Most sons follow in the footsteps of thier fathers and root for the team on the television. I was no exception. As far back as I can remember, Sundays were reserved for church at 10 a.m. and the Browns at 1 p.m. The pastor always made sure to wrap things up in time for everyone to get home to watch the game.
At five years old, I didn't understand the game, but I enjoyed sitting with my dad and watching the Browns. I also learned very early that the ugliest colors on the football field are yellow and black.
Unfortunately, my second little league baseball team had the same colors on our uniform. I always felt like a traitor playing on that team!
The quintessential moment that sealed the life-long passion was going to my first Browns' practice and getting Brian Sipe's autograph. Back then, the fans were allowed to mingle with the players on the field at the conclusion of practice. It was 1980 and even though fans always had high hopes for the Browns, no one could have expected how the season would unfold.
The Kardiac Kids, as they would soon become known, proved to be the hook for me. The edge of your seat finishes, combined with a trip to the playoffs, was a cocktail I couldn't resist.
I was truly a Browns fan from then on by my own choice. A Brian Sipe poster, much like the photo above, adorned the most prominent place on my bedroom wall. The colors of the Browns uniform, the beautiful sunny day, and the feeling of pride for my team will always elicit a sense of contentment about a happy childhood rooting for the Browns!