With the signing of Odell Beckham Jr. last month, the Cleveland Browns have been making national headlines. It comes as no surprise that the fanbase is growing too. Soon after the signing, the #BrownsfanID started trending on Twitter, created by popular Twitter user, @Reflog_18. It was here the loyalists proved their fandom dating years back, before it was ‘cool’.
This leads to the controversial question, should we, the loyal, diehard fans, accept the bandwagon fans? I think I speak for most when I say I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me questions their loyalty (or lack thereof), are you really a fan if you didn’t live through an 0-16 season? It seems unfair to only know a team consisted of superstars and to not have lived through the quarterback carousel. On the other hand, we are no longer the laughing stock of the NFL – we somehow managed to turn this rhetoric around while still coming off of a losing record.
As we approach the 2019 season, the Cleveland Browns are relevant again. Thanks to our own superstars Baker Mayfield, OBJ and Jarvis Landry as well as our down-to-earth Coach Freddie Kitchens, there is genuine excitement surrounding the team. The excitement has reached far beyond “the ‘Land” bringing on a new wave of fans. I’d like to personally welcome you with open arms. All I ask is that you respect our past and encourage you to learn about our history (and suffering). With the help of #BrownsTwitter, I’ve provided a cheatsheet of some unofficial rules to help with your transition:
- We ARE the best fanbase – go follow #BrownsTwitter and thank me later
- Dog is spelled “DAWG” #DawgPound #Dawgcheck
- Learn our history. Learn the pain. Try to understand us. (@wxshaw)
- We hate the Steelers, Art Modell and John Elway (see rule 3)
- Bernie Kosar and Jim Brown are icons
- Be simultaneously optimistic while anticipating complete catastrophe (@Ytownrick)
- It’s Kardiac Kids, with a K (@Karen66ford)
- Do not celebrate a victory before the clock runs out. Ever. (@lindseyj212)
- Be willing to spend $30 monthly to keep up with new t-shirt releases
- There is always next year
Know these rules. Live them. Breathe them.
In all seriousness, our fandom has not been easy. We have suffered heartache after heartache yet come back every year only to suffer again. The future finally looks bright, but like any worthy relationship there will be just as many downs as there are ups. Be prepared to fall deeply in love with this football team and the entire city of Cleveland. Embrace the passion. Finally, welcome to the Dawg Pound – we are so happy to have you.