CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Dec. 27, 2020.
Even with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic temporarily putting the sports world on pause, 2020 was still filled with plenty of big stories for fans of the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers.
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From the Indians' return to postseason play to the Cavaliers taking another step in their rebuild to the Browns making the jump to playoff contender, there was plenty for Cleveland sports fans to read about this past year. With that in mind, let's take a look back at WKYC's top 10 most read sports stories from 2020.
10. How can the Cleveland Browns clinch a playoff spot in Week 16?
Following a Week 15 win over the New York Giants on Sunday Night Football, the Browns found themselves in a position to clinch a playoff spot in Week 16. Unfortunately for Cleveland, a short-handed loss to the New York Jets delayed those plays, setting up a win and get in scenario for the Browns entering Week 17.
9. Browns QB Baker Mayfield quotes Dwight Schrute following win vs. Titans
"Bears, Beets, Battlestar Galactica... and Browns?"
Throughout the 2020 season, Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield made a habit of sneaking pop culture references into his postgame interviews following wins. Cleveland's victory over the Tennessee Titans was no exception, as Mayfield called upon Dwight Schrute from "The Office" while answering a question about his improved play.
8. Browns chief of staff Callie Brownson makes history as first interim female positional coach in NFL history
Earlier this year, new Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski made headlines when he hired Callie Brownson as his Chief of Staff. And it didn't take long for her to make history, as she became the first female to coach a position group in an NFL game, filling in for tight ends coach Drew Petzing, who missed Cleveland's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars due to the birth of his first child.
7. Terry Francona won't manage Cleveland Indians in postseason
Due to a combination of multiple health issues, manager Terry Francona missed the bulk of the Cleveland Indians' 2020 season. That absence continued into the postseason, where the Indians were swept by the New York Yankees in the best-of-three Wild Card Round.
6. Browns QB Baker Mayfield says he'll now stand for national anthem
After the killing of George Floyd and the awakening to racial inequality in the United States that followed, Mayfield said that he would kneel for the national anthem in order to protest police brutality. The day before the Browns' season opener against the Baltimore Ravens, however, the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft reversed course, announcing that he would be standing for the anthem because he didn't want to create more division.
5. Browns' Baker Mayfield reveals why he's been making pop culture references in postgame interviews
When asked by reporters why he had been making pop culture references, Mayfield played it coy, denying he had even done so. But ahead of the Browns' matchup with the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football, Cleveland's quarterback finally shared the backstory, doing so in an interview with ESPN's Keyshawn Johnson.
4. Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals stand together for national anthem
Among so much conversation regarding kneeling for the national anthem, the Browns and Cincinnati Bengals opted for a different approach. Ahead of their Week 2 matchup on Thursday Night Football, players from both the Browns and Bengals linked arms at midfield in a demonstration of unity during the playing of the national anthem.
3. Baker Mayfield passes Ben Roethlisberger for most quarterback wins at FirstEnergy Stadium
Of all of the strange but true statistics relating to the Cleveland Browns' recent history, one, in particular, has stood out: the all-time winningest quarterback at FirstEnergy Stadium wasn't actually a current or former Brown, but rather Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Cleveland's 10-7 win over the Houston Texans, however, changed that, with Mayfield becoming his home stadium's all-time winningest QB.
2. Baker Mayfield quotes TLC songs following Browns' win vs. Giants
Of the many pop culture references Mayfield has made this season perhaps the most popular came when he quoted not one, but two TLC songs following the Browns' Week 15 win over the Giants.
1. WATCH | Cleveland Cavaliers center Tristan Thompson ejected from game after patting former teammate Jae Crowder's behind
Our only Cavs story on this list comes via a January loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. After Cleveland center Tristan Thompson slapped former teammate Jae Crowder on the rear end, he was ejected from the game for what marked his second technical foul.
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