Sportress of Blogitude

Browns help nine-year-old’s dream to play for team come true (pics/vid)


The Cleveland Browns on Tuesday signed nine-year-old Dylan Sutcliffe to a one-day contract, helping make a dream come true for the boy, who has ataxia telangiectasia (A-T), a rare genetic disorder, according to the team’s official site.

Sutcliffe will join the Browns for Tuesday’s OTAs and it all came about after he told the Make-A-Wish Foundations in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana it was his dream to play for the Browns.

“We’re excited to add another quality player to our roster as we prepare for the 2015 season,” said Browns general manager Ray Farmer. “When we first connected with Dylan, it was clear he was a competitor who had all of the right attributes to be a contributor to our team.”

“Dylan is definitely a young man who has all of the ‘Play Like a Brown’ traits, particularly through his passion, toughness and relentlessness.” head coach Mike Pettine added. “We look forward to seeing him bring that energy to practice this afternoon.”

Sutcliffe was driven from his home in Lyndhurst, Ohio, to the Browns facility in Barea by limousine, where he was greeted by team president Alec Scheiner. He was then escorted to a meeting with Farmer, where he signed his one-day deal. After that, he was treated to a private coaching session with Pettine.

The nine-year-old will be given his own stall in the Browns locker room and will participate in activities in the afternoon.

“I think it’s awesome,” said Sutcliffe, who was joined by his parents, his younger brother Sean (who also has been diagnosed with A-T), and his grandparents.

The most cynical among may roll their eyes and deem events such as these as simply a great PR move by the teams, but that sour disposition should be more than compensated by how much the experience means to these children and their families given how much they have to deal with, not to mention how these days raise awareness for the diseases with which these children bravely battle day after day.

[H/T Shutdown Corner, ESPN, top image via the Cleveland Browns/Twitter]