When Joshua Cribbs jumped into the end zone after his weaving, 14-yard touchdown run in the Browns' season finale against Jacksonville, an idea was born.
''My buddy and I were there to catch him,'' said Tony Madalone, 25, of North Ridgeville. ''We starting thinking, 'We really want to keep him here.'''
Madalone was already printing T-shirts through his company, Fresh Brewed Tees. But with Cribbs upset about the Browns' failure to renegotiate his contract, Madalone came up with the idea for a ''Pay Cribbs'' shirt.
Fortunately he got them printed in time for Cribbs' appearance on ESPN's ''First Take'' Monday as host Jay Crawford, a long-time Browns fan, showed the shirt on the air.
Madalone said names can't be copyrighted, and the likeness of Cribbs is just an outline with his No. 16.
''I tweeted to him on Twitter and on the program he didn't say anything,'' Madalone said. ''I assume he doesn't have a problem with it. Anything we can do to keep him here.''
Madalone is not a Browns season-ticket holder, but attends games when he can.
''I've never seen a winning team,'' he said.
His company also produces shirts that say, ''We're Going to Party Like It's 1964'' in reference to the city's last professional championship, ''Rock & Roll Capital of the World, Cleveland, Ohio'' and ''Cleveland: At Least We're Not Detroit.''
Cribbs' shirts are $15 and are available in sizes from small to 3XL. For more information, go to paycribbs.com.
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