Cleveland Browns 0-16 celebration parade is actually happening
Cleveland is actually doing it, folks. The city is holding a parade for a team that went 0-16, quite possibly the most Cleveland thing to hit the national media since “The Drew Carey Show.”
So get on down to First Energy Stadium on Saturday, get some records from World War II, play ’em just like your granddad do, and celebrate only the second winless season since the NFL went to a 16-game season in 1978.
The Akron Beacon-Journal, the paper of record for the hometown of the opposite end of Cleveland sports’ spectrum, LeBron James, published the parade route:
The parade route around the Browns stadium on Jan. 6 celebrating the team’s 0-16 “Perfect Season.” pic.twitter.com/P93oaYt0l5
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 31, 2017
Parade organizer Chris McNeil explained the symbolism of marching around the stadium to WCMH-TV in Columbus, Ohio:
“It’s going to go around the stadium [to form] a big loop, a big zero for the number of wins we had this year,”
McNeil continued, “You’re the Browns players, you’re the Browns front office, you’re the Browns personnel or the Browns coach Hue Jackson, you guys aren’t supposed to like it. You’re not supposed to be happy that we are out there, you know, quote unquote, celebrating 0 and 16, because you guys are professionals, were supposed to win.”
McNeil read a tweet that showed just what long-suffering Browns fans are thinking with these sorts of ironic celebrations.
“This is for the fans that have shown their own dying loyalty to an organization that doesn’t deserve it,” he said.
Cleveland comedian Mike Polk Jr. coined the term “Factory of Sadness” for the stadium back in 2011, and his rant back then is as relevant today as it was when that year’s edition of the team went 4-12, the fourth of what is now 10 straight losing seasons, nine of which include records of 5-11 or worse:
McNeil, like Polk, is a season ticket holder, a true fan who writes a check to the organization every year in hopes of getting watchable football on Sundays, and he reminded people of his chops when he got hate mail saying he’s not a true fan for celebrating futility like this.
“I’ve got season tickets and we’ve had season tickets off and on since the mid-’80s, since the great days of the Browns Bernie Kosar with Kevin Mack. I could go down all the rosters and almost name all the players. Nowadays you can’t really do that obviously,” said McNeil. “It’s passed down from generation to generation that I’m a huge Browns fan and my great-grandfather was, my grandfather was, my dad is, my mom is, my whole family is, so we’ve been very invested in the Browns for a long time.”
McNeil needed to raise $10,000 to make sure that all available services for a gathering of this expected size could go off without a hitch, and when he put the fundraising drive up on GoFundMe, he got a $7,683 donation from the Excedrin headache medicine people, who saw a perfect match of brand and event to sponsor. After all, if watching the Browns isn’t a pounding Excedrin headache, then what in sports is?
Plus, the dating site Farmers Only, based in Cleveland, put up a good-sized chunk of change as well …
Cleveland-based dating site @farmersonly has joined Excedrin as a sponsor of the 0-16 “Perfect Season” Browns parade that will take place Saturday around the team’s stadium. Here is one of their ads. pic.twitter.com/iDt6CklfbH
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 3, 2018
More than 6,000 people have signaled their desire to attend on the event’s Facebook page, and while no official celebrity cameos have been announced, let’s face it: If Cleveland celebrities love anything more than having a bit of fun out of love of their hometown, they do a good job of hiding those other things.
Meanwhile, for all you guys out there afraid of commitment whose girlfriends are hounding them and asking when you’re going to pop the question, just give them one simple answer to get yourself permanently off the hook:
“When the Cleveland Browns win the Super Bowl.”
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