SAN DIEGO - From the street, you can hear barking, cheering and the pounding of tables. But these aren't local Cleveland Browns fans -- these folks are 2,000 miles away, in San Diego, Calif.
Being that I'm away from home and visiting a friend on the West Coast this weekend, I decided to check out one of the most well organized Cleveland Browns fan groups -- the San Diego Browns Backers.
The 180 member organization is run by Carrie McKnight, a transplant from Lorain, who's husband is based in San Diego, on active duty with the U.S. military.
This morning, as temperatures reached the low-80s on a cloudless California day, the backers started gathering at 9 a.m. local time for breakfast and beer - and to watch the game on satellite TV.
At halftime, McKnight circulated through the crowd at the La Jolla Brew House, along the Pacific Ocean on the north side of San Diego, selling raffle tickets to benefit the Cleveland Browns Foundation. The prize this week - an autographed photo of former Browns great, Greg Pruitt.
Also in attendance, and cheering as the Browns kicked their third field goal of the first half, was Brian Scherer, another Lorain native who came to Southern California 23 years ago.
"It's like visiting back home vicariously," said Scherer, wearing a white #33 Trent Richardson jersey.
"And last week was great," Scherer continued, refering to the Browns 7-3 victory over the San Diego Chargers.
As for today, Scherer predicted "another nail-biter" - shouting above the raucous crowd, "I think they'll find a way to do it."