Hey, Cleveland, we did it. We survived the unthinkable a miserable 0-16 season. It was historic in the depth and scope of its ugliness and that is all I’m saying about it.
As I considered choices for the Week 17 Top Dawgs, there were few names standing out for me. Jabrill Peppers played a decent game, the team, in general, did not look awful. But, I decided to honor a group who have taken many gut-wrenching and heart-breaking hits this season. The Week 17 Top Dawgs are the long-suffering Cleveland Browns Faithful Fans.
Initially, I had planned on giving Top Dawg distinction to the Dawg Pound; they are indeed a devoted and passionate group whose creativity continually impresses me. I decided, however, that ALL Browns fans should be considered Top Dawgs, not just those with fun masks waving giant dog bones and barking.
Ask most players and they will agree that the city of Cleveland has the biggest collection of die-hard, loyal and supportive fans. As I (and many others) have said for years, anyone can hop on a bandwagon and back a front-runner. However, Cleveland Browns fans managed to love the team through thick and thin, even after Art Model moved the team and the Cleveland Browns did not technically exist.
The Top Dawg mantra does not belong to the crybaby, fair-weathered and fragile who have loosely referred to themselves as “fans.” This season weeded out those who just were not tough enough to endure the very worst of times. But to you who have, despite the pain, remained faithful, I say well done, you have earned the label “Top Dawg.”
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