Sunday, August 4, 2013

Scanning Browns pictures brings back memories

In the last few weeks, the photo scanner at The News-Herald and I have become best friends.

From a treasure trove of old photo negative folders in a back room, I was fortunate enough to be able to uncover some great stuff for our "50 for 50" high school football project.

The "50 for 50" work can be found at, but in this space I wanted to elaborate on the other photo negatives I was lucky to find.

The Browns' 1987 and 1988 AFC title games were tough to take as a youngster growing up in Painesville, but now approaching 34 years old it was interesting to go through the negatives from those heartbreaking losses to the Broncos.

Once I saw Sammy Winder, I knew it was downhill from there. Be that as it may, though, it reminded me of why I was a Browns fan in the first place.

As a fan, like many people my age, I loved those mid-to-late 1980s Browns teams. While it broke my heart to watch them come up short of the Super Bowl in such dramatic fashion, it reinforced for me why they were my team, for better or for worse.

About 20 years later, one of the coolest experiences I've had was a conversation with Brian Brennan while covering the Miele Invitational, Gilmour's annual track and field meet and area mid-April staple. His daughter, Grace, ran middle distance for the Lancers at the time.He asked me during the course of our chat why I was a Browns fan - why I felt more strongly about the Browns than, say, the Cavaliers or Indians - and I got to explain to one of my favorite players growing up my reasoning.

That was pretty cool.

Looking back through those old negatives, which will be reintroduced as slideshows with our "History of the Browns" section this week, was tough. But it was also well worth the trouble.

- Chris Lillstrung | @CLillstrungNH


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