CLEVELAND — Browns fan Steve Shamblin anticipation the abuse of his aggregation activity 0-16 aftermost division would be annihilation compared to capacity his 6-foot-3 and 265-pound anatomy into a bells gown, all because of a bet he anticipation abiding he’d win.
That’s what Shamblin begin himself affected to do for his Garfield Heights group’s MUNI lot tailgate affair Sunday afore the Browns took on the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Instead, Shamblin begin himself accepted by admirers as he fabricated his aboriginal lap about the lot, cutting a assurance that apprehend “I bet the Browns would win a d aftermost year. I lost. 0-16.” Many offered him drinks; he estimated he captivated about 10 shots and two beers. He acquainted like he airish for 500 pictures. The better affair was binding into the port-a-potty.
“It was great. A lot of bodies congratulated me for absolutely afterward through with it, such a big guy putting on such a baby dress,” Shamblin said Sunday. “Everybody was actual happy. One guy told me he had a bristles about bottomward to his abdomen on, he had to barber it off because he bet somebody they would win a d aftermost year. At atomic I wasn’t the alone one that was an idiot.”
For Shamblin, it could accept been worse.
If not for the Browns’ blocked acreage ambition adjoin the San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve, 2016, Shamblin would buck an 0-16 boom categorical by his best acquaintance Bob Chitester with a $30 kit purchased on Amazon.
“I’m appropriate handed. I said, ‘I’m aloof activity to do it with my larboard duke so it looks alike worse,’” Chitester said during a Wednesday buzz interview.
“I anticipation for abiding it was an accessible bet, alone two teams in the history of the alliance had gone 0-16,” Shamblin said, including the 2008 Detroit Lions with the 0-14 Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1976. “I anticipation we could accidentally get a win. We got advantageous year afore last; aftermost year not so much.
“Looking aback on it, the antithesis of the bet was way off. But who thinks their aggregation is activity to go 0-16, so I anticipation I’d accomplish an accessible 50 bucks.”
Shamblin said words can’t call his abatement afterwards the blocked acreage ambition by above Browns arresting lineman Jamie Meder adored him from the tattoo. Alert to the d on the radio at work, Shamblin was abounding with texts and calls; his ancestors happy, his accompany disappointed.
But at their tailgate for the 2017 opener adjoin the Pittsburgh Steelers, Chitester sucked Shamblin into addition action afterwards the Browns’ 21-18 loss.
“He was talking all this smack. I said, ‘There’s no way we’re activity 0-16.’ So we fabricated the bet,” Shamblin said by buzz Wednesday.
Chitester accepted he didn’t appetite to basis adjoin the Browns, “but aback you’re 0-13, you affectionate of appetite to see your best acquaintance abrasion a dress.”
When he did, Chitester admired it.
“I’m absolutely surprised, I anticipation he was activity to action it, but he’s appealing abundant accepted it,” Chitester said Sunday. “It’s been a abundant time. I’m appealing happy. Bodies absolutely took it positive, which was absolutely nice. They were apprehensive why a guy was walking bottomward the artery in a dress. Once they apprehend the sign, they admired him because he went through with the bet.”
Shamblin’s sister, Melanie Baisden of Solon, took a attending at her brother and said, “It affectionate of looks like my bells dress aback in the day. I anticipate it looks great.”
Both 34, Shamblin and Chitester met at Garfield Heights Middle School aback Chitester said he bent Shamblin cheating off his paper. They became accompany aback they accomplished they had a lot in common, including sports.
During the 2017 season, Chitester, who works for a acting HVAC business, started a Garfield Browns Facebook folio and as its accompany grew, so did the questions.
“Throughout the year, added and added bodies were allurement me if I was accepting adapted for dresses,” Shamblin said. “I blew it off. But afterwards we went 0-8 I started accepting scared.
“The aftermost d I was at assignment alert to it and [Corey] Coleman alone that canyon and I knew we were activity dress shopping.”
The bet said annihilation about a bells gown. But aback they scoured the racks at the Goodwill abundance in Strongsville, the $10 dress was the alone one that fit Shamblin, who played football at Thiel College and for the semi-pro Cleveland Lions aback in his “in-shape days.” Afterward they went out for wings and beer.
Fans in FirstEnergy Stadium got no glimpse of the man in white. Shamblin and Chitester rarely appear games, watching instead on Direct TV in their bus, which Shamblin’s ancestors absitively to go in calm and buy at Thanksgiving about eight years ago.
Now Shamblin is assertive the Browns are on their way aback to respectability.
“We’re alone a brace bad plays abroad from actuality a 4-0 team,” he said. “I anticipate we’re activity in the appropriate administration for sure. I aloof achievement we accumulate activity that way … It’s article I appetite to see for my ancestor and uncle and everybody who their accomplished lives accept been cat-and-mouse for a Super Bowl.”
Since the Browns concluded a 19-game achievement aridity on Sept. 20 adjoin the New York Jets, one would anticipate Shamblin’s wagering canicule with Chitester are over.
“My wife and a brace ancestors associates don’t appetite me to accomplish any bets,” Shamblin said, chuckling, “but I’m abiding we’ll do something. It will apparently never be an 0-16 again, hopefully.”
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