LeBron James always will be the kid from Ohio with a love for all things Cleveland. That’s why the basketball star was such a big football fan Sunday night as the Browns played on national television.
Yes, James delighted in Cleveland’s 20-6 win over the New York Giants Sunday night. The Browns didn’t clinch a playoff berth, but fans probably can start planning. Cleveland won its 10th game of the year for the first time since 2007. And that’s reason to shoot at least one confetti cannon, right?
LeBron, the star for the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, gave a shoutout to Browns Kevin Stefanski, tweeting “MAJOR S/O Kevin Stefanski.”
James loved Baker Mayfield, Cleveland’s dynamic, but sometimes controversial quarterback, as he counted down the touchdowns.
James added another when Mayfield reached the endzone a second time, but, obviously, the excitement only built as RB Nick Chubb put away the game with his score.
Here’s why LeBron James And His Fellow Browns Fans Are So Excited
Cleveland fans are desperate for success. Their beloved Browns left for Baltimore in the mid-1990s. The NFL granted the city a new franchise. Technically, it was an expansion team. But the city could call the teams the Browns, no problem. So thn ew Browns were born in 1999.
But since then, Cleveland is the definition of football futility. The Browns have enjoyed winning seasons in only three years — 2002, 2007 and 2020. The lone playoff appearance was in 2002. Cleveland lost.
So now come these new Browns. Despite no tradition of winning, Mayfield and his teammates do walk around with a touch of swagger. On Sunday night, the Browns earned it.
For context, the last time the Browns hit double digit wins was in 1994, the year before the franchise left the city and morphed into the Baltimore Ravens. LeBron James turned 10 at the end of the season. Mayfield still was a year away from being born.
Cleveland has a strong chance of clinching a playoff spot. The analytics site Fivethirtyeight.com figures the Browns own about a 92 percent chance. The Browns will need to beat the New York Jets, one of the worst teams in the NFL, this weekend, to better their odds to 98 percent.
There are multiple ways for Cleveland to secure a playoff off this weekend, so long as they beat the Jets. If Cleveland wins, the Browns earn a spot if the Indianapolis Colts or Miami Dolphins or Ravens lose.
Cleveland last made it to the playoffs in 2002. The Browns lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 36-33. It’s been a long, chilly wait through the annual Browns’ bumbling.
It stopped this year.
“It is something to be proud of,” Mayfield told reporters in a post-game press conference. “But the best part is everybody in there is like ‘Yeah, 10 wins, but we are on to the next one.
“A notch on the belt and then move on because we are not done yet. That is the best part about this team and I keep stating it about them is they are on to the next one.”
Count on LeBron James, the Browns super fan, to tweet down the touchdowns.