I have been a Cleveland Browns fan since birth.
Because I was born in Ohio, I was raised to love sports. The state really is the heart of it all.
Growing up, I played many sports. I was great at baseball though my passion was always with football.
My love for the Browns was a legacy. I took great pride in the fact that every new star, owner, coach, or player was measured to be a Cleveland Brown.
I grew up just 7 miles east of the Hall Of Fame. My father, on almost a weekly basis, would take us to Silver Park, also known as Monument Park. There, we would play catch, baseball or football if it were in nice out. In the winter, we would go sledding and have snowball fights.
While there, I would look and marvel at the Hall of Fame with comfort and joy knowing that the true football greats would be there forever. I would be frantic every year as August approached, always hoping that it would be the year that my team would be the Word Champions.
I am still waiting and hoping!
I remember it would be fighting words for somebody to dub the Browns "the mistake by the lake."
I am now 47 years old and though I don't consider that statement worth a fight, it still bothers me.
The 1960s were tough to remember, but the 70s, 80s and 90s I will never forget. The ups and downs were as memorable and exciting as the first time my dad took me on the Blue Streak at Cedar Point or the famed roller coaster at Meyer's Lake.
As I grew up, my most famous celebrity meet and greets were Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly, Marion Motley, and Otto Graham. In addition, I once heard Don Cockroft speak at a youth Christian athletic seminar in Canton about Faith and Hope. Even though I know he was talking about Jesus, I feel he was also telling us to never give up on the Browns. To this day, I never have. I never will.
I don't believe in the Paul Brown curse nor do I believe in any bad luck. I do have faith and hope that Cleveland's management and its players will give the fans what they deserve—a championship!