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Browns Legends Congregate at Cavs Parade

Everyone who was anyone turned up for the biggest celebration in Cleveland for over fifty years on Wednesday. As hundreds of thousands of fans lined the streets to get a glimpse of their beloved Cavaliers and the city’s saviour, LeBron James, several Cleveland Browns legends of the past were out to get a taste of championship glory in a city starved of success for so long.

Quarterback Bernie Kosar, running back Earnest Byner and Cleveland’s favorite son, Jim Brown, were all on hand to soak in the festivities. As the face of the Browns during the bittersweet 1980s, Kosar led Cleveland to within one game of a Super Bowl berth on three consecutive occasions, but his team lost to John Elway’s Broncos each time.

The first defeat was known as “The Drive,” an effortless 98-yard offensive series orchestrated by Elway for the game-winning score. Two years later, the dead rubber featured far fewer theatrics, with the Broncos cruising to a two-score victory en route to a drubbing at the hands of the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV.

But featured between those two forgettable failures was “The Fumble,” a mistake that continues to haunt Byner some two decades after the fact. Byner had racked up almost 200 yards from scrimmage and was easily the best player in orange and brown that afternoon, but coughed up possession late in the game with the opportunity to tie the score. As if to facilitate the healing process, Byner showed up to the parade in his own jersey, and shared a heart-warming embrace with Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue.

But the personal weight being lifted off Byner’s shoulders was nothing compared to the ceremonial passing of the torch between Brown and James. The pair shared much respect for one another, and were frequently seen saluting each other at some Cavs home games this past season.

Dressed in all blue and looking every bit the old-school Mafioso, Brown bequeathed the Larry O’Brien trophy to King James, and with it, the honor of being the newest face on the Mount Rushmore of Cleveland sports.

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