MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- The Cleveland Browns made their first trip to the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis/St. Paul, and their biggest fans in “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” celebrated their trip with a Browns Backers party at Mackenzie’s Pub Saturday night.
More than 150 Browns Backers celebrated with the host club, the Twin Cities Browns Backers, purchased Browns memorabilia and interacted with former Browns defensive back Hanford Dixon.
“Week-in, week-out, we come here and nobody has any idea that we’re sitting in a bar in Minnesota yelling at the TVs for three hours, so it’s really nice to have the team come to town, have Hanford sign autographs, see that it’s not 60 or 70 watching the games,” said Twin Cities Browns Backers president Joel Ingersoll. “There’s this whole community of people and we get to see it, experience it.
“It’s really exciting. I moved here seven years ago, so I’ve only seen the Browns in Cleveland, never experienced a home game being in Minnesota. For everyone, it’s exciting and a lot of fun to get to have a game here.”
Jerry Fawcett, president of the North Dakota Browns Backers, came to Minneapolis with his father, Dan, who became a fan of the team by watching them play in the 1970s.
“I’ve been waiting almost eight years for this,” Jerry Fawcett said. “It’s a lot nicer than up in North Dakota. There’s only a few of us up there.”
Dan Fawcett added, “This is my third time, and it’s fun. We don’t get to do it very often, and whenever they’re here in Minneapolis, I’ve been to see them. I’ve seen them play the Vikings. This will be my third time. It’s really good to see all these Browns fans. There’s not too many up in North Dakota.”
Michele DeScioli, manager of Browns Backers Worldwide, described the club members at Saturday’s party as “as loyal, passionate, and the best fans in the NFL.”
“It’s fantastic to see,” DeScioli said. “We have folks from everywhere, and it’s great to see them come out. We got here at five o’clock, an hour early, and the bar was packed with Cleveland Browns fans chanting and woofing. It’s such a cool sight to see when you’re away from home.”