Cleveland fan raises money for city parade should Browns finish 0-16

For the second straight year, a? Cleveland Browns fan is arranging a parade for fans should the team finish the season winless.

Chris McNeil, who says he has had Browns season tickets in his family for at least 30 years, raised his required goal of $10,000 this week, when headache medication brand Excedrin contributed the final $7,683.

McNeil was all ready to have the parade last year, but then the Browns won on Christmas Eve. The Browns matched the $10,000 McNeil had raised, and a few more donations brought the total to $50,000, which was given to the Cleveland Food Bank.

Last week, with the Browns sitting at 0-11, McNeil met with all the necessary parties in Cleveland to pull off the parade in the event the team finishes 0-16. Some of the largest costs for the parade, which would be held on Jan. 6, include security and insurance that meets the city's requirements.

"Everything has been so negative around the Browns, this would just be a way to have some fun and it's obviously a shot across the bow to the Browns owner," McNeil said. "It's not celebrating losing. It's just a way of saying, we're fans and these aren't our Browns."

For their part, the Browns have somewhat cooperated. The plan for the parade is to make a loop -- or as McNeil says, a "0" -- around FirstEnergy Stadium, where the team plays its games. In order to use the side of the street that the stadium is on, McNeil said he had to get the Browns' permission.

"As we said last year around this time, our hope is to give our fans a better reason for a parade," said Browns spokesman Peter John-Baptiste. "Last year, a Browns win canceled the parade and resulted in helping feed some citizens in need through a donation to the Cleveland Food Bank, that was a positive result. We understand and appreciate the passion of Cleveland Browns fans and would love nothing more than to get them some wins before the season ends."

For his part, McNeil doesn't necessarily want the team to lose out, either.

"I'm hoping they win a game," said McNeil, who attended a season-low one game this year, but promises to be at the home finale next week against the Baltimore Ravens if a winless season is still on the line. "But if they don't, it's a nice hedge to have this."

Caryn Previdi, a spokeswoman for Glaxo Smith Kline, the parent company of Excedrin, said the company saw the opportunity as a fun way to "help the Browns suffer less during another rough season." Previdi said exact plans of how much of a presence the brand would have at the event is unknown.

Based on social media interest, McNeil said the city is planning for around 2,000 people to attend should the Browns pull off the feat.

If they did, they'd join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to lose all games in a 16-game schedule.

Comments