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Man behind Cleveland Browns Perfect Season Parade says it's a protest and celebration

Posted at 9:04 AM, Dec 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-22 09:18:37-05

Every Sunday Cleveland Browns fans go through a range of emotions watching their favorite team lose.

It's four quarters filled with ups and downs and a glimmer of hope, only to be taken away by the last minute with a touchdown from the opposing team. Well, enough is enough and one die-hard Cleveland Browns' fan is taking the matters into his own hands by celebrating a team loved by many with a parade.

Chris McNeil organized a Browns' perfect season paradebut it's not for the reasons one may think. For those who are not from Cleveland, a parade celebrating a straight losing streak may seem like Clevelanders are poking fun at the team, but McNeil says it's just the opposite.

"It's more nuanced than that. This is about having a fun afternoon while also protesting what's going on with the Cleveland Browns. Protesting the ownership," McNeil said. "Protesting what is going on in the front office. The Browns out there now are not my Cleveland Browns and I think a lot of people in the City of Cleveland feel that way."

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The idea for a parade came after the city was on a fire—from the Cavaliers making national headlines and the Indians' taking fans on a wild ride to the Republican National Convention and everything in between that made for a banner year.

"We spin it back to last year, right. Last calendar year you had the Cavaliers that had just won the NBA championship. We had a parade in the city for that. You had the Indians. You had all these good vibes and then comes Sunday with the Browns. Every single Sunday was just bad and it was getting ugly on social media. So I threw it out there in a sarcastic way that this team needs a parade."

Someone messaged McNeil on Twitter saying for $25 you can file paperwork for a parade. That's exactly what he did and the rest is history. People started throwing out ideas about floats and what to include in the parade.

If you're from Cleveland, misery is often synonymous with sports so some may ask why celebrate it? McNeil said the parade may seem like Clevelanders are celebrating losing but for him it's a chance to give the fans a voice through a grassroots effort.

"Number one, I get it. I completely understand the other side of this. There is that, 'maybe we are celebrating 0-16' but that's not what this is all about. It's more nuanced that. It's about the fans getting out there and showing their passion for their team and saying this isn't our Cleveland Browns though." 

If the Browns have a perfect 0-16 season, fans will get their parade filled with floats and vehicles you would find in the muni-lot. If the team pulls off a miracle and wins, the $10,000 raised for the parade will be donated to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

"It's all about giving it back to the Cleveland Browns and the long-term goal of making this team a better ball club," McNeil said.