CLEVELAND (WJW)-- As defensive end Myles Garrett headed to New York City Tuesday to appeal his indefinite suspension, a growing number of Browns fans began preparing to trek to Pittsburgh for the rematch Dec. 1.
A growing, and potentially record number, of Browns fans are planning to be at the game or in the city that day to show their support for Garrett and the entire team.
“Yeah, we’re going to enemy territory,” Orlando Grant said.
Grant and a large group of friends tailgate before every Browns home game and were already planning on being there before the incident Thursday night.
The tailgaters “party with a purpose” - to raise money for autism.
“We said, 'Hey, let’s do something different,'" said Grant. “Do it for a great cause — raising money for autism.”
But then after the game Thursday, where the Browns beat the Steelers 21-7, but lost Garrett indefinitely, the trip began to take on an additional meaning.
“Everyone was all upset and mad and disappointed, just a range of emotions,” Grant said. “We’re gonna support him by going to Pittsburgh and raising our orange towels and yelling from the rooftops that we are the Browns and we’re back and not going anywhere.”
And they’re not alone. Since planning their trip, they’ve learned from the bus charter company they’re using that they’re sending 15 buses to Steel City for the game, and other charter companies could be sending some too.
“There is so much energy around this game,” said Grant.
The Garrett incident happened during the last 8 seconds of the game, as he tackled Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph.
Rudolph grabbed at Garrett’s helmet and kicked him in the groin. Garrett retaliated by ripping off the quarterback’s helmet and hitting him over the head with it.
Orlando said they don’t condone the hit, but they also know Garrett’s character off the field and how he visits sick children at the hospital, dog parks and even the homeless.
“You can’t just judge him on this one thing,” Grant said. “And we’re gonna show Pittsburgh who we are and what we represent.”