CLEVELAND, Ohio – Browns fans from various pockets of the country and the world have cheered on their favorite team through the good and bad times.
Fans have seen the Browns win titles and be playoff contenders. But with the Browns season ending Sunday, fans saw their favorite team record a 12th straight losing season.
The Browns haven’t been to the playoffs since 2002, but fans remain loyal and are arguably the most loyal NFL fanbase. During the spring, we asked you to share your story of “Why I’m a Browns Fan.” More than 600 sent in submissions. Today, we’ll share another one of your stories.
The authors of these essays have one thing in common: Passion and enthusiasm for the Browns. By the time we’re through, we plan to tell all your stories.
Today’s fan is Michael Boore, who lives in Calabash, North Carolina, with his wife, Janet.
Who is he?
Boore, 62, is a disaster inspector for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). He has worked with the agency since 2013.
A truck driver throughout his life, Boore is retired from the Teamsters union. Boore and his wife have four children.
Latching onto the Browns and the effect of “The Move”
Since his dad spent his career in the Army, Boore moved around various places. He spent some of his early years in Cleveland, leaving the city in the first grade. Boore learned from his father about legends Dante Lavelli, Mac Speedie, Otto Graham and Marion Motley. As his father taught him about the Browns, Boore latched onto them and became a fan.
“From a very young age on, wherever we lived or wherever we traveled, I just always loved my Browns,” Boore said over the phone. “I go back to Cleveland once or twice a year and make it a point to take in a football game. And sometimes I’ll go to see the Cavs.”
Boore and his family lived in Germany on two occasions, the first time being when he was in elementary school and the second when he was in high school. Boore played quarterback at Berlin American High School in Germany.
In Europe, he followed the Browns through reading The Sporting News. His dad paid for a subscription, and Boore would be excited to read updates on his favorite team.
“I couldn’t wait to get it,” Boore said. “Because I wanted to read the stats, I wanted to see what Leroy Kelly was doing and all my favorite players back in those days.”
Like many fans, Boore remembers the pain and heartbreak of playoff moments like “The Fumble,” “The Drive” and “Red Right 88.” As a longtime fan, though, the toughest moment for him was when the Browns announced they were moving to Baltimore in 1995.
“That was terrible,” Boore said. “I was 38 years old, and I cried. That’s how emotional I was. That’s what broke the camel’s back. That whole thing.”
Boore went on to speak of how the Ravens didn’t take long to find success. The Ravens won a Super Bowl in 2001, and another in 2013. Since their first season in 1996, the Ravens have had 12 playoff appearances, including this season.
“It just kills me. It kills me,” Boore said.
Boore is the epitome of a true Browns fan — loyal, emotionally invested and passionate. He hopes the Browns can win a Super Bowl in his lifetime.
But through all his fandom, he admits that his support for a team that hasn’t won a lot is puzzling.
“I have to be honest, it was one of the toughest moments of my life,” Boore said of the move. “How do you love a team like that? That’s got the ugly uniforms. That’s got the blue collar, tough town background, and they haven’t won a lot in baseball. One championship in basketball.
“I wish somebody would explain to me how you get so emotionally invested in a football team like that. I don’t know, but I love my Browns. That’s never gonna change.”