When Randy Lerner took over Aston Villa, the football (soccer) team I support, I was introduced to the NFL through the links between Villa and the Cleveland Browns, the franchise Lerner also owned at the time.
What started as more just following from a distance, checking scores, and watching the odd game, I got much more into the sport as it became bigger in the UK with the International Series in the UK (first game I went to was the Fins/Raiders game in 2014), where I won a year’s worth of GamePass which let me follow the Browns each week. The rest is history!
My football introduction story pretty much gives away my Cleveland Browns fandom. Beyond the Villa connection, I grew to love the story behind the Browns and the city of Cleveland itself and identified myself with it pretty quickly.
Surviving through 1-31 and 0-16 is something that’ll fortify a fandom, and the UK clan of Cleveland Browns fans is a close knit community that’s definitely been battle-hardened.
I now support all the Cleveland teams going, and college wise, I do keep an eye on the Ohio State Buckeyes. The European League of Football sees the Frankfurt Galaxy back in mainstream European football as well, and having lived there for a year and met a lot of Galaxy fans, I’d love to see them and that league flourish.
I started out doing a lot of things behind the scenes including the new website and branding, but also writing for the NFL team, particularly the Power Rankings, as well as featuring on NFL and Betting podcasts.
I’ve been looking for a UK-based football channel to contribute to and Full10Yards fits the bill so well, with a freedom to dig into the stories that matter to you, but also to have a bigger purpose behind the articles of giving back to the British game and helping it grow in the UK.
I run a Browns / general Cleveland sports twitter account @BelievelandBrit which I am looking to grow into a media channel starting next season.