As fans held up tombstones bearing the names of former Cleveland quarterbacks while others drank beer in the FirstEnergy Stadium parking lot, another woman at the Browns’ “Perfect Season” parade handed out wristbands bearing the words: “One before we die.”
The Browns went a perfect — and winless — 0-16 in 2017, the second team in NFL history to lose all 16 regular season games. To celebrate (or mourn), Cleveland fans circled the stadium for a parade. The route made a giant zero.
“It was that kind of macabre-type humor that I think the Browns fans have,” parade organizer Chris McNeil said, per ESPN. “I think we have every right to have [a parade] after this organization has given us nothing now for how many years?”
The Browns have won one game over the past two seasons combined. They have not made the playoffs in 15 years, the longest active streak in the league. Cleveland police estimated between 2,500 and 3,200 people attended the celebration/protest.
Not everyone was terribly happy to see the parade, including a group of fans who counter-protested and Browns players who questioned fans’ commitment to the franchise.
Things are looking up for Cleveland; in truth, it can’t get much worse. The Browns are guaranteed the top pick in the 2018 draft, and they also have the fourth pick thanks to a trade with the Houston Texans.