The Cleveland Browns haven’t won an NFL championship since 1964, a conference championship since 1969, and hasn’t even made the playoffs since 2002. Since resuming play in 1999, the Browns have only won 84 of the last 256 games. Yet, a study conducted by Bizjournal in 2006 revealed that Browns fans are in fact the most loyal fans in the NFL.
The study was mostly based off of fan loyalty during winning and losing seasons, attendance at games, and challenges fans encountered such as inclement weather. The study also noted that Brows fans filled 99.8% of the seats in the Browns' stadium during the previous seven seasons despite a combined record of 36 wins and 76 loses over that span. So what is it that keeps the fans coming back year after year? Why haven’t the fans given up? Why are you a Browns fan?
“The Browns are not just a football team, you're raised to love this team no matter what win or lose and you’re behind them no matter what, they're more like a family you never give up on your family even when things are looking their worst. We bleed brown and orange and we stand with our team no matter what. That's what it's like to be a Cleveland fan I love my city and I love my team! That's why we're the best damn fans in the world!” (Nick Hurts, Warren)
“It's for the love of the team, the sport, the city, and our loyal players that stay with us. Joe Haden loves the team as much as all of us die-hard fans love the team. Win or lose we bleed brown and orange. We have the best fan base and tailgating experience. Our motto "there's always next year"... Other cities make fun of but it shows how dedicated we are. We will be back next year, we are not going anywhere.” (Stephanie Swan, Elyria)
“Being a Browns fan is like having a horrible job with people you like. The only reason you stay is because you like the people you work with (or fellow fans). You have thought about quitting just about every day (finding a new team) but you never will because losing is the only thing you know. You stay because it can’t get much worse and if for some unknown reason it gets better you don’t wanna be a bandwagon fan. I have never once watched a Browns game where I have thought there’s no way they can lose. Every game it seems like we’re an underdog and who doesn’t love an upset. I’m still a Browns fan because I love the team, the city, the fans, the offseason, and hate the front office. Signed, Every Browns fan ever.” (Ryan Grant, Avon)
Win or lose, First Energy Stadium is the venue where these loyal fans bring their enthusiasm along with the hope that this year will bring the success that has eluded the city for far too long. The names on the jerseys may change, but the passion that is Cleveland Browns football remains a constant in a city that transforms into a football mecca for 16 weeks each fall.