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Haden embraces Cleveland's passion

Posted Nov 8, 2013

Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden embraces the opportunity to support other Cleveland sports teams.

When Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden is not studying film of an upcoming opponent or intercepting passes on the football field, he can usually be found showing his support of the other teams in Cleveland.

Whether it is sitting in the bleachers at a Cleveland Indians baseball game or at courtside watching the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA, Haden is an admitted fan of all sports, and enjoys taking in a game when time allows.

“That’s just in my personality,” Haden said. “I just like doing stuff. I like going to basketball games. I like going to baseball games, Gladiators games, arena football. I’m just interested in sports and anything that has to do with sports.

“Since being in Cleveland, I’ve seen that everybody else around the city loves the teams, it’s just me being myself, and they just love me being out there having fun. I would do this regardless because I just love sports.”

When the Cavaliers opened the NBA season with a victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 30, Haden, and his wife, Sarah, were sitting courtside behind the bench. Haden is friends with several of the Cavaliers’ players, including point guards Jarrett Jack and Kyrie Irving.

“With Jack, we’ve been cool since high school,” Haden said with his trademark smile. “I met Kyrie when he first came in, and that’s like my right-hand man. Alonzo Gee, during the offseason, I met up with him in Miami just kicking it. It’s different when I go to those games. I really know these dudes, and we kick it.

“We talk a little bit about sports, about how their seasons are going, what they think they can do better, what we think we can do better, but it’s mostly athletes just wanting to be cool with other athletes.”

It was at the Cavaliers’ 98-94 victory over the Nets that Haden sat among 20,562 passionate Cleveland sports fans, during which he could feel the electricity in the arena.

“It was a really good atmosphere,” Haden said. “Especially at the beginning of all of the seasons, there’s just so much energy, so much hope like, ‘We can really do this. Let’s see what we’ve got going on this year. It’s a brand-new season.’ I think they did a really good job of showing the fans because the Brooklyn Nets, that’s a team that’s supposed to be up there and everyone’s looking at them to be a contender. For them to go out there and win game one, that was really big.”

Haden knows a little bit about winning big games in front of large crowds.

Earlier this season, the Browns had a three-game winning streak, and entered the bye week on the heels of a 24-18 victory over the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. Haden knows that when the Browns return to FirstEnergy Stadium to face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Nov. 24, the fans will bring the energy necessary to support the team.

“We’re still in it, so people are going to come out to these games, and we still feel like we have everything ahead of us,” Haden said. “We know it can get to this point. Once we start winning these division games, everything we want is in front of us.

“I feel like the play is the best that it’s been since I’ve been here. The product that we’re showing with our offense, defense and special teams is just complete. The players out there are making plays, and it’s just more for fans to cheer about.”

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