CANTON, Ohio - As football fans from around the country converge on Canton for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival, there is a definite buzz surrounding the Cleveland Browns and the team's new owner, Jimmy Haslam.
Haslam's first news conference was aired live in the HOF gift shop and Browns fans and brothers, Greg and George Mahler, of Danbury Township, stopped in their tracks to listen to the message
"I think we finally got an an owner that's going to be more passionate with the Browns. He's going to be focused on winning for the Cleveland Browns," Greg Mahler said.
"He wants to bring the franchise back to where it was, and that was one of the reasons why he purchased it, because it was a storied franchise," George Mahler said.
There are plenty of reminders of the team's rich tradition, including busts of legendary Browns players Jim Brown, Marion Motley, Lou Groza and Dante Lavelli inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
You can also see Otto Graham's 1946 contract, which paid him $12,000 per season.
Sixty-six years later, the fact that Haslam spent about $1 billion to buy the team was not lost on fans.
"I want him to be invested in the town. I want him to be invested with Cleveland and the team. I want him all in. I want an owner who's around and who's visible," said Paul Jones, of Columbus.
Haslam struck the right chord when he said the Haslam family is "100 percent committed to make the Browns a winner."
The Browns are one of only four teams that have never been to a Super Bowl.
"I just want to win. It's as simple as that. That's what I want to hear," Jones said.
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