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What Made You a Browns Fan?


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Folks, I'm interested in hearing what jump started you as a Cleveland Browns fan. And what made you a football fan in particular. There's no right or wrong answers. I'll start by sharing mine after powering down some turbo strength coffee. If you don't want to read about me and my family bond to the Browns and football - feel free to skip the next 2 paragraphs. In any event, here's how the football version of cupid's arrow found this goofy blowhard.


In honor of my father and my brother, whom I lost within 8 months of each other 2 years ago - our football niche took place in a suburb of Rochester NY (Fairport). Rochester always had a huge following of this franchise to the extent of 3-4 active Browns Backers clubs. My guess is part of the reason was we drafted 2 RBs from a storied RB tradition at Syracuse (Jim Brown & Ernie Davis). Even the uniforms had a unique resemblance in the sense of emphasizing the orange. On top of that, Otto Graham played for the Pro Basketball Champion Rochester Royals franchise at the onset of leading Cleveland to 10 consecutive Pro Football Championship Games (and winning 7 - duplicated by who?). Recruiting Upstate NY fans wasn't that tough considering a car ride to Cleveland was quicker than it was to NYC. Our first home game in Cleveland was the day Turkey Jones body slammed Terry Bradshaw with rent-a-dentist QB David Mays acting as the beneficiary game winning QB. Who knew what would eventually come of Lambert's cheap shot on Brian Sipe out of bounds? Turkey Jones knew! He replied in the precedent Lambert had already clearly established. The only major difference was Jones' hit took place in bounds before the play was whistled dead.


My intro to football was my dad putting an antennae on the roof and getting game day feeds as far away as Ottawa Canada. Meanwhile, my older brother was a kickass Guard. Organized football came so easy to him - all I could ever think of as I was appreciating his art was "must be nice." I'd always play sandlot football with him and his friends 5 years older than me so that was my training for toughness I suppose. Anyway, as my brother got older - he seemed to grow bored of the challenges football gave him in exchange for what partying and other collateral things could do for him. Not much different than a Josh Gordon today. I wasn't nearly as good or natural when we were younger; but that made him all the more tougher on me with "don't plan on messing up like I did." In 8th grade, I began hitting the weights to compensate for a height/frame that I worried might be an early show stopper. Luckily brother was in my ear saying our frame was the greatest gift we had. My Freshman year started with me worrying about making the team before I became a 2 way starter earning the performance captain honor 5 times. My final year ended on the practice field with me blowing out my right knee near the end of the last hitting practice before our semifinal final playoff game in the only 2 starts I'd ever miss to injury. 1 day later my Head Coach showed up to my house with a huge grin and gigantic surprise. He said, "You did it! You not only made First Team All County East; but you got the most votes from the coaches of any offensive lineman. All your hard work paid off!" My dad used to show up to our games with a big ass orange cone from Roch Tel in his hands and used that sucker as a microphone. Not that he needed it. Our QB used to ask in the huddle - "Can everyone hear me over Flugs' dad? If that doesn't get you guys fired up or full of goosebumps - you're in the wrong place! " My story is this - the reason I LOVE this game is because I've experienced what hard work, passion and being a student of the game can do for a willing soul regardless of pre-wired imperfections. Another reason I LOVE the game is how it brings communities, families and teammates together with memories that never die.


For those I haven't already lost in the last 2 paragraphs, my initial bond to this team began with the guy you see as my avatar (Greg Pruitt). He began as a Pro Bowl Return Specialist in the AFC in 1973 and 1974. I had watched earlier teams and the one that took the 72 Dolphins into overtime in the playoffs; but Greg Pruitt was my game changer in terms of wanting to see more at 9 years of age. My dad's influence finally did it's thing while I never stopped hearing about Marion Motley, Jim Brown and Otto Graham. Suffice it to say, I've always been a big fan of the running game in Cleveland so I'm thrilled the current regime isn't giving a golden shower to what has worked best here. Here's some statistical history of our RB position (slam dunking great stuff from our oline upfront) explaining why Farmer & Pettine are excited to return this franchise to previous successful philosophies. There was a time when I didn't ever want to see another player wearing #34 here. Man, did Kevin Mack ever change my mind about that punctuated by the smelling salts awakening Greg Lloyd required after Mack freight trained his ass.


Marion Motley (1946-1955) 12 game seasons

Yr Yds Ypc TD Rec Yds TD

46 601 8.2 5 10 188 1

47 889 6.1 8 7 73 1

48 964 6.1 5 13 192 2

49 570 5.0 8 15 191 0

50 810 5.8 3 11 151 1

51 273 4.5 1 10 52 0

52 444 4.3 1 13 213 2


Jim Brown (1957-1965) 12 game seasons until 1961

Yr Yds Ypc TD Rec Yds TD

57 942 4.7 9 16 55 1

58 1527 5.9 17 16 138 1

59 1329 4.6 14 24 190 0

60 1257 5.8 9 19 204 2

61 1408 4.6 8 46 459 2

62 996 4.3 13 47 517 5

63 1863 6.4 12 24 268 3

64 1446 5.2 7 36 340 2

65 1544 5.3 17 34 328 4


Leroy Kelly (1964-1973) 14 game seasons

Yr Yds Ypc TD Rec Yds TD

66 1141 5.5 15 32 366 1

67 1205 5.1 11 20 282 2

68 1239 5.0 16 22 297 4

69 817 4.2 9 20 267 1

70 656 3.2 6 24 311 2

71 865 3.7 10 25 252 2

72 811 3.6 4 23 204 1

73 389 2.9 3 15 180 0


Greg Pruitt (1973-1981 in Cleveland) 14 game seasons until 1978

Yr Yds Ypc TD Rec Yds TD

73 369 6.0 4 9 100 1

74 540 4.3 3 21 274 1

75 1067 4.9 8 44 299 1

76 1000 4.8 4 45 341 1

77 1086 4.6 3 37 471 1

78 960 5.5 3 38 292 2

79 233 3.8 0 14 155 1

80 117 2.9 0 50 444 1

81 124 4.0 0 65 636 5


Mike Pruitt (1976-1984) 14 game seasons until 1978

Yr Yds Ypc TD Rec Yds TD

76 138 2.7 0 8 26 0

77 205 4.4 1 3 12 0

78 560 4.1 5 20 112 0

79 1294 4.9 9 41 372 2

80 1034 4.2 6 63 471 0

81 1103 4.5 7 63 442 1

82 516 3.6 3 22 140 0

83 1184 4.0 10 30 157 2

84 506 3.1 6 5 29 0


Earnest Byner (1984-1988 & 1994-1995) 16 game seasons (Made 2 Pro Bowls for Washington)

Yr Yds Ypc TD Rec Yds TD

84 426 5.9 2 11 118 0

85 1002 4.1 8 45 460 2

86 277 2.9 2 37 328 2

87 432 4.1 8 52 552 2

88 576 3.7 3 59 576 2

94 219 2.9 2 11 102 0

95 432 3.8 2 61 499 2


Kevin Mack (1985-1993) 16 game seasons

Yr Yds Ypc TD Rec Yds TD

85 1104 5.0 7 29 297 3

86 665 3.8 10 28 292 0

87 735 3.7 5 32 223 1

88 485 3.9 3 11 87 0

89 130 3.5 1 2 7 0

90 702 4.4 5 42 360 2

91 726 3.7 8 40 255 2

92 543 3.2 6 13 81 0


In a place where football and tradition doesn't ever hide under a roof - the only way to accomplish thy will be done has always come from a philosophy of "RUN IT MAN!"

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ahhh....Flugels taking me down memory lane ....again.....my one word answer?.......Dad....but it's so much more....(here come 40 years of my Browns memories.....so just look away if you cant bear it)......


For me it was just part of life.....Dad had 4 seats(1st row upper deck....about on the 28 yrd line/closed end)....GREAT SEATS....and my memory of going to games pretty much starts about 1970 and the drafting of Phipps and Sherk.....my built in hero was Leroy Kelly of course....but Sherk was my first "rookie" hero. Of course, I couldnt like Phipps because my Dad wouldnt allow it. He was a hack and cost us Paul Warfield(whatever THAT meant), but I knew better than to like him......so it was Jerry Sherk and Joe Jones I watched from the early days, developing an early love for defense.......I also had twin older brothers who both played and were kind of my heroes at the time. They ended up being matching book end DE's for Cleve Hts tigers. So, again, just watching my bro's play, it was always a D thing.......


I cant say I went every single game.....but damn near every one for sure.....from then(70) thru the early 80's. All the ups and downs. My favorites all along were the D guys....Mathews - RL Jackson - Tom Darden - Big Daddy - Bob Golik - Frank and Hanford - Tom Deleon....etc etc.....and I admit I did stray in the mid 70's(as 12 yr olds do) and fell in love with the Purple People Eaters and the Vikings tough style.....my Dad HATED that and refused to buy me Vikings stuff and bitched about my Alan Page poster, etc.....but I think Sherk and Page, Eller and Marshall were where Defense just became everything to me.....


Somwhere in there, we tapped both Pruitts, RL Jackson, Clay Mathews, Dave Logan, Tom Darden and Ozzy all in just a couple/few quick years and....


then....it happened!......I was in high school and loving the Browns again and the Kardiac Kids showed up on the scene......WOW!.....this was the year I truly became a fanatic....everybody went crazy...there game watch parties every week and the stadium was electric!!!.....and just the game no longer was enough, now I needed every drop and morsel of Browns I could get.....started going to Kent State and then Lakeland to watch them train...started buying extra news papers and magazines just for some stats or info....started paying attention to draft.....etc......


The Bernie years hit just in time for my to fully appreciate what was happening. I was in my early 20's and could see the talent we had. And, after red right 88, I was hoping to experience more. The USFL was folding and we scored some GREAT players and I could just feel the buzz(which Im starting to feel again),,,,and KNEW we were in for great things!!!......And, by this time, I hadn't missed attending a game in 5 years.....


Of course we know all the great games and victories, as well as the pain, that came with that era. I was amazing and terrible all at the same time.......and it was when I learned to make the Browns a hobby, more than anything else. Dropped the blind love and traded for realistic and pragmatic....and really started enjoying it year round. Became a draft nut, #'s fanatic, etc just because it was fun to do AND it would never break my heart. So, now, more hobby....less fanatic.


but ...in the end.....I love the Browns and could never EVER follow another team. They've been with me my whole life. But they are not my girl friend that will tear my heart out....they are more like an old muscle car that Ive had for decades now..... I like to tinker with it and race around......but it's old and can break down, but no sweat.... I dont get mad, I just roll up my sleeve and realize Ive got more tinkring to do.....which is my hobby, so it works out.......and, WOW, when she runs sweet?......well thats perfect!

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What made me a Browns' fan?


I guess it was the football culture of the Greater Cleveland I was born into in the early 50's.


Can't peg the exact year I became truly "Browns aware", but I still have a scrapbook (somewhere) of Monday Plain Dealer clippings about games plus many of the game photos in glorious B&W. Some have to be dated.


Add the voice of Ken Coleman over the radio at home games and channel 8 (IIRC) during away game broadcasts and his "Quarterback Club" game highlights, broadcasts every week and the path was set.


But the clincher had to be my first live game sometime around '59, give or take. I'd been to Indians' games before and while the contrast from the gray, shady bowels of old Muni to the brilliant green, sunlit field before you as you exited the ramp was always jarring, those visits did not carry the added impact of nearly full stands. That was the clincher.



I can still hear the Browns "fight song" playing over the QB Club's opening credits.


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Living in Nebraska, there isn't really a natural team to root for. A lot of Donkey fans around here, and the Pollocks all root for the Packers. I was never interested in either growing up. I'm a die-hard Nebraska football fan, only missed three games since 1993. So, when Scott Frost entered the league when I was 12, I became a fan of the Jets.


NFL was never really my big interest. I'd watch it, but I didn't really care that much about how the Jets did, so when Frosty went to the Buccaneers, it was easy for me to jump ship. Then Frost went to the Browns, and being a douchebag teenager, I didn't want to be a Browns fan, and went back to the Jets.


Fast forward to Bill Callahan running NU football into the ground, and running off to NY. Being a Husker fan made me question my allegiances again. Bear in mind, I still wasn't much of an NFL fan, just felt like I needed to have a team.


I decided to give the Browns a shot. They had classic uniforms, have probably the most collegiate like fan base, and they were really the rightful heir to my allegiance.


Turns out, being a Browns fan was what I needed to jump start my NFL fandom. Nebraska football is still first and foremost, but I find myself living and dying with the Browns on Sundays, just as I do with the Huskers on Saturdays.


I'm ashamed to say I shunned the Browns at one point, but I'm proud to say they're my team now.


That may seem like a stupid reason to be a Fan of a team, or like I'm not really invested in it as much as others, but I am full-fledged Brownies till I die.


It's also a lot better reason than why I'm a Knicks fan. I loved their arena music when I was 8, and just stuck with them.

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It's times like this I feel like a bit of an outsider... :(


If your passion for the Browns extends out as far as London - you're the complete opposite of an outsider. You gotta story that needs to be told so just give it a little carpet diem here.

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I was born November 30, 1946 in Berea during the Browns inaugural season, which is a natural bond. Not much to say other than I was born with the Browns. There was never another Team for me, nor will there ever be. I feel bad for those Fans who weren't BORN with a Team right in their back yard. While my family was poor, we had our Browns. Now I have season tickets & I feel my Dad's presence every game, especially those when I have my Son or Grandson with me.


There's something very special growing here now & I implore you youngsters to get on this train for one hellacious ride. Believe me, it's worth it!



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I was born in Berea, Ohio in 1970.


I have lived in and around the westside of Cleveland all 45 years of my life


My father is a Browns fan.


Can't see any reason to root for any other team

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I attended a few Browns games at the old stadium before I was born.

It's in my DNA.


Always part of my makeup.Same thing with root beer...

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Just because they drafted Johnny.... ;)


My father is from Cleveland. Parents met at Lake Erie College (my dad somehow attended an all girls school). He doesn't like sports but my uncle came around every few years and would always give me Browns stuff.


Like brogan, was never a huge NFL guy until the 2013 season. College was always my game but the last two seasons have been really fun just learning the nuances of the league and how it's different from the college game.


I've tried to get into other teams here and there all throughout my life but you never forget your first love. No team ever felt right like the Cleveland Browns.


Funny thing is both of my father's parents were from Pittsburgh. My dad didn't live in Cleveland til he was about 10 (military kid), so no one could fault me if I had chosen the Steelers. But credit my uncle for doing his job of indoctrination.

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Watching the Browns on black and white television with my dad on Sundays in the mid 60's. I remember dad turning my mom (a former football hater) into a rabid Browns fan and he taught me everything I know about being a couch potato on Sunday afternoons.

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My dad was the influence as well. He was a huge Browns fan, and when I was little, I'd sit there and listen to Gib Shanley on the radio with him, or watch the road games on tv.


He took me to my first game in 1972 vs Cincinnati. I'll never forget it- we kicked off, and Boobie Clark was one of the return men. He and the other guy (2 were deep) simply watched the ball bounce around, and the Browns recovered on the 5 yard line. The place was going nuts,& I was hooked. Leroy Kelly scored on the 2nd play of the game. Browns won 27-6.


I ended up getting season tickets when I was a junior in High School at Rhodes. Bleachers, $60 for the whole season. Now, It's $60 per ticket, and I still go. I think this season the Browns will turn this thing around, pending decent QB play by Shaw or McCown.


I passed the love down as well. My 3 sons are moved out now. One's in Houston, another is in Phoenix. They attend at Browns Backers bars and hope for the best. My other son tailgates with us, heading into his senior year at John Carroll.



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I remember going into the attic with a black and white TV with the rabbit ears pointing out the vent so we could pick up the Toledo station to watch home games back in the 70's

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I was born November 30, 1946 in Berea during the Browns inaugural season, which is a natural bond. Not much to say other than I was born with the Browns. There was never another Team for me, nor will there ever be. I feel bad for those Fans who weren't BORN with a Team right in their back yard. While my family was poor, we had our Browns. Now I have season tickets & I feel my Dad's presence every game, especially those when I have my Son or Grandson with me.


There's something very special growing here now & I implore you youngsters to get on this train for one hellacious ride. Believe me, it's worth it!





I agree with Mike- though he has a few years (very few) on me. Also born in Cleveland. It was watch every away game on the B&W TV, and listen on the radio to every home game. Monday Night was quarterback Club evening. .


Occasionally, Grandpa would be able to get (great) seats from work- and take us kids. When you're 10, you don't appreciate what a treat it was to sit 30 yard line lower deck. So yes, I got to see Jim Brown play in person many times, as well as see the Browns routinely beat the tar out of the expansion Cowboys 42-7.


I've said many times here before one of my greatest regrets in life was not spending some of my paper route money, buying a ticket to the '64 Championship game and hopping on the bus to the Stadium.To this day, I've never seen that game in it's entirety. But we were so spoiled back then- the Browns won all the time, no reason to believe it wasn't going to happen again soon.


But when you're a fan in your 30s you try to make up for lost time. Yeah, I was in what was to become the Dawg Pound for Red Right 88, as well as at the Jets double overtime game. I was staying for that one till the bitter end, and it was hysterical seeing fans running back into the stadium after hearing on the radio we had tied the game up.

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I just enjoyed how Jim Brown ran but admit when I lived in Colorado and Wyoming I became a Broncos fan. Johnny Football brought me back and now it's just the fun of watching the evolution of a great team that keeps me hanging around. I like underdogs especially when I see clear signs they are about to bite a bunch of entitled jackass "prima donnas" in the ass.

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Living in Nebraska, there isn't really a natural team to root for. A lot of Donkey fans around here, and the Pollocks all root for the Packers.


Folks, it's been a lot of fun reading your replies so thanks for giving us your connection. This is a great common bond we share here from all over the country and over into England. Please keep them coming if you haven't already done so or if you'd like to add something you might have forgotten.


That Cornhusker perspective about the Packers is not only unparalleled entertainment value but it's 100% free. You'd make a great welcome wagon for AFC North trolls. And then Bacon shows up telling us why his dad ain't getting a card today. God bless yuz!

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Dad always rooted for the local team. I guess I got that from him. "Always root for the home team and always root for the underdog." He always hated the "greats" like MJ, the Yankees, Cowboys, or any other popular "dynasty" of my life time. Made me never be a front-runner and made me love Ohio teams, unless they're playing against my team...

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Born in 63, in Toledo and when you leave St. Charles Hosp. in a Browns Onezie you really got no chance. Thanks Dad. Happy Father's Day to all. My father a 25 year season ticket holder and those memories never go away. Seen The Drive and All the Mistakes by the Lake. I was raised on the L. Kelly, Pruitt's, Mack and Byner and still my Greatest memory with dad was the 2 years we would watch his projector game film of Jim Brown and reading his books on his Hero. Dads doing well at 80 in Alpena, Mi. but could never convince him that the My Buckeyes were better than his alma mater Wolverines but I am still trying but it will never happen. Great game at The Big House was when Pitt came in with Marino and Dorsett and he will always hate everything in Pittsburg always #1 except for when you drive threw the Tunnel at Night and Pop out into the city Skylights, It is Amazing. Thanks Dad and Happy Fathers Day To All..

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As with most of us here it was Dad. He was a big Paul Brown fan so that made me a Browns fan too. Dad started following the bungles after Brown got the boot but by then it was too late for me. Browns for life!!


I lost my dad in March after 10 long suffering years and I'm sure I'll shed a tear, as I'm doing now, every time we play cincy but just as sure either one of us will be laughing depending on which team wins. LOVE YA, DAD!!

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I grew up a Browns fan because I was born in Euclid and grew up 30 miles east of Cleveland back in the Collier, Ryan, Jim Brown, Groza, Warfield, Kelly, Bo Scott etc etc days..... I was transplanted to Florida in 73 as a young man and became a Bucs fan at their inception.. I vividly remember 0-26.. No fan anywhere should have to endure that.


So, as a result I am a Bucs fan first.. And a Browns fan second..


I never thought I would see the Bucs win a Super Bowl... I believed without question I would see my Browns win one first. FUCK YOU ART MODEL!!!


I WILL see the Browns win a Lombardi in my lifetime..

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I was never interested in the NFL or football at all growing up. I remember getting back from the pub around 1am one night, and turned on the tv and it happened to be the superbowl, colts vs saints I think. I had no idea what was going on but I loved it. Trouble is, next day I didn't really remember much, and it being the offseason, the interest went away. A couple years of just watching superbowls later, I decided I wanted to get more interested, and nothing makes things more interesting than having a team to follow. So rather than just going generic, like so many fans here, and picking patriots, giants, or whoever just won the most recent superbowl, I wanted to find a team I had a legitimate connection to. Since I have distant family in Ohio (newark), I ended up gravitating towards the browns. Because, ya know, fuck the bengals - seriously, I never really even considered them and especially once I found out the browns were the original and best, it became a no brainer.


After that, it became evident that the passion of browns fans, and the history and suffering of browns fans, matched that of my soccer team, and basically I was hooked. Haven't looked back since.

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FWIW, I now have the added bonus of having to defend and explain football to anyone and everyone that learns I'm interested. Apparently, the sport is boring, girly and unnecessarily complicated for people just starting to get in to it. I can appreciate that, because about 15 years ago I had the same impression, but know better now ;)

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