What's Up With the Cleveland Browns Mascot? Some Fans and Players Aren't Happy

Sam Bramlett - Author

Sep. 26 2022, Published 8:17 a.m. ET

Cleveland Browns
Source: Getty Images

The Browns recently had one of their best seasons in decades in 2020 but then they slipped back into old habits in 2021. Now, with a fresh debut loss in the 2022 season, why are people blaming the mascot? Players seemed upset that Brownie the Elf was painted on the center of their field. Many fans and players likely wanted to be called the Dawgs, since they're the Dawg House. Is Brownie too silly for an NFL team's mascot? While the Browns seem to think so, that mascot has seen more championships than any living Browns player.

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The first Superbowl was between the Packers and the Chiefs and took place in 1967, though it was initially called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. That was the first year that the NFL and AFL played together and the beginning of the end for the Browns' championship dynasty. Since the late '60s, the Browns have struggled to reach the playoffs and have garnered a reputation for losing streaks. Many football fans are superstitious and maybe Brownie, a callback to lost glory, is just what they need.

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Where did the Browns' mascot come from?

Brownie the Elf served as the Browns' mascot from 1948 to 1969, during which time the team won two AAFC championships (before that league had to be dissolved because of the Browns' dominance), four NFL Championships, 11 Conference championships, and six Division championships.

The little elf seems cheery and innocent, but that's the face that stomped the competition into the dirt for more than 20 years. You might make fun of it, but imagine that goofy face smiling at you as your team gets crushed.

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Back when the team was founded, they were named the Browns by a fan vote in homage to the team's first coach, Paul Brown. Brown initially vetoed it but the name stuck. To poke even more fun at Coach Brown, Brownie the Elf was created. During games, Brownie would mimic Paul Brown. If Coach Brown got mad and slammed his hat, Brownie did the same. If Coach Brown clapped his hands, Brownie did the same. Now, in 2022, Brownie has been brought back by a fan vote which is kind of cool, even if some people don't get it.

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Will the Browns' mascot win over their fans?

Yes, Brownie is an elf, but if the Browns do well no one's going to make fun of their mascot. The team shot itself in the foot during their first game of the 2022 season against the Steelers, though.

That was the first time in 21 years a team gave up a two-touchdown lead in the last two minutes of a game. Some players and fans blamed the new mascot for psyching the team out, but then maybe that's the Browns' problem. When Brownie the Elf was the mascot for the championship Browns, that face psyched out the other team.

We'll have to wait and see if the Browns can get their act together and start winning games. How the team plays could impact how long Brownie the Elf stays around this time.

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