Last year's rank: 107
Title track: 117
Fan relations: 110
Stadium experience: 107
Bang for the buck: 86
Does any fan base have it worse? The recent history of the Browns feels like the script to another downtrodden Cleveland sports flick. Cue the Randy Newman music. Three winning seasons since 1989, 10 or more losses in nine of the past 10 seasons and an 11-game losing streak during Pat Shurmur's reign. Last season their best player (Joe Haden) got busted for Adderall after Week 1, the front office canceled an ill-thought-out promotion to distribute white flags as stadium giveaways against Pittsburgh in Week 12, and Chip Kelly was their head coach for a hot sec until the Eagles swooped in.
Now for the bad stuff. The Lerner Family was persona non grata in Cleveland, but the new owner takes the cake: He's a potential convict whose other business (a truck stop chain) is allegedly operating at $4 billion in the red and got raided by the FBI, and he is now dealing with a class action lawsuit. Lest we forget, he was formerly a minority owner of the Steelers. It's enough to make an off-duty cop actually dunk his head in a bucket of urine for $450 at a pregame Browns tailgate (the video has almost 400,000 views). Yet the love marches on.
More than 107,000 Browns Backers make up the team's official fan club. This year's Family Night drew 24,131, which is nearly 5,000 more than last year and over 4,000 more than the Clevelanders who show up to see a playoff-contending Indians squad. Scott Entsminger put it best in his obituary when, in his final goodbye, he asked for six Browns players to serve as pallbearers so that his team "could let him down one more time." To their credit, the Browns responded by giving Entsminger's wife a personalized Lou Groza jersey (Scott's favorite player). If only they could be as good to the living.