About the Foolishness of Wanting to Lose the Browns' 'Dawg' Identity

WFNY posted a roundtable discussion amongst their writers on the topic of the Dawg Pound. Of course it wasn't just about the physical Dawg Pound itself; it was a debate about the identity of the Browns as the dawgs and whether the organization or fans should be holding onto that identity.

Hypothetically there are people who don't care about the Dawg Pound anymore, or at least who don't care to call it the Dawg Pound anymore, and there are hypothetically fans who aren't intricately attached to the dawg identity. Really. Apparently.

Here's just a snippet written by DP:

The truth is that once Muni fell, the real Dawg Pound fell with it. Some fans hold on to it for many different reasons, perhaps: 1) it reminds them of a time when they were younger and crazier, 2) it reminds them of a time when the team was good year in and year out, or maybe most specifically 3) it reminds them of a time when the stadium—specifically that end of it—was one of the best home field advantages in football and that they were part of the reason why. I don’t have to tell anyone that goes to CBS regularly how insignificant the home field advantage of the last decade has been. Go to a Steelers game now; the stadium is generally 20 percent y’inzers.

I don’t know why some cling to the Dawg Pound brand. But, I can speak with pretty solid certainty that most of the true “Dawg Pound” fans that still have their tickets down there would tell you that it isn’t the Dawg Pound anymore, and that it shouldn’t be called the Dawg Pound anymore because to do so is an insult and a disservice to what the original Dawg Pound actually was and stood for.

For me, I look at it in a couple of ways, since I’m technically a “newbie” down there in the grand scheme of things. To continue calling it the Dawg Pound is to imply that we have a preconceived belief that Browns football will never be as good as it was back then. That’s not only unfair, but it’s self-defeating. If, based on early returns, this new front office can build a winning team, how is it fair to that team to be implicitly compared to teams of twenty years ago? It also sets a strange standard for younger Browns fans, perhaps one that shouldn’t be emulated. After all, the Dawg Pound of old was like the Wild West.

Other WFNYers made it clear it was more than just about the Pound, that the whole brand, imagery, and the corporate Brownies pushing the aforementioned imagery on fans is a problem. These Browns need to create their own identity! These Browns and this generation of fans can't live in the past!

I call bullshit.


The chant.

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 wasn't 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.

That is all. Here's my favorite fan-made Cleveland Browns video ever in case you're feeling video-y this afternoon.

Like this story?
SCENE Supporters make it possible to tell the Cleveland stories you won’t find elsewhere.
Become a supporter today.

Vince Grzegorek

Vince Grzegorek has been with Scene since 2007 and editor-in-chief since 2012. He previously worked at Discount Drug Mart and Texas Roadhouse.
Scroll to read more Cleveland Sports articles

Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.