Browns mascot Swagger’s funeral was held today in Cleveland and the scene just might be the craziest thing I’ve seen in 12-plus years of blogging on BC and that’s saying something. I’ve seen crazy, but I’ve never seen a team mascot dead and presented in an open casket at a funeral home where visitors paid their respects, including local firefighters dropping off an orange firefighter helmet to beloved Swagger.
And right in the middle of it was a Cleveland.com social media reporter with a phone as mourners passed through. Absolutely batshit crazy stuff. It’s not some short video. It’s an hour and 25 minutes long and it’s about as pure Browns as it gets. At the beginning you’ll see a woman wearing a Baker jersey with a man wearing a ‘Don Juan’ jersey looking like they’re about to go catch a preseason game.Swagger’s son, SJ, at his father’s funeral / via Facebook
Swagger, the beloved Cleveland Browns team mascot, passed away Friday after battling cancer. He was 6.
Swagger’s handler, Justin McLaughlin, posted the sad news on Facebook, adding that Swagger had had a stroke. The 145-pound bullmastiff was the NFL team’s first live mascot.
“We’re heartbroken by the passing of our beloved mascot, Swagger,” the team tweeted. “As a constant presence on gameday and the leader of the Dawg Pound, Swagger was a proud member of our team for 6 seasons. RIP.”
Thankfully the social media reporter played right into the whole thing, calling swagger’s owners “mom” and “dad.” Look, I’m a dog person and I hate to see a dog laying there in a casket, but at the end of the day this is something you never see, yet Browns fans act like this is all so normal. Of course I’m going to blog it. It’s bizarre and pure Cleveland.Cleveland Browns brought a framed photo of Swagger to the funeral / via Facebook