Scott Entsminger, like every diehard Browns fan, needed a sense of humor. How else to deal with the emotional wreckage caused by The Drive? How else to cope with the soul-crushing aftermath of The Fumble? How else to rationalize the absurd clown show that has been the Cleveland Browns since the franchise returned to the National Football League to achieve an unrivaled record of futility?
So it makes sense that Mr. Entsminger, a lifelong Browns fan and season ticket holder, would display that gallows humor even when he went on to join the Choir Invisible. Entsminger’s final request, as shown in his obituary, was that six members of the Cleveland Browns football team serve as his pallbearers and hoist him into the grave after he had ceased to be. As his obit put it: “He respectfully requests six Cleveland Browns pall bearers so the Browns can let him down one last time.”
His family asks that everyone attending his funeral wear their Browns gear. I hope everyone does . . . and I hope that the Browns see the story, and six good-humored players show up at the service to honor a lifelong fan’s last request. It would make Mr. Entsminger, and my Dad, and Grandpa Neal, and every other Browns fan who has left this Mortal Coil smile.
Mr. Entsminger, I salute you! And I feel that the torch has been passed. Russell and I become season ticket holders in a few weeks, and we’ll try to carry the torch a bit farther with the same good humor you have shown — even if it kills us.