CLEVELAND - Cleveland Browns fans have long been known for their passion, and they put that on display outside of FirstEnergy Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
An estimated crowd of between 2,500 and 3,200 Browns fanslined the streets outside of FirstEnergy Stadium to protest the team’s 0-16 showing during the 2017 season with “The Perfect Season 2.0 Parade.”
“I’m supporting the Browns fans, and it’s only going to get better from here. We hope,” said Barry LeBlanc, a member of the Twin Cities Browns Backers that drove 14.5 hours to attend the parade. “There’s next year.”
In the last two seasons, the Browns have posted a league-worst 1-31 record.
With last Sunday’s 28-24 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Browns joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to finish a season 0-16. And several Lions fans made the trip to Cleveland to express their support of the Browns backers.
“Welcome to the club, guys,” one Detroit fan said. “We’re here for support. It gets better, guys. It can only go up from here. Baby steps.”
The fans were not only protesting the 0-16 season, but also, the consistent losing that has plagued the Browns in recent years.
The Browns have not won on a Sunday afternoon since December 13, 2015, and their 33 straight Sunday losses are an NFL record.
Additionally, this season, the Browns set the record for the worst 28-game stretch in NFL history, as they bested the previous mark of 2-26 set by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 1976-1977 seasons with a 1-27 mark that got four losses worse since Week 13.
Over the last four-plus years, the Browns have gone 4-49, and the record has not been much better since Dee and Jimmy Haslam officially purchased the team in October of 2012.
In five seasons under the Haslams’ majority ownership, the Browns have posted an NFL-worst 15-65 record. Factoring in the remaining games of the 2012 season after the sale was approved at an NFL Owners Meeting in Chicago, the Browns have gone 19-70.
Also, with Buffalo clinching a wildcard berth in the AFC last week, the Browns now have the longest-standing playoff drought in the NFL.
“Where to start? It starts with winning a game, one game,” said Matt, another member of the Twin Cities Browns Backers. “They’ve only got to get one game. Game to game, you know.
“I think they need to develop a program, not throw these young guys in there and expect them to do everything. They’ve got no protection. They get gun-shy. These quarterbacks, (DeShone) Kizer’s a great quarterback, but he doesn’t have a chance with this team. He’s got to get some development. They’ve got to build a team around a quarterback that has an option to run, so they’ve got to get a line. You’ve got to have an O-line first.”
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