ARLINGTON, Texas -- As the saying goes, “Everything is bigger in Texas,” and Saturday night’s Browns Backer Bash at the Cowboys Dancehall in Arlington was certainly no exception.
More than 500 Browns Backers, some from as far away from Dallas as Ann Arbor, Mich., and Columbus, Ohio, joined the Dallas Area Browns Backers for a Texas-style party complete with country music playing through the speakers, line dancing on the dance floor and a catered barbecue dinner.
“It’s awesome,” said Letty Newswanger, a Medina County native and president of the Dallas Area Browns Backers. “We started planning this seven months whenever the schedule was announced, so my wonderful army of helpers and I have been planning, planning, planning from that day forward. It’s here and we’re so excited. It’s everything that we worked so hard for and it’s coming together exactly like we expected.
“Everything’s bigger in Texas and we’re showing them how that happens.”
Prior to the Backer Bash, Newswanger -- who moved to Dallas 12 years ago and has been a member of the Dallas Area Browns Backers for 10 seasons -- led a contingent of Browns Backers to the team hotel for a welcome party.
In some areas of the lobby, fans were stacked five-deep to cheer on the Browns as the buses unloaded in front of the hotel.
“The representation of Browns Backers here today was just remarkable,” said Michele DeScioli, manager of Browns Backers Worldwide. “I’m happy to see so many people supporting the team. The Dallas Area Browns Backers did a great job of getting ready for this event. Early in the night, we had a great turnout and it’s just going to get better.”
Former running back Eric Metcalf and Kevin Mack were in attendance at the party. Metcalf, a University of Texas standout, and Mack greeted fans, posed for photos and signed autographs, which brought smiles to Browns fans of all ages.
“We’re really excited to have Kevin and Eric,” Newswanger said. “All of our fans were excited when they were announced as our special guests. We were looking forward to having a big crowd this year because we built upon the experience that we had in Houston last year.
“We just knew that people were going to flock to Dallas because everyone wants to see the new stadium here. Dallas is a great place to be, has great weather this time of year. We had the crowd that we expected and we’re really excited.”
Through a raffle of Browns prizes, including pregame field passes for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Area Browns Backers were able to raise money for Dallas Children’s Charities.