Calling for the “Lakefront Leap”

As Trent Richardson escaped the warm embrace of offensive lineman Shawn Lauvao en route to a 26-yard touchdown run, the running back ran straight through eastern end zone, heading straight to the Dawg Pound to acknowledge the fans amidst a chorus of cheers from those who braved the elements on that very day. The guitar riff from Queen’s “We Will Rock You” blared, fans slapped gloved hands. The only problem: So did Richardson.

The back who Christened his first NFL touchdown with half-cocked front flip ran towards the Dawg Pound and merely handed out a few high fives before giving way to Phil Dawson and the extra point unit.

Prior to the game, the team announces, one-by-one, members of a given team. Two weeks ago, it was the special teams unit, this past Sunday was the offense with Richardson bringing up the rear, garnering the loudest of cheers. A handful of players then sprint down to the end zone facing the Dawg Pound, take a knee in prayer, and then do their best to rile up the troops. Naturally, this may not be the best time to run full speed and lunge into the beer-holding hands of waiting fans. But after a touchdown? These guys have to do the leap.

The Lakefront Leap.

It’s a working title; an obvious play off of the famed Lambeau Leap in Green Bay, it’s no different than the Mile High Mount enjoyed several times on Sunday night, twice by wide receiver Eric Decker. The only rule exists in flow — how easily does it roll off the tongue? Alliteration obviously helps, hence the two aforementioned celebrations.

The Dawg Pound Dive? The Browns Bounce? The Haslam Hurdle? Victory Vault?

Call it what you want, it needs to happen. This team is finally showing signs of having life on the offensive end, progressing from 32nd in total offense in 2009, to 29th in 2010 and 2011, currently ranking 20th despite having to play their latest game in a what was the onset of the northeastern apocalypse. Richardson — along with Brandon Weeden, Josh Gordon, Jordan Cameron and Greg Little — provides Cleveland with what appears to be their most talented group of young offensive playmakers to simultaneously take the field since the team’s return in 1999. If the future is indeed bright, traditions are in order.

After seemingly endless seasons rife with 50-yard field goals, the touchdown count is starting to inch up1.  With Randy Lerner handing the keys to Jimmy Haslam III, changes are on the horizon. Why not make this one of them?

Once instilled, the Lakefront Leap will be something encouraged and celebrated. For the next several years, while Trent Richardson is breaking opponents’ ankles, leaving them as a pile of flesh and plastic as he sprints toward another six points, he’ll need that extra 10 yards of a head start as the arms of an Orange and Brown-clad fan await. The subsequent cheers will be even louder. The opponents, that much more defeated.

(John Kuntz / The Plain Dealer)

  1. The Browns managed a mere 20 offensive  touchdowns through all of 2011; this season, they have 15 through the course of eight weeks []

  • Harv 21

    Oh, c’mon, Scott, this is the cradle of football, copycatting is for regions that need gimmicks to fake passion. When the ground at this antiseptic stadium is finally fertile – inspired fans finally meet inspired play and respond in way that ignites players – something organic will jump out all by itself. And it will stick when it’s right.
    We are worthy, so relax and let’s be ourselves. This suggestion sounds like the Heat instructing how to Fan Up. No jumps, salutes, prayer poses, salsas or powder throws. It’s probably gonna be jump-started by a drunken shirtless looney in the third row and within a year we’ll all own the t-shirt. And that one will be ours, Scott, but you can’t force it, just let it hap’n, Cap’n.

  • Dee P

    Off topic but just a question…

    If the Eagles cut Andy Reid loose – do we go after him in the offseason to replace Shurmur?

  • Ezzie Goldish

    Exactly. No need to force anything.

  • TDS

    Long Answer: No Way in Hell
    Short Answer: No

  • TDS

    I would be happy to see Patrica go though…

  • TomWFNY

    “Dawg Pound Dive” > “Lakefront Leap”

    But, also what Harv 21 said. Watching players jump into the fans is fun, but not as some rigorous tradition. If they want to, let ’em, but Cleveland can do its own thing.

  • E

    Actually they should do the pregame jump into the dawg pound…get the crowd going early, and would be the only team in the NFL doing it..see this video, from Grand Valley State University…I played against them in college and thought it was pretty sweet… Watch at the 1:45 mark ->

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    The phrase “Go jump in a lake” comes to mind for some reason.

  • Guest

    We should do this when they run out of the tunnel (1:45 mark) –>

  • mgbode

    yeppers. whatever happened to OUR tradition of pelting the opposing team with dog biscuits. now that is Cleveland.

  • Dee P

    I was thinking the same thing this past Sunday. I want the old rocking times back for Cleveland football games so bad…

  • Harv 21

    that’s great. I was at a Chicago Cubs series when the great right fielder Andre Dawson was playing for them. At the start of every game as he ran out to his position the entire right field bleachers would rise as a group and give him the We’re Not Worthy bow. He would wait until he got to his spot, tip his cap once modestly and turn to start his warm-up tosses. Very touching and genuine.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Not winning is what happened and continues.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Ya think maybe Richardson protecting his ribs so he can play might have been a little more important?

  • cmm13

    As was mentioned by some the lack of winning in the past decade has left the in game experience lacking of any sort of fan traditions.

    As corny as it may sound one of the top items after personnel decisions has best be the overall in game/fan experience in the stadium.

    Seriously…every team in the league runs out to new raucous music through an electric tunnel filled with smoke and fireworks…our team runs out through a rope held by that weeks special interest group.

    During the pre-kickoff at every college/NFL game (sans the Browns) a signature cheer/chant/song is heightened to send the crowd into a frenzy…in our stadium I’ve listened to Crazy Train and drunken fans sputter out.

    At most every other stadium when first downs are achieved a signal is made over the loud speaker followed by a unison chant from the crowd…in our stadium an announcement is made followed by “Christ on a bike, they got one!” statements from fans.

    And finally when touchdowns are scored in most every NFL stadium a signature song is played while traditionary celebrations commence…in our stadium the east stands, formerly known as the dawg pound gets a few high fives.

    No ladies and germs makes no mistake about it most every visiting fan and players acquired through Free Agency that I know look at our setup as one of the worst in the league.

    C’mon Jimmy! For a team with unbelievable roots and tradition there has got to be something we can be proud of in there!

  • m.

    Was thinking the same thing. I can only imagine the screed I’d be reading now had he injured himself during a celebration.

  • AkronPoppy

    Why do they have to leap at all? Didn’t the old Stadium have a hill leading to the Pound (or was that just in my head)? Either way, just create a grass incline leading to the fence and let them run into the embrace.

  • Guest

    Maybe posting it ONE more time would make it even cooler. Sheesh.

  • JonesWFNY

    This is awesome

  • Harv 21

    yes, there was a hill right in the middle and a cop standing nearby. Guessing they design stadiums now to discourage the fans from hopping onto the field. Too bad everyone’s not closer. The thing everyone loves about the Lambeau Leap is that the player is voluntarily eliminating the emotional distance between player and fan caused by the player’s helmet and body armor and distance from the stands.

  • paulbip

    How about a “goal post hump” for all of the dog pound fans?

  • Garry_Owen

    Rams Rules #1 . . .

  • Harv 21

    that’s not Cleveland. Now, a player lifting his leg on the goal post, the Party Pee, and the bleachers doing it with him, that’s Cleveland. Probably also a league fine.

  • cmm13

    Whenever my day is not going as well as I would like it to, I watch that video.
    Instantly I feel better knowing that it was not my team that embarrassed our fanbase that way.

    Then I stand up and “clap it out”.

  • Big Z

    I’m for Dawg Pound Dive!

  • Natedawg86

    Player raises his hand in the air and brings it down then pumps his fist with everyone in the dawgpound Barking in chorous each time he pumps his fist.