Mike Zietz, 29, Cleveland
Colt McCoy, No. 12
“Cleveland’s the only city to stand up and fight for their team, and they kept everything here,” says Zietz, a 29-year-old honorably discharged Marine who up until March was fighting in Afghanistan. “There isn’t a team with a tradition and history like this.”
He joined the Marines after the 9/11 attacks, served four years and went back in 2010. He picked up the Colt McCoy jersey on his last weekend furlough before the deployment.
“Bernie [Kosar] talks about not having a defeatist attitude. Colt proved that in college,” Zietz says. “He’s still the winningest college quarterback ever.”
While the players come and go, that unconditional passion is what connects every champ and chump who will ever wear brown and orange. And despite bad drafts and perpetual rebuilds, fans like Zietz haven’t forgotten the Browns’ true identity.
“Someone from the younger generation has to keep the enthusiasm of the Dawg Pound going. Tradition is everything to me.”