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失去勒布朗不要紧,克利夫兰还有布朗

Terry Collins 2019年09月11日

布朗队今年的出色表现,给这座曾经以篮球著称的城市带来了新的生气。

布朗队今年的出色表现,给这座曾经以篮球著称的城市带来了新的生气。

今年对于克利夫兰布朗队的球迷来说,很可能是有特殊意义的一年。

在克利夫兰布朗队的终身球迷、哈佛大学和凯斯西储大学的经济学教授丹·肖格看来,今年很可能将成为布朗队战绩最好的一个赛季,布朗队的出色表现,也给这座城市带来了很多生气。

“这个地方让人感觉充满了活力,”他说:“克利夫兰一直是一个橄榄球之城,现在我们对这个赛季的期望值简直爆表!”

在布朗队以20:16的比分击败底特律雄狮队之后,克利夫兰第一能源体育场旁边的道路上依旧人满为患,周围的酒吧和餐厅里也挤满了兴奋和热切的球迷。而这一切都发生在一个周四的晚上,而并非是周日的下午。另外,这还仅仅只是一场季前赛而已。

大家为什么这样兴奋呢?因为30多年来,克利夫兰布朗队再度成了分区冠军的大热门,拉斯维加斯还开出了10:1的赔率,赌布朗队有可能捧得今年的“超级碗”。要知道,这支布朗队已经连续17年没有打入季后赛了,2017年它甚至没能赢得任何一场NFL的比赛,而现在它突然成了夺冠的大热门。上个赛季,终于受到命运青睐的布朗队,在最后7场比赛中赢得5场,最终以7胜8负1平的成绩结束了2018赛季的征战。

本赛季球迷对克朗队的狂热,也让一些人不禁去想,克朗队以及它的当家球星贝克·梅菲尔德和小奥德尔·贝克汉姆在球迷中的号召力以及经济价值,是否有可能达到NBA超级巨星勒布朗·詹姆斯的高度?

现在就下定论,显然还为时过早,而且这样的影响也很难量化。但在这里,我们还是值得讨论一番的。

由于每赛季比赛场次的密度不同,一支职业橄榄球队和一支职业篮球队的经济价值还是有差距的。布朗队每个赛季只能打10场主场比赛,而征战NBA的克利夫兰骑士队,每年光是季前赛和常规赛,就能打40场主场比赛。在詹姆斯和骑士队的巅峰时期,骑士队年年都能挺进季后赛,因而他们的主场场次还要更多。

在克利夫兰当地,有一个叫做“大克利夫兰地区合作商会”的区域性商会组织,其成员是北俄亥俄地区70多家企业的CEO。该组织没有明说“小皇帝”詹姆斯两度为骑士队效力期间创造的商业价值的确切数值,只是简单地表示,詹姆斯给克利夫兰带来的经济效益要“以数亿美元计”。

肖格认为,也许有一天,克利夫兰布朗队以及它的当家球星也能创造不亚于詹姆斯的经济效益。不过实际上,要实现这个目标,难度是不小的。

肖格和美国企业研究所的常驻学者斯坦·沃格甚至还就这个问题写了一篇论文。他们深入研究了“詹姆斯经济”能否在另一个城市复制。他们的论文指出,詹姆斯的到来,使骑士队的主场体育馆周边一英里内的餐馆、酒吧等场所的数量增加了13%,并将就业率提高了23.5%。

不要忘了,骑士队之所以成为季后赛的常客,并且连续8年打入NBA决赛圈,3次获得总冠军,都要归功于詹姆斯超人般的表现。2016年,詹姆斯带领骑士队夺得了40年来的第一个总冠军。那一年,克利夫兰有130多万人上街游行庆祝骑士队夺冠。

克利夫兰从一个衰败的“铁锈城市”、“蓝领城市”变成美国的篮球之都,很大程度上要归功于詹姆斯。据克利夫兰旅游局称,如今的克利夫兰已经成了美国的热门旅游地之一。詹姆斯对克利夫兰的经济发展可谓居功至伟。

克利夫兰还举办了2016年的共和党全国代表大会和今年的美国职棒大联盟全明星赛。在明年的NCAA男子篮球锦标赛、2021年的NFL选秀大会和2022年的NBA全明星赛期间,克利夫兰也将作为分赛场举办一系列比赛。

克利夫兰旅游局的一位女发言人表示:“我想说的是,‘詹姆斯时代’是我们得以举办这些高规格活动的原因之一,但并不是主要原因。我们已经向旅游相关基础设施投入了几十亿美元。而詹姆斯则帮我们打造了知名度。”

要想拥有像詹姆斯一样的高人气,对于布朗队来说显然不是一件容易的事。不过詹姆斯已经在2018年与洛杉矶湖人队签下了四年1.54亿美元的合同。随着这位传奇巨星的转去,目前在全美风头正劲的布朗队,还是有可能填补詹姆斯留下的一些空白的。

根据FormSwift公司去年为《黑人企业》杂志做的一项研究,如果詹姆斯选择洛杉矶湖人队或者洛杉矶快船中的任意一支球队加盟,那么五年之内,将会给洛杉矶带来3.96亿美元的直接经济效益。此外,洛杉矶还会增加3000个就业岗位和2900万美元的州税收。相比之下,如果詹姆斯继续留在克利夫兰,将会给克利夫兰带来1.76亿美元的经济效益,以及1500个就业岗位和近1000万美元的州税收。

至于布朗队能否给克利夫兰的经济带来同等量级的刺激,目前犹未可知。俄亥俄州扬斯敦州立大学专门研究社交媒体和粉丝参与课题的教授亚当·恩哈特表示:“在他们持续取胜之前,我暂时不想给出任何预测。”

对于他的看法,作为常春藤名校经济学家和布朗队忠实粉丝的肖格也表示认可。

肖格表示:“从情感上看,在詹姆斯离开之后,这座城市又看到了一道曙光,这对克利夫兰的意义是巨大的。我认为,随着时间的推移,你会看到布朗队的影响进一步扩大。”

成功预兆初显

去年,布朗队在2018年的NFL选秀大会上,以状元签签下了来自俄克拉荷马州的四分卫梅菲尔德。这个狂妄自大的小伙子也是2017年的海斯曼杯得主。球迷们亲眼见证了这位选秀状元从一名大学球员迅速成长为职业球员,同时也在HBO的电视真人秀《硬汉拓展营》中见识了他的天赋和潜力。

与此同时,观众们发现,布朗队的总经理约翰·多尔西也对球队阵容进行了重新洗牌。多尔西在担任堪萨斯酋长队总经理时,也对球队阵容进行过一番打磨,在他的操刀下,如今的酋长队已经成了季后赛的常客。就在签下梅菲尔德之前的一个月,多尔西从迈阿密海豚队交易来了接球手贾维斯·兰德里。兰德里不仅仅是用来辅佐梅菲尔德的一个重要的角色球员,也间接说明了多尔西正在试图建立负责和坚韧的球队文化,从而推动球队走向胜利。

梅菲尔德虽然投球的手臂十分强壮,一定程度上弥补了身材上的不足,但仅凭他一人之力,真的能够拯救这支自20年前俱乐部重建以来,胜率还不到三分之一的鱼腩球队吗?

布朗队也并非生来就是一支鱼腩球队。早在1946年,这支球队就参加了全美橄榄球联会。在1950年加入NFL之前,他们已经拿到了四次总冠军。1950年、1954年、1955年和1964年,布朗队也分别拿到了NBL的总冠军。在“前超级碗时代”,布朗队队史上最有名的当家球星是NBL名人堂成员吉姆·布朗,他可以说也是有史以来最伟大的橄榄球运动员了。

在那个时代,克利夫兰市本身也经历了相当大的变化。首先,由于克利夫兰成了全美最大的工业中心之一,它的人口急剧增加了近100万人。而在很多钢铁公司倒闭后,大量居民又流出了这座城市。流经克利夫兰市的凯霍加河(最终注入五大湖之一的伊利湖),曾因油污严重而导致河面多次起火。另外,克利夫兰在上世纪70年代曾拖欠多笔银行贷款,成了全国的新闻头条。即便这座城市的发展经历了许多坎坷,甚至被人嘲讽为“湖边的错误”,布朗队却始终是一个坚挺且令人欣慰的存在。

到了20世纪80年代,由四分卫布莱恩·西普、伯尼·科萨和跑卫凯文·麦克、欧内斯特·伯纳等领衔的布朗队仍然是季后赛的有力竞争者。然后它在三场关键的季后赛中都被成功狙杀。第一次是1981年,这场经典比赛又被称作“红右88”(Red Right 88),至今仍为人津津乐道,西普在关键时刻的一次传球被抄截,导致球队输给了当年的“超级碗”总冠军奥克兰袭击者队。

第二次又称“那一次推进”(The Drive),那是在1987年的美联决赛上,布朗队在加时赛中以23:20输给了丹佛野马队。当时,野马队的四分卫约翰·埃尔韦在比赛还剩31秒的时候,在31秒的时间里内狂推98码,将比分追成20:20平。在加时赛中,野马队推进60码攻入致胜一球,绝杀了布朗队。

更让布朗队伤心的是1988年,布朗队在美联决赛中遭遇丹佛野马队。当时球员拜纳距离达阵只有一步之遥,即将触地得分时,竟然莫名其妙地掉球了。野马队以38-33获胜。这场比赛又因“那一次掉球”而铭记史册。

七年后的1995年,布朗队的老板阿特·莫德尔宣布,他将把球队主场迁往巴尔的摩,球队也因此改名为巴尔的摩乌鸦队。布朗队的球迷十分愤怒,他们甚至上街游行示威,并且去法院打官司,要求布朗队回归克利夫兰。到了1999年,他们的愿望终于实现了,重建后的布朗队终于回归了这座城市。

不过自那以后,布朗队球迷每年的期盼都以失望收场,2016年布朗队全年无一胜迹,2017年也只赢了一场。这些年来唯一的例外,就是2002年和2007年还打得不错。球队也只在2002年亮相了一次季后赛。

但是上个赛季,随着梅菲尔德领衔的布朗队在第三周的比赛中以21:17击败纽约喷气机队,布朗队的球迷们开始看到了希望。他们走上街头欢庆胜利,橄榄球专家们也纷纷预言布朗队的表现可能会发生变化。

五个星期后,布朗队解雇了主教练休·杰克逊和进攻教练托德·海利。而梅菲尔德的表现愈发出色,在新秀赛季便凭借27次触地得分创下了NFL的四分卫纪录。他已经成了某种意义上的救世主。

肖格评价道:“贝克凭借他的坚忍不拔,与这座城市建立了情感上的联系。”

今年1月,布朗队将进攻教练弗雷迪·基钦斯提拔为球队主教练,这主要是由于他在教导梅菲尔德上取得的成功。今年3月,布朗队又进行了一项重磅交易,从纽约巨人队交易来了全明星级球员小贝克汉姆。9500万美元的合同也使小贝克汉姆成为了NFL薪水最高的球员之一。而小贝克汉姆也得以在克利夫兰与他最好的朋友、路易斯安那州立大学的队友兰德里重新聚首。

布朗队本赛季的球票本来就十分紧俏,交易来小贝克汉姆之后,更是一票难求。布朗队表示,2019年,布朗队的季票持有者人数已超过6万人,售票量已达极限,比上一赛季增加了1.2万余人。本赛季8场主场比赛的门票全部售罄。

另外布朗队还表示,第一能源体育场的143个包厢早在几个月前就售罄了。此外还有成千上万的球迷已经交了100美元的定金在排队买票。

布朗队的发言人罗伯·麦克伯内特对《财富》表示:“球迷们可以先付定金,如果明年有票的话,这些人可以先到先得。早在(小贝克汉姆)转会的消息出来之前,我们的赛季售票量就已经快达到极限了。2018年末球队的整体表现是造成这一现象最重要的原因。”

在二级市场,对布朗队比赛门票的需求也出现了飙升。马克·克朗对此深有感受。他是俄亥俄州梅菲尔德山庄一家票务公司的老板。

克朗表示,目前市场对布朗队比赛门票的热炒,让詹姆斯时代那11年间骑士队的常规赛门票都相形见绌。布朗队的比赛门票在二级市场上的销售情况,已经达到了1995年至1996年世界职业棒球大赛决赛期间,球迷对克利夫兰印第安人队比赛门票的热炒水平。

他表示,11月10日布朗队对阵水牛城比尔队的比赛,为他的网站创造了本赛季第五高的价格。这个价格也比2018赛季揭幕战对阵联盟劲族匹兹堡钢人队的票价高出了20%。

而今年布朗队主场对阵钢人队的比赛,尽管有全国电视转播,但比较便宜的中场票已经卖到了900美元,而去年这个位置只能卖450美元。

克朗表示,布朗队的球票是他目前经手的最贵的门票。当然,布朗队越成功,对它的球票的需求就会越高,票价也会越高。

“我们已经料到本赛季的球票销量会非常强劲,但在布朗队签下小贝克汉姆之后,球票的走势甚至超过了我们的预期。”

克朗认为,如果拿梅菲尔德、小贝克汉姆和詹姆斯比经济效益,那是“拿苹果和橙子比”。但说到对球迷情感的影响,尤其考虑到布朗队在克利夫兰的悠久历史,只要这些关键球员们能发挥出自己的潜力,布朗队对球队的号召力是有可能达到詹姆斯的高度的。

“布朗队球迷的范围要大得多。要比地盘,布朗队的球迷和骑士队的球迷比,就好比黑夜和白天。毫无疑问,布朗队的球迷远远比骑士队的球迷多。”

来自俄亥俄州特温斯堡郊区的乔治·泰勒就是布朗队的球迷之一。他表示,为了观看布朗队本赛季的一场黄金时段的比赛,他很可能会在二级票源市场上出高价求购。

泰勒周末的工作是在机场当租车经理,他经常用手机收看布朗队的比赛。

泰勒表示:“有些客人经常自动跟我说起布朗队的比赛。现在大家已经在谈季后赛的事了,而不是谈下个赛季我们应该在选秀里选谁,这种感觉真是不可思议。”

泰勒补充道,现在,梅菲尔德、小贝克汉姆和布朗队只有一件事情要做。

“万事具备,他们只需要赢球!”(财富中文网)

译者:朴成奎

It feels like something special is coming for Cleveland Browns fans.

Anticipating what could be one of the best seasons the football team has had in a generation is bringing life to the city, according to Dan Shoad, a lifelong Cleveland Browns fan and an economics professor at Harvard University and Case Western Reserve University.

"This place feels alive," he said. "Cleveland has always been a football town, and now our expectations this season are through the roof!"

At every turn, the sidewalks, bars, and restaurants surrounding FirstEnergy Stadium were still packed, buzzing full of excited and anxious fans after the Browns beat the Detroit Lions 20-16. This was all on a Thursday night, not a Sunday afternoon, and it was a preseason football game to boot.

Why this excitement? The Browns, yes, the Cleveland Browns, are not only considered the favorite to win their first division title in more than three decades, but they also have as high as 10-to-1 odds in Vegas to win the Super Bowl this season. The same Browns that haven't been in the NFL playoffs in 17 years, and did not win a single NFL game in 2017 could have a chance to win it all. Last season, the Browns' fortune turned around as they won five out of their last seven games and ended the season with a 7-8-1 record.

The euphoria over the Browns this season is leading some to wonder if the team and star players Baker Mayfield and Odell Beckham Jr. can have as big an emotional and economic impact for Cleveland fans as NBA superstar LeBron James did.

While obviously, it's too early to tell and hard to quantify such an impact, there's discussion to be had.

The economic impact of a football and a basketball team differ due to the difference in frequency of play. The Browns only play 10 home games a year, compared to the more than 40 pre-season and regular-season home games for the Cleveland Cavaliers. And during James' heyday with the Cavs, they played even more because of their playoff runs.

The Greater Cleveland Partnership–a regional Chamber of Commerce overseen by more than 70 CEOs in Northeast Ohio–hasn't tried to put a number on the true value of "King James" to the area during his two stints playing with the Cavs. The group has only safely said that James' impact is in the "hundreds of millions of dollars."

Maybe one day the once-horrific football team and its' new star players could be mentioned in the same breath with LeBron economically, Shoag said. But that might prove challenging.

Shoag's study, "Taking My Talents to South Beach (and Back) - Evidence on Local Externalities from a Superstar Athlete, co-written with Stan Veuger, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, delves into whether James' economic impact would be similar in a different city. They write that James' presence in Cleveland increased the number of restaurants, bars, and other establishments within one mile of the home arenas where he played by about 13%, and employment by about 23.5%.

Keep in mind, James' transcendent play led to several playoff appearances this decade, eight straight appearances in the NBA Finals, and three NBA championships. In 2016, James led the Cavs to victory, giving Cleveland its first pro championship in 40 years. More than 1.3 million people attended the championship parade downtown that year.

James helped make Cleveland, a hardscrabble rust-belt town known for its roll-up-your-sleeves, blue-collar style, intriguing on the national level. It's no coincidence that Cleveland's prominence has also made it a top travel destination in the U.S., according to Destination Cleveland, the city's tourism and convention bureau.

The city hosted the 2016 Republican National Convention and this year's Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Cleveland will also host regional games during next year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, the 2021 NFL Draft, and the 2022 NBA All-Star Game.

"I would say that the LeBron era was a part of our ability to garner these high-profile events, but not the primary reason why. We've put billions of dollars into visitor-related infrastructure," said Emily Lauer, a Destination spokeswoman. "LeBron helped create awareness."

Maintaining that type of visibility will be a tall order for the Browns, but a renewed interest in the team nationally could have them picking up where the basketball legend left off when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers for a four-year $154 million deal in 2018.

A study conducted by FormSwift for Black Enterprise last year predicted that L.A. would experience a $396 million economic impact if James chose either the Lakers or the Clippers over a five-year period. Additionally, L.A. would gain about 3,000 jobs and $29 million in state tax revenue. By comparison, the study said if James remained in Cleveland, he would have had a $176 million economic impact, and the city would gain about 1,500 jobs and nearly $10 million in state tax revenue.

As for the Browns, their ability to bring in that type of economic stimulus remains to be seen. "I would hold off on any predictions until they start winning consistently," said Adam Earnheardt, a professor at Youngstown State University in Ohio who specializes in social media and fan engagement.

Shoag, wearing both hats as an Ivy League economist and Browns super-fan, agrees.

"Emotionally, it's already been huge for the city to have a bright light with the Browns so shortly after LeBron left," Shoag said. "I think you will see a big impact over time."

Early Signs of Newfound Success

Interest was already piqued for the Browns last season after the team selected Mayfield–the brash, cocky quarterback from Oklahoma and the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner–as the top overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Rabid fans were able to witness Mayfield's rapid progression from college athlete to pro and the Browns' hopeful future taking form in training camp via HBO's Hard Knocks reality show.

Viewers saw new Browns General Manager John Dorsey, a football lifer who was fresh from turning the Kansas City Chiefs into a perennial playoff club, rebuild the team's roster. A month before drafting Mayfield, Dorsey traded for stud wide receiver Jarvis Landry from the Miami Dolphins, who would not only serve as a key target for Mayfield, but also channel Dorsey's new culture of accountability and tenacity that would hopefully lead to wins.

But the biggest question remained: could Mayfield, with a strong throwing arm that compensates for his undersized stature, finally be the franchise quarterback to save this team that had barely won a third of its games since it was re-established as an expansion club 20 years ago?

The Browns weren't always so bad. The team started in the All-America Football Conference in 1946 and won four titles in that league before joining the NFL in 1950. They won a championship that year and three more in 1954, 1955, and 1964. During this pre-Super Bowl dynasty, the Browns were led by hall of fame running back Jim Brown, arguably the greatest football player ever.

During that period, the city of Cleveland went through quite a bit of change. First, there was a population surge of nearly 1 million residents due to the city's status as one of the biggest industrial centers in the U.S. Then, scores of residents left after many steel and iron companies shut down. The Cuyahoga River, which runs through the city and feeds into Lake Erie, caught fire because of a rising pollution problem. And finally, Cleveland had to default on major bank loans in the 1970s, grabbing national headlines. Through all of this, the Browns were a stable and comforting presence, even as the city was got dubbed, "The Mistake by the Lake."

By the 1980s, the Browns were a playoff contender, led by quarterbacks Brian Sipe and Bernie Kosar, and running backs Kevin Mack and Ernest Byner. But the team was snakebitten during three key playoff games. The first is the play known infamously as "Red Right 88," when Sipe threw an interception during the Browns' tough loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Oakland Raiders in 1981.

Then there's "The Drive," where the Browns lost in overtime to the Denver Broncos 23-20 during the AFC championship game in 1987 after Broncos quarterback John Elway led his team on a remarkable 98-yard drive to tie the game 20-20 with 31 seconds left to play in regulation. The Broncos went on to win that game with a field goal during a nine-play 60-yard drive in overtime.

More heartbreak came for the Browns in 1988, when Byner fumbled at the 1-yard line while trying to score a touchdown to pull within a point of Denver during the AFC title game. The Broncos won 38-33 and the play is forever known as "The Fumble."

Seven years later, in 1995, longtime Browns owner Art Modell announced he was moving the team to Baltimore and the franchise was renamed the Ravens. Browns fans were furious. They held protests and filed lawsuits wanting their football team back. Their wishes were granted when the Browns returned as an expansion team in 1999.

Since then, Browns fans have suffered through years of futility, including the winless 2016 season and a lone victory in 2017. The only exceptions in these years of heartache are two winning seasons in 2002 and 2007, and a lone playoff appearance in 2002.

But last season, things started looking up for Browns fans when Mayfield took the field in Week 3 and rallied to beat the New York Jets 21-17 in a nationally-televised game. Fans took to the streets in jubilation and football pundits wondered if a change was around the corner.

Five weeks later, the Browns fired both head coach Hue Jackson and offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Mayfield excelled, setting a new NFL record for the most touchdown passes thrown by a quarterback in his rookie season with 27. He became a savior of sorts.

"Baker has emotionally connected with the city with his grittiness," Shoag said.

In January, the team promoted offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens to head coach mostly based on his success with Mayfield. Then the Browns made a bombshell move in March by trading for Beckham, the electrifying Pro Bowl receiver with the New York Giants known for his spectacular one-handed catches, touchdown celebrations, and a $95 million contract that puts him among the highest-paid players in the NFL. The trade also reunited Beckham with Landry, his best friend and college teammate from Louisiana State University.

Demand for Browns season tickets was already high, but it exploded after the Beckham trade. The team said it has reached its max for season ticket holders for 2019 at more than 60,000–a spike of about 12,000 from last season. And all eight home games this season are sellouts.

Additionally, the Browns said that all of the 143 suites at FirstEnergy Stadium have been sold out for months, and it has thousands of fans on its waiting list for tickets, which require a $100 deposit.

"Fans can put down a deposit, and assuming inventory is available next year, those individuals have the first opportunity to purchase," Browns spokesman Rob McBurnett told Fortune. "We were trending towards reaching our season ticket maximum prior to that [Beckham trade] news, with overall team performance late in 2018 as one of the strongest factors."

Ticket demand for the Browns has spiked in the secondary market, as well. Just ask Mark Klang, the owner, and operator of Amazing Tickets in suburban Mayfield Heights, Ohio.

Klang said the fervor for Browns tickets is currently "dwarfing" any of the regular-season games James' played during his 11 years with the Cavaliers. In fact, he said Browns' secondary ticket sales are reaching the levels he saw for the 1995 and 1996 World Series-title chasing Cleveland Indians, a team that was in the midst of ending four decades of frustration.

He said the Browns' Nov. 10 matchup against the lowly Buffalo Bills is generating the fifth-highest prices of the season for his website. The prices are about 20% higher than those for the 2018 season opener versus the arch-rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

As for the this year's home matchup against the Steelers, a nationally-televised Thursday night game on Nov. 14, lower-level midfield tickets that were going for $450 last year are currently going for $900.

Those are his most expensive tickets–for now. Naturally, the more successful the Browns are, the higher the ticket demand will be, thus driving prices higher, Klang said.

"We thought sales were going to be really strong this season," Klang said. "But after the Browns got Odell, this is more than even we expected."

Klang said that comparing the economic impact of Mayfield and Beckham to James is like comparing "apples to oranges," but when it comes to the emotional impact, especially in terms of longevity and selling merchandise, the Browns have a chance to match James if their key players live up to their potential.

"The reach the Browns draw is so much larger," Klang said. "The wide demographic of Browns fans to Cavs fans is like night and day. Unquestionably, the Browns' reach is far more than the Cavs'."

One Browns fan, Jorge Taylor of suburban Twinsburg, Ohio, said he will likely pay top dollar on the secondary ticket market to see one of the Browns' primetime games this season.

Taylor's works weekends as a rental car manager at the airport and usually follows Browns games on his smartphone.

"I have customers who are talking about the Browns without even being prompted," Taylor said. "The idea that we're already talking about going the playoffs instead of who we're going to draft next season is pretty incomprehensible."

Now, Taylor said, there's only one thing for the Browns, Mayfield, and Beckham to do.

"All of the pieces are in place," he said. "They just gotta win!"

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