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2021 NFL Draft still a win for Cleveland despite weather

Fans still found their way to bars in downtown Cleveland.

CLEVELAND — In true Browns fans fashion, a little rain wasn't going to stop this winning playbook, and they led their favorite chant every time we ran into them.

“Here we go Brownies. Here we go. Woot Woot!”

In fact, we caught Steve Zimmers, who flew in from San Diego to watch the draft, baring the cold and checking out all the outdoor activities.

“I didn’t look at the weather report, but the NFL draft was on my bucket list," he told us.

And with the number or people filling the stands in bars like Buffalo Wild Wings, it was still a touchdown for organizers like Heather Holmes, of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance who said, “We want to help drive as much traffic into our downtown restaurants and retail establishments.”

The outdoor venues are still open for true tailgaters, with the Rock The Clock End zones, featuring big screens to watch the draft, music, food trucks, or you can bring in food from local restaurants like the Winking Lizard.

When I asked Matt Hixenbaugh, who drove in from Garrettsville, why he wasn’t at the NFL Experience, he said, “I think we wanted to get some food and beer in before we do it."

For those worried about the rain, slicker and small umbrellas are welcome. But c'mon, we've sat through worse conditions for games.

Casey Farley, who also drove in from Garrettsville agreed, “Cleveland weather is what we needed to have the draft in Cleveland.”

And while we may see fewer than the 50,000 people a day expected in today’s huddle, if you're still concerned with safety, remember, neither the Super Bowl nor the Final Four got a penalty for turning into a super spreader event.

“We are confident that people will be able to come down, maintain their physical distancing and support our Cleveland businesses," said Emily Lauer, of Destination Cleveland.

With better weather predicted for the weekend, the odds are in their favor.