Until 1996 the Cleveland Browns football team had some of the most loyal fans in all of sports. For them Sunday was the main event of the week. Early on Sunday morning they came to Cleveland Stadium to enjoy tailgate parties and talk about their beloved Browns, and then in the afternoon they filed to the stadium to cheer and holler.
But all that changed in 1996. Owner Art Modell moved the team to Baltimore and changed its name to the Ravens, crushing the hearts of Cleveland fans.
Surprisingly, that didn’t stop these fans from doing what they had done for years. On opening day, September 1, 1996, some fans showed up at Cleveland Stadium just as they had done for the last forty-six years and held tailgate parties. They wore Browns jerseys, waved Browns flags, and chanted, “Let’s go, Brownies.” Then shortly before 1 p.m. they refilled their cups and marched to the stadium gates. But the stadium was quiet and empty.
Traditions die hard, especially religious ones. An empty tradition is an end in itself, a habit without meaning. It is cheering fans without a team or a game, for God is gone.
750 Engaging Illustrations.
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