FanSided Fandom 250 proves Cleveland Browns are America’s Team

Cleveland Browns (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Browns (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

The FanSided Fandom 250 is out, and the Cleveland Browns find themself atop the list. Here’s why Jim Rome is right: The Browns are America’s Team.

CBS’ Sports Jim Rome has been preaching a truth the past few months that fans of the Cleveland Browns have known for years: Those Cleveland Browns are America’s Team, a point reinforced by the franchise’s place atop FanSided’s Fandom 250 list.

The sports’ website sought to rank the top fan bases in the world, and the Browns came out on top, ahead of teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees and LA Lakers, and bigger than brands such as Apple and Netflix.

Heck, even the world’s biggest superstar athlete, LeBron James, takes a backseat to the Browns.

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It’s really not all that surprising to fans.

Browns Backers clubs are one of the biggest fan associations in the world. No matter what city you find yourself in, chances are you can find a group of Browns’ fans going nuts over the team.

Down in Bengals territory, deep in southwest Ohio, many of the old rail lines have been turned into biking/running trails.

I often find myself logging miles on these concrete ghosts of railroad’s past, deep in the middle of nowhere, with vast field of corn growing on one side, and endlesss views of soy plants on the other.

Usually running in my Browns’ sweatshirt, I happened upon a passerby who must’ve lived on one of the farms because we were too far away from anything. He saw my shirt and stopped me.

This was right after the Browns failed to acquire Jimmy Garappolo from the New England Patriots.

It didn’t take long, but this stranger and I got worked up quickly enough that our passion for Browns’ football was obvious.

We love that team, but boy are they going to make it hard.

It didn’t always used to be that way.

The Browns history is built on a the championship tradition instilled by legendary coach Paul Brown.

There was a time the Browns were the Yankees of football. They just never lost, having won four championship in the All America Football Conference between 1946-1950, and four championships as members of the NFL.

We thought Bernie Kosar might get us that coveted Super Bowl in the 1980s, but it didn’t happen. The run to three-straight AFC Championship games birthed a new generation of Browns’ fans, though.

With Kosar as our Patron Saint, this generation suffered through the Browns’ move to Baltimore, and then languished through the losing years that have piled up since 1999.

That generation has kids now. Despite all the losing. All the busts. All the hapless mistakes by both the front office, and team on the field. We still go the stadium. We buy Sunday ticket living thousands of miles away. We climb on the window to adjust the attenae to pick up the Browns’ Columbus feed.

All of these because the Browns, aren’t a team, they’re a way of life.

When we are aren’t watching them play, or listening to Jim Donovan’s call, we’re reading about them (hopefully on the Factory of Sadness), watching analysis, or listening to the latest podcast breaking down the game.

And it looks like we’re being reward for our patience.

Look no further than Baker Mayfield and his come-from-behind win against the Jets on Thursday Night Football in Week 3. The Browns first win since the 2016 season was the highest rated NFL Network game since 2015.

And then there’s those overtime games. On multiple occasions, the country has usually found itself talking Browns’ football the next because those games are so close and highly rated.

And when the networks don’t show the game because of restriction, there’s usually outrage.

Cleveland Browns have gotten frustrated as the defeats have mounted up, but they haven’t really gone anywhere.

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With Baker Mayfield leading the Cleveland Browns resurgence, more Dawg Pounders will become visible, and the No. 1 spot on FanSided’s list is a testament to how strong the fan base will always be.