CANTON, Ohio — Ray Prisby, the Cleveland Browns superfan known as “Showdawg,” was selected for the Class of 2021 induction into the Ford Hall of Fans, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Friday.
Prisby, along with two other superfans who were finalists, were flown out to Tampa after testing negative for COVID-19 and gifted with tickets to Super Bowl LV.
As is tradition, Prisby received a celebratory knock at his door at the Tampa hotel from Pro Football Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker.
Prisby, the United States Air Force veteran who exclusively wears the colors orange and brown and has an “encyclopedic knowledge” of Browns history and stats, has been building a collection of Browns memorabilia since 1961, which has been included in the Cleveland Browns museum at FirstEnergy Stadium.
In addition to his own personal fandom, Prisby has inspired the next generation of Browns fans, writing a children’s book that features a character who is a big Browns fan.
While Prisby is honored to be a part of the Ford Hall of Fans, he said his fandom isn't done for recognition.
"I don't do it for recognition. I collect because I like the history of the Browns," Prisby said. "I just love the history because the Browns have such a rich tradition and such a rich history, there's so much to tell. I enjoy the fact that I was accepted but to say that [my fandom] paid off, I wouldn't say it like that."
Prisby was previously informed of his nomination to be inducted into the Ford Hall of Fans by a Browns legend—Hall of Famer Jim Brown.
"I was totally caught off guard," Prisby said. "That's something I'll always remember."
With his induction, Prisby will become the first Browns fan in the Ford Hall of Fans, which was launched in 2019.
Joining Prisby in this year's class is Cardinals superfan Kristi Brown and Raiders superfan Wayne Mabry, who were both selected for the Class of 2021.
After their induction, the Ford Hall of Fans will have nine members.
Ford Hall of Fans inductees were selected from more than 27,000 fans who entered the online contest and a contest at the display at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton.
Prisby thanked other Browns fans, Northeast Ohioans and his fellow veterans for having his back, voting for him and helping him get inducted.
"It's unreal to think that that many people could get behind a small town guy like myself but they did and I can't do nothing but appreciate that," Prisby said.