What is this madness all about? Anyone who has experienced it knows: being a Cleveland Browns fan is just different.
Why are we the only fans in the nation who ever lost their team, demanded it back—and got it? Why did three seasons without football fail even to dampen the enthusiasm? Why have we endured years of heartache (The Fumble, The Drive, “Red Right 88” . . .) yet grown ever more attached to the experience?
These 33 essays hold the answer. Scott Huler’s nostalgic memoirs, and his interviews with Browns legends and other fans, uncover those essential, special elements of shared experience that define what being a Browns fan has meant for us all.
It’s about pride. It’s about desire, tempered by crushing disappointment. It’s about tradition, and learning how to root for the home team at your father’s side. It’s about rivalry and electrifying victory. It’s about longing—for a return to past championships, for future glory. It’s about heart. It’s about all that, and much more.
This odyssey takes Browns fans back to some wonderful places. It revives some truly heartbreaking moments. And it looks to the future with great hope.
If you’re Brown, you’ll enjoy the ride.
Table of Contents
Things My Father Saw
“We always traveled first class”: A Moment with Lou Groza
“It can’t be just a bunch of guys in brown uniforms”: A Moment with Jim Brown
The Cincinnati Game
Brown on Brown: A Moment with Mike Brown
“We want Phipps!”
“I gave it my best”: A Moment with Mike Phipps
“I see what Paul Brown saw”: A Moment with Paul Warfield
The Pittsburgh Game
“For those four hours I hated my friends”: A Moment with Greg Pruitt
Red Right 88
Almostness: A Moment with Brian Sipe
Out of Town Brown: A Moment with Harold Manson
He Chose Us
“All I remember is being a Browns fan”: A Moment with Bernie Kosar
Browns Backers Everywhere
A Moment with Bob Grace and Jeff Wagner
The Drive, the Fumble, and All That
“Three Disappointments”: A Moment with Ozzie Newsome
“No team will ever do that again”: A Moment with Otto Graham
Rumors of War and the Last Pittsburgh Game
Big Dawg and the Man in the Brown Suit
“Hundreds and hundreds of people openly weeping”: The Last Home Game
“It was just a spirit thing”: A Moment with Earnest Byner
Two Friends from Denver
I Have Raked My Last Leaf
The View from the Tunnel: A Few Words from Jerry Sherk