CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Browns are set to kickoff the 2021 season against the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium, and fans from all over the globe are more excited than ever about the promise this season appears to have, ready to cheer on their team from whatever corner of the world they call home.
Across the pond in the United Kingdom lives Browns super fan Paul Brown, who loves celebrating the Browns on the other side of the Atlantic. Last season, Brown was shooting off fireworks outside of his London flat just after the Browns beat the Steelers in the Wild Card playoff game.
While Brown is excited, he's saving the fireworks for later in the year—he hopes during another Cleveland playoff run.
"I'm going to pace myself, there will be no fireworks going off if we beat the Chiefs. Let's slowly hack away at the season because as we know, anything can happen in the NFL," Brown said.
Brown will be watching the game at a London Pub with some of the nearly 1,000 London Browns Backers members.
It will be a long night for Brown, with the game kicking off at 9:25 p.m. London time, but if the Browns play well it will all be worth it.
"They've got screens for every single game in the NFL, and you sit there with like 50 Browns fans. And hopefully they'll be like 20 Chiefs fans, not too many, just enough so we can give them some abuse when we beat them," Brown said.
Back here at home, Gus Angelone, better known by many Browns fans as Pumpkinhead, is breaking out the gourd and preparing for his pregame events in Cleveland's Warehouse District.
"I can't wait to see everybody, tailgating is back. Browns football is back, and I couldn't be more excited," Angelone said.
Despite his excitement for the pregame festivities, which will be hosted during away games as well for the first time this year and feature a jumbotron that will air the game, Angelone is more excited for the game itself than the tailgating—a rarity for Browns fans over the past few decades.
"Browns football isn't all about the pregame anymore it's actually about the game. It's no more factory of sadness, they're legitimately talking Super Bowl," Angelone said.
The expectations for the team that broke a 17-season playoff appearance drought and 26-year playoff win drought last year are higher than ever and Browns fans are hoping the team can break their next drought.
"We're a more favorable team than before, but we need to win a Super Bowl. We're one of the teams that hasn't won a Super Bowl and the pressure is on now," Brown said.
But the season starts with the Chiefs matchup and the first hurdle is getting their first season-opener win since 2004—a task they've been preparing for all through training camp and the preseason.
"It'll be fun just to go out there and play with one of the best. We want to be one of the best, so in order to do that we need to beat the best," Browns safety John Johnson III said.
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