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The Maiden Voyage of the Vessel

With the upcoming launch of our new fan site, on , I could not think of any better way to preface it than spend a day with the real backbone of the NFL, tailgating with you the fans. And since the love of the game is intense I wanted to spend it with some of the most intense fans I know, my brother David Sefcik and my brother in law John Zolak. Today these loyal Brown’s fans launched the Vessel, their version of the ultimate tailgate party bus.

To understand the magnitude of what it took for this launch today, you have to look at what it took to get this converted bread truck changed into this mobile tailgating vehicle. It all started this winter when they pooled their funds together to purchase this truck and since about February their has been many hours spent working with family and friends repairing and pairing this truck to represent the glory it does today.

The main question you may ask when looking at this vehicle is why would these guys spend the time and money on this endeavor. When asking my brother on this, his reply was very simple. How else are they going to get all the tables, chairs and cooking implements necessary for their tailgating down to the game in a convenient way. But as I mentioned to them you could due this with a sizable SUV or van, but their reply was if you are going to do it you have to do it right.

This would explain the amount of work they put into this vehicle. It was painted in brown and orange to match the team colors and features tributes to the previous championship years and Hall of Fame team members. The inside has a mini cabinet to serve the food with bench seating for two across from it. The inside is decorated with more pictures of the Hall of Farmer’s along with pictures featuring the transformation from bread truck to party vessel.

There is no questioning these guys love of the Browns as they have been proud season ticket holders for the past 13 years in the infamous Dog Pound. Now of course that in itself in not hard but that’s not where it stops. My brother was instrumental in the pressure leading up to Gene Hickerson getting elected into the Hall through a website extolling his accomplishments. He was able to “pursued” the wrecking crew at old Cleveland Stadium in order to get his set in the bleachers. The colors of the Vessel are the same paint scheme used by the vehicles at Cleveland Browns Stadium. How was that accomplished you may ask? My brother contacted the Browns to see who made the paint, then contacted that company so he did it right. Like I said these guys are not your average fans.

As for the menu itself, the routine is to eat food that is associated with the opponent of the Browns that day. Today’s menu feature a delicious eye of round, representing good old Dallas beef, slow cooked to perfection on the Weber charcoal grill accompanied by bake potatoes half the size of a football, garlic and butter noodles and broccoli. Hamburgers and hot dogs this is not, this is the stuff you can find in any restaurant in the local area. Now you see why they need a truck to carry all the stuff needed to prepare such a great meal.

This is pretty amazing stuff for fans to do each home game for a team that has not won a thing since 1964. Of course I had to bring this up as I asked both men why do they love this team and why does the city embrace them through thick and thin. Remember this team was still averaging 50,000 when it was announced they were moving to Baltimore. Both men agreed that football is a blue collar sport and that is what type of town Cleveland is. My brother points out most of the people in the parking lot were blue collar workers and they will always associate with their football team.

For them the love game is an addiction and there is no place they would rather be then celebrating with friends and family before cheering on their team, win or lose. As they stated you love your team no matter what if you are a true fan. They have even tailgated for away games, and I personally spent a cold December afternoon in my brothers garage watching a Browns Steelers playoff game in order to take in the full ambiance of the NFL experience. There is no doubting the intensity level of these guys.

As for their outlook on the season there are two different views. My brother Dave has a fairly optimistic view seeing the Brown going 10-6 while John sees them going 6-10. Both feel they have good offensive weapons and a good offensive line. They are worried about the teams secondary an this is why John feels they will struggle this season along with the infamous sophomore jinx. He wonders if they can keep the momentum of last years solid season now they are facing a tougher shedule.

As for the maiden voyage I will chalk it up to a success. They were the focus of the parking lot with people coming up to admire the tribute they created to the past legends of the Browns so people remember the rich history of this club. The food was excellent and despite early rain the weather turned out to be nice and sunny by game time. I look forward to journeying again with the vessel next week against hated rival Pittsburgh. And I also hope you share your experiences with us when launches later this month. Check for more details or stop by and say hi if you happen to be in Cleveland. Till next week folks.

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One Response to “The Maiden Voyage of the Vessel”

  1. Dan Bienko says:

    Where can we see more pictures of the Cleveland Browns Tailgate vessel?

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