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Cleveland Browns pay tribute to Les Levine and Gary Salzinger at home opener

The Cleveland Browns paid tribute to sports talk host Les Levine and stat crew member Gary Salziner, who each passed away since the end of last season.

CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.

The Cleveland Browns' 2021 home opener is different for many reasons, including that it marks the first regular-season game at FirstEnergy Stadium without legendary local talk radio host Les Levine and stat crew member Gary Salzinger.

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Staples of the FirstEnergy Stadium, Levine and Salzinger each passed away since the end of the 2020 season. In order to pay tribute to Levine and Salzinger, the Browns placed a tribute in the front row of the press box and held a moment of silence ahead of Cleveland's 1 p.m. kickoff vs. the Houston Texans.

The self-proclaimed "Voice of Truth and Reason" in Cleveland sports, Levine passed away this past February at the age of 74 following a courageous bout with Parkinson's disease. Despite his health battles, he worked into late December of 2020 -- well into the Browns' run to an 11-5 regular-season record, which led to the team's first playoff appearance since the 2002 season.

“I am not ready for this Browns season to end next week because [Baker] Mayfield and [Kevin] Stefanski deserve another shot,” he wrote of Cleveland’s postseason chances in December for The Cleveland Jewish News. “Defeating Pittsburgh at home is quite doable. Anything after that would mean the Browns are playing with ‘house money.’”

Meanwhile, Salzinger passed away in May following a cardiac event, according to The Cleveland Jewish News. He was 54-years-old at the time of his death. In addition to his work with the Browns, he was a staple at local high school football games as well as the Cleveland Crunch soccer team in the 1990s.

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