Joe Haden Doesn’t Wear Yankee Hats…He Wears Full Cavs Uniforms

When LeBron James wore that hat to the Indians’ game it wasn’t cool.  Cleveland definitely didn’t like it, we made a huge deal about it, and as sports fans in this town we’ll never forget it.  

But just as wearing that hat represented a new level of sucktitude, on Monday night at the Cavaliers’ game, Joe Haden represented a new level of awesomeness.  

It was one thing when Haden was sitting courtside with TJ Ward wearing a Daniel Gibson jersey going crazy as the Cavs rallied back to win a few weeks ago.  But on Monday night, dude wore a complete uniform. 

I mean think about that for a second, he had the shorts, headband, shoes, whatever, the whole deal.  He was dressed, ready to check in and score more points than Ryan Hollins had Byron signaled him to the scorer’s table.  

But it wasn’t just the first-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns who dressed up in support of the Cleveland basketball playing Cavaliers either – his whole crew did.  No, not his marketing firm; just Haden, his brother Jonathan, and his friend Rico.  

All three of them sitting there courtside during the game looked geniune too.  But more than that, they reminded me of  high school seniors dressed up as their school’s version of the Cameron Crazies for the varsity basketball game.  It is a pretty rare thing for an NFL star to do something like that these days, and it was great to see a Cleveland Brown like Haden do it.    

The truth is, had he done the latter and worn a Dwight Howard or Jameer Nelson jersey and said it was because they were great friends from somewhere and they support each other or some line of best friend forever garbage that we often here from the NBA and NFL circles, it would be national news.  We’d be talking about it non-stop, and there would be tons of people who no longer root for or like Joe Haden in this town.  I understand all that, and it’s fair, but I also think what he did should get as much or more attention than had he done the opposite.  It’s a feel-good story, yo.  

And beyond just styling the hometown Wine and Gold, it shouldn’t be brushed off and forgotten that this same Joe Haden could be subsequently found in the concourse at The Q for up to an hour after the game signing autographs, taking pictures with fans, and just laughing with people who thought it was funny he was wearing a full uniform.  Sure, it’s what we say our sports players are “supposed to do”, but how many of them do it?  Or how many do in a fun way like that?  In support of a last place team that is awful no-less.

At the same time, nobody’s infering that Haden will one day fill the void left by that other guy.  He’s obviously not football’s version of the superstar that LeBron James was or is (though he wears No. 23), and I understand that everything LeBron does is news.  But Joe Haden is a top-10 pick who played like a top-10 pick in his first NFL season.  He’s a baller in his own right to be sure, and as much as I was excited about his prospects as a player from watching him this season, I’m even more encouraged by the type of person Joe Haden look like he wants to be in this community.  

Basically, I just appreciated him showing up like he did to that Cavs game, and I hope he keeps doing things like that around here in the future.  All we’ve ever asked the athletes we root for in this town is that they be fans of Cleveland too.  It’s great to see that Joe Haden is that so far. 

It doesn’t hurt that he’s a shutdown corner either.

  • brendon

    GREAT article! I was thinking the same thing yesterday. He was on KNR in the afternoon and was talking about how he was going to do a meet and greet with fans, and how much him and TJ like going to Cavs and Monsters games. It’s nice to see Cleveland athletes supporting Cleveland. I personally think he should throw out the first pitch at the Tribe home opener.

  • Eric D

    I was thinking about it before, but the next Browns jersey I buy will now definitely be #23.

  • DocZeus

    In other news, Ryan Hollins will be our starting center tonight. I’m reasonably certain Joe Haden would be a far more effective choice.

  • Amanda

    Thats why Haden is still with the Browns, and Lebron is nowhere to be seen around this town.

  • Stinkfist

    I love this guy. Too bad his combine 40 time was terrible. He will never pan out to anything

  • Dave

    He was at the Monsters game last night too. Cleveland fans will love him forever because of stuff like this.

  • Billy Thomas

    Great Feel Good Story. Wish we had more silly stuff like this to read about in sports these days.

  • mydogsnameisbuckeye

    Too cool. Glad to see him embracing the town more than anyone we have seen lately. Even more than LeDoushe. Joe and T.J. are aweome dudes, can’t wait to see them two in 2015!… Or whenever this season is going to start.

  • JNeids

    Great story, great article, great stuff.

  • eldaveablo

    Just want to echo some comments already made:

    – Joe Haden just seems like such a well-meaning dude, and the kind of dude the city will love forever.

    – This might be the best article I have ever read on this site. Just reading it made me smile.

    – I was debating between a Colt McCoy jersey and a Haden jersey. this article broke the tie.

  • Denny

    “Thats why Haden is still with the Browns, and Lebron is nowhere to be seen around this town.”

    Well, that, and contractual obligations.

  • forrealmccoy

    Joe Haden is pure awesomeness! I want Peterson so bad, next 10 years of lock down secondary with Ward straight punking fools!

  • Shamrock

    He looked ridiculous c’mon now. Although he could probably play for them to bad the NBA might have it’s own labor problems.

  • eldaveablo

    Seriously Shamrock?

    Even if he did look ridiculous (I prefer ridiculously awesome), what’s wrong with an athlete not taking himself too seriously, supporting local teams, signing autographs for fans, and having some fun not involving strippers/firearms/dog-fighting?

    Lighten up.

  • Anthony


    The Cavs are aweful. The Browns won’t even be playing. The tribe has Jack Hannahan starting at third. And CSU was a huge let down.


  • Gren

    *Haden Watch 11’*

    Will Haden be there on the tribe’s opening day ? Will he wear a yankees cap ? Will he wear a full Indians uniform, cleats included ?

    These stories and more tonight on Fox 8.

  • MrCleaveland

    Love the Joe!

  • CoachA12

    I see TEAM WRIGHTEOUS has taken to the Twitterwebs to defend “their guy” by asking if Haden has a bad game (or 4) next season, will we chastize him the same way ppl did with Eric? The big difference that they don’t quite “get” is that Haden’s actions off-the-field are buying him a lot of CLE-cred, if you will. Conversely, Eric Wright has done little to nothing off the field in Cleveland to buy him the same clout with fans. Is he a good guy? Seems like it. Has he played well at times? Yes. Does he deserve death threats? Not even close. But his questionable play outweighed any fan support he had. (Not to mention his ill-timed tweets about Cleveland weather, LA lifestyle, etc.) The bottom line is Joe Haden will have a MUCH longer leash with fans because he has built up his line of credit with fans here. Is that right or fair to Eric Wright? I don’t know. But I do know Haden has learned, very quickly, what it takes to get on peoples’ good sides here in the North Coast city. And if anyone should question just how far that off-field credibility can go with fans, look no further than the man who took his talents (and every last shred of credibility) with him to South Beach.

  • eldaveablo

    @ CoachA12

    WELL said! Especially the part: “And if anyone should question just how far that off-field credibility can go with fans, look no further than the man who took his talents (and every last shred of credibility) with him to South Beach.”

    I assumed you are referring to Z, and how how his classy actions and exit of Cleveland ensured his good standing with fans.

  • Shamrock

    Next thing you will all be cutting your hair like Boobilicious. LOL

  • mgbode

    way to go Joe. guess he won’t be saying that Cleveland hates him cuz he’s a Gator anytime soon.

  • St. McDuck

    Character doesn’t seem to account for much in sports anymore, so Haden is a fantastic exception. I’m loving the guy more and more.

    Here’s hoping he (and his fellow Browns, and the entire NFL) have a reason to wear their normal uniforms this fall…

  • Marc

    Haden rules! Here’s a young man who gets it! Professional athletes everywhere could learn something from this kid. (James, Edwards…)

  • Harv 21

    Time to embrace, nay, deify him. Definitely (definitely) one of us. Soon as he drops to a knee in the end zone and points to the sky he will totally lap Peyton Hillis and Josh Cribbs as Local Jock Who Gets Me. Like that guy with the tatooed area code, but this time the right uni tells me it’s for real. Hey, Joe, ya hate the Steelers, right?

    Go, Public Joe, go!

  • TSR3000

    This. Is. Awesome. Guys like TJ and Joe will make it “cool” to be a Brown someday.

  • bobby

    Just think- Patrick Peterson is exactly like him from everything Ive read. How cool would it be to have 2 of these guys; great character and great CBs.

  • Sam B

    I’m with #2. Haden’s antics just sold me a Browns jersey.

  • JM

    Joe is a baller. Keep balling Joe.

  • Mark

    Thank you Harv. You’ve crystalised my thoughts eloquently.

  • Stinkfist

    I can just picture a store clerk snickering as he comes up the counter with two sets of full uniforms and headbands