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Leon Bibb: Cleveland Browns earned a playoff spot, but fans have earned it too

We've lived through dark days with our team, now it's time to savor this sweet Browns success.

CLEVELAND — When Cleveland, Akron and all of northeast Ohio needed victories enough to bring on regional smiles, it was the hometown football team showing a toothy grin that delivered.

The "hometowners" lifted the team into the NFL playoffs.You and I made it, too. After all, we're all in it together. And we celebrate because we are coming out of a long making-the-playoffs drought for the Cleveland Browns and all of us fans of the team.

We Browns fans have had our backs against the wall long enough, watching other teams roll on. But this season, we found way to win. The Cleveland Browns team has ended the drought which kept all of us out of the playoffs for far too long. The last time we Clevelanders scampered to the playoffs was the 2002 season.

A long time ago, but I still remember.

2002 was the year Congress passed the resolution authorizing the war in Iraq which would begin in the next year. Jane Campbell was elected mayor of the City of Cleveland. It was the year of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

And 2002 gave us quarterback Kelly Holcomb who threw for touchdowns under the coaching of Butch Davis. The Browns shined brightly going into the playoffs. Then came years of Cleveland football darkness.

So this year, just when we needed to crawl out of a dark space which has kept so many holed up in our homes, there is an orange and brown light.

Much of it we have seen on the television screen has become a beacon in the room.

We tuned into the 2020-21 star-studded Cleveland Browns show.

Yes, this is a season of Cleveland Browns celebration on TV, radio, or in person at the field itself. I know, I know, it's just the playoffs. I'm not talking Super Bowl; at least not yet. Such jabber would be a ways off.

But as a Browns running back would offer, let's take it one step at a time as we twist and turn for touchdown land.

Well, we're quick-stepping in the right direction. In a way, all of us Browns fans have ended the Browns-in-the-playoffs drought. We are drinking from the waters of victory.

Still, it would be nice to end the drought with a few sips of Super Bowl champagne. I'm just sayin'.

But while we get in the victory formation, let's savor the taste of Browns Cleveland water.

Champagne will pour … eventually.  

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