The science behind Browns fandom

The science of being a Browns fan

CLEVELAND, OH - You know the old adage: “There’s no fan like a Browns fan.”

It’s not an easy job but somebody has to do it, even those who are closet fans.

"The hardest thing in the world is to be a Browns fan and it takes work,” fan-in-hiding, said.

Decade after decade, thousands of people put in that work. They show up and cheer on a team that’s gotten a bad rap for so long.

"You know the more you do something, the better you get and if you have fans behind you, hey, that's very important,” our second fan, said.

What’s football without family?

A lot of people grew up as Browns fans and they’ve raised their kids to follow the same path to go through the ups and downs together.

"Over the last few years, by the first game of the season you pretty much know they're out of it, but you still have that hope every year,” another fan-in-hiding said.

“Hope” seems to be the word that keeps all fans coming back and MetroHealth psychologist Eric Berko said that’s actually normal.

In fact, it’s scientific.

"There's a community pride that's part of it,” Berko said. “There are deep family roots of generations upon generations that hang out and watch games and then some people just love to party."

It’s not crazy, he said.

As humans, we have a tendency to do something over and over until we get the results we want.

"The fancy psychological term is something called variable reinforcement contingency,” Berko said. “All that means is that people play a slot machine over and over - what are they looking for? Eventually some day, they get the payoff."

For fans, it’s just a true testament to what it means to endure.

"That's a true Browns fan,” one fan said. “We'll get them next year."

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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