I can’t confirm this, but I often heard Randy Lerner promised his mother he’d keep the Browns for 10 years. Randy took over as owner when Al Lerner (his father) died on October 23, 2002. The sale of the Browns to Jimmy Haslam was announced on August 2, 2012. Pretty close to 10 years. The sale closed with what former Browns CEO Joe Banner called “unprecedented speed . . .”
The field of Cleveland Municipal Stadium is as brown as dry, dead leaves, as brown as any ground has a right to be, as brown as any ground on which men play professional sports. On sunny days it is a yellow, sandy brown, but the first time I ever see it, during a dispirited 6–2 Browns loss to the Dallas Cowboys, it is a wet, muddy brown in a thick stripe down the middle of the field. The game is longtime coach Blanton Collier’s final home game, and the uneventful loss means more than I have any way of knowing at the time …
We weren’t so concerned with winning because we were football-starved and just happy to have our team back. Tailgating was a spectacle. Some fans had also painted their vehicles. Many set up tailgate camps with tents and Browns flags, devoting the day to grilling, playing cornhole, throwing a football, dancing on top of RVs and buses, visiting with old friends, making new ones, and celebrating that our Browns were finally back. That phrase “Browns fans never lose a party” was never so true.