CLEVELAND — Today was a Victory Monday like one we haven’t seen in decades, and Browns fans are celebrating, not just across Northeast Ohio, but around the globe.
Paul Brown is a diehard Browns fan and like so many on Sunday night, he set off fireworks for our big playoff win. Not in Cleveland though.
Brown was celebrating in the United Kingdom, close to the crack of dawn.
Y’all thought only Cleveland set off fireworks for our playoff win? @PaulBrown_UK says he found the most expensive rocket in LONDON to show his love!— Homa Bash (@HomaBashWEWS) January 11, 2021
We’ll show you how #browns fans are celebrating worldwide on this victory Monday at 6pm on @WEWS @Browns !! pic.twitter.com/muFnXYcW0N
“I bought the most expensive rocket I could find in London and it was basically $50 for one rocket and upset all my neighbors,” Brown said, adding that it was definitely worth it.
So how does a native Londoner become such a big Browns backer?
Well.. initially, he just liked a team with gear that had "his" name on it. But over the last 15 years, that’s evolved into tried and true fandom.
Last season, Paul Brown flew across the pond to attend nine Browns games.
“We’ve got fans in Ireland, Scandinavia, Australia, Asia, Thailand, Africa,” Brown said. “There’s Browns fans all around the world.”
Native Northeast Ohioan Ryan Urbon counts himself among them. He moved to Iceland nearly a decade ago and immediately started a Browns backers club there.
“And it’s been growing over the last 7 years,” Urbon said. “We first started with 5 fans, now we have up to 25 people.”
They streamed all the games in bars in downtown Reykjavik, packing together, until the pandemic hit, of course.
“Over the years they’ve been getting into it," Urbon said. "It’s the locals watching the games with me and when we went 0 and 16 and they were like, ‘Man, we really want the Browns to do better!’”
Urbon’s phone blew up with congratulatory messages from Icelandic Browns fans after the playoff game looking ahead to more wins and eventually, celebrating together.
“It all just takes your mind away from everything that’s happening and a little bit of positivity for our city,” said fan Steve Ball.
“And we finally did it! Beat the Steelers two weeks in a row!” Urbon added.
We’ll cheers to that, on any continent, in any country.
In Akron, Basement at the Lakes sports bar in the Portage Lakes area of Akron was rocking for the first half. After that, customers had to go to home due to pandemic rules issued by the state.
The bar, owned by Nikky Brady, is the home to the Portage Lakes Browns Backers Chapter.
Brady learned to love the Browns from her dad, David Brumagin, who died from COVID-19 a few weeks ago.
"My dad and I would go to church together, but we would drive separate from my mom because she would stay after to talk and we wanted to get home to make kickoff. It was a bonding moment," Brady said.
Since her dad's passing, Brady has been wearing some of her dad's Browns playoff ties from the 80s.
"Just for a little closeness," she said.
Brady added the playoff victory — 27 years in the making — meant more to her than she ever could have imagined.
"Elated. The messages, the phone calls and the texts I've gotten have been fantastic."
She also believes the Browns can keep winning in the playoffs and will channel her dad's positive attitude as the run continues.
"I think we really have a good chance. I really do. I'm a firm believer."