A Browns fan for 55 years, this Pennsylvania native has seen it all with rabbit ears and ‘Ducky’s’ daughter

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Browns have one of the National Football League’s most loyal and passionate fan bases, with followers around the country and around the world. Browns fans have watched teams that have won championships, recorded winless seasons and everything in between.

In the spring, we asked you to tell us “Why I’m a Browns Fan.” More than 600 of you responded. Today, we’ll share another one of your stories as we near the halfway point of the 2019 season. The Browns are 2-4 and are on a bye week heading into Sunday.

The authors of these essays have one thing in common: their love for the Browns.

By the time we’re through, we plan to tell all your stories.

Click here to see the stories in the series so far.

Today’s fan is Dave Skeel, who lives in Pittsburgh with his wife of 44 years, Valerie.

Dave Skeel

Dave Skeel, 71, lives in Pittsburgh, Pa. with his wife Valerie of 44 years.

Who is he?

Skeel, 71, grew up in Meadville, Pa., which is about an hour and a half drive to Pittsburgh. In September 1970, he moved to Pittsburgh for a job with Consolidated Natural Gas.

The company officially merged with what was formerly known as Dominion Resources in 2000. Skeel stayed on with Dominion for eight more years after the merger and retired from the company in January 2008.

Skeel met Valerie in Pittsburgh during 1972. She is the daughter of the late Leo “Ducky” Elter, a Pro Bowl running back in the 1950s who played with the Steelers and the Redskins. Skeel and Valerie, 65, have three sons aged 43, 41 and 38.

Growing up with the Browns

When Skeel was growing up in Meadville, his town was one of the first rural areas to have cable installed. The cable setup provided Skeel with all three Cleveland channels, and he was able to watch most Browns games.

Skeel wrote in his submission that he was “hooked for life” when he first saw Jim Brown. At 16 years old, Skeel watched the Browns win the 1964 NFL Championship alone at home.

Throughout his childhood and into his formative years, Skeel was almost guaranteed to see a Browns game.

But when he moved to Pittsburgh in 1970, his access to the Browns changed.

Skeel wasn’t able to get any of the Cleveland channels, but he still figured out a way to watch the Browns.

“There were a few other channels that you could pick up with rabbit ears and some other hardware, and you might pick up a Wheeling (West Virginia) station, and on rare occasions a Youngstown, and believe it or not, Johnstown, Pa.,” Skeel said.

“And depending on how the games were lining up on television, also when you factor in whether things were sold out or not, I would go to great extremes to watch a Browns game on a natural rabbit ear signal with snow. Almost like the old black and white snow back in the ’70s and even into the ’80s.”

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