August 26, 2014

Hanford Dixon talks about the origin of the Dawg Pound in “Day of the Dawg”

In addition to his admission that the Browns had a bounty system during Dixon’s days in Cleveland (like every other team), Hanford Dixon played an integral role in developing the Dawg Pound. In his new book, Day of the Dawg, Hanford explains how it all started-

“Think of the QB like he’s a cat, and you’re a dog. The dog needs to catch the cat.”

We lined up for another play.

”He’s the cat, you’re the dog. Don’t let him get away,” I shouted as I retreated to my right cornerback position. Then to help them remember, I let out a few barks. We ran the play, and then before the next play, I let out a few more barks. Pretty soon, it was a matter of routine. It was to let the linemen know they were like dogs, and they were to catch the cat.

Fans regularly attend preseason practice there at Lakeland Community College in Kirtland, Ohio, about a half-hour’s drive east of Cleveland. One of the first things I noticed after my arrival in Cleveland in 1981 was how crazy and obsessive Cleveland Browns fans are. Yes, other teams have very strong and loyal fan bases across the country, but here in Cleveland the fans are just sheer nuts. The Browns dominated the local sports scene. They had dominated the NFL in the 1950s, and because of the many lean years by the Cleveland Indians and, later on, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Cleveland was a football city first and foremost.

It didn’t take long for the fans attending practice to start barking as well. We’d line up for a play, I’d let out a few barks and the fans, sometimes thousands in attendance, began barking too. This kept on going and going throughout the couple of weeks that practices were open to the public.

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While We’re Waiting… Browns Chants, Nance Highlights and Hardesty’s Fantasy Football Outlook

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at

A salient point about keeping the Browns “Dawg” branding: “The night of The Decision, a couple hundred fans were gathered outside the Harry Buffalo watching the debacle on the big screen. When the words ‘South Beach’ left LeBron’s mouth, do you know what the first audible reaction from the crowd was? It wasn’t a chorus of boos. It was silence. It was a ringing and loud collection of voices screaming, “Here we go Brownies, here we go, woof woof.”

It’s the same chant you hear in the Muni Lot, the same chant you hear walking from The Pit towards the gates, the same chant you hear in bars. I love that chant now as much as I did when I first participated in it in the upper reaches of the open end of the old stadium during a mid-December game against the Oilers when I was a kid.  Advocating that fans and the team move away from the dawg direction is advocating the abolition of that chant, which is just about one of the most unifying and cool things about Browns fans.” ['64 and Counting]

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WFNY Roundtable: Dawg Days Over?

The ‘Dawg Pound’ became such in the mid 80′s as the fans and defensive players created an identity together. Lead by two young cornerbacks, Hanford Dixon and Frank Minnifield, the defense was tough to move the ball on (unless you were John Elway). This identity, of course,  stuck with Browns fans long after Dixon, Minnifield and teammate Felix Wright were gone.

Now there is a new corps in the secondary that shows some promise. Eric Wright, Joe Haden and TJ Ward are young defensive backs that could well be the cornerstones of the Browns defense for years to come. With these similarities to the original ‘Dawg Defense,’ I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before fans try to brand this new group with the old mark.

Today’s round table question: Is it time for fans (and ownership) to let the team create it’s own identity and stop trying to force the ‘Dawg’ imagery on new players?

Craig: I know it won’t be popular to say, but it is time to move on. [Read more...]

Browns Fans Called “Most Loyal”, and Not as a Compliment

Heard about this piece while running errands and listening to Colin Cowherd. It’s an interesting perspective at least…

We know that Cleveland has loyal fans. A recent piece at Ask ranks fans of the Cleveland Browns as the most loyal in all of sports. Except they don’t call us loyal. They call us stubborn-

Sports fans have a unique sense of loyalty, especially when that loyalty is misplaced on an undeserving team. If you’re a fan of one of these teams, you’re stubborn.

Loyalty is important in marriages and mafia. For sports fans, it’s a weakness.

Many enthusiasts are committed to their team come hell or high water, but their teams don’t reciprocate. Instead, fans are left cheering for colors, mascots and memories instead of a successful on-field winning product.

While some front offices are to blame, fans who blindly cheer for their team regardless of their attempts to win a championships or not are simply stubborn.

That is the premise for the piece. The gave the top 10 most stubborn fan bases, and don’t you know who finished first? [Read more...]

Browns Fans Attempting to Organize “Brown Out” (Update: Randy Lerner’s Comments)

browns fansMuch has been made about the Browns fan base that has been brutally subjected to this attempt at the game of football through 2009.  PSL’s lock you in, and the up front costs force most fans to try and get at least something for their money. 

And while I’m a bit surprised that something like this hasn’t gone down sooner, I applaud the efforts of two season ticket holders.

Mike Randall of Massillon and Tony Schafer of Sandusky, aka ”Dawg Pound Mike” and ”Mobile Dawg,” want the team they’ve worshipped for a lifetime to kick off on Monday Night Football on Nov. 16 against the Baltimore Ravens in an empty stadium. [Read more...]

A Record-Breaking Season for Browns Fans

Though the Browns still have one more home game remaining, you all can take pride in the fact that you actually topped last year’s production!  While the win total may not have exactly - you know – improved, one metric of team “success” did: fan arrests. 

Last season, Cleveland Browns stadium saw a vast increase in arrests and ejections as opposed to 2006.  Check out these numbers: [Read more...]

As If You Didn’t See This Coming…

Joe Jurevicius, Braylon EdwardsI’ll cut to the chase here.  From the Browns official site:

In the process of his recovery and preparation for the upcoming season, Browns wide receiver Joe Jurevicius has had ongoing swelling and discomfort in his knee. Joe had a further clean out to help him in his recovery and control his symptoms. The procedure was performed late yesterday at the Cleveland Clinic. No determination has been made on Joe’s status for training camp, which opens July 23rd.

So much for his declaration of being “alright” not all that long ago.  Rotoworld says that there’s a chance that Joe J doesn’t return at all, which seems a bit outlandish at this stage.  But it sure does make the evolution of Travis Wilson that much more important now, eh?


One on One with Jack Gonzo…

15_grad_kickball.jpg“He was merely practicing covering Chris Henry guys”- Jack Gonzo on Kenny Wright’s arrest

WFNY spends a moment with drive by commenter Jack Gonzo, the Greg Maddux of kickball, who happens to have his own site, LSWTF?!

1. Favorite sport to watch in person
College Football. People care about college football, they are devout in their teams, not all NFL teams can say the same thing. The only downside is when you go to a dry stadium, but that’s why the gods created tailgating.

2. Favorite sport to watch on tv
The NFL, of course the Browns, at least this last year. In the past it was somewhat of a car crash, like a Maury or Springer episode, but they really become a great team to watch this last year.

3. Sports or hobbies you play
I grew up the son of a coach, so I played football from the age of seven till I was 18. Nowadays I keep myself satisfied by being the Greg Maddux of kickball. I am called the Greg Maddux of kickball due to the junk I throw, as opposed to those other pitchers in kickball who all want to be Roger Clemens. Course the undefeated season we had last year proves the power of the junk ball pitcher. [Read more...]

WFNY Gets a New Kid…



…as in the original Kid Cleveland. Scott, Rock and I are thrilled that Cleveland’s own Mike Beckwith has agreed to join the site as a contributor. You’ve read Mike’s stuff at Kid, the Browns MVN page, and The Cleveland Fan. Now he’s bringing the funk from the Dawg Pound to our little corner of the internet. Join us in welcoming Mike to the group…