It’s been a strange season for Cleveland sports fans. First, LeBron James and Cavaliers brought the city a major sports championship for the first time in over half a century, then, in October, the Indians pushed the seventh game of the World Series into extra innings, nearly winning the franchise’s first title since 1948, only to be defeated by the Chicago Cubs. It’s fair to say that 2016 has been an emotional roller coaster for the people of Cuyahoga County, and then you have the Cleveland Browns. They’ve just been downright terrible. The city has felt the highest highs (the Cavs coming back from a 3-1 Finals deficit against the Golden State Warriors) and the lowest lows of the sports year (the Cubs coming back from a 3-1 deficit against the Indians), but the Browns have stunk since the start. There’s been little drama with them even though some thought the team’s offense could be interesting to watch. The results have simply been spectacularly awful.
So the only thing to do was laugh. And back when it looked like the Browns were going to become only the second NFL team ever to finish with an 0-16 record, a parade was scheduled to celebrate their “perfect season.” However, now that the Browns have one victory to their name – they beat the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve, 20-17 – the money raised for the parade is now being put to better use.
The parade’s creator, Chris McNeil, tweeted on December 27th that the $10,000 raised to pay for security and bathroom facilities at the parade would go towards creating 40,000 meals for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. To make those contributions even more exciting, the Greater Cleveland Food Bank then announced the Browns will be chipping in themselves by matching those donations with $10,000.
Based on McNeil’s calculations, that means $20,000 and about 80,000 meals.
“We are blown away by the generosity and creativity of Cleveland Browns fans,” the Greater Cleveland Food Bank posted on Facebook. “In a matter of days they have donated over $10,000 to support hunger relief efforts in Northeast Ohio. We are proud to announce that the Cleveland Browns are going to match these donations and have pledged an additional $10,000 to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to say thank you to their fans for supporting us! The Browns have been an incredible partner to the Food Bank for many years and we are extremely grateful for their support!”
You can still donate to the “Browns Perfect Season Parade Fund,” which is now going towards the Greater Cleveland Food Bank despite the name, on GoFundMe.