For the first time since 2008, an NFL team has finished the regular season with the worst record possible: 0-16. Yes, the Cleveland Browns matched the Detroit Lions, going winless throughout the 2017 campaign to tie for the worst finish in league history. It’s a testament to how awful things have gotten for the league’s laughing stock franchise.
And yet, the Browns faithful have taken it all in stride. Not only have they embraced the embarrassment they call a hometown team, but they’ve even put together some festivities to “celebrate” Cleveland’s historically awful season.
On Saturday, January 6, Cleveland fans will hold a parade at FirstEnergy Stadium in commemoration of the Browns’ miserable 0-16 finish. While parades are usually reserved for the sports team that win the championship, apparently Cleveland fans decided there just needs to be a zero somewhere in a record to consider it perfect. Hence, the Cleveland Browns Perfect Season Parade.
Here’s more on the event and its organizer, Chris McNeil (via NBC 4 Cleveland):
The man who started the whole idea actually lives in the city of Granville and he promises he’s a true Browns fan.
“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 on quote celebrating 0 and 16, because you guys are professionals, were supposed to win,” says parade organizer Chris McNeil says.
It all started as a simple tweet last year by Chris McNeil. After a bad play, he said the Browns deserve a parade. It received hundreds of comments., McNeil filed for a permit with the city of Cleveland – it was approved and now the parade is scheduled for Saturday, January 6, 2018.
“So the route is going to start at Al Lerner Drive right in front of the stadium first energy Stadium. And it’s going to go around the stadium forms a big loop a big zero for the number of wins we had this year,” said McNeil.
Thousands have responded saying they are attending the parade.
Essentially, it’s a celebration of zeroes. In memory of the Browns’ 0-16 season, fans will parade in a big zero around the stadium in zero-degree weather. The whole shindig certainly didn’t cost McNeil zero bucks, though.
With some sizable donations from Excedrin (fittingly, a company that produces headache medicine) and FarmersOnly.com, McNeil was able to hit his $10,000 goal set on the parade’s GoFundMe page. The funds will go to things like “security, restrooms, & medical folks.”
Here are more details on the parade, via the aforementioned GoFundMe page:
I urge you to come out on January 6th to show your support for our owner, Jimmy Haslam, and his entire front office for the product they put on the field every Sunday (not Monday night, of course, because we aren’t good enough to get that slot). We will parade around First Energy Stadium and culminate with a post-party at a soon to be determined location.
Sure, the comments are slathered in sarcasm. It’s a tongue-in-cheek gesture — there’s no doubt about that. However, it’s also an opportunity for Browns fans to come together to wallow in the sorrow of rooting for the NFL’s worst team.
Sometimes it’s healthy to laugh at ourselves — it almost makes the suffering not seem so insufferable. That appears to be what Browns fans are doing on Saturday. They’re embracing the misery of their football team, which has gone 1-31 over the past two seasons, and turning on a light amidst the dark, chaotic mess that is Cleveland football.
That in itself deserves our respect. While most fans throw fits or act like the world is ending when their team endures a bad season, Cleveland fans have come to terms with the Browns’ ineptitude. In hopes of hiding that misery, they’re holding a parade as a statement that they stand by their local club through thick and thin. Or, at the very least, they stand together in defiance of the organization.
Check out the website if you’re interested in learning more about this comical convention of Cleveland fans.