Cleveland Browns, Jersey

Infamous Browns Quarterback Jersey Retired

Question: when is a championship more than a championship? Answer: when it springs eternal hope to an entire city. Such is the case for LeBron James and the newly crowned NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, who have inspired the owner of one of pro sport’s most infamous, enduring and depressing jerseys to officially retire it, and hopefully end the bad karma suffered by the city’s beloved Browns.

Tom Brokaw, of advertising agency Brokaw, Inc., sent out a mass email informing stakeholders that the Cleveland jersey featuring the names of all 24 starting quarterbacks since the franchise returned in 1999 will not add a 25th name.

“It’s a new day in Cleveland. We want to be a part of that,” wrote Brokaw. “After last night’s historic performance, we realized all the negative energy and bad juju should be eliminated from The Land. The dark cloud has been lifted.”

For the past few years, the jersey has found its home in a shopfront window somewhere in the Cleveland CBD. It features the names of innumerable Browns legends, from Kelly Holcomb and Charlie Frye to Brandon Weeden and Johnny Manziel.

“The Jersey” has long served as a good-natured, thick-skinned symbol of Cleveland’s borderline abusive relationship with the Browns. It has become something of an unofficial mascot, representing the franchise’s inconsistency, impatience and aimlessness over the past two decades. But now, in an uplifting display of solidarity, every pasted bar has been whited out, and the original nameplate – the long since crossed out “Couch,” and with it the faded memories of what could’ve been – has been replaced with, simply, “Cleveland.”

It’s easy to feel inspired now, but perhaps less so in six months time when the Browns end the season a healthy 3-13. But hey, there will be plenty of other days to mock the Browns and the city they call home. Today just isn’t one of them.

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