Groveport Town Hall will kickoff the football season with a month long exhibit of Cleveland Browns memorabilia from the collection of die hard Browns fan Marty Laney.
"Most people in central Ohio bleed scarlet and gray," said Laney. "I bleed orange and brown!"
The exhibit will run through September at Groveport Town Hall, 648 Main St., and will feature photographs, jerseys, collectibles, a selection of football cards, old Browns pennants, Bobbleheads, posters, autographed photos and footballs and more dating from the Browns’ founding in 1946.
Also, there will be a free tailgate party on Sept. 5 from 7-9 p.m. at Groveport Town Hall in conjunction with the exhibit. Food will be grilled in the driveway beside Town Hall and all food and drinks will be provided. Inside Town Hall great Browns moments will be shown on a wide screen. The event is free and for all ages. For information call (614) 836-3333.
A life time fan
Laney, a landscape and wildlife photographer, has always followed the Browns and he attended every home Monday night game the team played in the 1980s and 1990s.
"I’ve been a Browns fan since I was born in 1956," said Laney. "My whole family are Browns fans. I have every kind of Browns memorabilia there is. I even have a Browns kite that I’ve never flown."
He said the Browns have one of the most loyal followings in the National Football League.
"The Cleveland Browns appeal to blue collar fans who stick with the team through good years and bad years," said Laney.
He said his favorite teams are the Bernie Kosar led squads of the 1980s and the "Cardiac Kids" era that featured quarterback Brian Sipe.
Through the years Laney has met many Browns players.
"I’ve met Jim Brown (the hall of fame running back) and he’s a really nice guy and my favorite player," said Laney. "I’ve also met Kosar and Greg Pruitt. They’re all nice guys."
He said some of the most beloved items in his Browns collection are things autographed by famed Browns of long ago such as Lou "The Toe" Groza, quarterback Otto Graham, and Bill Willis.
"I hope the exhibit will bring back some good memories for Browns fans," said Laney.