large “0-16” below it.

Many were entertained by the parade.

“I love the Cleveland Browns,” a fan said. “A parade is for celebration, and I’m OK with the message of the protest. We’re going to eat lots of food, And drink more beer.”

Another wasn’t so amused.

“It’s an embarrassment,” said a fan, who wore a dog mask. “The season was an embarrassment. We don’t need a parade to remind us. We don’t need a parade to remind the country how bad we are.”

The Browns haven’t had a winning season since 2007, and despite going 10-6 that year, they didn’t make the playoffs. The last time Cleveland went to the playoffs was 2002 and lost to Pittsburgh in the Wild Card Round. The Browns have never been to the Super Bowl, but at one time they were the talk of the NFL before the Super Bowl era—winning titles in 1950, 1954, 1955, and 1964.

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About the Author

Ray Dozier

Ray Dozier is the author of Legends of Oklahoma Sooners Football and two editions of The...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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