AUSTINBURG, Ohio (WJW) — As the Browns’ stunning upset of the Steelers was unfolding in Pittsburgh, the cameras focused on a colorful Cleveland fan showing his support for the team, even though tickets were limited to the families and friends of the players.
The super fan is Larry Laurello of Austinburg, who has been driving his Browns Backers bus, the “Kennel II,” to Browns games for many years.
The 61-year-old Laurello was able to get a ticket to the game because he is a friend of Nick Chubb and his family. While Chubb and his teammates were playing the Browns best game in more than 30 years, Laurello and other friends and relatives of the Browns made sure that the Steelers knew that Clevelanders were in the house.
“I knew that there was not going to go too many people that look like [me] at that game, and my goal was to make more noise,” he said.
As for the pig called “Bacon Mayfield” that Laurello was shown holding throughout the game, he says his theme over the years has been, “the Browns will start winning when pigs fly.”
Laurello says he got a kick out of fans jokingly suggesting that he might be Browns Coach Kevin Stefanski sitting in the stands in disguise. Under NFL protocols, the coach was not allowed to travel to Pittsburgh, after testing positive for COVID-19.
Larry Laurello and his bus will be in Missouri on Sunday, when the Browns take on the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Playoff game.
After so many years of heartache, Laurello says Cleveland fans deserve to experience the thrill of a playoff run.
“100% hope, 0% expectation, just enjoy the ride, that’s the way we look at it, that’s how we’ve survived the last 20 years,” he said.
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