Never been to an NFL training camp and want to really know what it’s like to sit in 100-degree heat while players stretch, hit tackling dummies and kickers try to split uprights? Busted Coverage is spending part of its summer to do a mini-NFL training camp tour. Our camp extravaganza kicked off yesterday in Berea, Ohio where the Cleveland Browns have their indoor complex and training camp facilities. Before we go any further, if you are looking for player updates and how Colt McCoy looked throwing the ball, wrong blog.
Browns Camp Location:
76 Lou Groza Blvd, Berea
• Parking tip – Find 3rd Ave. (off Beech, which is only public entrance), there’s a fine young family who’ll let you park in their driveway for $5 and one of the little kids will give you a cold bottle of water. Park in the free lots and your ass will be hiking a LONG way.
• Park on the street and you’ll get towed. Again, you’ve been warned. The neighborhood has passes they attach to cars giving them access to on-street parking. Some residents will sell you one.
Browns Camp Observations:
• Not a very big operation, as you can see from the photos. There’s one merchandise trailer. One food tent. Three private tents are for sponsors and seem to be air conditioned for the white collar pansies.
• The stands are you soccer field variety. Get there early for a seat, or bring your own. We spotted one dude who brought his own metal folding chair.
• Best seating location? Really isn’t one because the players are moving from station to station every 10 to 20 minutes.
• If your kids get bored easily and are used to an amusement park, leave them at home. This isn’t for them.
• Didn’t stay long enough to see this daily tradition take place, but did see two tents where kids can line up for a non-roster invitee signature.
• None, but doesn’t mean you couldn’t bring a couple of vodkas & Red Bulls in if you wanted. No security other than the retirees checking bags. Outside beverages are allowed into camp. Need a mixer? A couple bucks gets you a bottle of Pepsi or a Gatorade.
Proximity To Players
Remember, this is Browns camp so it’s not like you’re battling for elbow room to see Mike Vick. On a weekday, 25 minutes before camp starts should be plenty of time to get a prime spot just 10-15 yards from Colt McCoy. Unless you’re rich and ticket prices are no object, it’s the closest you’ll ever get to NFL action.
It’s camp. Players go through drills. It can be a bore at times. Just a suggestion for the Browns brass: get a walk-thru trailer where you can show off Browns Hall of Fame memorabilia. If it starts to rain, kick the fans out. It would add a huge element to a rather dry fan experience.
• Great people watching and can’t say it enough – proximity to players is HUGE reason to visit. Oh, did we mention the entire day Busted Coverage only spent $7.50. This is the final frontier that most NFL teams haven’t tried to rip off the fans. Enjoy it while you can.