CLEVELAND -- When Jimmy and Dee Haslam decided to take on NFL football, they were in for a surprise.
"You always say, 'okay if you could live anywhere, where would you live?' And, now that it's Cleveland, I really feel like that was the right place for us," said Dee Haslam, in an exclusive interview with Channel 3's Sara Shookman.
Watch Tuesday's PartI of the interview:Exclusive: Hometown tour with Dee Haslam
Fate put Cleveland and the Browns' franchise on the prospective owners' map. And since then they've spent a lot of time along the North Coast.
The Haslams call Knoxville, Tennessee home, a gritty little city organized around the University of Tennessee and surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. Southern? Sure. But the Haslams see similarities.
"Cleveland's just a bigger Knoxville, I tell people that and they go, 'Really?' And I say, 'yes, you've got to see it,'" she said. "What's been amazing for me is all the same things that we value here in East Tennessee are very close to what people in Northern Ohio value. It's great to see that. That family's really important...hard work is really important...community is really important."
In Knoxville, the name Haslam means hard work, pride, family and community, and they hope to bring that same sense to Cleveland.
"The day we moved into our house, we felt very much at home," said Dee.
At $4.1 million, the stone and cedar Bratenahl mansion was Northeast Ohio's biggest home sale in years.
Dee's favorite things so far? Grand Cleveland basements for grandkids to play in and 600 feet of Lake Erie shoreline.
"Love our house. Love being on Lake Erie," she said. "It is beautiful. But watching the storms coming in over the water, and just being there. We love water, anyway. We live on the Tennessee River here. Living on Lake Erie is bigger and lots more dramatic."
The Haslams are hoping for a white Christmas, rare where they come from, and to starting a new year here in Cleveland, while they hope to see a team strive for the playoffs.
"It feels really comfortable. Now, the Browns need to win. We know that makes everybody happier, so we do feel the pressure over that, but right now, everybody's been great to us. We're going to work really hard," said Dee.
"We'll be spending a lot of time helping to make the Browns a better football team, and bringing the Browns a winning team. And Cleveland a winning team, which I believe is the best thing we can do for the community," said Jimmy Haslam.
"It's the next chapter of our life and it's supposed to be in Cleveland, and we're going to embrace and love it, and we're going to be just as involved in Cleveland as we have been in Knoxville," said Dee Haslam.
"Knoxville will always be our home, it's where I grew up, but Cleveland is our new home."