The first Sunday game day for Browns fans in the post-Hue Jackson era began pretty much the same way as it did before the team parted ways with the likable but losing head coach.

It ended the same way too.

Hope sprinkled with a healthy dose of pessimism ruled the day as the Browns faced the Kansas City Chiefs, who own one of the best records in the NFL.

But there was still a party atmosphere in the Muni Lot — at least before the first snap of a game in which the Browns trailed the entire way.

Footballs were tossed.

Beers were chugged.

And there was a lot of talk about next year's draft.

But like every Sunday, this ritual started with hope.

Adam Krause was dressed from head to toe in Browns gear, including dog bone spikes coming from his shoulders and helmet.

The Medina Township resident has been a season ticket holder for eight seasons and a regular in the Muni Lot for 10 years or so.

He's glad to see Jackson go as coach but fears the problems lie higher with a meddling team owner.

"For the last eight years, tailgating is the funnest part of the game," Krause said. "I wish it wasn't because I want them to win."

The day starts early for a band of die-hard fans from Tuscarawas County.

They get up in the wee hours of the morning to park a large RV in Section E3 of the Muni Lot by 5:30 a.m.

It serves as home base for the members of the 2-year-old Browns Backers club from the south.

President Richard Christmas says the team's losing ways haven't been the best recruitment tool, but the chapter already has about 40 members.

And with an exciting quarterback like Baker Mayfield and a new head coach, Christmas said he's hopeful — as always.

"I'm tired of waiting for the draft," said the Dover resident. "I just want to see them compete."

It's a sentiment shared by Browns fan Gary Longbottom. He's been a season ticket holder since the 1980s.

And the fan from Medina County's Litchfield Township won't miss Jackson and wants to see what Mayfield can do with the team.

"At least this year I'm not already looking forward to spring training."

 

Craig Webb, who still believes every Sunday will turn out differently, can be reached at cwebb@thebeaconjournal.com or 330-996-3547.