The City of Cleveland is Heartbreak City in American Sports. Fans of the Cleveland Cavaliers had their dreams crushed by Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the 1980s and 1990s. They had their hearts ripped out when Ohio native LeBron James took his talents to South Beach. Cleveland Indians fans twice watched their Tribe reach the World Series in the 1990s, only to be so far away, losing to the Atlanta Braves in 1995 and in a Game 7 to the Florida Marlins in 1997.
This all pales in comparison to the agony brought to the City of Cleveland by the NFL’s Cleveland Browns. John Elway of the Denver Broncos drove 98 yards down the field to force overtime and beat the Browns in the 1986 AFC Championship Game. Earnest Byner lost a fumble just before scoring the winning touchdown against the Broncos in the final moments of the 1987 AFC Championship Game. The owner, the late Art Modell (who died last fall), moved the team to Baltimore in 1996 (Cleveland was awarded an expansion Browns team that began play in 1999). The Drive…The Fumble…The Move. Indeed, pain and disappointment is the common bond that connects Browns fans.
Scott Entsminger of Mansfield, Ohio died this past Thursday at age 55. He was a lifelong Browns fan. In his obituary in the Columbus Dispatch, he asked that six Browns players be pallbearers at his funeral so “the Browns can let him down one last time.” The Browns sent a jersey. I’m not kidding. Talk about an ironic double entendre….
Apparently, the punch line is a long running one among Browns fans. In honor of the memory of Mr. Entsminger, today’s retweet is the following, from FASHION!!! (@TweetsOnFashion)
“Earnest Byner skips Art Modell's funeral, for fear he'd be asked to be a pallbearer. :-( #Browns”
|I couldn't make this up.|
Image from www.twitter.com