CLEVELAND - The Browns Team Shop at First Energy Stadium had few interested customers Monday morning as another loss seemed to slow down holiday shopping enthusiasm for even diehard Browns fans gifting or receiving licensed NFL gear.
At CLE Clothing on East 4th Street, business for the unique brown and orange shirts and fanware made exclusively in Cleveland by Cleveland-area workers was brisk for items with a message not found at team shops and malls.
"Our Browns stuff is pretty much always a year 'round top seller for us. Especially just the classic design, helmet CLE, the CLE orange and brown. Browns fans love Browns year 'round whether they're good or bad, they're die hard here," said CLE's Director of Operations, Laura Kubinsky.
But buying clothing to show one's support for the Browns isn't all there is to be being a Browns fan. Season-ticket holder Tom Kostakis couldn't take another long day of a possible losing Browns game at the stadium, instead, gifting his tickets to his nephews.
"I didn't go yesterday. I'd just rather sit at home and watch the game on TV and it was the best decision I made," said Kostakis.
After an emotional back and forth game that drained every ounce of football-watching energy out of most fans Saturday from Ann Arbor, Michigan between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Michigan Wolverines, Marcia Egbert didn't have any room left for more nail-biting on Sunday. That Buckeyes win was enough to savor for the rest of the month.
"It's not that I'm against the Browns. It's just that I don't have any room in my heart left over after my love of the Buckeyes," said Egbert.
While some Browns fans may be headed for doing other things on Sundays besides the wallowing in desperation, Browns fan John Jansky says it's all part of waiting for that season when those in Cleveland get to ride the wave of winning.
"Because we are Browns fans. We've been Browns fans all our life here. Win or lose you have to back your home team," said Jansky.
For now, most fans are just wishing that those blocking for any quarterback the Browns put on the field will protect them. Losing another quarterback can't help the future.